Oswego County Legislature Chairman's Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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April 11, 2008

Oswego County Celebrates Earth Week 2008

Oswego County is blessed with an abundance of lakes, streams, and ponds that provide pure water and are home to an impressive variety of fish and wildlife. Our beautiful parks and precious wildlife management areas contribute to our quality of life and offer year-round recreational opportunities. We need to be active environmental stewards and protect these natural resources. I am encouraging families, individuals and community groups to get involved this year in an Earth Week activity between Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 27.

The Oswego County Environmental Management Council (EMC) is coordinating clean-up activities that will take place in a variety of locations throughout the county. Camp Hollis and the Oswego County Nature Park at Camp Zerbe will each be hosting Community Clean-Up Days. More events are scheduled at other community parks, nature trails and portions of the roadside or canalway. Volunteers who register their project with the EMC will be provided trash bags from the Oswego County Buildings and Grounds Department and Novelis will contribute to make work gloves available. Other supplies, including safety vests for those on roadside clean-ups, will be provided as well.

If you would like to register your group or activity, contact Earth Week Coordinator Richard Drosse at 343-4565 or by .

On a larger scale, the Canal Clean Sweep is scheduled for Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20. Sponsored by the New York State Canal Corporation and Parks and Trails NY, the third annual event will focus on the canal corridor. Interested volunteers are asked to contact Wally Elton at 518-434-1583 or by .

Cleaning up our communities is a great way to get started; however, there are other ways to mark the occasion. We can embrace our stewardship by planting trees, creating rain gardens, composting, recycling and using energy- and water-conserving appliances and practices.

Trees and houseplants are natural filters for air pollutants and provide oxygen for the atmosphere. Along with rain gardens, trees also help to prevent erosion and reduce the pollution of our lakes and rivers. Compost, a ripened mixture of yard, fruit and vegetable waste, and corn gluten, a byproduct of corn milling, are organic garden and lawn fertilizers.

Recycling is a great way to keep our environment clean and healthy. Reducing trash and reusing materials also saves space in our landfill. We can conserve water and energy with minor home repairs or improvements along with regular vehicle maintenance.

As I mentioned in my State of the County address earlier this year, Oswego County is well-positioned to be a prosperous part of a “green” future in this country. Already a leader in renewable energy, we can only grow stronger with the addition of Northeast Bio-fuels in Volney.

A ferrous recovery system at the Energy Recovery Facility, currently in the design stage, will significantly reduce the amount of metals that currently end up in our landfill and is estimated to generate $300,000 annually. This will be in addition to our recycling efforts that currently bring in approximately $200,000 per year. The county highway department has also switched to low-sulfur diesel fuel in our trucks and equipment as part of our effort to help improve our air quality.

Our government is involved in a number of projects that will help conserve our natural resources. A “Green Team” committee has been assembled to research and make recommendations for ways that we can become more environmentally responsible in our operations. Thanks to a grant from former Senator Jim Wright, we will open a permanent household hazardous waste facility within the next year. The Workforce Development Board is working to establish career tracks for local people in the energy industry.

Our efforts, large and small, will have a positive impact on our environment and keep our county clean and beautiful. By working together, we can increase environmental conservation and make a real difference on our precious landscape. Earth Week provides us with an opportunity to get started; however we can continue these practices all year long.

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