Earth Fest

The Otsego County Conservation Association’s Earth Festival will be held April 22 through 24 with a mix of online webinars, informal talks, in-person nature walks and a trivia night, according to a media release. Information about all Earth Festival programs can be found at www.occainfo.org/Earth-Festival.

The event will conclude with the “Drive Through, Drop Off” recycling event, a collection of hard-to-get-rid-of items, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24.

The “Drive Through, Drop Off” event will take place at the Meadows complex on County Road 33 in Middlefield. Items to be collected include used tennis balls; natural wine corks; clean, white rigid expanded polystyrene foam packing material and egg cartons; permanent markers and pens; eyeglasses; inkjet cartridges, cellphones and small handheld electronics such as GPS units. Empire Recycling’s Confidata service will provide shredding of household documents.

“The recycling event is always a popular part of Earth Festival and we were sorry not to be able to offer it last year,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “We thought quite a bit about how we could provide the service for people while minimizing the risk of COVID exposure, and ‘Drive Through, Drop Off’ was the solution.”

The event will be held in the parking area of the Meadows office complex and will be staffed by OCCA volunteers who will unload cars and sort and pack the materials for shipment to recyclers. The service is free, but people must sign up at www.occainfo.org/Earth-Festival to participate.

“Volunteers will have masks and PPE,” O’Handley said. “We ask that drivers have masks as well, and that they stay in their cars to speed up traffic flow and minimize the risk of virus spread.”

O’Handley said the event should not be confused with the county’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day, which was also cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic. “Check the list at our website and only bring items listed there,” he said. “We will not accept any items that are not on the list.”

Webinars include “Many Happy Returns” on Thursday at 1 p.m. The program highlights efforts to restore populations of native species, notably pearly mussels, American eels and eastern hellbenders in Otsego County, and features speakers from SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station and the Wetland Trust. Registration is required for the free webinar. Use https://tinyurl.com/ync3a87u to sign up.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Dan Wixted of Cornell University’s Pesticide Management Education Program will present, “Assessing Pesticide Hazard vs. Risk: Glyphosate, a Case Study.” Wixted examines the difference between hazard and risk and how that impacts the discussion surrounding glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, the release said. Registration is required for this webinar, which is free. Use https://tinyurl.com/3k24emwd to sign up.

On Friday evening, OCCA will host “Environmental Trivia Night.” OCCA Executive Director Amy Wyant will ask trivia questions relating to the environment from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom.

Informal talks include “Protecting Land with Conservation Easements” with David Diaz, interim executive director of the Otsego Land Trust at 3 p.m. Thursday; Jordan Clements, district manager of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District at 10 a.m. Friday; and Shane Digan, recycling coordinator for the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste at 12:30 p.m. Friday. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will host a question-and-answer session online from 10 a.m. to noon. DOAS also has many previously-recorded programs on a variety of topics available at www.doas.us.

In-person events include walks in some local forests offered in partnership with the Susquehanna Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. Thursday afternoon’s hike is at George Bouckles County Forest from 3 to 5 p.m.; Friday has an evening walk at Star Field in Cooperstown from 5 to 8 p.m.; and Saturday features Arnold Lake State Forest and Harry Bilderbeck County Forest in Hartwick from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact trip leader Liza Mundy at 607-287-4395 to sign up or for more information.

Details on Earth Festival programs are available at www.occainfo.org/earth-festival.

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