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JVAS members help out at the Brush Mountain Woodlands, a property above Altoona owned by The Nature Conservancy
JVAS members help out at the Brush Mountain Woodlands, a property above Altoona owned by The Nature Conservancy

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.

The Juniata Valley Audubon Society is committed to welcoming and encouraging birdwatchers and nature lovers from all walks of life. We believe we are able to grow and learn better when we are committed to inclusivity. We respect the individuality of each member, and we want to continue to engage a diverse membership; we encourage people of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, physical abilities, religions and beliefs, and socio-economic backgrounds to embrace conservation, birding, and nature. At the Audubon Society, we recognize that our strength lies in our differences, and we celebrate the unique perspectives, experiences, and identities that each individual brings to our community. We believe that diversity is not only essential for the health of ecosystems but also for the vitality of our organization and the well-being of society as a whole.

To our LGBTQ+ members and supporters, we want you to know that you are valued, respected, and welcomed within the Audubon family. Your passion for birds and nature enriches our collective efforts, and your presence strengthens our commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable world for all.

We also want to make it unequivocally clear that the Audubon Society will not tolerate hate speech, discrimination, or the spreading of misinformation about any members of our community. We stand firmly against any form of prejudice, intolerance, or harmful rhetoric that seeks to undermine the dignity and rights of individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other aspect of their identity.

As an organization dedicated to scientific integrity, conservation, and social responsibility, we hold ourselves and our community to the highest standards of accountability. We recognize that we have a responsibility to actively challenge and address prejudice and misinformation whenever and wherever it arises, both within our organization and in the broader community.


We meet monthly from September through June — see the programs listing. The December meeting is a supper and tally rally for 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, which includes a silent auction, a program, and most years, the granting of a conservation award. 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."

Field Trips

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.

Other Projects

Please see the Conservation Issues section for links to our current campaigns.


See the dedicated page. Includes some founding documents and a complete list of officers from 1969-present.


Click here for the latest version of our bylaws (which do get amended from time to time).

Board of Directors


President: Michael Kensinger
[email protected]

Vice-President: Catie Farr
[email protected]

Secretary: Conner Schmitt
[email protected]

Treasurer: George Mahon
[email protected]

Committee Chairs

Membership: Denice Rodaniche
[email protected]

Conservation: Laura Jackson
[email protected]

Programs: Laura Jackson

Partners in Neotropical Bird Conservation: Laura Jackson

Education: Susan Braun
[email protected]

Field Trips: Michael Kensinger
[email protected]

Mark Bonta
[email protected]

Publications & Publicity: Matt Karabinos
[email protected]

Hospitality: Catie Farr
[email protected]

Historian: Mike Jackson
[email protected]

Other Positions

Newsletter Editor: Laura Jackson

Christmas Bird Count Coordinators: Laura Jackson and John Carter

Website: Dave Bonta
[email protected]


Warren Baker
Sharon Clewell
Paola Jaramillo Calderon