ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 17, No. 3 – February 1, 2023

It’s getting cold this week in Otsego County but OCCA has lots of programs coming up to keep you outside and moving! Plus, read on to learn about a new partnership with the Village of Cooperstown and a job opportunity with Otsego County.

Upcoming Events

Walk the Planets
Sunday, February 5, 10am
Meet at Compton Bridge Conservation Area parking lot, County Road 11C, Cooperstown

Celebrate the Cooperstown Winter Carnival with a walk among the planets! Bill Ralston leads this thousand-yard walk that models our solar system at a scale that makes the reality of our neighborhood in space both understandable and awe-inspiring. Suitable for ages 9 and up. Dress for the weather, and to walk on level but uneven ground. Free!

Homeschool Nature Group
February 10, 2023, 12:00-1:30 pm
Parslow Road Conservation Area, Oaks Creek

Winter is terrific; exploring outside doesn’t have to stop because the weather has turned cold. Join OCCA Education Specialist Shelby MacLeish at Otsego Land Trust’s Parslow Road Conservation Area, where we will tramp over boardwalks and wander along Oaks Creek to learn and find some of the joy in winter.

The program is free and open to everyone. For more information or to sign up for the program, contact Education Specialist Shelby MacLeish at Parslow Road Conservation Area is located at 127 Parslow Road, Hartwick, NY. We will meet at the parking lot near the information kiosk.

Naked Eye Astronomy
February 18th, 7:00-8:30 PM
Mohican Farm Workshop

We’re going to try this again and hope the skies cooperate!

The mid-February sky sparkles with arguably the best star field of the year. We will explore many first-magnitude and brighter stars and the constellations with which they are associated. Additionally, the planet Mars will plainly be visible, as will Jupiter and maybe Venus if the horizon permits. We also hope to view the most distant object visible to the naked eye…located 2.5 million light-years away, M31, The Andromeda Galaxy.

Please, bring comfortable folding chairs and dress warmly! We will meet before the presentation in the workshop on site and then return indoors afterward for hot chocolate. Free!

Get the Kids Out-Drop off Nature Day
February 22, 2023, 8:30-3:30 PM
Oneonta World of Learning

Looking for something fun for your kids during the mid-winter recess? Join OCCA and the Oneonta World of Learning (OWL) for this fun day of winter exploration. Education Specialists Shelby MacLeish and Liz Brown will take kids grades K-5 for an exploration of Fortin Park and will also lead crafts and nature games. Everyone should dress for the weather and pack their lunch.

PLEASE NOTE this special drop-off program requires a $25/child fee. To register for the program, visit OWL’s EventBrite page. Register before Feb. 15 for a $5 discount! For more information, contact Shelby MacLeish at

Event Registration

Rainwater Gardening in Cooperstown

The rain garden stewardship program is a volunteer program coordinated by the Village of Cooperstown. This year, we look forward to working with the Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) to expand volunteer opportunities to keep our rain gardens looking great. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are encouraged to adopt one or more rain gardens or tree boxes for the summer. For years, dedicated volunteers, until recently led by Rich McCaffery, have maintained the rain gardens throughout the summer season.

There are 37 rain gardens on Main Street between Chestnut Street and Fair Street and five additional tree boxes on upper Main Street east of Chestnut Street. The rain gardens, along with permeable pavers and asphalt, capture rainwater from the sidewalks and streets so it can slowly soak into the ground. The soil naturally filters the water, ridding it of contaminants before it reaches the water table or Otsego Lake—a great service to everyone in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Those willing to make this commitment would be responsible for adding plantings—annuals or perennials—in the spring if desired, weeding throughout the summer, watering if necessary, picking up trash as needed, and cleaning up by removing annuals and trimming back other plants after the growing season. OCCA will provide optional training to those interested in learning more about planting and caring for these small, specialized gardens.

If you are interested in signing up or want more information, contact Shelby MacLeish at OCCA at or 607-601-8259. We will try to honor requests for specific locations as space allows, giving first preference to businesses and residences adjacent to each garden.

Otsego County seeks Waste Management and Recycling Coordinator

Otsego County is hiring a Waste Management and Recycling Coordinator. This vital position frequently coordinates with OCCA on recycling programming. Please read more about the job on the Otsego County website.

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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© 2022  Otsego County Conservation Association
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
(607) 547-4488