ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 16, No. 2 – February 1, 2022

2022 is off to a busy start for OCCA and our staff! We have some exciting things going on in the month of February that we want to share with you. 

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Volunteers still wanted! 

We would like to extend a big “thank you” to Carri Marschner, Invasive Species Extension Associate at Cornell University, and Steve Kinne, Team Leader, CNY Hemlock Hunters, for their excellent presentations on the hemlock woolly adelgid last week. Carri’s presentation is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LNAr3kZFDA. For anyone who would like to help with field surveys (this is the best time of year to do so) please sign up for the next field training (see below) or contact OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org. We’re looking to get folks out in the field as soon as possible so that we can find out where hemlock woolly adelgid is and how bad it is. 

Otsego Outdoors Winter Challenge  

Enjoy the great outdoors and explore our beautiful County this winter. Register for the challenge at the Otsego Outdoors website, complete any 8 activities listed, and earn an Otsego Outdoors Winter Octet Challenge patch! Visit https://otsegooutdoors.org/our-challenge/ for details. 

Bloomin’ 4 Good! 

Hannaford has chosen OCCA as the beneficiary of their Bloomin’ 4 Good program for the month of February! For every $12 Bloomin’ 4 Good bouquet sold during the month, OCCA will receive $1. Brighten up your home and support OCCA at the same time. Offer is only good at Hannaford at 705 State Highway 28, Oneonta.  

Have you heard about SHEC? 

The Susquehanna Headwaters Environmental Collaborative will bring together environmentally-minded organizations, businesses and individuals in order to expand their collective impact through cooperative projects, shared resources and goal setting, and improved inter-organization communication. The Collaborative is seeking members and is currently planning an event for summer, 2022. 

If you’re interested in joining SHEC, you can register here

B-WET Summer Institute

If you’re a teacher who is passionate about providing relevant and real watershed education into your classroom, the Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem is for you!

The Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem is a three-year professional development initiative that will increase the development and implementation of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) throughout the New York portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. MWEEs are learner-centered experiences in which students investigate local environmental issues and complete informed action projects. MWEEs advance environmental literacy and stewardship while increasing standards-based student achievement.

Join OCCA this summer for a multi-day institute where you will:

  • Develop a full understanding of the structure of a MWEE
  • Participate in exciting hands-on activities for classroom and field
  • Examine your current activities and lessons to see how they can fit into a MWEE
  • Network with fellow teachers and environmental education professionals

Apply for the summer institute here

Upcoming Events

A Winter Walk Monday, February 21 10-11:30am Robert V. Riddell State Park, NY-28, Oneonta Enjoy the holiday 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. This walk is part of the Otsego Outdoors Winter Challenge! 

Register here
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Field Training Monday, February 21
1:00-2:30pm 
Robert V. Riddell State Park, NY-28, Oneonta Whether you want to volunteer to help find hemlock woolly adelgid or are just curious about this destructive creature, this program is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know to begin searching for hemlock woolly adelgid, including how to recognize hemlock trees and the woolly adelgid, how and when to search, and how to report your findings. This entire program will take place outdoors, please dress appropriately for the weather. We will meet at the Gersoni Road entrance to Riddell Park (south of I-88 exit 17; 42.480498, -74.968796).

Register here  
Keeping Warm with Cold Climate Air Source Heat PumpsSunday, February 27
2pm-3pm
Via Zoom Join Maggie and John Reilly of New York Mills as they give a virtual tour of their whole house heat pump system and solar PV array! If you’ve been considering a transition away from fossil fuel based heating systems, this event is for you. Hosted by OCCA’s Project Coordinator and HeatSmart Mohawk Valley Coordinator Anna Rutenbeck.  This event is co-sponsored by OCCA’s HeatSmart Mohawk Valley, as well as HeatSmart CNY Greening USA. 

Register here

Positions open, CRISP Watershed Stewards Program 

Our friends at the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership Watershed Stewards Program (CRISP WSP) are hiring Watershed Stewards for the summer. Stewards work with the public to provide general information about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and help prevent the spread of AIS by helping boatowners decontaminate their watercrafts and equipment. There are also opportunities for hands-on AIS management for those interested. These are full-time, paid positions administered through SUNY Oneonta.   Stewards are expected to work from May 30th – September 5th (Memorial – Labor Day) with the opportunity to continue working part-time into October. For a full job description and link to application visit https://spo.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp?JOBID=142216. If you have questions, contact Sarah Coney at sarah.coney@oneonta.edu.  

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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