ECO-BULLETIN Vol 7, No 3

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

March 27, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 3

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

EARTH FESTIVAL SCHEDULE TAKING SHAPE

LATEST EDITION OF “THE LOOKOUT” NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

OCCA ANNOUNCES GRANT FROM STEWART’S HOLIDAY MATCH

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST

ENERGY PLAN EXAMINED

PELLET BAGS TO BE COLLECTED AT EARTH FESTIVAL, RECYCLED

OCCA TO CLEAN UP HIGHWAY

HANDS NEEDED FOR TAPE DECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

REPORT OUTLINES POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF PLANETARY WARMING

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

EARTH FESTIVAL SCHEDULE TAKING SHAPE: More than 30 exhibitors and/or vendors have already registered for Earth Festival 2014, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 at Milford Central School! The attached document includes information as of March 26– please stay tuned for updates and details as we get closer to the event date. Registrants and sponsors are still being accepted. Information on Spring Garden Day is also included in the attached.

LATEST EDITION OF ‘THE LOOKOUT’ NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: The Winter 2013/2014 edition of OCCA’s newsletter, “The Lookout,” is available on the OCCA website at https://occainfo.org/documents/LookoutWinter2013-2014.pdf. Articles include an update on OCCA’s groundwater testing program, “What’s In Our Water?” and recognition of David Hutchison and Richard McCaffery, OCCA’s 2013 Conservationists of the Year. The front page features photos from the OCCA Annual Dinner and Meeting, held in November.

OCCA ANNOUNCES GRANT FROM STEWART’S HOLIDAY MATCH:Otsego County Conservation Association has received $300.00 from Stewart’s Holiday Match toward its summer EcoTeam Paddle, a two-hour canoe trip on the Susquehanna River for up to 10 OCCA EcoTeam members. “Part recreation, part education and part work day, we’ll paddle just over three miles from Milford to the Crumhorn boat launch,” said OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley. Along the way, OCCA staff will provide education and interpretation on river ecology, wildlife and plant species, and environmental issues. “We’ll also spend some time looking for and documenting the location of aquatic invasive vegetation, notably water chestnut, hydrilla, and Eurasian watermilfoil,” O’Handley added. “Should conditions be appropriate, we’ll attempt spot removal of any invasive species encountered. We’ll pull canoes out of the water at the Crumhorn boat launch site for a box lunch.” OCCA EcoTeam was initiated in 2012 for students 18 and under. The program goals are for participants to: 1) develop a greater understanding of and respect for animals, plants, water, soil, air, and energy systems; 2) comprehend the positive and negative environmental effects of our actions; 3) acquire knowledge of practical, sustainable living strategies which consciously and carefully utilize our natural resources; and, 4) obtain information on nature programs, centers, and organizations. “In spring of 2014, OCCA will be ramping up our efforts to recruit EcoTeam members throughout Otsego County,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. Students joining EcoTeam automatically get a membership to OCCA, which includes a quarterly newsletter and regular eco-bulletins, and the ability to participate in OCCA programs. In addition, EcoTeam members will have the opportunity to take part in special programs just for them, including the paddle. “Participants in the EcoTeam Paddle will enjoy a day of fresh air and exercise on a river of national significance. They’ll learn water safety skills and develop an appreciation of the river and its importance,” O’Handley said. For more information or to join OCCA’s EcoTeam, contact O’Handley at(607) 282-4087 or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org. Stewart’s has collected and matched donations in its shops from Thanksgiving until Christmas since 1986. They credit the success of the Holiday Match program to customers for their generous contributions, to dedicated shop partners who work diligently to collect the funds, and to media partners who help spread the word.

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST: Submissions in this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, to be displayed at Earth Festival 2014 on Saturday, April 12, will be accepted up to and including the day of the event. As in past years, prizes will be awarded to winners in several categories including “Best of Show,” “Judges’ Choice” and “People’s Choice.” This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. “Last year’s winners included ‘revivification jewels’ incorporating broken metals and a to-do planner made from a discarded shutter,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “The EcoArt /Trendy Trash contest has become an Earth Festival favorite, and we welcome submissions from artists and inventors of all ages,” Youngs said. Visit the Otsego County Conservation Association home page, www.occainfo.org, for an entry form, e-mail admin@occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488 to learn more. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2014 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing, with support from Five Star Subaru.

ENERGY PLAN EXAMINED: On March 5, the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council, Tompkins County Council of Governments and Social Ventures sponsored a public forum, “New York’s Energy Plan: Scaling up Renewable Energy or Business as Usual?” Governor Cuomo’s Draft 2014 NY Energy Plan sets some bold goals for clean energy and increased energy efficiency. However, it also predicts continued and accelerated expansion of natural gas infrastructure in New York State. Experts presented both strengths and weaknesses in the plan, and explained how the public can voice their opinions. To watch the presentation, visithttp://www.shaleshockmedia.org/2014/03/17/new-yorks-energy-plan-scaling-up-renewable-energy-or-business-as-usual/. Read the Draft 2014 NY Energy Plan at www.energyplan.ny.gov

PELLET BAGS TO BE COLLECTED AT EARTH FESTIVAL, RECYCLED:OCCA has added wood pellet bags to the list of items being collected for recycling at Earth Festival 2014. Pellet bags can be dropped off to OCCA representatives from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at Milford Central School at no charge. To learn more, see https://occainfo.org/documents/OCCAToCollectPelletBagsatEarthFestival.pdf.

OCCA TO CLEAN UP HIGHWAY: OCCA is seeking volunteers to help clean up a two-mile stretch of State Route 80 in Springfield on April 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. OCCA adopted the portion of road in 2013 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, at the corner of State Highway 80 and Allen Lake Road, and walk two miles south, collecting trash along the way. At that point, the group will cross the highway for the return journey. All in all, it should take about three hours, said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “I expect we’ll find a large amount of trash that’s been covered up by the snow all winter,” O’Handley added. “Adopt-A-Highway represents an important part of OCCA’s mission to protect, preserve and enhance our environment,” O’Handley said. “It’s a hands-on way to beautify and care for our environment, and the results are immediately visible.” Trash bags and safety equipment are provided by the New York State Department of Transportation, who administers the statewide program. OCCA will provide water and light refreshments. To register, call O’Handley at (607) 282-4087, or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org by Friday, April 4. The cleanup is open to those ages 12 and up.

HANDS NEEDED FOR TAPE DECONSTRUCTION PROJECT: This year at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 12, OCCA members Florence Carnahan and Martha Clarvoe are hoping to deconstruct 1,000 VCR and audio tape cassettes for recycling. It is estimated that at least 10 volunteers will be needed every half hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.to process 600-1,000 tapes. These broken down materials will be recycled with Edison Electronics of Oneonta. If you can help, e-mailmartha.clarvoe@gmail.com for details.

REPORT OUTLINES POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF PLANETARY WARNING: The American Association for the Advancement of Science released a report last week on the science of global warming and human-caused climate change. According to The New York Times, “The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing.” To read the article in its entirety, seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/science/scientists-sound-alarm-on-climate.html?_r=0

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • April 1: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission public hearing on the Constitution Pipeline proposal. 7 p.m. Oneonta High School, 130 East Street, Oneonta.
  • May 5: OCCA Dining to Donate fundraising event at Applebee’s, Oneonta.

For more information on OCCA-organized volunteer opportunities and hikes, visit http://www.occainfo.org/EnviroEventsCal.htm or e-mail admin@occainfo.org.

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo at the top left of the home page to make a donation today.

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7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
(607) 547-4488