Our Environment.
Our Home.

  • 1


Mud Lake Hike

October 14 – 12:00pm – Southern Portion: Riddell State Park

Steve Kent will lead a 4.5 mile hike up South Hill to Mud Lake in the southern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. The trail, moderately steep in portions, runs through hemlock, pine, and oak forests, includes a stop at a spectacular waterfall, and visits Mud Lake, a fascinating sphagnum bog that is home to the carnivorous pitcher plant. Along the way, Steve will share the interesting history of the park, which was in the Riddell family for five generations. Steve and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Meet at noon at the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road and carpool to the starting point. Bring plenty of water, a snack or light lunch, and appropriate clothing.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Film Festival Mohican Farm Hike

November 10 – 2:00pm – Mohican Farm (Corner of Allen Lake Road and Rte. 80 – Cooperstown)

In the spirit of celebrating this year’s Glimmerglass Film Days theme “Home”, OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a hike introducing you to OCCA’s home – Mohican Farm.  Jeff will lead participants around our lovely “home” and highlight the flora and fauna of the site, and give a history of the property.    Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

Ag Plastic Collections

November 11 – 8-11am (Southern Transfer Station); November 16 – 8-11am – (Northern Transfer Station)

Farmers have two chances to drop off used agricultural film plastic in the month of November. Drop offs both days are from 8 to 11am. Acceptable materials include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type and as clean and dry as possible. Free, but pre-registration is requested. For information on how to properly prepare the material for recycling or to register, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087. Wood pellet bags are also accepted from homeowners.

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/



OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Training Program a Success!

OCCA, in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring hosted a training session for our first crop of citizen stream monitors. Over 20 volunteers attended the training and committed to monitoring 10 different streams around Otsego County for at least one year.  Three schools are also participating in an Adopt-a-Stream program where teachers will lead students to monitor their “home” creek.  We are excited to have this program started to help collect data on the health of our waterways and help protect water resources in Otsego County.  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at: http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/


Sponsor a Stream Team!

Did you know that Otsego County has over 1000 miles of streams?  Over 20 designated trout streams? And our streams are the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  We currently have 10 sites for our citizen science stream monitoring program, and we need your help!  Each team (including three schools) needs equipment to monitor their sites.  We have five kits “on loan” from our project partner, Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and three kits funded by the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, but we need to purchase our own kits and outfit each of our groups with all they need. Each kit costs approximately $500.  If you or a business you know would be interested in sponsoring a site, please call Executive Director Leslie Orzetti to talk about opportunities or make a donation at the website below.  Our water resources are precious; the more monitoring we do, the better we can protect them.  Consider donating today!  Check out our fundraising webpage at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/37306-stream-team-sponsorship  to make your donation today!


DOAS Announcements

  • Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is taking orders for their annual bird seed sale through October 28. Proceeds from sales of high quality bird seed support speaker fees for member meetings, field trips, programs and special events throughout the year. Visit www.doas.us for details and prices.
  • DOAS is hosting their annual open house at the Franklin Mountain Sanctuary on October 7 from 10am to 2pm. Activities include a hawk identification workshop, a trail walk, and a program featuring live birds of prey. Free.
  • DOAS Charter Dinner will be held on Friday, October 20 from 5:30-9:30pm at the Holiday Inn, State Route 23, Oneonta. Tickets are $35/person. Register by October 14 through www.doas.us  or contact Julia Gregory at (607) 563-2924.

SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Biological Field Station is celebrating its 50th Anniversary on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 7pmat the Upland Interpretive Center on Thayer Farm. The festivities begin at noon with guided and self-guided tours. BFS Director Dr. Bill Harman will give a welcome and presentation at 3pm, with a barbecue and silent auction beginning at 5pm. To register, visit https://www.oneontaalumni.com/bfs50th?reid=39. Deadline is October 4.


Dead Drift Studio Open House

Join local artists Dave and Ann Kiehm on Saturday, October 14 from 1 to 5 pm for an afternoon of fine art and conversation. Both Dave and Ann draw inspiration from our beautiful natural environment. 1020 County Highway 46, Oneonta. For more information see www.deaddriftstudio.com/home.html.


Glimmerglass Film Days

Glimmerglass Film Days encourages environmental stewardship through encounters and lively collaboration with world-class artists, activists and scholars to bring cultural events–screenings, hikes, talks, bike rides, and exhibits–of world class quality to our region. This year’s festival theme is home, where filmmakers will take us on a global tour of the places people live. We’ll meet people joining together to defend a way of life as well as individuals seeking to transform communities. Films follow people along trajectories that compel them (and us) to assess what is community, what is family, what is home.  The festival runs from November 9-13, tickets are on sale now.  See http://www.glimmerglassfilmdays.org/ for more information.  The Otsego Land Trust will also be hosting a hike on November 13 at 11am. See www.otsegolandtrust for more information.


Governor Cuomo Announces Appointees to Drinking Water Quality Council

Governor Cuomo recently announced 12 appointees to the Drinking Water Quality Council that will work to ensure all communities across the state, regardless of size, have access to clean drinking water. The Council’s first priority will be to establish an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane. To learn more, please follow this link: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-appointees-drinking-water-quality-council-safeguard-new-york-drinking.


Plastic Bag and Film Collection

There will be a collection at the New York State Association for Reduce, Reuse & Recycle (NYSAR3) Conference at the Otesaga Hotel. All are invited to bring single-use grocery bags (non-biodegradable), newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, wood pellet bags, bread bags, frozen food bags, package wrap, produce bags, and more. Bags and film plastic must be clean and dry, and must have all strings, rigid plastic handles, and food residue removed. For more details, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50042.html . Collection will be on Wednesday, November 8, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Webinars

The Trump administration will hold 10 teleconferences and one in-person meeting to solicit input as it prepares to write a new rule defining which streams and wetlands are subject to federal protection. The schedule for the Waters of the US webinars is as follows:

Did You Know?

According to meteorologists, it is going to be a good “leaf peeping” season. But why do leaves on deciduous trees lose their leaves, and what makes them turn the beautiful colors we see in the fall?  This all has to do with the machinery leaves use to trap sunlight and carry out photosynthesis, the process by which plants “make food.”  The main color green you see during the growing season is caused by the pigment chlorophyll.  The plant uses the pigment and others (carotenoids and xanthopylls) to trap light and harness the sun’s energy.  During the late summer and fall, when the amount of sunlight decreases, chlorophyll production slows and eventually stops.  This leaves the other pigments – xanthophylls (yellows) and carotenoids (red and orange) to show their brilliant faces.  Eventually, these pigments will also break down and we’re left with the browns that usually signal the end of the leaf peeping season.  The question always remains, how do we know we’ll have a beautifully colored season?  That has to do with the amount of rain we get not only during the beginning of the growing season when leaves are just forming, but also the amount of rain and sunny days with cool nights we get during the summer and early fall.  Considering what a cool rainy spring we had followed by a cool wet summer, we should be in for a real treat this fall.  See, we were all complaining about our “lack of summer”, but look what it gets us this fall, and blast of great color to carry us through to a hopefully beautiful spring!