(COOPERSTOWN) – Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) is starting off 2023 with a busy schedule of education programs for all ages through the month of January. These programs include a tour of the night sky; sledding and winter exploration; and invasive species training.
Family and children’s programming begins on Monday, January 16 with a new installment of OCCA’s ‘Get the Kids Out’ program. From noon to 3pm, children and their families can join OCCA Education Specialists, Shelby MacLeish and Liz Brown at the Oneonta World of Learning in Fortin Park for an afternoon of sledding and other fun winter activities. Families should bring their own sleds/toboggans. If there is not enough snow, MacLeish and Brown will lead other activities that explore the winter landscape. Feel free to join in the fun at any time between noon and three, as activities will occur on a rolling basis.
On Friday, January 20, OCCA’s Homeschool Nature Group will explore Gilbert Lake State Park on a winter walk to explore the trails around the lake. MacLeish said, “We’ll let the weather and trail conditions guide how far around the lake we can go.” The Homeschool Nature Group has been exploring environments around Otsego County, mixing exploration, games and other activities to learn about the natural world throughout the seasons. This program runs from noon until 1:30pm.
Saturday, January 21 sees the return of ‘Naked Eye Astronomy’ at 7pm at Mohican Farm in Springfield. “Sadly, the skies did not cooperate last month,” MacLeish said. “We’ll hope for clear weather so we can get a good view of the spectacular winter stars.” Jim Hill will lead this introduction to the night sky. Mars and Jupiter will be visible, along with Orion and many other stars.
Adult programs include a training for people interested in learning how to identify hemlock woolly adelgid on Saturday, January 14, from 10am-1pm at the Fire Hall in Morris. This program includes an informational session covering the importance of hemlock trees and the life history and impacts of the hemlock woolly adelgid, then shifts outdoors for field training in how to survey for hemlock woolly adelgid. OCCA is seeking volunteers who will participate in surveys throughout the winter.
Finally, the OCCA/Mohican Farm “Be Informed” lecture series with a special webinar on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm. “Efficient Wood Heating” will showcase how to make heating with wood more efficient, comfortable, and economical. The program will also include information on whole-house weatherization to improve comfort and lower heating bills. John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat, and Ed Cope, Opportunities for Otsego will present this program.
All programs are free and open to the public. For more information on these and other programs, visit occainfo.org/occa-calendar, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.
Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is a private, non-profit environmental organization 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 www.occainfo.org