Whats included in this months bulletin:
- Non-Invasive Species Spotlight
- HeatSmart Mohawk Valley Launches new website
- Food Waste Bins
- Planning for a Changing Climate webinar
- We’re Hiring: Part-time Assistant Planner
- Highway Cleanup
- Leatherstocking Golf Course Nature Walk
- Trees for Tributaries
- Civic Engagement as an environmental advocacy tool
- Non-lead Ammunition Zoom Panel Discussion
- And more!
-Amy and the rest of the OCCA Team
Non-Invasive Species Spotlight
Wednesday, October 14, noon-1:oopm
This month, join OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley for a look at some species that seem invasive, but are not. Fall webworms, goldenrod, tent caterpillars and more will be featured during this one hour zoom program. Register for this free program at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIof-CtrD0tEtb2ZzGjAOi-hXZ48mh3Ney7.
HeatSmart Mohawk Valley Launches new site:
As you may know Heat Smart Otsego has officially expanding! A collaborative project between OCCA and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD), Heat Smart Mohawk Valley is a new combined community-based clean heating and cooling initiative to help residents and business owners in the Mohawk Valley lower their energy bills, improve comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This grassroots program is designed to educate building owners about clean heating and cooling options, connect them with free and low-cost energy audit programs for their homes and businesses as well as no-cost community solar opportunities to both save money on their electric bill and procure clean, renewable energy. We will be bringing all the great information of Heatsmart Otsego to the entire region! Check out the new site and check back often for new digital events: https://www.heatsmartmv.org/
Food Waste Bins Available
If you’re looking to separate food from the rest of your household waste, OCCA and the Otsego County Solid Waste Department have teamed up to provide you with a choice of handy bins to help you! Our 2-gallon Kitchen Collector fits in a cabinet or on the countertop, has a hinged lid and a handle for easy carrying. The 6-gallon EcoCaddy has a lock and seal lid to keep out rain and critters if stored outside, and strong handles and multiple grip services for transport. Whether you have a compost pile in your backyard or are bringing your food waste to the Southern Transfer Station ($1/bucket fee, up to 6-gallons), these bins provide a convenient way to store and transport your food waste. Available at several locations, see https://www.otsegocounty.com/Bin%20Poster_Available%20here.pdf for prices and sale locations.
Planning for a Changing Climate
Wednesday, October 21, 5:30-6:30pm
Climate change has the potential to dramatically influence planning in the 21st century. Ranging from an increased need to plan for resilience to natural disasters to preparing communities throughout the state to accommodate New York’s ambitious climate goals, developing a clear understanding of climate adaptation planning is critical for continued prosperity at the local level. Join OCCA Environmental Planner, Danny Lapin, on Wednesday October 21st from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. No pre-registration required. Join this meeting by visiting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86205428215pwd=YzJkKzlNVGwyakUyVHFlbk02ck1vQT09 on October 21.
Currently Seeking Part- Time Assistant Planner
OCCA is seeking a qualified individual to assist our Environmental Planner with the updating of the Town of Sherburne’s comprehensive plan. This is a part-time, two-year subcontractor position. For full details, including how to apply, visit https://occainfo.org/position-announcement-otsego-county-assistant-planner-job-description/.
Saturday, October 24, 8-11am.
Help beautify the road and protect the environment at the same time! Join us as we clean up a two-mile portion of state route 80 in the towns of Springfield and Otsego. Gloves, bags and safety gear provided. Please register for this event at https://occainfo.org/calendar/highway-cleanup-9/. We will meet at the OCCA office at 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.
Nature Walk: Hitting the Links: Leatherstocking Golf Course
Friday, October 16, 8-10 am
Stretching out along Otsego Lake just outside the Village of Cooperstown, Leatherstocking Golf Course is a scenic gem and one of the top courses in New York. Course Superintendent, Mike O’Neill will lead this walk on the course, which will highlight many of the practices he employs to minimize the course’s environmental impact while keeping it an attractive and desirable place to play. These practices include managing runoff, conserving water, and minimizing pesticide and fertilizer use. Meet at the course workshop located at GPS coordinates 42.711815, -74.924378.
Did you Know?
