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.