Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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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.

Get the Kids Out—Roughing It
April 17 – 10-11:30am Mohican Farm
Do you know what it takes to survive in the wild? We’ll cover the basic needs of human survival and learn how to build shelter, find water, and last until help arrives. Dress for weather. Meet at 10am at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Route 80, Cooperstown.

Over the Top—Mud Lake
April 28 – 1-4:30pm, Robert V. Riddell State Park
Join Steve Kent and OCCA for the vigorous 4.5 mile walk to Mud Lake – and beyond – in Robert V. Riddell State Park.  Steve will share stories of the land before it was donated to the state by he and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent.  Along the way, we’ll pass through hemlock, maple and oak forests, stop at a spectacular waterfall, and visit Mud Lake, a fascinating  sphagnum bog on top of the hill. Dress appropriately, bring water and a snack.

The Birds of Mohican Farm
May 11, 7-9am
Mohican Farm’s fields, woods and shoreline make it a great location for birds. We’ll look for spring warblers, swallows, bluebirds, shorebirds–maybe even bobolinks and eagles. The walk is led by Becky Gretton, co-president of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, and is suitable for all levels of birders. Bring binoculars and a field guide, and get here early! Please pre-register, enrollment is limited to twenty people. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm.

Call to Action
It is now a perfect time to contact your Congressional offices and make two “asks” – both of them are keys to getting more funding for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and restoration work in the watershed. We want to ask our NY Members of Congress to do two things – cosponsor a new bipartisan Chesapeake Bay Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 1620 in the House and S. 701 for Senate offices) which will update the Chesapeake portion of the Clean Water Act and target $90 million for Bay funding. The House and Senate bills are identical. 

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 at occainfo.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
The first Otsego County plastic bag challenge is done!  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, these schools have successfully collected over 3000 lbs. of plastic.  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.

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.
May 8: GROW Initiative, with Francine Stayter and Carol Phelps, Otsego Master Gardeners
June 12: Culinary Herbs, with Gert Coleman, Vegetable & Herb Specialist

Get ready for the bag ban—pack your bags
In March, 2020 New York’s ‘bag ban’ is set to go into effect. This plan will end the distribution by retailers of single-use plastic bags with sales and will also impose a fee of $0.05 for paper bags. The ban is expected to save natural resources used in the manufacture of bags, reduce costly breakdowns and repairs in recycling and trash facilities, and cut down on unsightly and dangerous pollution. Now is a good time to start stocking up on durable, reusable bags, and getting into the habit of taking them with you. When you go to the store—any store—remember to “pack your bags” to help protect the environment.

DOAS and Otsego Land Trust Team Up
On Wednesday, April 17 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM, join Otsego Land Trust and Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society for a Woodcock Walk at the Parslow Road Conservation Area.  DOAS Member and local environmental educator Chris DeCesare, joined by Otsego Land Trust Communications and Outreach Manager, Becky Talbot, will lead a walk to observe the spring mating ritual of the woodcock.   

Information wanted – amphibian crossing sites 
In the coming weeks, amphibians will start moving from their winter hibernation areas to wetlands and vernal pools to breed. The combination of rain and night-time temperatures above 40ºF can lead to what are known as “Big Nights,” where thousands of frogs, toads and salamanders are on the move. Unfortunately, they often have to travel across roads, where many are hit by cars. OCCA is seeking information on the location of amphibian crossing zones in Otsego County. If you are aware of an area where large numbers of amphibians cross roads in spring, let us know. Send an e-mail to Jeff O’Handley (programdirector@occainfo.org) and let us know the road name and location (street address).