Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Walk on the Flat Side

June 5, 7-8:30 pm – Riddell State Park

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 the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17. This walk is offered in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation—Central Region.

Riparian Buffer Walk

June 8, 1000-1130 am – County Rte. 166 across from Fish and Game Road

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. Meet at County Rte. 166 across from Fish and Game Road.  Wear closed toed shoes and long pants.

Chop and Cheese

June 12 6pm – 8pm – Mohican Farm, Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road, Cooperstown

Japanese knotweed is one of the most difficult to control invasive species in Otsego County. Join us at Mohican Farm for an hour or two chopping down Japanese knotweed, then enjoy cheese, crackers and a spectacular view of Otsego Lake afterward. Participants should dress to get dirty and should bring work gloves, pruners and their preferred beverage.

Float the Butternut

June 15, 10am – Bailey Road Bridge, Morris

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.

Susquehanna River Clean-Up

June 22, 7am, Mill Street Bridge, Cooperstown

The Lions Club of Cooperstown is again working with many partners in the area to organize the Susquehanna River Cleanup.  OCCA is coordinating volunteer help in our canoes.  If you are interested in volunteering this year in a canoe to help remove debris and garbage from the river, please email Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org

Learn 10…Trees

June 23, 1-4pm – Clark Sports Center, County Highway 52, Cooperstown 
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.

Paddle and Pull – Silver Lake

June 29, 10am – 1pm – 162 Silver Lake Road, New Berlin 
Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is a highly invasive aquatic plant that disrupts native ecosystems. Join OCCA and members of the Silver Lake community as we seek to remove water chestnut from Silver Lake, a 40-acre lake on the western edge of Otsego County. Enjoy a good morning on the lake pulling water chestnut, followed by lunch, generously provided by the lake’s owner. Please note: outside canoes/kayaks are not permitted at Silver Lake. Sign up at occainfo.org to reserve space in one of ours.


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 most single-use plastic bags with sales. 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.

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.

June 12: Culinary Herbs, with Gert Coleman, Vegetable & Herb Specialist

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 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/.

Session 1: July 15, 16, 17, 18 – 9:30am-3pm at DOAS Sanctuary on Franklin Mountain, Oneonta 
 (for children entering grades 3 and 4) – 5 SPOTS LEFT

Session 2: July 29, 30, 31, August 1 – 9:30-3pm at DOAS Sanctuary on Franklin Mountain, Oneonta
(for children entering grades 5 and 6) – 3 SPOTS LEFT

Session 3: August 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 – 9am – noon at Oneonta World of Learning, Fortin Park
(for children entering grades 1 and 2) – 8 REMAINING

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring

We are deep into data land having monitored for almost two years nine different sites in Otsego County.  This amounts to approximately 1000 data points on stream temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, pH, water clarity, nitrogen and phosphorus.  Data from our two sites on the Butternut Creek will be used to help inform the Butternut Creek watershed management plan which OCCA will be working on this coming year.  This summer, we are adding a NEW facet to our program, benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring.  Volunteers will be collecting there wonderful creatures from their sites and identifying them for a more robust data set.  All of this data is a part of the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative, so we are doing our part to keep track of the headwaters of our larger Chesapeake Bay watershed.  None of this can be done without our many volunteers!!!  Become a part of our team and adopt your own stream site.  We’ll provide the gear, training, and a snazzy t-shirt….you get to have fun and know you’ll be a part of a great team helping to monitor and protect water quality not only in our own back yard, but for our neighbors in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Contact Leslie Orzetti at director@occainfo.org if you would like to be a part of the action!