Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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December 3, 2018:  Vol. 12, No. 12


A Looming Threat: Emerald Ash Borer

December 12 – 630pm: Otsego Now/Otsego County Chamber Office, 189 Main St., Suite 500, Oneonta

The emerald ash borer is creeping into Otsego County. This highly-destructive insect attacks and kills ash trees, which make up a significant portion of our forests and parks. Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) Field Projects Manager, Dan Snider will provide an update on the emerald ash borer infestation in the Catskills region. Come learn about emerald ash borer biology, ash tree identification, and signs of emerald ash borer infestations. We will also discuss best management practices for infested areas, and how you can contribute to research programs to preserve ash trees on our landscape. Program is free, but space is limited. Register as https://occainfo.org/signup/.


Solar Info Session & Potluck

December 15 – 300-530pm: Tanner Hill Herb Farm, 294 Tanner Hill Rd., Cooperstown

The Leatherstocking Young Farmers Coalition invites beginning, sustainable farmers in the Leatherstocking Region (50 mile radius of Cooperstown) to a Solar Info Session and Potluck. Join fellow farmers to talk about renewable energy options, socialize, and share food together. The session will include representatives of Solstice Community Solar, who will provide information on solar farm opt-in programs in Otsego County, and Bennett Sandler, of Heat Smart Otsego to discuss air-source and ground-source heat pumps and wood heating systems. As a farm-driven collective, the Leatherstocking Young Farmers Coalition provides a space for socializing, skills and resource sharing, and advocacy. The chapter creates a platform for building and strengthening the community of sustainable farmers and ranchers within their first 10 years of growing or starting a new farm in this region, but is also open to apprentices and seasoned farmers. Please bring a dish or drink to share. For more information, contact Greta at leatherstocking.nyfc@gmail.com.

Additional Solar Info Session

December 6 – 530-730pm: Best Western Hotel, 50 Commons Drive, Cooperstown

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.  Come to the information session and help fill up our local solar farm while saving up to 10% on your electric bill.


Plastic Bag Challenge

There’s still time for schools to sign up for our first-ever plastic bag challenge! The school that collects the most film plastic (per capita) between January 1 and April 1, 2019 will win. Participating schools will receive a collecting bin, courtesy of Casella. The challenge seeks to educate that bags and film plastics can be recycled through grocery stores and other retailers, but not through regular curbside pickup or at the transfer stations. Schools can also sign up to participate in a national challenge sponsored by Trex. Registration deadline is December 15. Contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488 for more details or to sign up.


Christmas Lights Recycling

Through December 24 at Lowe’s

A number of Lowe’s stores in our region are accepting used Christmas and holiday lights for free recycling. Participating stores include Lowe’s in Oneonta, Norwich and Herkimer. Lights can be dropped off for free in a bin near the customer service area during normal store hours. Call your local Lowe’s to confirm participation.

If you don’t have a Lowe’s nearby, consider a mail-in program through Holiday LEDS (https://www.holidayleds.com/christmas-light-recycling-program.aspx). In addition to recycling your old lights, they’ll send you a coupon good for a 15% discount on LED Christmas lights through their online store.

Otsego Land Trust is Hiring!

The Finance and Office Manager is responsible for managing the organization’s finances and financial reporting and works closely with the Executive Director and Board Treasurer. He/she manages the office’s operational systems, utilities and facility needs. The Finance and Office Manager reports to the Executive Director, and works with the staff/Board of Directors as projects require. Like all members of OLT’s staff, the Finance and Office Manager assists with tasks outside his or her specific position requirements when the demands of a small organization require it. Please send resume, cover letter, and references to patricia@otsegolandtrust.org. Deadline for applying is December 14.

Thank You!

From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank our loyal Ecobulletin readers for another wonderful year here at OCCA.  Your support of our organization is what keeps us going and on our toes to bring you the best information and programming we can, and to help preserve the place that we all call home.  If you want to find out more details about what we were up to this year, stay tuned for a link to the Annual Report on our website in January.


It’s Holiday Time!

To paraphrase the Grinch, that means lots of packages, boxes and bags. This year, when unpacking all the goodies coming to your door, pay special attention to the packaging. Foam packaging, bubble wrap, tissue paper and air pillows can all be used again, if you’re shipping gifts to distant family and friends. If you have no need for the material, check with local shipping stores to see if they can use it (call first, don’t just drop it at their door). If it can’t be reused or donated, make sure to dispose of it properly:

Cardboard: break down and flatten boxes; take clean, dry, flattened boxes to your transfer station or set out with curbside recycling.

Bubblewrap and air pillows: If bubblewrap has a foil backing, it must be disposed of in the trash. Otherwise, bubblewrap and deflated air pillows can be recycled at grocery stores and other retailers that take back plastic bags and film wrap. Visit https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/ to learn which nearby retailers participate.

For a comprehensive list of ‘How Do I Get Rid Of?’ in Otsego County, visit http://occainfo.org/item-specific-recycling-compiled-resources/ or http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/HowdoIgetridof.htm