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Highway Cleanup

April 14 – 8:30am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

Help us remove litter from a 2-mile section of State Highway 80 in Springfield and Cooperstown! Bags, gloves and safety equipment provided as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Pre-registration required, 12 years and up only. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY. This activity will take two to three hours. Please wear long pants and dress to get dirty.

Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Earth Festival Movie Night

April 20 – 7pm – Milford Central School Auditorium
For the second year, we are offering a Friday night movie in line with the theme of the festival. This year’s film is being sponsored by sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Festival. Come check out Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring film about “The Recycled Orchestra”, a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. It is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution. The film and FREE and open to the public. For more information on the film and to view a trailer, visit https://vimeo.com/52711779 or www.youtube.com/landfillharmonic.


Earth Festival

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School
Back for its fourteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Keep an eye on our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for updates on vendors, activities, and recycling opportunities.   Check out our line-up:

9am – Pre-Festival Bird Walk (meet in front of school)

9am-1pm – Bike Safety 123 Class (classroom)

1030am – Spring Garden Day Registration (entrance hall)

11am – 3pm – Vendor and Exhibitor Fair (Large gym)

11am – 3pm – 1st Annual Clothing Swap (Cafeteria)

11am & 1pm – Spring Garden Day Workshops (classrooms)

11am – 2pm – Shredding drop off (parking lot)

11am – 3pm – Recycling drop off (various locations)

1215pm – Recycling Basics and You:  How Do I Get Rid Of (Auditorium)

130pm – Yoga Big and Small (small gym)

200pm – Recycled Fashion Show

230pm – EcoArt Winners Announced

Spring Garden Day

April 21 – 10:30am – 2:00pm – Milford Central School
Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties are sponsoring Spring Garden Day (SGD), a day devoted to gardening and growing environments featuring a variety of workshops, held in conjunction with the OCCA Earth Festival. This year’s theme is “Try Something New.” Workshops will occur at11am and 1pm. Registration fees apply. For more information, visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2018/04/21/spring-garden-day-2018

Urban Forestry Hike

April 27 – Time to be announced (check our website) – Swart-Wilcox House, Oneonta
The walk will cover the importance of the urban forest, and the potential impact to it of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that targets ash trees. Following the walk is the City of Oneonta’s annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony, and a demonstration by a trained arborist of inoculating an ash tree against the emerald ash borer. The program is free and open to the public. The City of Oneonta’s Emerald Ash Borer Preventive Maintenance Program is funded by the Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program.

Ag Plastic Recycling

May 10 and 12 – Northern and Southern Transfer Stations (respectively)
Farmers have two opportunities to drop off their used bale wrap, silage bags, greenhouse film, or bunker cover for free recycling. Plastic needs to be relatively clean, dry, and sorted by type. This program is offered for free through a partnership between OCCA, Otsego County Solid Waste Department, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Casella Waste Systems. To participate, please contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 for instructions.

Morning Birding at Mohican

May 10 and 12 – 7am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

The early birder gets the best birds! Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton leads this walk around the varied habitat at Mohican Farm. Birds of woodlands, grasslands and shorelines are often seen—sometimes eagles! Space is limited, so sign up early.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series

May 16 – 630pm – Clark Sports Center

Come join us to learn about food gardens!  Learn what plants are best for our climate, when to start your planting, and how to take care of your garden for best results.   Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/


OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new “garage sale” website will be officially unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can even shop right there!  Items will also be listed on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We need your items to sell! To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to occagaragesale@gmail.com.  We will post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  For more information see our Facebook page and website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

First Annual OCCA Clothing Swap

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School

In lieu of clothing donations at our garage sale (now going green) we are holding our first annual Community Clothing Swap at Earth Festival this year.  Organized by Angelica Palmer, the clothing swap is a great way to donate gently used clothing and get some new fashion at the same time.  A great “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” to keep textiles out of the landfills.  You can donate your gently used clothing, including winter coats and boots, prom dresses, and Halloween costumes on Friday April 20 from 4pm-8pm and at the event Saturday April 21 from 930am-1pm.  We will take all family clothing (men, women, boys, girls).  Please have your donations marked with size and gender so we can sort them easily.  The event is FREE and you do not have to donate to partake in the bounty.  We will also have extra fabric and a crafting area to “repurpose” clothing and make it more “your style”! Feeling generous, we will have staff on-hand to take donations, but they are not necessary.  If you have any questions, contact Angelica Palmer at angelica@dzeli.com.

