ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 15, No. 10 – September 1, 2021

We could not have had such a successful Otsego County Household Hazardous Waste Day without you!!

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who helped us recycle over 700 pounds of paint!
The day was hot, and everyone worked very hard to make the entire event run smoothly – thank you!!

Join us at our next Trail Tuesday event!

Tuesday, September 14th, 9-11am
Arnold Lake State Forest, Hartwick

Want to spend some quality outdoor time in our state forests? Want to improve recreational opportunities for all members of the Otsego County community? Join OCCA for Trail Tuesdays! We will be at Arnold Lake State Forest on September 14th.

Activities will include cutting brush, removing woody debris, improving drainage, and repairing walkways and other trail structures. Participants should bring their own work gloves. OCCA can provide a limited number of hand tools.

All participants will need to fill out a New York State Volunteer application, available at VSA – Individual Volunteer Application (ny.gov). Current dates and times:  Please register using our online registration form, below. You will receive instructions on meeting location, equipment, etc., after registration.  
 
SIGN UP: Trail Tuesday — Arnold Lake – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org)

2021 Upper Susquehanna Coalition: Watershed Wednesdays

August 4 – October 27
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Continue checking in to Watershed Wednesdays!

A coordinated effort of the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, OCCA, and Choose Clean Water Coalition.
These mini-sessions are each Wednesday of the month, beginning at 9:00am.  

Zoom Link: https:/us02web.zoom.us/j/85428683066 

Running through the month of October, you’ll have many chances to learn from the best, regarding projects in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. 

September 1: Using Underwater Drones to Teach about Aquatic Environments and Conservation, with Dan Rhodes, Bradford County Conservation District 
September 8: Pasture Water Systems that Work: From Simple to the Complex, with Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer”, Madison County SWCD 
September 15: Constructed Wetlands as part of Stormwater Management Practices at Binghamton University with Professor Joseph Graney, Binghamton University 
September 22: Overview of the Upper Susquehanna Watershed Progress Dashboard with Cassandra Davis, NYS DEC 
September 29: Chesapeake Bay Program for Local Governments with Danny Lapin, Otsego County Conservation Association

Perspectives

At OCCA, we understand that Indigenous peoples were the first conservationists. Their voices must be listened to in the conversation around environment, sustainability, and change.  

The Haudenosaunee (meaning Builders of the Long House), or Iroquois Confederacy, are indigenous people who, prior to European colonization, lived in what is currently New York State, Pennsylvania, and Canada. The five original nations that made up the Confederacy included the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations. In the early 18th century, the sixth nation, Tuscarora, migrated to the Confederacy.  

Written into the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation, also known as the Great Law of Peace, the principle of “Seven Generations” stood as a value to be upheld. The belief is that as individuals, we must do all things considering the next seven generations that will come after us. We must keep the best interest of those future generations top of mind, by practicing sustainability and conservation. 

The Oneida Indian Nation, located in Oneida, NY, share stories with us that speak of their commitment to conservation and preservation. An undated article from the Nation’s website sheds light on a story Keller George (Wolf Clan), member of the Oneida Nation Council, recalls from his great-grandmother: 

Conservation: A Haudenosaunee View

The Haudenosaunee people have always lived in balance with nature. They know the Creator’s gifts must be tended and preserved unto the seventh generation. 

Keller George (Wolf Clan), member of the Oneida Nation Council, recalled the following story his great-grandmother told: 

Long ago, before the Europeans first came to this land, the Haudenosaunee were happy and at peace with all the gifts the Creator had bestowed upon them. The lands where they dwelled had many thick forests. Numerous animals populated their lands, many of them fur-bearing. Birds of innumerable types inhabited the countryside. The rivers were flowing with myriad fish. 

The Haudenosaunee had lived in America since time immemorial and had taken care of the gifts the Creator had granted to them, using only what they needed to survive. 

