Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 7-13

Sponsored by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is a statewide event that encourages New Yorkers to help protect the state’s resources from the negative impacts of invasive species. OCCA has the following activities planned:

Paddle and Pull, Goodyear Lake

July 7, 1-4:00 pm – Portlandville Fishing Access Site, State Route 28, Portlandville

Take to the water and help control water chestnut in Goodyear Lake’s “Stump Lot.” Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aggressive aquatic plant that impacts fish, wildlife and recreation. Bring your own canoe or kayak, or reserve space in one of our canoes. Bring sunscreen, water and dress to get wet.

Spotting the Lanternfly: Early Detection Training for our Newest Invader

July 9, 6:00-8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown

Spotted Lanternfly is a newly-introduced invasive insect that could have considerable harmful effects on New York’s agriculture and forests. With populations confirmed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it is essential to stay on the lookout for this insect and its preferred host tree, the invasive tree-of-heaven. Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership Field Projects Manager Dan Snider will teach us about Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and how you can help prevent the spread of this invasive pest into our region. We will discuss region of origin, identification, risks of spread, and the free mobile reporting app iMap Invasives. This program is useful to landowners, land managers, and anyone interested in helping prevent the spread of invasive species.

Chop and Cheese, Japanese Knotweed Removal at Mohican Farm

July 10 6:00 – 8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, 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.

Sweet Frog Fundraiser

July 12, 4:00 – 8:00pm – Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, Southside Mall, Oneonta

Help OCCA celebrate Invasive Species Awareness Week with a “sweet” fundraiser with Sweet Frog.  All you have to do is go to Sweet Frog at Southside Mall in Oneonta and mention “I’m here for OCCA” before you check out.  If you do, 20% of all sales between 4 – 8pm will be donated to OCCA.  Who doesn’t love a little “froyo” on a Friday night in the summer!!  Come help us out.  Thanks in advance for your support.

Invasive Species Teach-In

July 13 11:00am – 3:00pm – Large Pavilion, Wilber Park, Oneonta

Displays and exhibits will highlight some of the invasive plants and animals that threaten our lands and waters. See examples of common invasive plants, discover how to report new infestations, and learn what is being done to control them. Activities for children and adults include matching games, Invasive Species Bingo, and a short walk to look for invasives in the park. At the ID table, you may bring suspicious plants or weeds for identification—bring either a good cell phone photo or bring the plant sealed in a gallon Ziploc bag. Unknown insects may also be dropped off for later identification. Insects must be sealed in a bag and frozen overnight, i.e., they must be dead. This event is free and open to the public.

To sign up for our events, visit occainfo.org/signsup/. For more information on Invasive Species, visit the New York Invasive Species Information website (nyis.info). For a listing of events statewide, visit https://stoptheinvasionny.com/calendar-of-events/

Otsquago Creek: Geology in Action

July 20 10:00am – 12:00pm – Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School, State Route 80, Van Hornesville
Witness the results of thousands of years of geologic processes in action on this walk at the Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School in Van Hornesville. Rain falls and seeps into rocks, dissolving them. The water finds its way to the surface and forms the Otsquaga Creek. As it flows it shapes the land, leaving tufa deposits and carving waterfalls, terraces and caves. The result is a spectacular landscape that is still changing today. This walk is led by Dr. Les Hasbargen, who teaches geology and geomorphology at SUNY Oneonta. Van Hornesville is one of his favorite places to bring students on field trips.

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 athttps://heatsmartotsego.org.  If interested, please contact Bennett by email at campaigndirector@occainfo.org or by phone (607) 435-1364.

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) – 4 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) – 1 SPOT 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) – 7 REMAINING

DOAS Program:  Learn to Identify Dragonflies & Damselflies with Audubon

Friday, July 19 at 4:00 – 5:30pm, Franklin Mountain Sanctuary

Dr. Peter Fauth, biology professor and chairperson of the biology department at Hartwick College, will review methods to identify the adult odonates (damselflies and dragonflies). Participants will meet at the Sanctuary barn, where they will learn about the major families of odonates in this area, and then will learn how to catch, handle and identify species. Insect nets and snacks will be provided. Boots for wading into the wetland are recommended.

Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum

Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00am, SUNY Binghamton Center for Excellence

SAVE THE DATE!  The Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum moves to SUNY Binghamton this year with a day full of presentations related to how to tackle the next phase of restoring and conserving our portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The day will include field trips, overviews of the NEW Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, and panel sessions on communications, innovative practices, partnerships and funding mechanisms.  Details coming soon on registration and the day’s agenda.

Otsego County Energy Taskforce

OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti, has been a member of the Otsego County Energy Taskforce Leadership Committee since its inception in late 2018.  We have been working diligently with the four other members of the leadership committee (Representatives Meg Kennedy and Michele Farwell, Town of Oneonta Supervisor Bob Wood, and City of Oneonta Engineer Greg Mattice) to put together a balanced taskforce to tackle the daunting task of creating a stakeholder-based energy plan for the county.  To date, the taskforce has members of the environmental, business, education, and municipal sectors who are divided into four working groups:  Buildings & Efficiency, Environment, Economic Development, and Supply & Distribution.  Currently, the workgroups are gathering data and doing background research on topics related to their workgroups.  The county has dedicated funding to hiring a consultant to help usher us through this process bearing in mind that the taskforce, and the stakeholders who are a part of this group, are the authors of the resulting energy plan.  The mission statement of the plan is:  The Otsego County Energy Workgroup and resulting Energy Plan will address the needs of the community to become energy secure and resilient while taking into consideration the long-term health of citizens, economic growth, and environmental sustainability of Otsego County.  Full taskforce meetings are open to the public, and unless otherwise noted, are on the first Wednesday of every other month.  The next full taskforce meeting will be September 4, at Oneonta Town Hall at 5pm.  If you have any questions regarding the Otsego County Energy Taskforce, please feel free to reach out to Leslie at 547-4488.