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March 6, 2017:  Vol. 11, No. 2


Well Spent Wednesdays

March 2211am10pm – 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!


Winter Tree ID Hike

March 259:30-11:30am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Do you know your ash from your elderberry? A beech from a birch? Can you tell a dogwood from its bark? Join OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley a walk at Thayer Farm in Springfield, and learn how to identify some common trees and shrubs. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/


OCCA Highway Cleanup

April 88am – Mohican Farm (7207 State Highway 80 – next to OCCA office)

Join OCCA as we clean up the roadside on a two-mile section of State Route 80 spanning the towns of Springfield and Otsego. Enjoy a nice, brisk walk, and help the environment, too! Safety vests and helmets, bags, and gloves will be provided. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Meet at Mohican Farm at 8 a.m.; we will aim to finish up by 11.


Get the Kids Out

April 1910am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Get The Kids Out during mid-winter recess. OCCA is holding a special program, Get The Kids Out—Winter Wonderland at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Designed for elementary school kids and their families, this program will explore the life of the forest, past, present and future. 10 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/


OCCA Earth Festival

April 2211am3pm – Milford Central School

Back for its 13th year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. This event attracts over 1000 people every year, and more than 30 exhibitors and vendors. This year’s activities will include the pre-festival bird walk, the EcoArt contest, yoga for beginners and children, and recycling opportunities. To be a vendor, exhibitor, or event sponsor, visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) and download a form, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.


OCCA Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale

April 29/30 – 9am – 4pm – Cooperstown Farmers Market

OCCA’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Garage Sale will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017 at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Bargains galore abound at this annual event, which helps OCCA raise money for our county-wide environmental programs while also reducing waste.  Check OCCA’s website for details on how and when to donate items for the garage sale. If you would like to volunteer at this event or donate items, contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.




TerraCycle Update

The OCCA TerraCycle collection only accepts the following items: used pens, markers and mechanical pencils; natural corks from wine bottles; empty toothpaste tubes, discarded toothbrushes (non-electric only), and packaging from toothbrushes and dental floss. Cereal bags are no longer being accepted, but can be taken to any grocery store that collects plastic bags. The TerraCycle collection bin is located outside the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown.


Ag Plastic Collection, Coming This Spring

Farmers, start saving your film plastic! OCCA, in cooperation with Otsego County Solid Waste, Otsego County Soil and Water, and Casella, will be holding collection days for Ag Plastic in May. Acceptable plastics includes bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse covers. Plastic must be sorted according to type. For details on storage and transport, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.


Did You Know?

Woven polypropylene bags, commonly used for pet and animal food bags (Purina dog chow, Beneful, for example) are not currently collected as part of our recycling programs. These bags are sturdy, water resistant, and can be repurposed for many different uses, such as shopping bags, tarpaulins and wood pile covers, and over-the-door shoe organizers, and more. Feed bags will be collected at Earth Festival. If you would like some of these bags, please contact former OCCA President, Martha Clarvoe, at (607) 293-6654, or at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.


NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Adopts New Fishing Regulations

On February 28, 2017, the DEC announced that new freshwater fishing regulations will go into effect April 1, 2017. According to the DEC, the new regulations are a result of a two-year process that included biological assessments, discussions with anglers, and a 45-day public comment period. The regulations will be published in the 2017-18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide that will be available at all license sales vendors and online in March. Please follow this link to learn about the highlights of the new regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/109392.html.


DEC Proposing Amendments to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

The DEC recently announced a proposal to amend the regulations that implement SEQR (Title 6 NYCRR Part 617). According to the DEC, the main purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review. Comments on the proposed amendments can be submitted to the DEC’s Division of Environmental Permits, Attn: James J. Eldred, Environmental Analyst, 625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233-1750 or via email to: seqra617@dec.ny.gov. Comments will be accepted until the close of business on May 19, 2017. There will also be a public hearing on March 31, 2017 at the Broadway address listed above. Please follow this link to learn more: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/83389.html.


Yale University Releases Interactive Map Detailing Public Perception of Climate Change

Researchers from Yale University recently released an interactive map highlighting the public’s opinion on climate change. Public opinion polling is generally done at the national level, because local level polling is very costly and time intensive. Yale’s team of scientists, however, has developed a model to drill down to the state, congressional district, and county levels. Follow this link to learn what Otsego County residents think about climate change: http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/.