COVID-19 is still with us, but Earth Festival will carry on! This year’s Earth Festival will once again be taking place primarily online with webinars, digital “coffee talks”, demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, even trivia night! All programs are free and open to all, please watch this space for events.
Earth Festival Recycling Collection
Recycling has always been a big part of Otsego County’s Earth Festival. This year, we will be offering a special Drive Through, Drop Off collection event on Saturday, April 24, from 11am-2pm at the Meadows complex. Items to be collected include:
- Document shredding for residents, through Empire Recycling’s Confidata service. Limit of 5 boxes per household, please
- Expanded Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam), through the Otsego ReUse Center. This includes rigid polystyrene foam packing materials (NOT loose fill peanuts), as well as coolers and egg cartons. Rigid foam packaging, coolers, etc., must be clean and white and have tape, labels, etc., removed. Egg cartons may be of any color.
- Natural wine corks
- Tennis balls
- Permanent markers
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and dental floss containers
- Planet Green materials: used inkjet cartridges (no toner cartridges, please), cellphones and chargers, tablets and e-readers, small digital cameras and handheld GPS units. Place inkjet cartridges in plastic bags or original packaging to prevent leaks. Please do not include toner cartridges, cordless phones or answering machines, laptops, printers, etc.
- Glass: Glass bottles, jars, jugs; glass from windows, doors and mirrors (ALL FRAMES REMOVED); drinking glasses; ovenware and ceramic dishes, bowls, mugs, plates; Pyrex
We are unable to accept any items not on the list above. DO NOT BRING paint, batteries, oil, pesticides, chemicals, solvents, etc. Otsego County Solid Waste Department will be holding Household Hazardous Waste Day later this year. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.
While the Drive Through, Drop Off collection is free, pre-registration is required! We ask that you use this link to sign up for a time slot to bring your recyclables. This will help us know how busy we will be and help avoid overcrowding on the day of the event.
Please do not bring items that are not on the list! This is not a garbage collection or hazardous waste event. One of the biggest threats to recycling is ‘aspirational recycling’ or ‘wishcycling’, that is, including items that you hope can be recycled. Unfortunately, this can lead to many recyclable items going to the landfill. We are not equipped to handle trash or hazardous materials. Please do not include them.
Want to volunteer?
We can use your help at Earth Festival. Volunteers are needed to help unload cars and sort and process recyclables. All volunteers must follow COVID-19 protocols including wearing masks and maintaining social distance. We will provide appropriate PPE and sanitizers. To volunteer, please email Jeff O’Handley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth Festival Schedule of Events
OCCA and our partners will be offering a number of programs to celebrate Earth Festival on April 22, 23 and 24. In addition, programs from throughout the year will be available in pre-recorded format for your viewing convenience. Please note this schedule is a work in progress and subject to change!
Thursday, April 22
Webinar: Many Happy Returns: 1-2:30pm. We’re always hearing about invasive species that we’re trying to get rid of, let’s hear instead about species making a comeback! Our speakers will address three key aquatic species that are being restored to Otsego County’s Butternut Creek: the American eel, the pearly mussel and the eastern hellbender. Registration is required for the free Zoom program. Please use this link to register.
Protecting Land With Conservation Easements: 3:00pm. David Diaz, Interim Executive Director of the Otsego Land Trust, will discuss the Land Trust’s role in our community and region, and will provide insights into how conservation easements serve to protect land. Use this link to join.
Forest Hike: 3-5pm. Join OCCA volunteer and ADK Conservation Chair, Liza Mundy for a hike in George Bouckles County Forest. See below for details.
Webinar: Glyphosate, Hazard vs. Risk: 7pm. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the United States, is subject to considerable debate about its impact on humans, non-target organisms, and the environment in general. In this presentation, “Assessing Pesticide Hazard vs. Risk: Glyphosate, a Case Study”, Dan Wixted, of the Pesticide Management Education Program at Cornell University examines the difference between hazard and risk and how that impacts the discussion surrounding glyphosate. Dan will also examine how the EPA assesses hazards and risks as it applies to glyphosate residues in food. Program is free, but registration is required. Use this link to sign up.
