The Otsego Lake and SUNY Oneonta communities worked together to protect property, life, and the environment around Otsego Lake on Saturday, November 5.
Saturday morning had me concerned about whether the autumn no-wake zone buoy Buoyfest would be a success or would be only the first day of a multiple day effort to retrieve our NWZBs. Winds were strong enough to cause concern, and we had lost the services of four divers, who we had planned to work with us, in the 24 hours prior to the event.
Health and other good reasons prevented those four divers from participating. The preparation work provided on Friday by Otsego Lake Association members Bill Richtsmeier, Mickie Richtsmeier, Doug Willies and Peter Regan facilitated an early departure. The focus and experience of graduate students Sarah Coney and Brian Hefferon provided core successes which inspired our SUNY Oneonta undergraduate students and recent graduates, Liv Bartik, Alan Brault, Zach Lebid, and Katlin Mancusi, to see the work through to completion.
The OLA Board of Directors was well represented, providing essential tender services: Wayne Bunn, Peter Regan and Kiyoko Yokota. Chuck Hascup masterfully employed his barge to support our work. I am grateful to all.
The last two NWZBs, at Springfield Landing and Lake Front, will be retrieved and swapped for spar buoys, as is our tradition, on the weekend prior to Christmas Eve. That typically involves breaking through thin ice along the shoreline to reach those buoys, but the shallow depths involved encourage a lighthearted attitude about this December work.
Paul H. Lord SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station Divemaster and Instructor
Otsego Lake Association (OLA) board members have been working on a project to help fund the repair on the weather station buoy just beyond Five Mile Point.
“The buoy is just north of Five Mile Point in the middle of the lake. It’s called a Continuing Lake Monitoring Buoy (CLMB),” Debra Creedon, OLA board member, said.
“The CLMB is a computer that is encased and sub-merged that monitors wind direction and speed, air and water temperatures, precipitation and light levels among other things. It gathers important research, which provides high-frequency data for lake and climate research worldwide,” Jim Howarth, co-president of OLA, said.
On Saturday, August 13, the Otsego Lake Association (OLA) held its annual meeting in the pavilion at the Otsego Sailing Club on Brookwood Point. Founded in 2002, OLA’s mission is to educate, advocate and actively participate in protecting the health, beauty and well-being of the lake. The audience was looking for information in regard to the recent beach closures.
Following Drew Porter’s brief history of the Sailing Club, Jim Howarth announced a State award recognizing the excellence of the OLA newsletter and naming Scottie Baker as the recipient of the Presidential Award for her many years of dedicated service. Wayne Bunn presented the Lake Citizen award to Lee Ferrara, a master scuba diver on the Biological Field Station dive team that sets out the no-wake and monitor buoys, assists in lake research and cleans out the water intake for the Village.
OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate opening of exhibit ‘Made in New York: Glass & Fiber’ a fine craft invitational exhibit, and explore the exhibit of the works produced at the Pain the Point plein air paintings produced at Brookwood Point by area artists. Showing through September 23 at the Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit cooperstownart.com
Take a leisurely stroll down to Lake Front Park in Cooperstown and take in the beauty of the Buffer Strip Garden along the shore of Otsego Lake.
Over 15 years ago, the Otsego Lake Association helped to introduce the concept of the lakeside buffer strip to the Otsego Lake community.
“This Buffer Strip was created in 2005. It’s a conservation garden that buffers the water that comes from the village into the lake so it doesn’t pollute. It also helps keep the shoreline stable.,” said Suzy Kingsley, past president of the Lake and Valley Garden Club. “It’s more than just a pretty garden; it’s got a function and it’s done its job over the years.”
The Milford BOCES students built the boardwalk and started a lot of the willow plants. They come every spring to help open the garden.
Plan to float your boat – rain or shine – in the Otsego Lake Association’s Annual “We Love Our Lake” Decorated Boat Parade to begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 3.
The parade will form off Three Mile Point, then proceed slowly along the westerly side of the lake, and end at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. The lead boat will be decorated and marked with OLA banners.
After a two-year pandemic pause, the Otsego Lake Association will again judge boats, award prizes, and have candy for participants. The parade welcomes boats large and small — including antique or classic, human-powered, wind-powered, electric, jet, outboard, or inboard/outboard powered. OLA encourages boaters to decorate using the theme “Our Lake is a Treasure,” but welcomes decorations of any sort – unusual, humorous, patriotic, party-themed, sports, military, or no decoration at all – it’s up to the boater.
