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JVAS has developed a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Statement.

Dear JVAS Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy.

It has been quite the summer with the mystery illness of the Songbird Mortality Event which is still being investigated to its cause. I do applaud all of you who acted during this time to keep your feeders down and cleaned. I do have some positive news as we flit into our Fall season and the growth of our JVAS community.

After reviewing the current JVAS boundaries we had the opportunity to add adjacent zip codes that do not have a local Audubon Chapter associated with it and are within the current counties we serve. The following zip codes which include Mifflin, Centre, and Huntingdon Counties: 16668, 16627, 15753, 16616, 16656, 16866, 16844, 16823, 16865, 16803, 16801, 16827, 16828, 17063, 17084, 17004, 17009, 17044, 17029, 17002, 17051, 17060 were thoughtfully discussed by our board and we feel it would help serve adjacent communities near the current boundaries of JVAS to help contribute to the mission and goals.

A few of the initiatives that are outside of our normal year-to-year plans, such as involving members in field trips and educational programs, is to increase diversity and education to our members. The pandemic has helped teach us that we can communicate in so many new creative methods.

If you are not getting emails from JVAS and would like to help conserve paper by receiving a digital copy of the Gnatcatcher Newsletter, please send us your email address so we can communicate with you more effectively. We will not share your email. Please Email: [email protected]

Increasing membership will also lead to stronger efforts in communicating conservation efforts and having more people voice their thoughts to the government and local authorities on important issues that impact our environment. As the saying goes, "Strength in numbers," and if we continue to build our JVAS foundation with voices that are within counties we already serve, it will help the overall mission of Audubon.

Having folks that are not currently part of a local chapter will also help create affinity within those Audubon members and would develop a local connection.

As we continue to work together towards our mission, JVAS developed a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Statement:

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. Without a diverse perspective and a commitment to conservation, JVAS cannot move forward. Together we can work towards our goals of protecting birds and the environments they need to survive.

Thank you for being a continued valued member of JVAS and I look forward to continuing serving as your chapter’s president. I am enthusiastic in what we can accomplish to make a difference in our communities.

a hand holding out a credit card

Juniata Valley Audubon Society will be 50 years old in 2019, so I guess it's understandable why we're not always an early adopter of the hot new trends. But more and more of our members, especially the younger ones, have been agitating for the ability to join and renew online with a credit card, so at long last we have complied. Go to the Join or Renew page and scroll down for the membership options.

Your security is paramount, so we've had an SSL certificate installed on our server (thanks, Nittany Web Works!) and we're using Paypal as our payment gateway. But you don't need a Paypal account, just a major credit or debit card.

We've tried to keep things as simple as possible, so instead of asking you to fill out a separate form, we will simply gather your email and postal address from Paypal, and will assume that you prefer to receive the paper edition of the Gnatcatcher unless you follow up with an email requesting otherwise.

The one big advantage of joining or renewing online, aside from the obvious convenience of saving on postage and avoiding the hassle of writing out a check, is that you won't have to worry about forgetting to renew next year: it will automatically renew unless you cancel it. Better for you, better for us.

We assume that, as a member of JVAS, you'd like to receive occasional emails about club activities and conservation issues, but there will be opt-out links in those emails so you can remove yourself from the list if it becomes too much. (We're planning a complete revamp of our email communications system in the New Year.) Please be assured, however, that we will not share your data with anyone else for any reason.

There are, of course, limits to our embrace of modernity: we have no plans to accept Bitcoin payments at this time. Sorry, nerds.

Charlie Hoyer passed away on September 13, 2018. Charlie was a member of National Audubon since 1968 and an active advocate for our chapter, Juniata Valley Audubon Society, for many years.

We lost one of our longtime members recently. Sadly, Charlie Hoyer passed away on September 13, 2018. Charlie was a member of National Audubon since 1968 and an active advocate for our chapter, Juniata Valley Audubon Society, for many years. He served as the newspaper editor for ten years, as well as chapter president and membership chair. He also served as a board member for Pennsylvania Audubon.

Charlie and his wife, Marge, also hosted many wonderful dinners on Christmas Bird Count day. They also enjoyed feeding the birds, so Charlie volunteered as one of the feeder watchers for Count Day.

The beautiful floral centerpieces that decorated the tables at our Spring Banquet were often donated by the Hoyers. I often think of Charlie and Marge when I see Martha Washington geraniums.

Charlie was willing to take time to correct grammar, typos, and formatting for JVAS publications. We will miss his expertise and commitment to not only our chapter, but to conservation.

Charlie Hoyer accepting a plaque
Dave Bonta (L), JVAS President at the time, presented Charlie Hoyer (R) with a special Service Award in April 2013.