Friday, April 23
Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District Overview: 10-10:30am. District Manager, Jordan Clements provides an overview of the District’s programs, services, and how county residents can get involved. Use this link to join.
Talkin’ Trash: 12:30pm. Shane Digan, Recycling Coordinator for Otsego County provides an update on Otsego County’s solid waste and recycling program, and will answer your questions. Join us for this informal chat here.
Earth Festival Trivia Night!: Join us for some Family Friendly Earth Festival Trivia! Bring your favorite snack and beverage as well as a second device (smart phone or tablet) so you can participate in our interactive Trivia Party. Use this link to register
Forest Hike: 5-8pm. Join OCCA volunteer and ADK Conservation Chair, Liza Mundy for a hike Star Field, in Cooperstown. See below for details.Time and location to be announced.
Saturday, April 24
Q&A with Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, 10am-noon. Talk LIVE with DOAS Board Members to learn about the organization in general or about a variety of topics including birding; lead ammunition; and climate. Use this link to join in anytime during the hours listed to ask questions or learn more!
“Drive Through, Drop Off” recycling event See information above.
Forest Hike: 10am-1pm. Join OCCA volunteer and ADK Conservation Chair, Liza Mundy for a hike in Arnold Lake State Forest. See below for details.
Though we are all facing new challenges, the environment and protection of it is as necessary as ever. We need your help to continue the fight and to create experiences that can educate, inform, and engage community as we all make our way through these inconstant times.
Earth Festival Hikes
OCCA and the Susquehanna Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club will co-host three Earth Festival hikes to familiarize persons with trails in the local community. These hikes are easy-to-moderate in difficulty and are suitable for multiple ages. It is our goal to accommodate those who are in school or working by providing late day and weekend hikes for this event. Please note: We will meet in the Milford Central School parking lot 30 minutes prior to the posted time of each walk to provide driving directions to the trailhead for each event. Please bring a cloth mask/facial covering for use, regardless of vaccination status. To sign up for hikes, please contact Liza Mundy by text at (607) 287-4395 or email lizaegloff (at) gmail (dot) com. Space is limited to 20, so sign up early!
Thursday, April 22, 3-5pm, George Bouckles County Forest, Hartwick, 2.5 miles.
Friday, April 23, 5-8pm, Star Field, Cooperstown, Sunset hike and BYO picnic dinner, 3.7 miles.
Saturday, April 24, 10am-1pm, Arnold Lake State Forest/Bilderbeck County Forest, Hartwick, 3.4 miles.
Trails can be wet this time of year! Please wear proper footgear and dress for the conditions! In the event of inclement weather, hike will be cancelled.
“On Your Own” Activities and Events
OCCA and our partners have been active throughout the year and have recorded many of our offerings. Visit our YouTube page for pre-recorded programs on planning, invasive species, and more!
The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is providing several “Watch at Your Leisure” pre-recorded programs for Earth Festival. Recordings include “An Overview of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society”; “Lead Ammunition: A Needless Danger to Eagles and Ourselves”; “Beginning Birding” and more. Visit the DOAS Earth Festival page to view these and other programs.
Take the Pledge to Take Climate Action!
DOAS has started a Community Climate Action ‘Padlet’. Visit the board and make your climate pledge now through the end of April. At the end of the month, pledges will be compiled by community and sent to local municipal offices for display. This is a great way to share with your local officials how important this issue is to you. Check back often to see how things are shaping up!
If you are able, we would appreciate any donation you can make to help keep our mission moving. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue working on behalf of the environment and creating informative programs that can bring us together in a world of social distancing.
Thank you again for helping us keep the future of Environmental Conservation, Education, and Protection alive.