Boaters may join the parade at any time or place along the route, especially for non-motorized boaters who might not want to travel the full route.
ART OPENING – 4 – 6 p.m. Celebrate the 3rd entry in the ongoing art series ‘High Alert, Artists Speak Out on social justice.’ This time enjoy a preview of a 2021 in-progress documentary on the creation of a 9000 sq. ft. mural in NJ and works by 5 of the muralists will be on display on the walls. All welcome. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5327 or visit www.facebook.com/TheArtGarageCooperstown/
BOAT PARADE – 3 p.m. Get out for the annual decorated boat parade. This years theme ‘Here Comes The Sun’ song by the beatles. All boats welcome from human powered to motor powered and all in between, decorated or undecorated. Covid protocols will be in effect. Parade assembles at 3 Mile Point and proceeds on West Side of the Lake to Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. Rain or Shine. 518-542-6630 or visit otsegolakeassociation.org for info.
Cooperstown’s Friends of the Village Library will hold its annual book sale at 22 Main St. in Cooperstown, beginning Saturday, June 26.
The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, through Sunday, July 4. Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, July 4, all books are $5 per bag for people who bring their own bags.
OLA to hold annual holiday boat parade
The annual holiday boat parade, sponsored by the Otsego Lake Association, will take place at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 3.
This year’s theme is “Here Comes the Sun,” based on a song by The Beatles.
As with the 2020 parade, because of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no judging or awards.
Contact Wayne Bunn at email@example.com or 518-542-6630 for more information.
Editor’s Note: Bill Harman has led SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station on Otsego Lake since its founding.
Historically, as in all our inland lakes after the original European settlement, rowboats, canoes, and sailboats capable of carrying a few passengers dominated Otsego Lake.
Early on it provided a corridor between the waters of the Mohawk drainage and the Southern Atlantic states via the Susquehanna River and was of national importance. It was used for a diversity of commercial and military activities over that length of time.
The first dirt road was built up the east side of the lake by William Cooper in 1787. By 1818, sections of road had begun to be built along the west side of the lake between Cooperstown and Springfield, but there was no direct route until about 1917.
Those early roads did not provide access to hotels and residences along the lake since they were constructed along the ridgetops to avoid the necessity of building bridges over the many streams running to the lake.
During that period, the lake itself served for commercial as well as recreational transportation. The first steamboat was launched in 1858. The last commercial steam vessel plied the lake in 1933.
During the height of those activities in 1894, 10 steam-powered vessels were active on the lake. At least two, the “Natty Bumppo” and the “Cyclone,” could carry more than 300 passengers.
BOAT PARADE – 3 p.m. Get out for the annual ‘We Love Our Lake’ decorated boat parade. This years theme ‘Lets Celebrate – It’s The 4th Of July.’ All boats welcome from human powered to motor powered and all in between. Participants are reminded to practice social distancing. Parade assembles at 3 Mile Point and proceeds on West Side of the Lake to Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. 518-542-6630 or visit otsegolakeassociation.org for info.
With so many areas of American life seemingly spinning out of control, there’s a contrary example in the Otsego Lake Association (OLA).
Its “100-percent volunteers,” according to Jim Howarth, co-president with David Sanford, are focused on a common mission: “Protecting the health, beauty and wellbeing” of the lake.
Listening to them, it’s clear: Local volunteers, working together, can get a lot done.
There are larger non-profit, governmental and educational entities focused on the wellbeing of James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass, a national environmental icon – the OCCA, Otsego 2000, SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station (BFS), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, to name only a few – but the nimble OLA is a PT boat amid, if not aircraft carriers, the mid-size cruisers.
In advance of its annual meeting – this Saturday, Aug. 10, at Cooperstown’s Fairy Spring Park on East Lake Road; coffee and donuts at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting at 9-11 a.m., including conferring the annual Lake Citizen Award – Howarth and Sanford stopped by the other day to help raise the visibility of a story of accomplishment.
Like many OLA members, the two motivations came out of many happy personal experiences. Sanford recalls when commercial fishing was still allowed on the lake, and a daily staple at the Cooperstown Diner was Otsego Bass caught that morning. A student at SUNY Oneonta in the 1970s, Howarth remembers renting a motorbike from Thayer’s at $5 a day to take his future bride Susan onto the lake. Or a canoe ride, $2 a day.