Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga Executive Email
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Welcome to our Executive Email!

Through this small newsletter, we will share a recap of the previous month and some of the latest updates at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County.  Please browse some our Program happenings below & click the links supplied to read more!  Be sure to keep up to date through our Social Media...we are always updating our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account!

We have a lot of great events ahead of us in 2020! Keep in touch and stay involved!

We hope you enjoy & as always, thank you for supporting CCE.

Executive Director,

Next Board Meeting:
December 5, 2019 at 5:30 pm, CCE Onondaga


Thank you to everyone who attended our 2019 Annual Meeting on October 24th! It was a wonderful night with fantastic displays created by our staff and volunteers, and included a Keynote address from meteorologist Dave Eichorn, as well as some of our 4H youth members assisting in the Board of Directors election process!

Congratulations to all of our award recipients! Staff member recognition included: Kat Korba and Hillary Chartron-Bartholomew for 5 years of service, and Anita Bono for 15 years. This years program collaborator awards went to 4H volunteers Ashley Reininghaus and Scott Naylor, Walt Blacker for his contributions to our Agriculture Programming, Michelle Canavan for her contributions to our Nutrition Programming, and Paul Curtis and Nader Maroun for their contributions to our Environmental Programming.
Check out just a few of the photos from the night below!


  • Welcome to our new 4H Educators, Heather Bianchi and Jean Kessner!
  • December 31: Due date for returning member 2019-2020 renewed enrollment 
  • February 4: Onondaga County 4H Governance Day
  • April 1: New members 2019-2020 enrollment deadline
The 4-H “End of Year” Celebration was held in early November 2019.  This event recognizes and celebrates contributions of 4-H youth, volunteers, and club leaders throughout the 2019 program year.

The event included the recognition of 4-H club officers, participation in Onondaga County and New York State 4-H events, and community service!


Onondaga County Farmland Protection

Farmland protection is about keeping farmland open and working for future years to come! The FPIG Program application is a lengthy process with many components and site plans are a significant portion of this application. Conducting a voluntary site plan review  prepares landowners for this competitive process.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County hosted a workshop ‘Farmland Protection: Preparing for the Next Opportunity’, on Tuesday November 26, 2019. The workshop focused on the basics of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Farmland Protection Implementation Grant (FPIG) Program as well as the development of site plans, in anticipation of the next round of state funding to be announced spring of 2020.

The goals of this workshop were to include the basics of FPIG, an overview of the County and State application requirements, landowner considerations of conservation easements and preparation of site plans for NYS review process. Contact Melanie Palmer for more information at

It's that time of year! Did you know that 1 acre of real Christmas trees removes over 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each and every year? Check out this clip of our Forestry Educator talking about the benefits of real Christmas trees, an important economic Ag sector in Onondaga County. 🌲🌲

Read more about buying, caring for, and recycling a local tree on our website at


Accepting New CommuniTree Stewards for the 2020 Season!

An informational session about the CommuniTree Steward Program will be held on December 11th, 2019 6pm-7pm at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Classroom in the Atrium Building at 100 S Salina St. Come see if becoming a CTS is right for you. Our first training sessions will start in April 2020. Following the initial training sessions, weekly pruning projects continue until August 2020.Workshops this year include a Tree ID tour at Oakwood Cemetery, tree plantings, touring a tree nursery, learning about the American Chestnut project at ESF, and many more! More information about the program can be found at:

Tree Angels: CommuniTree Stewards

A special Thank You to our CommuniTree Steward Volunteers for all their time and talent this 2019 season in leading the planting of 144 trees throughout the month of October with 8 separate tree planting events within Syracuse! We couldn’t have done it without your help! Our CommuniTree Steward Volunteers also structurally pruned 115 trees this summer throughout Onondaga County that will save municipality’s time and money in future years.
Thank you all for all your hard work CTS volunteers!
Pictured: North Syracuse Community Center: Tree Planting Event on October 8th, 2019

2019 Arbor Day Celebration @ ELMS

The City of Syracuse celebrated Arbor Day 2019 on October 10th at the Expeditionary Learning Middle School, ELMS, to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of trees to Onondaga County’s Save the Rain green infrastructure program along with partnership from the CCE Onondaga, Syracuse City Parks Department, Onondaga Earth Corps, WEP, and the Syracuse City School District. The Arbor Day program provides environmental education and community outreach that engages students, parents and teachers in environmental stewardship while engaging in hands-on tree planting.

This year the City of Syracuse celebrated our 30th year as a tree city USA during our Arbor Day tree planting along with 60 participating ELMS students and teachers in order to plant 13 trees. Since those first Syracuse beginnings Arbor Day has been celebrated at our city schools. Every year the Mayor proclaims our renewed commitment to being a Tree City to students, teachers and partners. Mayor Ben Walsh read the Arbor Day proclamation to all involved in order to remind us of the importance and benefits that trees provide the Syracuse Community today and for future generations. 