Riparian buffers—vegetated areas along a stream corridor–can improve water quality, stream stability and fish habitat, and can reduce runoff, erosion, and nutrient pollution. If you have a stream on your property, you may be eligible to receive free native trees and shrubs through New York State DEC’s “Trees for Tributaries” Program. The Upper Susquehanna Coalition works with landowners to help plan and plant riparian buffers. For more information, contact Taylor Held (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lydia Brinkley (email@example.com).
In the News:
Earlier this summer, the New York State Legislature passed a bill (A.732-B/S.6502) sponsored by Senator José M. Serrano and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal to ban the use of the herbicide glyphosate on State property. Glyphosate, the most widely-used pesticide in the United States and the active ingredient in Roundup and other commercially available herbicides, has been labeled a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Glyphosate is used virtually everywhere: on farms, along highways, in parks, playgrounds, picnic areas and backyards. If signed into law by the Governor, the ban would take effect on December 31, 2021. Note this ban only applies to the use of glyphosate on state property.
In Case You Missed It
While we haven’t been able to meet or provide programs the way we prefer to, face-to-face, OCCA has been busy! For web-based programs on Invasive Species, Heat Smart Otsego, and the SEQR process, visit our YouTube Channel. We’ll be adding more content, as well. Subscribe to get notifications of new postings.
Hunters Urged to Choose Non-lead Ammunition: Zoom Panel Discussion
Wednesday, October 7,7:00pm
Join the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society for a Zoom panel discussion on alternatives to lead ammunition. The program will overview the impacts of lead on human health and wildlife, will compare the performance of lead and non-lead ammunition, and will look at the choices hunters and landowners can make to reduce lead in the environment. Dr. Peter Fauth, ornithologist and Chair of the Biology Department at Hartwick College will moderate. The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Visit doas.us for more details and for a registration link.
OCCA Online Garage Sale Ongoing
If you’re in the midst of spring cleaning and you find yourself with good condition items that you no longer need, why not get them into the hands of someone who could use them? Donate them to the OCCA online garage sale and help support our efforts to protect Otsego County’s environment! Items should have a minimum value of $10. Please send photos and a description and dimension of the item(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re looking to buy, visit http://occainfo.org/garage-sale-items/ to see what we currently have!
Think Different: Looking from someone else’s viewpoint.
Civic Engagement as an everyday tool for Environmental Change
As a conservation organization, some may feel that our place does not lie in civic engagement, but we disagree.
Civic engagement includes showing up at the polls and voting for candidates who will support our policies to conserve and protect our natural resources. But true engagement is not something that happens only on Election Day.
We encourage our OCCA community to engage our lawmakers, keeping them up-to-date on the issues that concern us and we wanted to let you know about some tools that can put that power to connect in the palm of your hand.
The Powerful Voices App, built and designed by Leika Hill, a local citizen advocate, helps connect citizens to their federal, state and local elected officials. The app also has Voting information for NYS not only can you use it to advocate and share your voice, but it allows you to engage others in your life, such as younger or new potential voters, to register or connect to other important voting information.
We are excited to share this app in the hopes it will help our community members connect, engage, and inform our leaders about the issues that face rural New York and how decisions, laws, and funding help or hinder us as constituents.
The staff and board of directors of Otsego County Conservation Association offer our heartfelt condolences to the members of our Otsego County family who have lost loved ones to or suffered from COVID-19. Though our region has been fortunate to see a small number of cases relative to other parts of the world, we take this disease seriously. The safety and health of our staff and all of our program participants is our top priority. Therefore, as we move forward with in-person programs in the coming weeks, we will adhere to current guidelines put forth by New York State. As of this publication, these are:
*Program size will be limited based on current state guidelines, staff included;
*All participants must wear a mask during the program;
*Participants must follow social distancing guidelines at all times; should a program be expected to require close contact among participants, this will be made clear in the program description
*Participants must pre-register in order to attend;
*All participants must provide OCCA with contact information (name, phone number, email) in order to participate.
*For programs that take place on the water, you may bring your own watercraft (canoe, kayak, paddleboard) and personal flotation device. If OCCA canoes are available, you must pre-register with a member of your household in order to share a canoe.
We apologize for any inconvenience these rules may cause; please understand this is in the interests of protecting all of us. Please note these guidelines will change as the situation here changes. We will post these guidelines at occainfo.org and update them regularly. Thank you for respecting each other, and for being part of the OCCA family.