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July 2, 2018:  Vol. 12, No. 7

 Save the Date

Goodyear Lake Paddle and Pull

July 8 – 1pm:  Portlandville Fishing Access Site

Kick off Invasive Species Awareness Week with a water chestnut pull in the Stump Lot portion of Goodyear Lake. OCCA and the Goodyear Lake Association have been partnering for a decade on removing the highly invasive water chestnut (Trapa natans) by hand. Come enjoy the results on a leisurely paddle, and we’ll pull any water chestnuts we find. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or reserve space in one of ours! Bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. Please pre-register @ https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Mohican Farm Knotweed Pull

July 11 – 6:30pm:  Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY (corner of 80 and Allen Lake Road)

Japanese knotweed is a highly-invasive plant that is spreading rapidly across the region. Learn to recognize knotweed, and get your hands dirty as we try to control a patch of it here at Mohican Farm. Bring hand pruners and hand tools useful for grubbing tough, persistent roots out of the ground. Contact Jeff O’Handley for information or to register.

Invasive Species Teach-In

July 14 – 11am:  Wilber Park

Celebrate New York State’s fifth Invasive Species Awareness Week with an Invasive Species Teach-In at the small pavilion in Wilber Park, Oneonta. Local botanist and OCCA board member Donna Vogler and her team from SUNY Oneonta will share their expertise about invasive plants with displays, activities for kids and adults, and a plant identification booth. See examples of common invasive plants, discover how to report new infestations, and learn what is being done to control them. You may bring suspicious plants or weeds for identification—bring either a good cell phone photo or bring the plant sealed in a gallon Ziploc bag. Also part of the program is a tree identification walk. Unknown insects may also be dropped off for later identification. Insects must be sealed in a bag and frozen overnight, i.e., they must be dead). This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by OCCA, the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), and the City of Oneonta.

Bug Walk

July 21 – 10am:  SUNY Oneonta College Camp

Come on a leisurely walk around the College Camp with Dr. Jeffrey Heilveil, Chair of the Biology Department at SUNY Oneonta and resident entomologist, and catch, observe and learn about many of the late summer insects that reside in Otsego County. Insects are fascinating creatures: some are vital to the foods we eat and flowers we love. Others are important food sources for other animals, or we are important food sources for them. Dr. Heilveil will talk about distinguishing characteristics, where to find the species, and some of the astounding life histories of local insects. Register @ https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/



OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new online green “garage sale” website was unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can get shopping!  You can also find these Items on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We still need your items to sell, and will continue accepting items year round! 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 website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Seeking Volunteers

We’re about to finish up our first year of monitoring, and we couldn’t be happier with our stream team and the results they have collected so far!  Not long ago we received a grant to help us expand our program, and we’re looking for more volunteers to help us monitor an additional 5-10 sites around Otsego County.  If you’re interested in getting your feet wet, learning about water quality and the health of one of our local streams, this program is for you.  The project is perfect for school groups, church groups, scouts, and just your average joe looking to do something to get out into the environment.  Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow.  A time commitment of approximately 3-4 hours a month is required.  Interested in being a Stream Team member, call Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 to sign up!

Community Shared Solar Opportunities

Southern Tier Solar

Community solar is a program that greatly increases equitable access to locally produced solar energy. Community solar links a customer’s utility bill directly to a local solar farm, allowing them to go solar without installing solar on their home. A customer’s share of the electricity produced on the solar farm is credited directly to their NYSEG utility bill each month. Any NYSEG customer can sign up: renters, homeowners, businesses, and non-profits. To learn more about how you can save money on your electric bill, protect the environment, and support the local solar economy, check out our event schedule for Otsego County:



Solstice is a mission-driven organization dedicated to bringing affordable solar power to the 80% of Americans who cannot install a rooftop system. Solstice conducts comprehensive marketing campaigns to educate communities about community solar projects in their area, partnering with trusted local organizations to distribute community solar to their membership, conducting outreach efforts and managing the customer experience. There is currently an opportunity to buy into a new solar installation right in your own back yard in Laurens.  To learn more, contact Jackie Burke at 607-345-4816 or jackie@solstice.us. Tim Brown at 607-241-0125 ortim@solstice.us

Monitoring and Managing Ash (MaMA) Workshp

Learn how to contribute to ash conservation. The Ecologicial Research Institute (ERI) presents this single-session training workshop. Attendees will learn how to establish ash mortality monitoring plots as part of a Monitoring Plot Network extending through the Catskills and beyond. The workshop includes training in how to recognize ash and detect the emerald ash borer (EAB); how to report EAB via the MaMA Ash/EAB Surveys Anedcata project; introduction to MaMA’s “Potential Lingering Ash Toolkit” to protect possible lingering ash from being felled; and MaMA’s other tools and integrated approach to EAB management and ash conservation. The program includes hands-on demonstrations of project techniques used to establish mortality plots, conduct Ash/EAB surveys, and report lingering ash. Workshop is presented by MaMA’s orginators, Jonathan Rosenthal (ERI Director) and Dr. Radka Wildova (ERI Senior Scientist). Free, but pre-registration is required. Tuesday, July 24, 1-4pm at Mohican Farm.


ORCA Ride-On for Complete Streets

On Sunday September 9th from 8am-5pm, ORCA and a group of partners will host a “Ride-On” for the Complete Streets Program.  The day will consist of a variety of length rides for cyclists of all ages and abilities.  Complete Streets is a program designed to promote the safe use of our roads for all modes of transportation including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private vehicles.  The event will start at Richfield Springs Central School at 8am. For more information and to register go to: http://otsegooutdoors.org/event/orcas-ride-on-for-complete-streets/

 Did You Know?

Its almost blueberry season.  Yay!!!!  We just love blueberries in our house.  Sometimes I think more end up in our bellies than in the bucket when we are picking.  While “blueberries” are native to the east coast of the United States, New Jersey claims to be the “Blueberry Capitol of the World”, and Maine accounts for 10% of the cultivated blueberries in the North America.  As I’m sure many of you are aware, the typical harvest season is Mid-July through August for these sweet treats, and Otsego County has some great picking places if you don’t have them in your own backyard.  So what’s so great about that tasty bluish purple treat?  Well, aside from the fact that its great in smoothies, pies, cobbler and whatever else you can come up with, they have some great health benefits as well. These little guys are high in anti-oxidants which mean they go around your body gobbling up “free radicals”…what you say?  I’m not radical!  Ah yes, you are!  Free radicals are uncharged little particles in your body that are highly reactive and can bond with just about anything they come into contact with.  The more you can eat food that can gobble them up, the better as they contribute to the aging process and can contribute to the formation and/or spread of cancer.  Several studies have shown that exposing cancer cells to blueberry extract can slow their growth.  Blueberries can also help with weight loss and help with brain and heart health, alleviate inflammation and support good digestion.  All in all, we think blueberries are one of the best things out there in the summer, so go out, put on your sunscreen and get picking over the next few weeks.   And…..save some for us!