Valley Forge Audubon Society
Dedicated to educating birdwatchers and preserving bird habitats
On any given Thursday you’ll find this group of nature lovers and birding enthusiasts trekking along a trail or wandering through a local preserve for one of many weekly walks.
But if the evening’s topic doesn’t strike your fancy, there are plenty of other nature-based programs to choose from. The focus is on birds and field trips to the region’s birding sites, but there’s a range of programs, which include topics about the secrets of mushrooms or the lives of frogs. Each year the club hosts more than 160 field trips, lectures or other nature activities.
As stewards of two sites designated as Important Birding Areas by BirdSource, the Valley Forge Audubon Society (VFAS) creates census reports for both the John Heinz Wildlife Center and Ridley Creek State Park to track the birds’ populations and to encourage respectful visitation to those sites.
Bring your binoculars because you won’t want to miss the migratory birds, fox, deer and other wildlife that inhabit Meng Sanctuary, a 68-acre preserve that is part of a 620-acre greenway and owned and managed by VFAS.
You’ll have to climb the lichen-covered craggy rocks or hike the two-mile trail that winds through the wooded forest to see most animals. So if you’d rather have the birds come to you, the VFAS “Backyards for Nature” program will match you with one of their volunteers who will advise you on how to create a habitat for birds in your backyard
Bring your own binoculars, field guide, walking/hiking shoes and food/water for birding treks. There are fees for events and programs, and you’ll need to leave pets at home.
Birders gather to collect a census of birds within their chapter area every December and June.
The Meng Sanctuary was once a camp for Troop 3, one of the region’s first Girl Scout troops.