As a kid, I remember Earth Day being a big deal. In fact, at my school, we students were required to participate in a school property, litter cleanup activity every Earth Day. It was a task I didn't mind doing, in fact, I looked forward to it since it meant getting outside and enjoying the nice spring weather, doing something that seemed important at the same time. I'm not sure if any schools do that sort of thing any more but I do know that there are ways for families to participate in activities that make our communities cleaner and more beautiful.

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Below are some organized events but you can certainly do your own thing and pick up litter in your neighborhood or wherever you wish.

  • The City of Oneonta is encouraging resident participation in their "Spring Pick-Me-Up” event which takes place April 24 and 25. Participants are asked to socially distance as they collect bags of litter which can then be dropped off at 56 Center St. in Oneonta, between Ford and Elm streets. For each full bag collected, the person gets entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate to The Latte Lounge and Nina’s Italian Restaurant and gets to enjoy treats from Kings Kakery (bakery) that will be given out to participants while supplies last. It's first come, first served on the baked goodies so get out in Oneonta early to pick up litter to enjoy!
  • The Otsego County Conservation Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and protecting Otsego County’s air, land, and water is holding their annual Earth Festival, after having to hold an all-virtual event last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that Earth Festival 2021 is at least going to be a hybrid event including virtual events mixed in with a drive-thru event. In addition, Earth Festival will take place over 3 days, April 22 through April 24. Area residents who have some items that are often difficult to recycle and wish to dispose of them properly can take advantage of the “Drive Through, Drop Off” collection event on April 24 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Meadows Office Complex on County Road 33W, just outside of Cooperstown. Allowable drop-off items include  small electronics and other non-recyclable items can be disposed of including everything from styrofoam to wine corks, tennis balls, inkjet cartridges and more. To get the full list of items you can bring click here. Drive-thru, Drop-off participants should NOT confuse this event with the county's "Hazardous Waste Day" where hazardous household chemicals, batteries and more are collected. That will be a separate event coming up this August. Advance registration is required  for the drop-off at Over the course of the 3 days designated for Earth Festival, there will be a variety of virtual events taking place for anyone to participate in. A few highlights include a webinar called "Many Happy Returns" discussing some species beneficial to our local ecosystem that are being re-introduced to our area, a webinar on the controversial herbicide Glyphosate found in "Roundup", participate in a hike at George Bouckles County Forest, and enjoy a fun Earth Festival Trivia game. There are plenty of other offerings as well. Learn the full schedule of events with details at

Remember, Earth is our home and we need to take care of it for future generations to come. There are so many ways to nurture our planet and there are plenty of small things you can do to promote a healthier planet. Get great ideas at


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