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

Earth Festival is just around the corner! On Saturday, April 21, we’ll be holding the 13th Annual event at Milford Central School. In addition to the exhibitors, vendors, and Spring Garden Day Worskshops, Earth Festival includes recycling! Here are the items you can bring to Earth Festival: Styrofoam (clean and white only), including packing peanuts; tennis balls; non-working Christmas lights; monofilament fishing line; TerraCycle items: pens, mechanical pencils, markers and caps (no wooden pencils, please); dental care items including toothbrushes (not electric), dental floss and tape, empty toothpaste tubes, and packaging; natural wine corks; and Planet Green items: used inkjet cartridges (NO TONER), cell phones and chargers, handheld electronics (up to tablet size). Please place inkjet cartridges in plastic bags or original packaging to prevent leaks. Finally, OCCA is again sponsoring the Confidata document shredding service from 11am to 2pm. Individuals are limited to five boxes of personal documents, which will be shredded for free. Please note that wood pellet bags are not being collected this year; empty wood pellet bags with tops cut off can be placed in the plastic bag/film recycling containers at area Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Tops grocery stores.

In addition to those items, Lions Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses; Hopeful Hearts Community will collect paper towel and toilet paper tubes, windowed envelopes, and Wal-Mart bags; Good condition shoes and clothing can be brought in for the Earth Festival clothing swap.


Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

Flushing unused or expired medication down the toilet may seem like a safe, secure way to clean out your medication cabinet, but it’s not safe for the environment. Most medications pass through sewage treatment systems and enter our waterways, where they can impact reproduction, development and behavior of fish and other aquatic organisms, even at low concentrations. Now, you don’t have to wait until Household Hazardous Waste Day to get rid of old medication. A new drug take-back kiosk has been placed at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

National Drug Take Back Week begins April 22 (Earth Day) and runs through April 28. Do everyone a favor: take a few minutes, go through your medicine cabinets, and clean them out. Start fresh.

Feeling Creative? Take the EcoArt Challenge

Back again at Earth Festival is the EcoArt Challenge. Use items that have outlived their useful life to make something artistic, functional, or both! Download a registration form here (http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-EcoArt-Entry-Form.pdf) and bring your entry to Milford Central School between 9 and 11 am on April 21. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Child (5-7), Youth (11-17) and Adult (17 and up) as voted on by Earth Festival vendors/exhibitors. Why not make it a family or school event?

CADE Workshop:  Access to Capital

CADE is excited to host a new workshop entitled “Access to Capital” in which farm and food business entrepreneurs will learn about grants and loans available to farming entities and agricultural businesses. The workshop is ideal for entrepreneurs looking for capital in the next 30-60 days to start, operate, or expand their farm or agriculture business. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 4th from 1pm to 4pm at the CADE office on 5 Elm Street in Oneonta, NY.  The workshop is free. Pre-registration is required by contacting CADE’s Program Manager Corey Luchetta via email at corey@cadefarms.org

Did You Know?

When will the ice on Otsego Lake melt away and start warming up for the summer swim season? Officially, the “ice on” for Otsego Lake was the evening between December 31and January 1.  If you remember last year, we did NOT have full ice coverage on the lake at all making ice fishing near impossible in some traditional spots. When we have complete ice coverage on the lake that means the temperature is “isothermal” or only varying a degree from top to bottom.  So, when will that lake ice go away?  Well that depends on stream flow, night and daytime temperatures.  If the temperatures keep consistently falling below zero at night, it will take longer for the ice to melt.  The optimist in me would love to say all ice gone by Easter, the realist says tax day. Tag us on Facebook with your guess!