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On the Bright Side

November 9, 2013

Two honored with OCCA awards

Two area residents will be honored for their environmental efforts by the Otsego County Conservation Association at an upcoming event.

David Hutchison and Richard McCaffery will receive the group’s “Conservationist of the Year” award at its annual dinner and meeting Nov. 18 at The Depot Restaurant and Tavern in Oneonta.

OCCA is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research and planning, according to its website.

“Dave and Rich are being recognized for their dedication and behind-the-scenes contributions toward the protection, preservation and improvement of the environment through community service,” OCCA President Vicky Lentz said in a media release. 

“I’m very pleased to get the award,” Hutchison said Friday. “It’s a nice honor.” He has been on the city of Oneonta Environmental Board for 12 years, most of the time as chairman. 

A professor emeritus at Hartwick College, where he taught geology for 32 years, Hutchison said the experience made him realize “the importance of taking care of the environment.” 

McCaffery, a community educator in the Bassett Healthcare Network, said Friday that being chosen was “an honor and a surprise.” His motivation for volunteering for OCCA is “a commitment to its mission, particularly to ongoing education, which has been a passion of mine for decades,” he said. 

McCaffery has been involved in the Annual Earth Festival since its inception, the OCCA Garage Sale, and household hazardous waste collection day. He is particularly involved with “enhancing awareness of the importance of incorporating recycling into our daily lives,” he said.

“The ability to communicate, and willingness to contribute time and expertise, is what make volunteers like Rich and Dave vital to organizations like ours,” Lentz said. “They have long been integral in furthering environmental education, advocacy, and stewardship through their efforts, which extend countywide.”

This event will also include a presentation by Jan Myers titled “Solarize New York: Community Empowerment through Collective Bargaining.”

Tickets are $35 per person. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. Call 547-4488 or visit for details.

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