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Well Spent Wednesday

January 24 –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!

Cabin Fever Fest Snowshoe Walk

January 27 –11:30am and 1:30pm – Gilbert Lake State Park

Join OCCA at Five Star Subaru’s Cabin Fever Fest at Gilbert Lake State Park for a snowshoe hike or two.  Again this year, OCCA will be leading two snowshoe walks around Gilbert Lake.  No snowshoes, no problem!  You can borrow some from the Mt. Otsego Ski Shop.  Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead these walks and give fun ecological facts about Otsego County and point out neat wintertime nature finds along the way.  There will be two hikes, 11:30 and 1:30.  Join us for this fun free event!

Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Winter Carnival Showshoe Walk

February 11 – 10:30 – 12:00pm – Clark Sports Center

Have the winter time blues?  Bundle up and hit the woodland trail Winter Carnival weekend at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.  This themed hike will focus on signs of life past, present and future. Look for animal tracks and scat (aka, poop!), nests, evidence of feeding and more. The event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lobby of the Clark Sports Center. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/


50th Anniversary Annual Appeal a Success!

A big and hearty thanks to everyone who shared your holiday cheer with OCCA!!  Our 50th Anniversary Annual Appeal is off to a great start.  With a goal of $50,000 for our 50th Anniversary year, we have a lot of work to do and we’re off and running because of our generous donors.  We are about to top the $10,000 mark in just our first month!  As always, your donations go to helping OCCA put on all of its FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC programs like nature hikes, lectures, festivals and much, much more.  It’s not too late to donate to OCCA for our 50th Anniversary year! If you would like to donate online, please see our Annual Appeal campaign page @ https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/43100-2017-annual-appeal. Any and all donations are welcome, and no gift is too small.   Pass the word on to your friends this year  that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.


Recycle Your Christmas Lights

If you’re finding more and more strings of Christmas lights that aren’t working, look to recycle them! Lights can be dropped off at Lowe’s stores, or boxed and mailed to companies like Holiday LEDs (holidayleds.com), the Christmas Light Source (christmas-light-source.com) or Environmental LED (environmentalled.com).  You can also bring your spent holiday lights to OCCA and we will take them to Lowe’s for you.  Drop your lights off at Mohican Farm location (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road) until January 24.

Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District Seeking Winter/Spring Intern

This internship position will support Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) with various projects in Otsego County. The position will provide experience in watershed assessment methods, riparian forest monitoring and maintenance methods, and other OCSWCD projects as assigned.  For more information see: http://www.otsegosoilandwater.com/Internship_OCSWCD_2018.pdf.

Upper Susquehanna Coalition Seeking Spring Intern

The Upper Susquehanna Coalition is seeking resumes for a current job opening as a riparian buffer intern. The position will begin in March and is slated to terminate in the late fall, with the possibility of an extension. The job will be based out of the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation Office.  Interested parties should contact Lydia Brinkley at the Upper Susquehanna Coalition Buffer Coordinator, at Lbrinkley@u-s-c.org.

NY DEC Seeking Trees for Tributaries Program Coordinator

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust is seeking to hire a Stream Buffer Restoration / Resiliency Planting Program Coordinator to oversee DEC’s Trees for Tributaries program.  Trees for Tribs works to restore stream buffers throughout New York.   Contact OCCA for a position description.  Applications are due January 8th, 2018 to treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov.

Did You Know?

Baby its cold outside!  With this rash of cold, cold, cold weather we’ve been having, and more sub-zero temps to come, Otsego County’s lakes are just about frozen.  On my drive back from Western New York yesterday, my kids and I had a bet whether Otsego Lake was completely frozen yet.  Answers ranged from 50% (my ever conservative science brained son) to 100% (my ever optimistic daughter), with mine in between at 80%.  The bets were predicated by observing Canadarago Lake with its ice fishing huts lining the lake and beautiful ice waves along the surface.  As many of you know, Otsego Lake is usually the last to completely freeze over due to its depth and many streams feeding it.  Last year the lake did not actually completely freeze over (no, not even the 4 feet of snow in March did it!).  Lake ice and the ecological phenomena under the ice in lakes in Otsego County  and in other fresh water systems is now being recognized as an important research question that needs to be answered to determine what shifts in both the planktonic (floating) and benthic (bottom) communities that is and may still occur in the face of a warming climate.  Warming you say?  This week?  Bah!  But it is true. While many researchers have avoided winter research on lakes (I’ve done my time chipping ice off boats, and it’s not fun) more and more ecologists are heading out during the winter months to see what food web dynamics are occurring under the ice.  In fact, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis has put together an entire working group for just this question (https://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/featured/hampton).  As the winter drones on, just keep in mind (as many of you ice fisherman know) there’s life teeming under that surface of ice.  And for you betting people out there….we have word from the SUNY Biological Field Station that Otsego Lake is indeed 100% frozen.  Now get out there carefully and ice fish!