April 9, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 4

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:











EARTH FESTIVAL FUN FOR FAMILIES, GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: For the ninth consecutive year, Earth Festival will be held this month at Milford Central School. And, again this spring, the event offers something for the entire family in an earth-friendly way. Saturday, April 12 kicks off with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk led by Bob Donnelly. At 9:30 a.m., Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties welcome Barbara Melera. Her presentation, “Seedy Business: Plants That Do Best When Grown from Seed,” is free and open to the public. Melera is president and CEO of D. Landreth Seed Company, the oldest seed house in America. Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Day workshops – held in conjunction with Earth Festival – begin at 10:45 a.m. The traditional Earth Festival information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gymnasium. More than 40 area businesses and organizations are set to participate in Earth Festival, from companies specializing in solar power and bio fuels, to local anglers and beekeepers, to artisans of recycled jewelry and Native American crafts. For an up-to-date list of exhibitors and vendors, see this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, Earth Festival organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, videotapes and CDs, and used nylon monofilament fishing line for repurposing. The free Confidata Shredder service will return from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and, for the first time ever, pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The popular EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured. Adults as well as students are invited to enter their trash-to-treasure creations – whether practical or artistic. There is no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults.The Milford Central School Environmental Club will lead fun environmental education projects for kids, and many of the exhibits will feature activities for the young and the young at heart. 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. To sign up as a vendor, exhibitor or EcoArt participant, or to donate, use the registration form at Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail to learn more.

OCCA GARAGE SALE FAST APPROACHING: OCCA’s Annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will be held on Saturday andSunday, April 26 and 27 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street, Cooperstown. Please begin setting aside items now! The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 20-24. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those interested in dropping off materials sooner, or who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event, should call (607) 547-4488or e-mail for further details. In addition to raising funds for OCCA programming, the garage sale also benefits the environment through waste prevention, or “source reduction.” Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and combustion. Source reduction also conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

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 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.

AWARD-WINNING FILM TO BE SHOWN APRIL 22: “Journey of the Universe” will be shown at the First Presbyterian Church Chapel (at the intersection of Elm and Pioneer streets) on Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. This film is being sponsored by the church’s Environmental Stewardship team and will be followed by discussion. The Emmy award winning documentary is about the birth and development of the universe and the earth. The film dramatically reimagines the universe story and reframes the human connection to the cosmos. It was created by a renowned team of scientists, scholars and film makers. Evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and Yale historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker have created a narrative that both illuminates and celebrates the profound role humans play in the flourishing of the earth. The story of the universe inspires wonder as we understand the complexity through science and appreciate the beauty through poetry, art, history, religion and philosophy. In a time of growing environmental and social crisis, we think about the impact humans have on the planet today. The questions arise: what is our role, our responsibility? The film is designed to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth. How do we create sustainability? How can the Earth Community flourish? What is our moral responsibility? What might be the role of the Faith Communities of the world religions? For questions about the event, contact the Rev. Elsie Rhodes at (607) 547-8401. For more information on the film, visit websites:

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 process 600-1,000 tapes. These broken down materials will be recycled with Edison Electronics of Oneonta. If you can help, for details.

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING: OCCA will be among the local community groups, vendors of food, drink, and arts and crafts, and area businesses to share the spotlight as Railroad Avenue is transformed on Saturday, May 17 for the Rotary Club of Cooperstown’s first-ever Spring Fling Street Fair. Merchants, artists, farmers, craftspeople and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in this community-building event. Live music and a silent auction will also be featured during this celebration of spring. For more information on craft, business and non-profit vending, contact Karen Katz at or (607) 434-3418. Food vendors with trucks or trailers, or those wishing to learn more about the silent auction, should contact Melanie Boyer or (607) 547-2555, ext. 250. Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The Rotary Club of Cooperstown was founded in 1924.  To learn more about the Spring Fling Street Fair, visit:

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,, for an entry form, e-mail 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.

PUBLIC POLICY FORUM FOCUSES ON EXTREME WEATHER:Congressman Paul Tonko will be the keynote speaker on Monday, April 14 at the University at Albany when a panel of presenters addresses the topic of extreme weather: To register for “Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather in Upstate New York,” call (518) 443-5258 or

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 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.

SAVE THE DATE: The seventh Otsego Lakes Festival will be held this year on Saturday, July 12 at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown fromnoon to 5 p.m. Organized under the aegis of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Lakes Festival offers residents and visitors alike a day full of fun and festivities celebrating our lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops and lake tours will all focus on the importance of protecting our waterways and ensuring water quality throughout our region. OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs serves as WQCC facilitator and on the Lakes Festival Planning Committee. To make a financial contribution toward the Lakes Festival, or to register as an exhibitor or vendor, please contact Youngs at or (607) 547-4488.


  • May 5: OCCA Dining to Donate fundraising event at Applebee’s, Oneonta.

For more information on OCCA-organized volunteer opportunities and hikes, visit or e-mail

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 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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