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Oswego County Earth Week Set April 19 – 28

OSWEGO, NY – Spring has arrived and that means it’s time for spring cleaning.

Besides cleaning up your house and yard – it is also time to once again spruce up the environment.

“April 22 is Earth Day,” said Richard Drosse, Earth Week coordinator for the Oswego County Environmental Management Council. “In recognition, the council invites individuals, schools and groups to participate in Oswego County’s Earth Week, April 19 – 28.”

The theme this year is “Working Together, Working for Our Environment.”

Nancy Prarie, JoAnne Reidy and Naneen Drosse, members of the Minetto Beautification Committee, pick up roadside trash along the dugway in Minetto during last year's event.
Nancy Prarie, JoAnne Reidy and Naneen Drosse, members of the Minetto Beautification Committee, pick up roadside trash along the dugway in Minetto during last year’s event.

Drosse encourages people to help take part in a cleanup or project protecting the county’s natural resources.

In conjunction with this, the NYS Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails NY have designated April 19, 21 and 22 as Canal Clean Sweep days, he added.

Any interested groups or towns wanting to help maintain the beauty and keep our Oswego Canal Corridor clean, should contact Eli at: [email protected] or (518) 434-1583.

“As with other counties, Oswego County has invasive plants, which can choke out or kill our native species, causing environmental and economic harm,” he said. “The most problematic being the Giant Hogweed, Swallow-wort, Japanese Knotweed and the Water Chestnut.”

Detailed information on these and other invasives can be found at the SLELO-PRISM website: http://www.sleloinvasives.org/

Of particular importance at this time, a destructive invasive beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer has moved into New York State, killing ash trees.

So far, the Ash Borer has been found in areas west of Cayuga County and southeast New York, near Albany and further south.

“The beetle infests and kills North American ash species including green, white, black and blue ash,” Drosse explained. “Thus, all native ash trees are susceptible.”

The adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk.

Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They may be present from late May through early September, but are most common in June and July.

Signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.

Most trees die within two to four years of becoming infested, Drosse noted.

The Emerald Ash Borer is responsible for the destruction of more than 50 million ash trees in the U.S. since its discovery in Michigan.

Some volunteers used canoes to help clean up the canal last year.
Some volunteers used canoes to help clean up the canal last year.

The following websites give information on the Emerald Ash Borer and what you can do to prevent its spread: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html and http://www.nyis.info/index.php?action=cg_plan

After reviewing the identification material on the websites, if you think you have Emerald Ash Borer, call the DEC’s EAB and Firewood hotline at: 1-866-640-0652.

Oswego county Soil & Water Conservation District can be contacted about the Ash Borer and other invasives at: 315-592-9663 or 3105 Route 3, Fulton.

The County Department of Solid Waste’s website http://www.co.oswego.ny.us/dsw.shtml has information about what can be brought to the solid waste facilities. Electronics are included with no fee.

Helpful tips on recycling and composting are listed.

Check the site for dates to bring in hazardous materials.

Batteries can always be dropped off, but no wet cell batteries are accepted.

The Lions Club also accepts cell phones, which are reconditioned and donated to non-profits.

If your group is in need of any of the listed items below, information and a participation form can be obtained from the Earth Week website: http://www.oswegocounty.com/earthweek.html

Trash Bags will be available upon request, through the cooperation of Oswego County Building and Grounds.

Collection of litter should be arranged with your town/village/city. Roadside litter collections turned over to municipalities for Earth Week and year round, can be disposed of with no tipping fee, courtesy of Oswego County Solid Waste.

A limited number of safety vests are available for those groups or individuals working roadside cleanups.

A limited number of work gloves, if needed, will be available through a contribution from Novelis Corporation.

To help with a grant program for schools and youth groups, Novelis asks that you donate any recyclable aluminum cans collected to the “Cans for the Community Program.” Local redemption centers will credit these cans towards the Community Program.

For information on any of the above needed items, resource links for the Ash Borer and other invasive species, environmental information, and participation in Earth Week, go to the website.

For the Oswego community to get information on rebates, subsidies, incentives and grants to lower energy costs and buy renewable energy, go to Renew Oswego at: http://www.renewoswegocounty.org/

“Thank you for your help and participation with this special countywide event,” Drosse said.