ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 15, No. 9 – August 15, 2021

Be Counted! Join our Little Things Campaign today!

Summer is in full swing here in Otsego County Conservation Association! We hope you are enjoying all that our corner of the world offers. Our campaign to get more people involved in protecting the environment is still happening! Our goal is to share a variety of small tools anyone can use to do their part! Taking small steps every day is how we are going to make a difference in this world, and the proceeds of our “Little Things” midyear fundraiser will support our work in community education.  

The goal of our midyear campaign is to empower 100 people, like you, to join us and donate even $5. We want you to stand up and be counted as someone who works each day to be an environmental steward, even if you’re just working on the little things.

We’ve been spending the past 6 weeks providing you with little acts that can make a big impact in the long run. Continue to check each post on our website and Facebook page. Grab a friend, or go solo, and come back to tell us about your experience! 

Visit our Facebook page to donate through the easy button for donations between $1 and $5. 

Here is the link to our Network for Good donation access. 
OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSN INC – The Little Things (networkforgood.com) 

Thank you in advance for joining us in this campaign! 

Introducing our newest team members!

Deirdre Crouse, Project Coordinator
Anna Rutenbeck, Campaign Outreach & Marketing Coordinator (HeatSmart Mohawk Valley)

Anna Rutenbeck is the Campaign Outreach and Marketing Coordinator for HeatSmart Mohawk Valley, OCCA’s clean energy campaign. Anna hails from Denver, Colorado and Williston, Vermont, but now calls Cooperstown home. She fell in love with the Mohawk Valley during her graduate program in science museum studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, from which she graduated in May of 2021. Her love for the natural beauty of the region is what led her to OCCA, and her passions for environmental justice and climate resilience are what drew her to the HeatSmart campaign. In her free time, she loves hiking with her pets (Mabel the cat and Lantern the dog), photography, and watching horror movies. 

Deirdre Crouse joined OCCA in July 2021 as the Project Coordinator. With experience in management and organization, she will help the team track current and ongoing projects, as well as market OCCA to Otsego and surrounding counties, and beyond. Deirdre is invested in her community and has a passion for volunteering to help support those in need. After just finishing her term as President of the Cooperstown Lions Club, she is excited to continue on their Board of Directors to make meaningful change. She believes wholeheartedly in the mission of OCCA and believes we can all be stewards of the environment. Deirdre’s goal as Project Coordinator is to make OCCA a household name and promote everything we do involving planning, programming, and education.  

Deirdre lives in Richfield Springs with her husband Josh, and their dog (Daisy), two cats (Winnie and Sierra), and 11 chickens (they have names too!). She enjoys running, gardening, and trying all local foods and beverages our slice of the world has to offer. 

Trail Tuesdays 
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! Each session, we’ll work on a section of trail in either Basswood Pond State Forest or Arnold Lake State Forest. 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:  

August 17th, [6-8pm] Basswood Pond State Forest, Burlington, NY

Please register using our online registration form. You will receive instructions on meeting location, equipment, etc., after registration.   

Paddle and Pull, Silver Lake
Saturday, August 21, [10am-1pm]
Silver Lake in New Berlin is unfortunately home to high priority invasive species, water chestnut and European frog-bit. Join us as we work to rid the lake of these damaging plants. Lunch will be provided! Please sign up at Paddle and Pull — Silver Lake, August 21 – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org)

Paddle and Pull, Goodyear Lake
Sunday, August 22, [1pm – 4pm] 
Water chestnut in the Stump Lot of Goodyear Lake is stubbornly refusing to go away. Meet at the Portlandville Fishing Access Site on NY-28 and help us search for and remove this stubborn invasive. Bring your own watercraft or reserve a space in an OCCA canoe.  Visit Paddle and Pull — Goodyear Lake – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org) to sign up.

These activities all serve to fulfill part of the Otsego Octet Summer Challenge! In addition, be sure to check out some of our pre-recorded invasive species video programs on our YouTube channel! 

Summer Sessions: Sip and Learn with Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD) 

As our Clean Energy Informational Summer Sessions continue, join us at Great Sacandaga Brewing Company! You’ll learn about clean energy solutions and savings for your home, business and community! If you can’t make this date, we will have more sessions throughout the summer at different local beverage venues throughout the Mohawk Valley, so keep an eye out for more dates! 

Thursday, August 19th, [5-7pm] Great Sacandaga Brewing Company, Broadalbin, NY

Otsego County Household Hazardous Waste Day is this month! 

After one year off due to the pandemic, our friends at Otsego County Solid Waste Department are happy to announce that the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Day will return for 2021.
Friday, August 20th [8-11am], Unadilla Town Barn
Saturday, August 21st [8am-1pm], the Meadows Office Complex in Cooperstown. 

Visit https://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/solid_waste/index.php for more details. 

Volunteers are needed on August 21st! OCCA will once again be coordinating volunteers to help out with HHW. Volunteers will help direct traffic, unload cars and recycle paint. Shifts from 7-11am and 10am-2pm (or all day, if you’ve got the stamina!). Email Jeff O’Handley (programdirector@occainfo.org to sign up, or follow this link: Household Hazardous Waste Day Volunteers Needed – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (occainfo.org)

Watershed Wednesdays 
August 4 – October 27 

Get ready for Watershed Wednesdays! 

A coordinated effort of the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, OCCA, and Choose Clean Water Coalition, these mini-sessions begin Wednesday, August 4th at 9am.  
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. 

August 4: Practical Pasture Planning in Action on the Farm to Optimize Happiness, with Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer”, Madison County SWCD 
August 11: Securing USC Buffer Restoration Areas Permanently Through Land Trust Partnerships, with Kris West, Finger Lakes Land Trust 
August 18: Using Underwater Drones to Teach about Aquatic Environments and Conservation, with Dan Rhodes, Bradford County Conservation District 
August 25: Pasture Water Systems that Work: From Simple to the Complex, with Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer”, Madison County SWCD 

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. 

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. 

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: 

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

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