By Tarki Heath
With water in abundance in Central NY, the region is particularly well suited for water festivals and picnics. That said, few places can compete with the Little York Lake Main Pavilion for its rustic architecture, central location, green spaces, and access to the lake. For the past six (of seven), years Little York Lake has been the venue for the Cortland-Onondaga Federation of Kettle Lake Association’s (C-OFOKLA) Annual Water Festival and Picnic. To have a little fun and increase community participation, each September we invite the lake communities and friends for a picnic with music, food, games and community sharing.
This year our event was held on September 21st. Approximately 170 community members joined us for another lovely afternoon on Little York Lake. The weather outside was accommodating for lawn games and walks by the lake. Inside the pavilion there were tables with access to important information about our common watersheds. These sparked discussions about our experiences in protecting and maintaining our water resources. In this relaxed and friendly atmosphere, folks enjoyed each other’s company with a variety of delicious food from our community kitchens and this year, Michael Crissan provided excellent music for singing, dancing and listening.
With the main mission of outreach and education on local watershed issues, C-OFOKLA has hosted over 25 scientists and other professionals, who have graciously shared their expertise on a variety of watershed issues. Some of the topics have been quite serious and scientific in nature, such as preventing and managing invasive species, understanding toxic algae, the potential impact of climate change on our lakes and the shared hydrogeology of the kettle lakes. Other topics have been a bit less scientific, but no less important, including presentations on landscaping, bird-watching, and videography and photography from around the world and the Finger Lakes. The education and awareness presentations are varied and the discussions are lively. Our speaker series will start again in 2015.
C-OFOKLA works with many partners throughout the year, including our state and local water resource agencies, towns and universities. It’s a lot of work, but with great rewards. If you would like to know about our 2015 presentations, follow us on Facebook, keep in-touch at www.cofokla.org or sign up for email information at firstname.lastname@example.org
All presentations are free and open to the public.