ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 16, No. 1 -January 21, 2022

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OCCA Annual Report Survey

School Film Plastic Recycling Challenge

After a COVID-induced hiatus, the Otsego County Schools Plastic Film Recycling Challenge is back and underway! Co-sponsored by OCCA, the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste, and Casella, schools are competing against each other to collect and recycle the most plastic film collected from their communities. The challenge opened in November and runs through April 15, so it’s not too late! For more details or to join, visit the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste, or call Recycling Coordinator, Shane Digan at (607) 547-4256.

A Winter Walk – Rescheduled

Monday, February 21, 10am-11:30am

Robert V. Riddell State Park, NY-28, Oneonta (just north of I-88 exit 17)

Enjoy President’s Day with a pleasant walk on the mile-and-a-half long Winter Tree ID trail at Robert V. Riddell State Park. This is a great opportunity to stretch your legs, breathe some fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of winter! All ages and skill levels are welcome. Bring water, dress appropriately for the weather. Program is free but pre-registration is required so that we can communicate with you in advance of the program to advise you of trail conditions. Please register at

(Photograph by Devin Merkley, Mohican Farm)

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Spotters Needed

Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is an invasive insect that has recently been found in Cooperstown and Oneonta. This highly destructive pest feeds on and kills eastern hemlock, a beautiful and critical component of our forests. Volunteers are needed to help discover the extent of HWA in Otsego County. To learn more join us for an online webinar led by the New York State Hemlock Initiative that will cover HWA biology and impacts, surveying methods, management options and how to participate. There will also be an in-person training on survey techniques on Saturday, January 27 at Fairy Spring Park in Cooperstown (foul weather date January 28) at 10am. This program is free, but pre-registration is required.

Otsego Outdoors
Fall Octet Challenge
Through March 19, 2021

Embrace the great outdoors this winter and explore Otsego County in the snow! Our parks, forests, and trails are ready for you to hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. Some trails are under a mile and will usually take less than an hour, other trails could take several hours, especially in deep snow.

For information and a registration form, visit Winter Octet Challenge – Otsego Outdoors

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! 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 (

Welcome, Aish!

OCCA is excited to introduce our newest team member – Environmental Planner Aishwarya Mukund!

Aishwarya Mukund joined the Otsego County Conservation Association staff as environmental planner in January of 2022. She has masters’ degrees in Sustainable Environmental Systems in from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and Urban Planning from NYU Wagner in Manhattan, NY. She grew up in Chennai, India and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Technology from the Center for Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad, India. Aishwarya brings a strong background in building science, local and international development planning, environmental law, environmental economics, energy management, environmental impact analyses, and water resource management.

Her work has taken her to work with various private organizations as a Researcher and Program analyst, UN-Habitat in the Netherlands and Vietnam as the Rapid Planning Coastal Resiliency Research Associate, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy as an active member of the Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group and as Project Research Consultant for the Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning Plan in Brooklyn, NY, and as a consultant for the American Institute of Architects for transportation planning and mapping last mile distribution centers for efficiency.

During her time at Pratt, she also served as the Sustainable Community Development Fellow at the Pratt Center for Community Development in 2021, where she worked closely with NYC Housing Authority on their sustainable development initiatives, retrofitting existing buildings for energy efficiency, and NY State ADU legalization.

In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, reading, and playing with her dog – Nyquist.

Visit OCCA’s YouTube Channel
OCCA’s COIVD 19 Policy

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
(607) 547-4488