Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Identification and Survey Training
March 9 – 10am-1pm:  Clark Sports Center, 124 County Highway 52, Cooperstown
Hemlock trees are an iconic and valuable part of the Catskills region. Dan Snider, Field Projects Manager for the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnerships (CRISP) will teach us about the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that is threatening our native hemlock trees. We will discuss identification of the insect, best treatment practices, and how you can help contribute to scientific projects to manage this invasive pest and preserve hemlocks on our landscape. There will also be a short field component where we will practice surveying hemlocks for hemlock woolly adelgid.  The program is free, but pre-registration is required. You may use our registration form or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.  This is a joint program offering of OCCA and Mohican Farm/The Clark Foundation.

NEW DATE!Be informed lecture series: Ticks & Lyme Disease
March 27, 6:30 – 8:00pm, Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta.
Lyme disease is a serious public health threat spread by the bite of the black-legged (deer) tick, (Ixodesscapularis). Dr. Carmen Greenwood, Associate Professor at SUNY Cobleskill, will discuss the biology and ecology of ticks. Following this, Otsego County Communicable Disease Coordinator, Theresa Oellrich, RN, will cover the specifics of Lyme disease, including its health impacts, treatment and prevention, and what to do if bitten by a tick.

Heat Smart Otsego Home Tours
March 30, March 31, 11am -3pm
Visit Otsego County homes that have installed ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, or modern wood burning systems with Heat Smart Otsego Campaign Director, Bennett Sandler. Participants will have the opportunity to see these systems in operation and talk to homeowners who have installed them. Saturday’s tour will be in the southern part of the County, while Sunday’s tour will feature homes in northern Otsego County. Tours are free, but registration is required.
Contact Bennett Sandler at campaigndirector@occainfo.org or (607) 435-1364 for more information or to register.

2019 Earth Festival
April 13 – 11am-3pm
Back for its fourteenth year, Otsego Earth Festival will be held on April 13 from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. The event will include the popular exhibitor and vendor fair, workshops, a clothing swap, recycling opportunities, and more. Environmental organizations, businesses, and local energy vendors will have products, services and exhibits on display. For more information, or to learn how to be an exhibitor or sponsor, visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/.  Keep checking the site for updates!

Earth Festival Movie Night
April 12 – 7pm  Cooperstown Village Hall, Upstairs Ballroom
Otsego 2000 and the Glimmerglass Film Festival are again sponsoring the Earth Festival Friday Film Night.  This year’s film is Paris to Pittsburgh a National Geographic film celebrating how Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of Climate Change. The film features voices from local leaders as well as everyday Americans presenting the stories behind climate-related recovery and resiliency, as well as tireless innovative efforts to reduce carbon emissions, including boomtowns formerly reliant on coal such as Pittsburgh.  The movie is free and open to the public.

Eco-Art Call for Artists
Area artists can submit artwork for the ECO-Art (& Craft) Competition as part of Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual Earth Festival event this spring. Artists of all ages and skill levels can enter artwork of any kind, provided it is created primarily with repurposed, reused and/or recycled material. The Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO) is organizing the ECO-Art (& Craft) competition. CANO will be awarding first and second prize in each of the following categories: Youth (under 10 years old); Teen (ages 10-17); and Adult (18 and up). An entry form is available atoccainfo.org/earth-festival/. For more information, contact Flo Loomis by e-mail (lojac@dmcom.net) or at (607) 293-6627. Earth Festival will be held on Saturday, April 13 from 11am-3pm at Milford Central School.

Plastic Bag Challenge
We are halfway through the Otsego County plastic bag challenge!  Kids at Cherry Valley/Springfield, Cooperstown, Gilbertsville/Mt. Upton, Morris, Oneonta Middle School, Richfield Springs, Unatego, Valleyview Elementary, and Worcester have continued their hard work collecting all kinds of film plastic.  After the last weigh in, Gilbertsville/Mt. Upton Elementary School is still in the lead.  Help your local school win the challenge!! If you have any film plastic you would like to recycle, check with your local school or send in with a neighborhood student.  The challenge seeks to educate students (and teachers and families, too) that bags and film plastic can be recycled through grocery stores and other retailers but not through regular curbside pickup or at the transfer stations.  Winners will be announced at the 2019 Earth Festival on April 13.  Contact OCCA at 547-4488 for more details.

