The Juniata Valley Audubon Society (JVAS) was chartered in 1969 as a chapter of the National Audubon Society. Audubon continues to be dedicated to the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the Earth's biological diversity.
Juniata Valley Audubon accomplishes its mission through advocacy, science, land stewardship, and education — working directly with Audubon Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania state office of the National Audubon Society.
The territory of the JVAS comprises all of Blair and Bedford Counties in south-central Pennsylvania and portions of adjacent counties. JVAS is one of the state’s 21 Audubon chapters, with more than 500 members. All are welcome to join us at our program meetings or field trips.
We meet monthly from September through June — see the programs listing. The December meeting is a potluck supper held at a member's house on the evening of our annual Christmas Bird Count, traditionally held on a Saturday before Christmas. All other meetings are on the third Tuesday of the month. The April meeting is our annual banquet (usually held at the Hoss's in Duncansville), which includes a silent auction. The June meeting is our annual picnic, a potluck supper held at a local state park or state forest picnic area. All other meetings are at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library at 7:00 p.m., and most often feature a slide-show and talk by a biologist, nature writer, nature photographer or conservationist. Come for the delicious snacks and beverages, stay for the "edutainment."
Our field trips, like our programs, tend to run from September through June. These are almost invariably on the weekends, and we try to have at least one a month. Unlike most Audubon chapters, we are not exclusively bird-focused. Many of our members are equally interested in things such as wildflowers, trees, reptiles and amphibians, wetland ecology, edible wild foods, mushrooms, geology, and more. Make a habit of attending JVAS field trips and you'll be sure to get a real nature education!
JVAS members receive printed programs of the meetings and field trips, but from time to time members volunteer to lead additional trips on a more impromptu basis, so we encourage everyone with access to the internet to subscribe to our blog here, "like" our Facebook page, and/or join our listserv to stay apprised of upcoming events.
Juniata Valley Audubon members monitor birds at four local Important Bird Areas (IBAs). In recent years, members have been active in advocating for better wind turbine siting, including attending countless township meetings, and building grassroots-to-grassroots relationships with environmentalists in Honduras, where we've begun to sponsor conservation and bird censusing initiatives. We resorted to legal action to prevent a proposed quarry from destroying the Heller Caves along the Lower Rail-Trail near Williamsburg, which threatened a rare species of bat (the eastern small-footed bat, Myotis leibii) and a springtail species found nowhere else in the world. We try to take a pragmatic approach to protecting nature without compromising our core principles.
Board of Directors
President: Laura Jackson
Vice-President: Mark Bonta
Secretary: Sharon Clewell
Treasurer: George Mahon
Immediate Past President: Dave Bonta
(No e-mail address)
Membership Committee: Charlie Hoyer
Conservation Committee: Ethan Farr
Education Committee: Jacob Vaughn
Field Trips Committee: Susan Braun
Programs Committee: Mark Bonta
Publications & Publicity Committee: Dave Bonta
Hospitality Committee: Catie Farr
Historian: Mike Jackson
Newsletter Editors: Terri and Alan Swann
Christmas Bird Count Coordinators: Mike and Laura Jackson
Mailbox Tender: Charlie Hoyer
Web Admin: Dave Bonta