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Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a walk on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park for the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. This 2.5-mile trail traverses several forest types and offers breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. Free. For information on carpooling from the Oneonta area, contact Julie Smith, outings chair of ADK.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/


Well Spent Wednesday

January 24 –11am – 10pm – Alex’s Bistro (149 Main Street, Cooperstown)

Come join OCCA for a meal at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.  Alex has generously offered to donate 15% of your bill to OCCA.  This can only work if you come out for a wonderful meal at Alex’s!  We LOVE Alex’s eclectic menu and hope that you will as well.  Just mention OCCA when you dine.  We’ll have an OCCA employee at the restaurant for most of the day if you want to stop by and say hello!

Where Have All the Birds Gone?

December 6 – 6:30 – 7:30pm – Brandow’s Feed & Seed

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-President, Andy Mason will discuss winter birds, including birds typically seen at feeders in our area. Topics will include various bird seed types and other food, feeders, and problems at feeders.Also discussed will be the common question this fall: “Where are all the birds?” as well as how feeder watchers can contribute to knowledge of bird populations and distributions. VISIT www.doas.usfor more information about other programs.


2017 Giving Tuesday a Success!

The new #GivingTuesday campaign for 2017 was a success!!  Today, OCCA raised over $2500 and your generous donations are still coming in.  As always, your donations go to helping OCCA put on all of its FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC programs like nature hikes, lectures, festivals and much, much more.  It’s not too late to donate to OCCA for the 2017 tax year, our annual appeal and brand new annual report are going out in the mail this week.  If you would like to donate online, please see our Annual Appeal campaign page @ https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/43100-2017-annual-appeal. Any and all donations are welcome, and no gift is too small.   Pass the word on to your friends this giving season that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.

Reduce Your Food Footprint

Have too many leftovers?  Is your fridge getting cram packed with food already for the holiday season?  The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that American throw away over 204 MILLION pounds of just turkey meat during the Thanksgiving holidays.  This estimate doesn’t even include the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year holiday, OR the amount of food that can be composted in your own backyard!  To reduce wasted food this holiday season, the NY DEC suggests….

  • Plan ahead:  Have an accurate head count to plan portions accordingly. Use Save the Food’s new Guest-imator calculator to help estimate how much food you will need based on the head count and number of desired leftovers.
  • Cook with Imperfections:  Purchase imperfect produce to use in cooked dishes, such as bruised apples for apple pie.
  • Share:  Encourage your guests to bring a container they can take leftovers home in.
  • Make Creative Leftovers:  Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches.
  • Freeze:  Be realistic about the leftovers you can eat; freeze the extra that won’t last in the fridge.


Recycle Your Christmas Lights

If you’re finding more and more strings of Christmas lights that aren’t working, look to recycle them! Lights can be dropped off at Lowe’s stores, or boxed and mailed to companies like HolidayLEDs (holidayleds.com), the Christmas Light Source (christmas-light-source.com) or Environmental LED (environmentalled.com).  You can also bring your spent holiday lights to OCCA and we will take them to Lowe’s for you.  Drop your lights off at Mohican Farm location (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road) until January 24.

Otsego Reuse Center Now Open!

A project of the Arc Otsego, The Otsego ReUse Center envisions providing affordable, gently used materials to the general public while keeping materials out of the waste stream. The store is open Tuesday through Friday10 am-6 pm and Saturday from 9am-1pm, and is located at 23 Duane Street, Oneonta. Call 607-353-7831 or visit otsegoreusecenter.org for more information.

County Manager/Executive to Be Discussed Locally

Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz Associate Vice President/Regional Engagement, will make a presentation outlining the discussion surrounding hiring a “County Manager” versus electing a “County Executive.” The presentation will take place on Thursday, December 14 at 8 a.m. at the Springbrook family Engagement Center located on Route 28 in Milford Center. The event is sponsored by the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta, with cosponsors including the League of Women Voters (Cooperstown and Oneonta Chapters) and the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

Did You Know?

The Winter Solstice is coming!  The winter solstice (AKA hibernal solstice) is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere we can officially celebrate the solstice on December 21 at 11:27am. Why would you want to celebrate the shortest time of daylight of the year you ask?  While we at OCCA appreciate the solstice for its astronomical properties, many other cultures throughout human history have had a different take on the solstice.  For many people around the world, the solstice is celebrated as the beginning of the return of the sun and darkness turning to light. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log. In Europe, the winter months were considered a time of famine with little to no crop growth. It was at this time that most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter months, thus making the solstice a time of slaughter and plentiful meat and many celebrations for the upcoming months. In ancient Rome, the winter solstice was celebrated at the Feast of Saturnalia, to honor Saturn, the god of agricultural bounty. One of the most famous celebrations of the winter solstice in the world today takes place in the ancient ruins of Stonehenge, England. Thousands of Druids and Pagans gather there to chant, dance and sing while waiting to see the spectacular sunrise.  No matter how you slice it, let’s plan to celebrate the winter solstice this year as homage to our county’s rich agricultural history, a time of the return of the sun, and to longer days giving way to a bountiful spring.