OCCA To Adjust With Virtual Earth Festival

OCCA To Adjust With

Virtual Earth Festival

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Earth Festival will again be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but this year the Otsego County Conservation Assocation is better prepared to replace its annual events with a virtual presentation from Thursday, April 22 to Saturday, April 24.

“In March (2020), I think we were all thinking, ‘let’s not cancel, yet,’ it will all blow over,” OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley said. “It seems crazy to think about looking back. We had no idea what to expect.”

To salvage an Earth Festival last year, OCCA kept some events going with social distancing, stressed its normal recycling efforts via dropoffs and refocused on the fly, O’Handley said. This year’s event has been much more focused to allow the group to use the virtual tools that have sprung up during the coronavirus pandemic. “You can’t do things like you used to do them,” he said. “It has been a puzzle to figure things out and you just hope you are providing people with some strong programming.”

There will be socially distant hikes scheduled throughout the weekend as well as seminars held remotely. O’Handley said he is looking forward to a 7 p.m. Thursday, seminar, “Assessing Pesticide Hazard vs. Risk: Glyphosate, a Case Study,” by Dan Wixted of the Pesticide Management Education Program at Cornell University.

O’Handley said he is also excited about a seminar called, “Many Happy Returns,” at 1 p.m. Thursday, which will highlight the success of restoring three aquatic species to Otsego County’s Butternut Creek: the American eel, the pearly mussel and the eastern hellbender.

There will also be drop-off, drive-through recycling.

Go to www.occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for more information and a schedule of events about Earth Festival.


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