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.
Each year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count mobilizes over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. Data compiled in New York will record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area, contributing to a vast community science network that continues a tradition stretching back more than 100 years.
"The Christmas Bird Count is a rewarding way to get involved with Audubon in your community," said Ana Paula Tavares, executive director of Audubon New York. "With over 50 counts in New York State alone, we hope to see record numbers of volunteers participate in support of their local birds." Locally, we have the Corning Christmas Bird Count and the Elmira Christmas Bird Count. Learn more about these local counts right here on our website.
Chemung Valley Audubon Society invites you outdoors! With many residents feeling a get-out-of-the-house eagerness after enduring months of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CVAS urges you to consider the benefits of taking a hike. Over the past several years the local Audubon chapter has developed two properties in Steuben County (Northrup Hill & Gleason), as well as a trail at Mark Twain State Park in Chemung County, where you can enjoy outdoor experiences while still following social distancing guidelines.
Hiking and wildlife watching are good for our bodies and our sense of well-being. CVAS invites people to use the trails and to enjoy the beauty and spectacle of wild nature in the Southern Tier. “Birding is an inexpensive, healthful, always entertaining outdoor activity that heightens one’s awareness and understanding of the environment and can be done anytime, anywhere,” noted Bill Ostrander. A lifelong birder and Chemung County resident, Ostrander leads Audubon walks that help people learn about and enjoy our area’s birds.
Northrup Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary is a 24-acre preserve on Learn Road in the Town of Rathbone, Steuben County. The sanctuary’s wildlife habitats including grasslands, early-successional hardwoods, and a white pine–hemlock–hardwood forest that slopes downhill to a wetland. At an elevation of 1,700 feet, the property commands stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The land was given to CVAS as a gift from the Northrup family to be used as a nature preserve. The Northrup Hill Schoolhouse, a structure on the National Register of Historic Places, sits adjacent to the preserve.
The Gleason Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary covers 35-acres on Kelly Hill Road in the Steuben County Town of Caton. It is predominately forested, with a system of trails that passes through groves of hemlocks, pines, and northern hardwoods. A pond and small intermittent streams enhance the sanctuary’s value to plants and animals. The property was acquired with a bequest from the estate of long-time CVAS members Herbert and Virginia Gleason.
Driving directions and information about the trails are on our Northrup, Gleason, and Mark Twain State Park pages. Our trails and activities are open to all regardless of their age, race, religion, ability or gender identity.
Meet at Appleridge (Map) for a lively discussion about birding and a presentation from one of our knowledgeable hosts. A bird identification workshop begins at 7:00pm, and the program begins at 7:30pm. All are welcome to these free events. CVAS is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our conservation and education programs and to welcoming all who wish to work and learn with us.
Any person, regardless of age, race, religion, ability, or gender identity, who is interested in wild life study, protection, and conservation, may be enrolled as a member upon receipt of the first payment of dues.
7:00 PM | Thursday | November 18, 2021
Our free, family-friendly Little Tots Nature Walk program runs all year long, 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.
CVAS is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our conservation and education programs and to welcoming all who wish to work and learn with us.
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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 by clicking the link below.
It's here, and it's spreading! Awareness and knowledge will take you far in avoiding ticks and Lyme Disease during your nature exploration.
Chemung Valley Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society. The NAS is an invaluable resource for any Audubon enthusiast.