Naked eye astronomy, golf course walk among upcoming OCCA programs

A trip through the night sky and a walk on a golf course highlight September programs from Otsego County Conservation Association.

OCCA Vice President Jim Hill leads ‘Naked Eye Astronomy—the Autumn Sky’ at Mohican Farm in Springfield on Friday, September 27. The program begins with a brief, indoor introduction, then heads outside, where Hill will point out individual stars, constellations, and visible planets, such as Saturn and Jupiter.

“People are fascinated with the night sky, but many have no idea what they’re seeing,” said OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley. “This will be a great introduction to stargazing.”

Hill taught high school science—including astronomy—for 30 years at Richfield Springs. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. at the workshop at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Route 80 in Springfield. Participants should dress for the weather, and should bring a blanket or chair for sitting on. Binoculars are optional. In the event of rain or cloudy weather, the program will take place on September 28.

OCCA’s nature walk series returns to earth on Wednesday, October 2, for ‘Hit the Links,’ a guided tour of the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown. Course Superintendent, Mike O’Neill will highlight many of the practices he employs to minimize the course’s environmental impact while keeping it an attractive and desirable place to play. These practices include managing runoff, conserving water, and minimizing pesticide and fertilizer use.

“Mike and his crew are working hard to keep the golf course ‘green’, so to speak,” O’Handley said. “This walk is enjoyable and interesting.”

Participants will meet at 8 a.m. at the golf course workshop. Take the entrance for the Cooperstown Country Club at 5748 State Highway 80, then bear left at the fork.

Both programs are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is appreciated. For more information or to register, visit, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit


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