ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 15, No. 3 – March 4, 2021

What’s included in this months bulletin:

  • Calling All Teachers!
  • Earth Festival is Coming!
  • Spotted Lanternfly Egg Hunt
  • Otsego Octet Winter Challenge
  • Clean Energy Resources for Municipalities
  • Otsego County Waste-Smart Business Certification
  • Heat Smart Office Hours
  • Virtual Clean Water Lobby Day

and more!

-Amy and the rest of the OCCA Team

Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem

If you’re a teacher looking to bring quality watershed education to your classroom, join the Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem! This new program launched by OCCA in a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aims to increase student understanding of local watersheds, ecosystem functions, and issues that impact them through implementation of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). OCCA will be running a special institute for teachers in the New York portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed this summer. For more information on this exciting program, visit occainfo.org/BWET.

Earth Festival is Coming!

Earth Festival will be returning, once again in modified format. This year will feature online educational programs and webinars, and fun events including trivia night and a scavenger hunt on April 22 and 23rd, and a special, “Drive Through, Drop Off” Recycling Event on Saturday, April 24 from 11am to 2pm that will include document shredding by Empire Recycling’s Confidata service; expanded polystyrene foam collection by ArcOtsego, and more. All programs will be free and open to the public. The “Drive Through, Drop Off” Recycling Event is open only to Otsego County residents (we’re sorry, no businesses) and will require pre-registration. For details on what to drop off, how to package it, and how to register visit occainfo.org/Earth-Festival.

Sponsorships available: Please help keep Earth Festival going! Your donation will help cover costs, including paper shredding, equipment rental, advertising and more. Sponsors will be listed on our website, in advertisements, and at all online programming. Visit occainfo.org/Earth-Festival for details.

Volunteers needed: OCCA is recruiting volunteers to help with the Drive Through, Drop Off recycling event. Volunteers are needed to help unload recyclables from cars, direct traffic and sort and pack recyclables for shipping. Volunteers must be willing to follow COVID-19 protocols. If you would like to help out, connect with Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org

Spotted Lanternfly Egg Hunt

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has been found in New York. This invasive insect poses a significant threat to New York’s agricultural, recreational and forest industries. OCCA has ‘adopted’ three sites to carry out surveys for egg masses through a project organized by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and is looking for help! Join us for an online introduction to the spotted lanternfly on Thursday, March 18 at 7pm, and then for a live, socially-distanced egg hunt at Basswood Pond State Forest on Saturday, March 20 at 9am. Use https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84831831808?pwd=QVVzeldTeTBjRjZqd2FOdU51SU1Bdz09 to register for the online event. Email programdirector@occainfo.org with questions.

Otsego Octet Winter Challenge

Otsego Outdoors, a partnership of OCCA, Otsego 2000 and the Otsego Land Trust, is promoting the Otsego Octet Winter Challenge now through April 30. The challenge encourages participants to complete eight winter activities, such as hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, etc., in designated state parks and forests, as well as county forests and Otsego Land Trust properties. Winners are eligible to receive a commemorative patch. For details on how to participate, visit otsegooutdoors.org.

Clean Energy Resources for Municipalities

OCCA is very excited to announce that we are in partnership with the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District to support local communities in the Clean Energy Communities and Climate Smart Communities program! Amy and Danny will be supporting municipalities as with free technical assistance to work on any aspect of either of these programs. Join us for our upcoming webinar on Action Grant!

Join the the Mohawk Valley Clean Energy Communities Coordinators, Amanda Kaier & Amy Wyant, as they go in depth on the Action Grants actions and how your community can earn grant funding and points!

Thursday, March 25th, 11 am – Sign up here

Otsego County Waste-Smart Business Certification

Our friends at the Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste Department are launching a recognition program for businesses that are taking or have taken steps toward sustainable solid waste practices. These practices can reduce carbon emissions, extend the lives of landfills, and result in less litter in our lands and waters. If you are a business owner or manager and would like more information, visit https://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/s-y/solid_waste/waste-smart_business_certification.php

Heat Smart Office Hours

Have questions about clean heating and cooling for your home or business? HeatSmart Mohawk Valley Campaign Director, Bennett Sandler has answers! Every Tuesday and Thursday from noon until 2pm, Bennett will have virtual office hours to address your questions. To schedule your free appointment. Register Here.

Virtual Lobby Day 2021

Amy and Danny participated in another successful Lobby Day with the Choose Clean Water Coalition. Even though our meetings were a bit different this year (all virtual, rather than in person on Capitol Hill) we were very excited to connect with NY legislator to talk about supporting clean water in New York. If you are interested in learning more about the Choose Clean Water Coalition, check out their website here.

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 occagaragesale@gmail.com. If you’re looking to buy, visit http://occainfo.org/garage-sale-items/ to see what we currently have!

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.

Visit OCCA’s YouTube Channel


COVID19 Policy

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.

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.

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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7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
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