One day, this all changed. From across the waters sailed a large winged canoe. On board this vessel were the Europeans, the newcomers, who eventually settled in Haudenosaunee country. The newcomers saw only plenty when they looked at the great forests the Creator had made. So with their axes, they cut down too many trees. The animals, which ran free and were killed only out of necessity by the Haudenosaunee, were nearly exterminated by the newcomers. 

From the streams, the newcomers took too many fish. The once ample supply of birds were diminished by the newcomers and their guns. The land too was damaged, as the newcomers plowed too many acres. Seeing all of this waste made the Haudenosaunee sad. The Creator too was upset with the actions of the newcomers. The Creator knew the results of the waste and greed would become apparent and haunt the newcomer. The Creator had made Mother Earth in perfect balance, which the exploitations of the newcomers had upset. 

And so it followed that the insect population increased because there were fewer birds to eat them. The insects in turn ate the crops. There were no trees left to stop the soil from eroding when the rains came. Flooding occurred when the rushing waters washed away towns and farms of the newcomers. The waters ran swiftly carrying the soil out to the sea. 

The earth that remained was no longer heavy sod. When the winds came, they wreaked havoc on the soil and created dust storms. Dust and sand covered the newcomers’ homes. Now the newcomers knew they had been wasteful of the Creator’s bounty, and understood they must teach their children to be wiser. 

To this end, the newcomers taught their children to plant trees to replace those previously chopped down. The new trees would eventually hold back the water that wore away the soil. 

Into the rivers, the newcomers put fish to replenish that dwindling population. The fish in turn would eat the mosquitoes and other insects that worked against people. To help the fish in this endeavor, the newcomers made birdhouses to attract more winged creatures. The birds too would eat the harmful insects. 

The newcomers knew that taking these conservation measures would please the Creator. The newcomers said: “The Creator will make this country thrive again and shine with beauty as it did before my ancestors came here and nearly destroyed it.” 

“Indian people have always lived in balance with nature,” said Keller. “They know the Creator’s gifts must be tended and preserved for the next generation.” 

Conservation: A Haudenosaunee View – Oneida Indian Nation

A Fun Event for All: Butternut Creek Float

September 11th, 11-2pm 

Enjoy an easy paddle on the Butternut Creek with OCCA and our friends at the The Butternut Valley Alliance. Along the way, we’ll talk about the natural and human history of the region, take in the lovely sights and have some fun! 
This is a great way to introduce kids – and adults! – to paddling. We’ll cover approximately four miles, from Bailey Road to Mill Street, Gilbertsville. 
OCCA canoes are available with prior registration. FREE! 
Butternut Creek Float – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org)

HeatSmart Mohawk Valley: Introduction to Clean Heating & Cooling

Webinars offered, Fridays at 11am

Come join us as we introduce you to HeatSmart Mohawk Valley, and our solutions around clean heating and cooling. We’re here to help you understand the new technologies available to help you save money, reduce your energy costs, and experience a much more comfortable climate in your home. The process may seem intimidating to start, but our HSMV team is here to walk you through every step of the way.

This event has a video call. 
Join: https://meet.google.com/hdz-eitg-hjq 
(US) +1 323-694-9436 PIN: 347213758# 


Friday, September 3rd, 11am –12pm 
Friday, September 10th, 11am –12pm  
Friday, September 17th, 11am –12pm 
Friday, September 24th, 11am-12pm

Join OCCA for a Highway Cleanup morning!

September 25th, 8:30-11am at Mohican Farm
Join us as we pick up litter along a 2-mile section of State Route 80 along Otsego Lake. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and long pants. Equipment will be provided courtesy of the New York State Department of Transportation’s “Adopt A Highway” Program. Meet at OCCA’s Mohican Farm office.

SIGN UP: OCCA Highway Cleanup – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org)

Internship Opportunity!

The Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc (OCCA) is seeking an intern to head up the design and building of an interactive website using WordPress. Using the Otsego County Energy Taskforce (OCET) Roadmap draft, the intern will work with staff and contractors to translate the background information and data into an interactive tool for general public use.  

