Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Call for Volunteers

OCCA has been diligently working to help control the spread of invasive species in Otsego County for over 15 years.  We can’t do any of this work without dedicated volunteers like you!  Consider helping us at one of our upcoming invasive species management programs. TO SIGN UP FOR ANY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, please use the form on our website: https://occainfo.org/signup/

Paddle and Pull, Goodyear Lake

August 3, 9:00 am-noon – Portlandville Fishing Access Site, State Route 28, Portlandville

Help control and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species! Water chestnut, a highly-invasive aquatic plant, continues to be a problem in Goodyear Lake. Volunteers will paddle in and around the Stump Lot portion of Goodyear Lake, search for water chestnut, and remove plants when they are found. Dress to get wet and dirty, and bring sunscreen and water. You may bring your own canoe or kayak, or reserve space in an OCCA canoe by using the sign-up form on our website. Meet at the New York State Fishing Access Site on New York State Route 28 in Portlandville, just south of the County Route 35A bridge.

Paddle and Pull, Silver Lake

August 17, 9:00 am -noon – 162 Silver Lake Road, New Berlin

Please help us as we continue removing water chestnut and European frog-bit, two highly-invasive aquatic plants, from Silver Lake in New Berlin. Bring water, sunscreen, and dress to get wet and dirty. At the request of property owners, you must use OCCA canoes. Please register for this event by using the sign-up form on our website.

Chop and Cheese, Japanese Knotweed Removal at Mohican Farm

August 14, 6:00 – 8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown

Chop down Japanese knotweed—one of our most aggressive terrestrial invasive plants—then enjoy light refreshments of cheese and crackers overlooking Otsego Lake. Dress to get dirty. Some tools (loppers, hand pruners) will be provided, but you may bring your own. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

Household Hazardous Waste Day Volunteer Opportunity

September 21 – The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

OCCA is coordinating volunteers to assist at Otsego County’s Household Hazardous Waste Day collection. Volunteers are needed to help primarily with latex paint recycling, but may be asked to direct traffic; assist with unloading cars; sorting recyclable paints from other materials; opening and stirring paint; flattening cardboard; collecting other materials. The event runs from 8am-1pm.  Please consider signing up for early (7:30-11am) or late (10:30-1:00pm) shifts.  Call Jeff O’Handley at 607-282-4087 to sign up, or use the form at our website (see above).

Aquatic Invasive Species Boat Washing Demo

August 7, 6:00-8:00pm – Brookwood Point, 6000 State Route 80, Cooperstown

This free program, offered in collaboration with Otsego Land Trust, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), Otsego Area Rowers, Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales, Otsego Lake Association, Otsego Sailing Club, Canadarago Lake Improvement Association and OCCA provides information on how to identify various aquatic invasive species that threaten our waterways, along with hands-on demonstrations of steps everyone should take to prevent the spread of these species. For further information or to RSVP for this free event, contact Marcie Foster, Otsego Land Trust, (607) 547-2366 est.103, or email marcie@otsegolandtrust.org.

Otsquago Creek: Geology in Action

August 11, 1:00 – 3:00pm – 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 Otsquago 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.

Household Hazardous Waste Day

September 20 and 21 – Unadilla Town Barn and The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

Otsego County Solid Waste is again sponsoring the Otsego County Household Hazardous Waste Day.  This widely attended event allows local residents the opportunity to bring household hazardous waste, enamel paints, pesticides, antifreeze, batteries and much more, FREE of CHARGE for disposal. To see a full list of items that will be accepted at this year’s HHWD, see Otsego County’s website at https://www.otsegocounty.com/Ledger%20Event%20Poster%202019.pdf

More Recycling Options

Got Sneakers – OCCA is partnering with the Oneonta YMCA to expand their athletic shoes recycling program.  Two new sites at the Clark Sports Center and the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market are being added to the original site at the Oneonta YMCA (Ford Avenue) to collect new, used, and unwearable athletic shoes. Your old running shoes, trainers, rubber cleats, and kids’ sneakers can be taken to any of these three locations for recycling with the GotSneakers.com program.  All shoes are sent to their Miami facility for sorting, with the useable ones being sent to people in need and unusable ones being repurposed into athletic surfaces.   Clean out your closets today and bring you old shoes to any of these three locations!

Terracycle – The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market and the Oneonta YMCA are your collection points for Terracycle items.  For a list of items that are accepted at each location, please contact or visit that location before dropping off your items.

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.

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, research and funding.  We are now accepting applications to present in oral or poster form.  Please contact Leslie Orzetti for more information. Details coming soon on registration and the day’s agenda.