Otsego County Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Sale
Have you been meaning to start home composting? Are you looking for a way to conserve water? The Otsego County Department of Planning and Solid Waste can help with both! Now through April 28 you can order compost bins, rain barrels and accessories by visiting www.enviroworld.us/otsegocounty. Bins and barrels are offered at substantial savings compared to store prices. Orders will be delivered to the Meadows Office Complex and must be picked up on May 4, between the hours of 8am and 1pm. For more information, contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at (607) 547-4225, or visitwww.otsegocounty.com.

Lunch-Break Workshops with Master Gardeners
Noon-1pm, CCE Education Center, Cooperstown
Take a break with the Master Gardeners and learn about interesting and important gardening topics. Sessions are free and open to the public, but call (607) 547-2536 x 228 and let them know you’re coming.
March 13: Grafting Fruit Trees, with Paul Mendelsohn, Otsego Master Gardener
May 8: GROW Initiative, with Francine Stayter and Carol Phelps, Otsego Master Gardeners
June 12: Culinary Herbs, with Gert Coleman, Vegetable & Herb Specialist

Leatherstocking & Greater Catskills Young Farmers Coalition Farmers Meet-up and Potluck
March 31, 2-5pm, Star Route Farm, 796 County Highway 40, Charlotteville
Tour Star Route Farm from 2-3pm, followed by a farmers’ social hour and potluck featuring guest, Jim Barber, Cornell Ag & Farmland Implementation Specialist, who will facilitate an informal listening session from 3:00pm-5:00pm. This is an opportunity to share our challenges, discuss what resources we need, and talk about how local policymakers can incentivize beginning and small-scale sustainable agriculture in our region. Please bring a dish or drink to share. Contact Greta at leatherstocking.nyfc@gmail.com for more information or to RSVP.

Delaware Otsego Audubon Society Trips
Turtle Talk
Marth 15, 730pm, Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta
Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will host Alexandra Vlk, a Graduate Student at SUNY Oneonta, for a public program about Wood Turtles. This program is free and open to the public. Free refreshments will be available.

Trip to Montezuma Wildlife Refuge
March 24, 730am, Dietz Street Parking Lot, Oneonta
Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will lead a birding field trip to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge to view migratory waterfowl and shorebirds on their annual journey to their breeding grounds.  The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is a globally significant Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that stop there during the migration seasons.  Those interested in carpooling will meet at the Dietz Street Parking lot (across from the Oneonta YMCA) at 7:30am. This is an all day trip with an expected return to Oneonta around 5:00pm. Participants should plan on packing a bagged lunch and snacks, water, etc. For additional details, contact DOAS Member and local environmental educator, Chris DeCesare at 607-244-5496 or chris.decesare444@gmail.com.

Annual Spring Waterfowl Trip Around Otsego Lake
March 30, 830am, Cooperstown’s Lake Front Docks at the foot of Fair St.
DOAS will host the annual waterfowl trip around Otsego Lake again this spring. Sightings from the past have included unusual duck species, such as the Eurasian wigeon (spotted alongside an American wigeon), along with more common area waterfowl like ring-necked, wood and black ducks, bufflehead, hooded, common and red-breasted mergansers, greater scaup, American coot, mallard, northern shoveler, and Canada goose.  Meet promptly at the docks in Cooperstown at 830am.  Cars will be pooled and radio connected, and the trip will last until around noon. For more information, contact DOAS Member and Trip Leader, Bob Donnelly at rsdonn@yahoo.com or 607-264-8156.

Position Opening:  Giant Hogweed Strike Team, Central and Western New York
New York DEC Forest Health is looking for professional, self-directed, hard-working people with strong communication skills to be part of DEC’s giant hogweed control program. Giant hogweed strike teams will survey for and control giant hogweed, a non-native invasive plant with sap capable of causing injury to humans, in Central and Western NY from April 22-August 20. For information, contact Naja Kraus, Terrestrial Invasive Plants Coordinator, at naja.kraus@dec.ny.gov.