Internship term: Fall Semester 2021, with potential option to extend  

Time Commitment 
This internship requires a minimum time commitment of 10- 18 hours per week while actively taking classes.  Up to 35 hours per week when not taking classes.  Time will be tracked using a shared timesheet document. 

Scheduling Conflicts 
OCCA recognizes that academic, work, and family events can create scheduling conflicts with work to be performed as part of the Internship. All deliverables must be provided to OCCA staff by the end of the internship term. Should deadlines result in scheduling conflicts, OCCA staff must be notified one week in advance. 

Methods of Communication 
Communication related to the Internship shall take place primarily via Zoom, Podio, and email. Pending availability, OCCA will schedule in-person meetings on an as needed basis. 

Compensation 
The intern will be required to submit a bi-weekly timesheet to OCCA Project Coordinator, Deirdre Crouse. The internship is paid, with the pay rate being $15/hr. Payments will be disbursed on a bi-weekly basis. Time sheets updates are due on Fridays by noon.  

Work Location(s) 
This internship is intended to be primarily remote.  

Work Plan
Work with Executive Director, Planner and Consultant to review data from completed Otsego County Energy Roadmap
Translate data into WordPress website to create an interactive tool for public use
Interacting and coordinating with entities throughout the county to connect webpages with this new website.

 THANK YOU!

Our final Chop & Cheese invasive species removal day was August 25th.

Our team of 6 filled two large bags with Japanese Knotweed. We braved the poison ivy and sun and had a great time! Thanks to our volunteers, Jeannine and Stacey. Thank you also to Devin, of Mohican Farms, and Deirdre, our Project Coordinator. 

A huge thank you goes to Jeff, Program Director, for organizing all of our invasive species removal events this summer. 

We are grateful for Jeff’s intern, Christian, who worked alongside Jeff for so many of these events (and ran some himself!) throughout his internship. We hope you had the chance to meet Christian through his work with OCCA, and he will be missed!

HeatSmart Mohawk Valley: On Demand!

Want to learn more about Clean heating and cooling technology, but can’t make some of our live webinars?
Check out our on Demand programs:
Introduction to Cleaner and Greener Heating and Cooling
Energy Studies: The Place to start for any Building
Agricultural Energy Audit

Visit our website for more information: www.heatsmartmv.org

Webinars offered, Fridays at 11am

Come join us as we introduce you to HeatSmart Mohawk Valley, and our solutions around clean heating and cooling. We’re here to help you understand the new technologies available to help you save money, reduce your energy costs, and experience a much more comfortable climate in your home. The process may seem intimidating to start, but our HSMV team is here to walk you through every step of the way. 

Otsego Octet Summer Challenge 
Otsego Outdoors wants you to hit the trails, waterways, and cycling paths this summer.
Complete any eight activities from a list of 16 and you can earn an Otsego Outdoors Summer Octet Challenge patch. 
The Challenge is open from May 29 to September 6. 
For information and a registration form, visit www.otsegooutdoors.org.

Community Resilience 

OCCA continues to serve part of the Clean Energy Communities and Climate Smart Communities team for the Mohawk Valley.  If you are interested in how to get your community involved in Clean Energy, Climate Resiliency and planning for the future then contact Amy today to see how to get started! director@occainfo.org or call at 607-547-4488 

Garage Sale (ongoing)

As part of OCCA’s mission to reduce our carbon footprint we will be holding our traditional “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale” digitally.  You will still have the benefit of donating items to OCCA, getting some GREAT deals, and knowing that you are keeping things out of the landfill.

If you are interested in any of the items we have listed OR if you have items to donate, please email us.
Garage Sale Items – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org)

How You Can Help Protect Our Local Environment

Donations provide the foundation for our work throughout Otsego County. By becoming a supporter of OCCA, you become a part of a unique countywide environmental organization whose mission is to protect local natural resources for the benefit of all. 

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© 2021  Otsego County Conservation Association
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
(607) 547-4488