Conservation and Restoration
Our region contains a plethora of beautiful birds, trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. We encourage you to explore our local wildlife sanctuaries and parks.
Please visit our Year of the Bird section to read an introduction from Mary Anne Perks and to find more information about activities and actions you can do to make this the best year ever! But first, check out everything we accomplished at this year's I Love My Park Day--click here!
The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day, and in honor of the event, two volunteer Finger Lakes Trail Stewards working for the Finger Lakes Trail Crew and three volunteers from the Chemung Valley Audubon Society met to complete the installation of a 26' long boardwalk across a muddy section of the birding trail at Mark Twain State Park. Now hikers have a nice boardwalk to safely cross the intermittent stream to enjoy the outer loop of nature trail. For more information about this project and to view the photo gallery, please click here.
June 18 - 24 is National Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. Eleven years ago, the U.S. Senate's unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as "National Pollinator Week" marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
If you've ever had the pleasure of exploring our Northrup Hill or Gleason Sanctuaries, you may know that the Chemung Valley Audubon Society has a cabin in the Gleason Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Caton, NY, that has been used by the club for events over the years. The Ondura roof, installed over thirty years ago, was deteriorating, thereby allowing water to enter and damage the interior structure.
Recognizing the seriousness of this problem, the CVAS Board of Directors hired RJ Construction of Woodhull, NY, to re-roof the cabin with a 40-year-warranty metal roof. A green roof color was selected to blend in with the forest environment of the sanctuary. The roofing work was initiated on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, and completed on Saturday, March 31, 2018.
Once the old roofing material was removed, an inspection of the main structure found it to be in excellent condition. As part of the new roof, translucent panels were placed strategically in the roof, allowing sunlight to penetrate into the cabin and brighten up the room. The construction went very well, and CVAS members are very pleased with the work. It looks great!
The Board of Directors recognized that this project requires a substantial outlay of funds, but agreed the work is needed to protect the club's asset. The club would gratefully accept any donation to help assist with the funding of this project.
Visit our Gleason Sanctuary page to see the photo album highlighting the progression of work on the roof project. For the next phase of cabin improvements, club members will volunteer their time to repair the water-damaged interior sections of the cabin. Once completed, hopefully by this summer, the Audubon Chapter members can again utilize this facility and events can be planned.
Do stop up to Gleason for a nice spring walk on our trails and see the nice new green roof on our cabin!
Two types of planting styles are currently used for trees at Northrup Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary: boundary planting and group planting. Boundary planting consists of trees which are planted in a straight line, giving definition to the property by providing a visual separation between one property and another or a transitional area between grassland/shrub land and woodlot. This transitional zone provides habitat for all wildlife.
The margin of the northern field is a boundary planting with 20 Northern White Cedar, Thuja accidentalis, used for property definition in the upper field and a wind break.
A boundary planting was used along the walking path in the first woodlot consisting of ten Paper (or White) Birch, Betula papyrifera, to add definition to the path. Along this path, notice fungi growing on stumps.
You will notice the second type of planting in the first woodlot. Sugar (or Hard) Maple, Acer saccharum, were planted using the group planting method. This experimental planting, which includes ten Sugar Maples, is copying Mother Nature’s dispersal method. When Sugar Maples disperse their seeds, they appear to helicopter and land in a circular pattern adjacent the parent tree. There are few Sugar Maples in this woodlot; accordingly, this experiment is meant to augment their numbers. In the following years, more Sugar Maples are planned to be group planted.
Saplings are a favorite food for deer so most tree plantings are protected with a 5 foot tubular sleeve. Trees, protective tubes and stakes were donated for this project by Chemung County Soil and Water and by CVAS chapter member.
Thank you to Brian Dugan for providing this overview of tree planting.
In 2016, volunteers donated over 500 hours of their time for the restoration of our Northrup Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Rathbone, Steuben County.
Our 30-acre preserve in the Town of Caton, NY, beckons to all nature-lovers with its dozens of tree species and hundreds of animal and flower species.
Please join us on Thursday, June 21, 2018, at 6:30pm for our annual meeting and election of officers, a dish-to-pass picnic and birding event at Sperr Memorial Park. We will be in the pavilion and ask that you bring your own table service and a dish to pass. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and beverages will be provided. Bring binoculars to bird from the pavilion and/or on the trails. From Rte 17 (I-86), take the Kahler Road Exit. If coming from the west, turn right onto Kahler Road. If coming from the east, turn left onto Kahler Road. Just south of I-86, turn right into the parking lot.
Our free, family-friendly Nature Strollers program runs from May to December, and we hope you'll join us for this and our other popular programs throughout the year, including:
Bird Sleuth | A lively program for school-aged children that teaches key concepts, including diversity, adaptations, food webs, and more, through hands-on learning.
CVAS Book Club | The CVAS book club meets on Thursdays. For meeting information and a list of the books we'll be reading, please click here.
Chemung Valley Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society. The NAS is an invaluable resource for any Audubon enthusiast.
Bring birds and pollinators to your home today by growing native plants. Find the best plants for the pollinators and birds for your yard. Growing bird-friendly plants will attract and protect the birds you love while making your space beautiful, easy to care for, and better for the environment. Explore native plant resources here.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has launched I BIRD NY, an initiative to build on increasing access to the state's vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature. The program launch took place at the Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Oneida County...
While any time of year is a good time to do something for the birds, it's finally spring, and therefore it's a great time to plant a garden, share your passion for birds with your family and friends, and make a difference for birds here, there, and everywhere. Visit Audubon and read about 10 Things You Can Do for Birds.
It's here, and it's spreading! Awareness and knowledge will take you far in avoiding ticks and Lyme Disease during your nature exploration.