Oakwood Cemetery Tree Planting

On October 30th, 2019 CCE Onondaga organized the planting of 20 American chestnut trees along with 18 volunteers. CCE Onondaga has partnered with SUNY ESF as well as HOCPA’s volunteer group, that helps to maintain the cemetery, in order to coordinate this tree planting event. The 20 trees were gifted to Oakwood Cemetery from the SUNY ESF’s American Chestnut research project. Oakwood lost about 1,000 trees during the Labor Day storm of 1998 that have never been re-planted in full. Also, In the early 1900, there were approximately four billion American chestnuts growing in the eastern United States.

In 1904 the chestnut blight, Cryphonectria parasitica, hit and the chestnut population was decimated. Historically Oakwood Cemetery had several American chestnut trees growing near the original Chapel and office that were still regenerating from their stumps up into the 80’s. We’ve been working together for several years to obtain trees to replenish the tree canopy in Oakwood. This year we planted these 20 trees in locations that that honored these historical plantings near the chapel and office. CCE Onondaga’s urban forestry team is continuing the partnership with Oakwood Cemetery and SUNY ESF to replenish and restore tree canopy loss in Oakwood in order to maintain a healthy urban forest. Paul Harvey, a member of the Historic Oakwood Cemetery Preservation Association, said Oakwood is the perfect place for the trees to be planted. “There were a lot of old chestnuts at one time and we’re planting new ones,” said Harvey. “It’s kind of like bringing the ghosts of the chestnuts back.”

80 Trees Planted:
Creekwalk Volunteer Tree Planting

Thank you to the community volunteers that generously gave their time and talents in planting  trees in Kirk Park, lower and upper Onondaga parks on the morning of Saturday, October 26th. CCE Onondaga and partnering organizations: WEP, Syracuse City Parks and Onondaga Earth Corps lead 80 volunteers in a successfully planting 80 bare-root trees during this event. The event was held in Kirk Park near the newly built section of the Onondaga creekwalk. The Phase 2 section of the creekwalk connects to downtown Syracuse and will officially open for use in spring 2020. Some of the tree species planted during this event included: American Hornbeam, Oak, Maple, Linden, Poplar, Yellowwood, Serviceberry, Katsura, Elm, Gingko and Tulip Trees. Many thanks to the following businesses that provided donations: Alto Cinco, Recess Coffee, Trader Joes, Salt City Coffee, Peppino’s Pizza, Chipotle, Peaks Coffee, Tops, Bruegger’s Bagels, Wegmans, and Café Kubal
For more information on the Save the Rain Tree Planting Program, visit:

Watershed Events & Successes

CCE Onondaga partnered with several other organizations (CNY Regional Planning and Development Board, Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, Skaneateles Watershed Agricultural Program, CNY Stormwater Coalition, and NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) Region 3) to hold a Snow and Ice Control Workshop on October 29, 2019. Over 70 highway departments and other stakeholders from 21 municipalities attended the event at the NYS Fairgrounds!

The NYS DOT presented on snow and ice materials and their impacts on the environment, safety considerations and record keeping, and costs and benefits of proper equipment calibration. At the event, trucks were also calibrated to use the optimal amount of salt to keep drivers safe and protect the environment. 
(Adapted from an article by Onondaga SWCD, photo provided by Onondaga SWCD)

Other Skaneateles Watershed Education Programs held this fall included:
  • A workshop on wells and septic systems including the Onondaga County Septic System Replacement Funding Program on September 26, 2019
  • A workshop on shorescaping on November 5, 2019

Master Gardeners

The Master Gardeners have donated a decorated tree to the Everson Museum for their festival of trees. Our theme this year is Garden Delight.

Thank you to all the Master Gardeners that contributed for all of their hard work! 

Please stop by the Festival of Trees to see all of the trees.

Nutrition & Health

Food Preservation: Pressure Canning + Pizza Making Workshop

CCE Onondaga Food Preservation educators offered a workshop in pressure canning tomato sauce and pizza making on November 20th, 2019.  Participants learned the importance of pressure canning low acid foods to ensure canning foods safely. Food Preservation educators also demonstrated how to make pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese during the workshop. Each of the participants were able to make their own pizza and sampled them fresh out of the oven. All participants gained confidence in order to use a pressure canner for home use.

For additional information about CCE Food Preservation events and resources visit:   
Sustainable. Educational. Local.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County
The Atrium, 100 S. Salina St, Suite 170 | Syracuse, NY 13202

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