Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Save the Date

Nature Hike

June 2 – 900am – Basswood Pond State Forest

Take a 2-mile walk on the lower loop in Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington Flats. The forest includes pine and spruce plantations, mixed hardwoods, a beaver pond and wetlands. Enjoy late spring wildflowers and look for signs of the abundant wildlife in the forest. Meet at 9 am at the Day Use area on Conservation Road. While pre-registration is not necessary, you can sign up at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Highway Cleanup 

June 9 – 8-10am – Mohican Farm

Help keep a 2-mile section of Route 80 in Cooperstown/Springfield looking good! Afterward, enjoy a complimentary coffee and a muffin courtesy of our friends at Sunflower Café in Springfield. Gloves, bags, and equipment provided. Ages 12 and up only.

Water Chestnut Control at Silver Lake

June 22 – 10am – 1pm – Silver Lake, New Berlin

Join OCCA us for our first water chestnut control event of the year at Silver Lake in New Berlin. Learn about water chestnut and other aquatic invasive species and help keep them from spreading to other water bodies. Pull water chestnuts from 10am to 1pm, then enjoy lunch courtesy of the lake’s owner. Space is limited, please sign up using the form at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to reserve a space in an OCCA canoe. No other outside canoes are permitted.

Get the Kids Out!

June 27 – 10am – 1130am – Wilber Park

Explore Wilber Park’s different habitats and learn about the common plant and animal species that call Otsego County home. In this guided exploration, participants will visit a stream, woods and fields and learn about the different types of plants and animals found there. All participants will receive a journal to record their observations and will use field guides to identify what they see. Meet at the first parking lot on the lower level of the park (Spruce Street entrance). The program is free and open to all ages, pre-registration required (https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/).

Butternut Creek Paddle

June 30 – Time and Launch locations to be determined

Join OCCA and the Butternut Valley Alliance for a relaxing and informative paddle on Butternut Creek. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or reserve a space in an OCCA canoe. The paddle will take about 2 hours, launch and end points to be announced.



Otsego County Recycling at Risk!

The current state of recycling in Otsego County is at risk.  The current purchaser of our recycling items has notified the county that our recycled items do not meet the standards required for the commodities market.  Did you know that you NEED to clean your recyclables BEFORE you put them in your recycle bins?  All jars, plastics, tin foil, etc. must be at least rinsed out so no food residue is present.  This also goes for paper and cardboard!  How many of you think you’re doing a great thing recycling your pizza boxes?  Think again!!  You must cut the dirty bottom off before you can recycle the clean top…..throw that bottom in the garbage.  All of this is precipitated by the Chinese Government changing their policy on plastics contamination.  The largest single market for plastics is China, and they have lowered their contamination rate from 5% to 0.3%.  What does this mean for you?  Right now, residents can still take their recyclables to the transfer station free of charge.  If a hauler picks up your recyclables, they are going to be charged $55 a ton to drop recyclables.  Eventually, this cost may be passed on to YOU the consumer.  Help Otsego County help you!!!!  We are asking you to make an effort to:

  1. CLEAN your recyclables.
  2. DO NOT bag your recyclables.
  3. Recycle the correct items. Rule of thumb in our County….look for the symbol with a number 1-7 on it.  If you can’t find that, check out http://occainfo.org/mobile-recycling-lookup/ for the answers to your ‘what can I recycle’ questions.  If you still can’t find your answer…..when in doubt, throw it out.


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/.

Invasive Species Coordinator Sought

Capitol Mohawk PRISM is currently accepting applications for an Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator. Apply by June 15, 2018 – AQUATIC Invasive Species Coordinator Click on the link for details.  All applications for employment with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County and other county extension associations must be submitted through the Cornell University Employment system.

Plastics Webinar

Plastic bags are everywhere. They litter our environment, endanger wildlife, jam equipment at recycling facilities, and leach chemicals into our food and water. Increasingly, municipalities within New York State, across the United States, and around the world are adopting measures to reduce plastic bag consumption and promote recycling. Is there a solution to our plastic bag problem? Join us on Tuesday, June 12 at 2pm for a webinar about the problems single-use bags cause and the reduction measures being debated across the state. We will hear the perspective of a solid waste facility manager, environmental health official, legislator, and grocery industry representative. This is a discussion you will not want to miss.

 Did You Know?

Otsego Lake starts the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  June 2 – 11 is Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, and we in Otsego County NEED to be aware!  YOU are a member of the 18.1 million people in the 64,000 square mile watershed.  Otsego Lake is approximately 524 miles from the end of the Bay watershed at Norfolk, Virginia, and YOU are part of the Susquehanna watershed which is the largest source of freshwater to the Bay contributing about 19 million gallons of water per minute.  The watershed supports over 3600 different species of plants and animals and the estuary is the most productive estuary in the world. According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, who has been tracking the health of the Bay since 1998, the overall health of the Bay as compared to the Chesapeake  of John Smith’s time in the early 1600’s, the current conditions receive a grade of C- (34/100).  Bay researchers, policymakers, and advocates realize conditions will never return to the John Smith years, but are striving for a Bay resilient enough to “withstand the storms of nature and humankind and is rich enough to nurture diverse cultures and contribute abundantly to our economy.”  This condition is considered a score of 70, a far cry from the 34 we are at currently.  SO, the next time you want to fertilize that lawn, throw some trash on the ground, or not recycle, just think about our neighbors downstream and be considerate.  We have some of the best water quality in the Bay, and we should strive to keep it that way. For more information, check out the State of the Bay Report at http://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/state-of-the-bay-report/.