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Save the Date

Winter Carnival Snowshoe Walk

February 11 – 10:30 – 12:00pm – Clark Sports Center

Have the winter time blues?  Bundle up and hit the woodland trail Winter Carnival weekend at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.  This themed hike will focus on signs of life past, present and future. Look for animal tracks and scat (aka, poop!), nests, evidence of feeding and more. The event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lobby of the Clark Sports Center. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Get the Kids Out – Winter Scavenger Hunt

February 21 – 10:00am – 12:00pm – Riddell State Park

Take a break from school vacation week with a winter scavenger hunt with OCCA in Riddell State Park. Discover the hidden life of forests and fields, and get some fresh air, too! Meet at the parking lot in Robert V. Riddell State Park and dress for the weather! The event is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series – Ticks and Lyme Disease:  What You Need to Know

February 21 – 6:30pm – Community Room, Clark Sports Center, Coopersown

Spring is right around the corner, and that means ticks will soon be back out in force. Learn about the biology and ecology of ticks, their role in the transmittal of diseases, and how to protect yourself and your family. Speakers include Dr. Carmen Greenwood, Associate Professor, SUNY Cobleskill, and Theresa Oellrich, RN, Communicable Disease Coordinator of Otsego County.

Mud Lake Snowshoe Walk

March 10 – 12:00pm – 4:30pm – Riddell State Park

Join Steve Kent for this hike up to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land when it was part of the Riddell family. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Bring your own snowshoes, as well as water, a snack, and appropriate clothing. If there is not sufficient snow, we will proceed on foot. Sign up at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.


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.


New rules for wood pellet bags

The OCCA-Ace Hardware wood pellet bag collection has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue recycling your pellet bags. Several stores in Otsego County, including Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Tops, accept wood pellet bags as part of their film plastic recycling program. To prepare your wood pellet bags properly: cut the top completely off the bag and discard; completely empty the bag of pellets and residue (turning inside out may help); store flat or in tight rolls; drop off at the film plastic recycling containers at Price Chopper, Hannaford or Tops with your other film plastic recyclables. For information on other types of film plastics that can be recycled, and for a directory on where to recycle them, visit https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/


OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

In an effort to lower our carbon footprint, OCCA is going green this year and moving our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage on to the web.  Instead of using vehicles to pick up, drop off and move items, we will be hosting an online store where you can still get donate and purchase items for a great deal!  Over the past  few years, we have had an overwhelming outpouring of donations from our supporters.  This year we are trying to refine the process so we do not have so many things left over at the end of the yard sale to find good homes for.  After the yard sale, many items were donated to the SAS, local shelters and the Salvation Army, but we still had many unwanted items to take to the dump…..certainly not the intention of the yard sale.  So, this year YOU can sit back and donate and shop from the comfort of your own home.  We will be accepting household items for donation that are in good condition from March 1 until May 1 with the sale ongoing until our items are sold.  To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to one of our team members.  The team will then 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.  OCCA will not be accepting small items such as clothing and books, but we have other options for you (see clothing swap below).  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  Stay tuned for more information via email, our website (www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/) and Facebook for more information.


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 and at the event Saturday April 21.  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.  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.

Grilled Cheese for a Good Cause

February 11 – 5:00 – 7:00pm – Cooperstown Farmer’s Market

Go join Otsego 2000 for an evening of community fun and comfort food, featuring local chefs preparing scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches and soups. Click here to purchase tickets. This year’s event will benefit Otsego Outdoors.

Cold Winter, Warm Community Winter Carnival Ice Breaker

February 11 – 2 – 4:30pm – Cooperstown Distillery

View Otsego Land Trust’s “Picture Perfect” exhibit, a display of wonderful photographs taken around our community. At 3pm, take part in a fun 30-minute trivia contest about the area’s wildlife and environment. At 4pm, The Freeman’s Journal presents the award to the winner of the Winter Carnival Medallion Search.

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

In keeping with the Earth Day Network’s theme for this year’s Earth Day, Earth Festival’s theme will be Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  To that end, we will be offering many opportunities for recycling that you might now know about.  We will still have our paper shredding (5 box limit); clean, white Styrofoam; shoes; Christmas lights, toilet and paper towel rolls; windowed envelopes; small, handheld electronics; ink jet cartridges; fishing line; tennis balls; natural cork.


Positions Available

The Natural Heritage Trust is seeking candidates for the position of Water Resources Coordinator to help monitor and maintain the water quality, safety, and recreational uses of New York state park watebodies. Applications due February 16, 2018. For full position description and how to apply, call Natural Heritage Trust at (518) 474-0409.

Invasive Species Strike Teams: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is seeking to fill a number of positions on their invasive species strike teams. Strike Team Specialists and Supervisors will primarily be involved in manual invasive plant removals, surveys, education and other activities on State Park lands. These are seasonal, full-time positions from late May through mid-November. Closing date is March 9. See https://parks.ny.gov/employment/park-employment.aspx for detailed job descriptions, contact information, and how to apply.

Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship (FORCES), a program of The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is seeking applicants for positions as FORCES Stewardship Corps Members and Supervisors for the summer May through August). FORCES Stewardship Corps will be working alongside State Parks staff on projects in Taughannock Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and Robert H. Tremain State Parks. Closing date is March 9; however, interviews will begin in February, so apply ASAP. For detailed information, contact rebecca.siber@parks.ny.gov.