Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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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.

Be Informed! Lecture Series – Build a Meadow

May 15, 630 pm

Mohican Farm Manager, Bob Sutherland walks you through the steps of converting part of your property to a native wildflower meadow that will be good for pollinators, pleasing to look at, and will reduce your carbon footprint! Part of the program will be indoors learning about the benefits of meadows and short- and long-term care requirements, and some will be outside working on an actual meadow project. Dress to get dirty!

Well Spent Wednesday at Alex’s Bistro

May 26 – 11am – 10pm – 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!

National Trails Day

June 1, 11am-1pm

Join OCCA program director Jeff O’Handley for some trail maintenance and sprucing up at Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington. Tasks will include moving woody debris off the trails, trimming back encroaching vegetation, and improving drainage on wet parts of the trail. Volunteers should wear clothing appropriate for working in the woods and can bring water, gloves and hand tools. Please register for the event by May 24 so that we can submit proper paperwork to the NYS DEC.

Walk on the Flat Side

June 5, 7pm

OCCA Board member Patricia Riddell Kent and her husband, Steve lead this early evening walk around the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. Visit historic structures, fields, forests and wetlands, while learning about the interesting history of the land that was in the Riddell family for five generations. The park was opened in 2005 after the Kents donated it to the state. Meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17.

Buffer Walk

June 8

Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District Stream Technician, Mark Kugler will discuss the importance of riparian buffers, provide an overview of the riparian buffer program, and lead a tour of a buffer site. Time and location to be determined.

Float the Butternut

June 15, 10am

Back by popular demand, join OCCA and the Butternut Valley Alliance for a fun and informative paddle down one of the county’s most beautiful creeks. We’ll start at Bailey Road and end in Gilbertsville, a distance of about 5 water miles. Bring water and a snack, and your own canoe/kayak (a limited number of spaces are available in OCCA canoes). Pre-registration required. 10am-noon.

Learn 10…Trees

June 23, 1-4pm 
Botanist Dan Spada will guide participants in a beginner’s course on how to identify 10 native tree species through the use of keys, guides and their senses during a combination of lab and field sessions. The route is over moderate terrain, but participants should be prepared with sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hat, water, and bug dope.  A 10x hand lens is optional.  Participants may bring guidebooks, although guides will be provided to borrow.  Anyone interested in how to know the trees is encouraged to participate; no prior botanical training is necessary. This program is limited to 15 participants and will take place at the Clark’s Sports Center


Plastic Bag Challenge

The winners of the first annual Otsego County Plastic Bag Challenge are the elementary and middle/high schools of Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton!  Combined, these students, families and teachers collected over 1700 points of film plastic.  These recycling champions have won a visit from the Utica Zoo Mobile.  This year’s runners up were:  Morris Elementary and middle/high school who collected over 600 pounds of film plastic together.  Other participating schools who also did a FANTASTIC job were Cherry Valley/Springfield, Cooperstown, Oneonta Middle School, Richfield Springs, Unatego, Valleyview Elementary.  All together, the schools kept over 4000 pounds of plastic out of the landfills, a feat they should all be proud of. For more information on how YOU can recycle film plastic, the where, the what, and the how, see the Trex© Company website at:  https://www.trex.com/recycling/recycling-programs/.  But, the best way to reduce film plastic is not to use it in the first place, so be sure to remember your reusable bags when you go the store!

OCCA and Heat Smart Otsego Seeking Volunteers

Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director of Heat Smart Otsego, is looking to recruit volunteers to help spread the word on the value of clean heating and cooling technologies (heat pumps and wood burning systems).  He is especially interested in individuals who can help coordinate outreach events within their own town.  Outreach events could be general public information presentations, presentations to Town Boards, tabling at community events, arranging for home tours of installed technologies or any other creative format for sharing information.  Volunteers will receive technical training on clean heating and cooling technologies, so anyone with time and interest is encouraged to join the team.  You can learn more about Heat Smart Otsego on our website at https://heatsmartotsego.org.  If interested, please contact Bennett by email at campaigndirector@occainfo.org or by phone (607) 435-1364.

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.

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).

The Great Healthy Yard Project

Wednesday, July 10 at 10AM at Templeton Hall

The Lake and Valley Garden Club is hosting a program with the Dr. Diane Lewis, author of The Great Healthy Yard Project. Dr Lewis will describe in cogent, nuanced terms how we are polluting our drinking water and how it’s putting our children’s future at risk—and she offers a surprisingly easy way to chart a happier, healthier course forward, starting with changing the way we steward our yards.

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Spring Programs

May 4: Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will lead a walk at the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway (OSG) trail, located on Silas Lane, off Rte. 205 in Oneonta’s west end to view returning migrant birds. Participants should meet at the parking lot by the soccer fields just past the transfer station at 800am. For more information, contact: Charlie Scheim at 607-434-4880. 

May 17:

June 2Birding By Ear-with brunch! with Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will take place at the scenic Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park in the Town of Westford on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 8:30 AM till Noon to unlock the secrets of bird ID through birdsong.   $25.00 for adults 18 and older, and $15.00 for children 12-17 who are accompanied by an adult, non-refundable.  Register online at http://doas.us/event/birding-by-ear-2019/ .  Contact Becky Gretton at 607-547-5648 for more information.

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Summer Camp Registration

The DOAS is again holding summer camps for kids entering grades 1-6.  The camps run through July and August and provide fun, hands-on experiences in natural science and environmental education through field investigations, crafts and games.  Campers will explore a variety of habitats and learn about creatures that live there.  For more information and to register see: http://doas.us/2019-audubon-day-camp/.

I Love My Park Day

Three of our State Parks are hosting activities for “I Love My Park” day.  Gilbert Lake State Park, Glimmerglass State Park and Betty and Wilbur Davis State Parks will be hosing that brings together thousands of volunteers to celebrate and enhance New York’s parks, historic sites, and public lands. Activities include cleanup, improvement, and beautification events.  To sign check out specific local events and to sign up see:https://www.ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day/find-event.