The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania's mission is to connect the people of Southwestern Pennsylvania to birds and nature through our programs, projects, and places.
We work throughout a seven county area including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.
Mr. James A Bonner
614 Dorseyville Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238 USA
Audubon, Beechwood, ASWP, Bird, Environmental Education
Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)
Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)
Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
Programs + Results
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What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Environmental Education Programs
ASWP believes that conservation begins with education. As a result, we provide individuals of all ages the opportunity to learn about the environment and natural history through programs at our nature sites and throughout the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. We offer in-school and out of school programs for youth, summer camps, citizen science programs, family programs, and programs at senior living facilities, among others. All programs are hands-on, inquiry-based and school programs are aligned to meet the PA Department of Education's environment and ecology standards. ASWP is an Act 48 provider, offering training and workshops for classroom teachers so they can obtain the required continuing education credits. Programs are offered throughout the year and many are free or have a nominal charge. Through these programs we help build knowledge, appreciation, and conservation engagement.
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Native Plant Programs
ASWP recognizes that the health of our environment and the native species that live in or migrate through Southwestern Pennsylvania is dependent on native plants. Our Audubon Center for Native Plants (ACNP) is a significant resource for information on native plants and native plant propagation in our region. ACNP specializes in propagating true Western Pennsylvania (Allegheny Plateau) perennials and small trees and shrubs. Over 140 species of plants have been successfully reproduced and made available for restoration projects, school programs, and the general public. We offer plants to the community and coordinate education programs throughout the year so that people can learn more about the benefits of native plants and how to incorporate healthy native plants in their own gardening spaces. We encourage the planting of milkweed for monarch butterflies and other native plants to create healthy environments for birds and other native wildlife.
ASWP conducts Outdoor Discovery Camps at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve and Succop Nature Park. Camps are typically week-long day camps centered around nature themes. Campers explore the outdoors, visit the pond, make crafts, and observe birds and other wildlife. In 2008, ASWP created the Shannon's Camp Fund, a memorial scholarship fund that insures that no child will be excluded from Summer Camp for financial reasons.
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Citizen Science Programs
Through citizen science people make observations and collect data, significantly expanding the amount of information professional scientists have to study a variety of topics from birds to ladybugs and frogs. ASWP coordinates citizen science programs that allow youth, families, and older adults to participate in this engaging experience, where people not only learn something new, they participate in scientific research and conservation. Citizen Science on the School Ground is a school-focused citizen science program where students learn scientific skills while doing real science by collecting data that professional scientists use to understand patterns and determine trends. As part of this process students also create wildlife gardens that benefit people and native species. In Citizen Science at Senior Centers we coordinate similar programs for older adults.
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The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania's (ASWP) mission is to connect the people of Southwestern Pennsylvania to birds and nature. We work to achieve this through our programs, projects, and places.
We believe that conservation begins with education. Our environmental education programs are hands-on to encourage the kind of active experience that creates connections to nature. We operate Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve (Fox Chapel), Succop Nature Park (Butler), and Todd Nature Reserve (Sarver), offering three places for people to visit to experience nature on their own or through our programs.
We not only encourage conservation engagement through education and outreach, we also have specific projects such as the installation of Chimney Swift habitats, Bald Eagle webcams, and the Audubon Center for Native Plants that directly involve us in the conservation of native species.
We facilitate educational programs and community events year round to engage Southwestern Pennsylvanians with nature. Programs based around citizen science allow us to help people make observations of natural phenomena and collect data that can then be submitted to scientists studying particular trends. Our Citizen Science on School Grounds and Citizen Science at Senior Centers programs give students and older adults the chance participate in the creation of natural habitat, make observations, and learn about nature in engaging ways. The programs contribute to environmental health, participants' own well-being, and scientific research. Through our Master Birder program we give intermediate birders the chance to advance their skills and share their knowledge with others. By reaching out to so many different groups with a variety of programs we provide people with options that suit them.
We have long recognized the importance of native plants in conservation work, providing a healthy environment for insects, wildlife, and people, further contributing to conservation. For nearly 30 years we have been educating Southwestern Pennsylvania residents about the importance of native plants. In May 2000 we opened the Audubon Center for Native Plants (ACNP) at our Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve location in Fox Chapel. The ACNP's work is organized by a full time Plant Center Coordinator, who works with a core of volunteers to grow native plants and conduct educational outreach about their benefits, making us unique among Audubon chapters in our commitment to native plant education and propagation. Over the course of 2014-2015 twenty-nine volunteers provided 3,059 volunteer hours at our ACNP, showing a significant level of community support in addition to the number of interested native plant program participants.
As of March 2016 ASWP has been coordinating environmental education programs and conservation engagement in Southwestern Pennsylvania for 100 years. We have a dedicated staff with significant experience with wildlife, native plants, environmental ecology, education, conservation, and nonprofit management.
Our first parcel of land came to us in 1942 when W. E. Clyde Todd, noted ornithologist and Curator of Birds at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, donated Todd Nature Reserve to us. Since then we have been coordinating the conservation and maintenance of natural space in Southwestern Pennsylvania at Todd with the later additions of Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve and Succop Nature Park. We facilitate programs for over 15,000 people per year and approximately 30,000 people visit our nature sites on their own.
We coordinate environmental education programs as part of our conservation goals because we know that education leads to conservation engagement. Although it is difficult to quantitatively measure the long-term impact of educational experiences, we receive feedback from participants that let us know we are making a difference in helping them feel connected to nature.
To an extent we can measure the impact we and others are having on our regional environment and conservation through our citizen science programs, which are part educational opportunity and part data collection program. In citizen science programs people make observations and collect information about a particular phenomena, such as insect or bird populations. This data is then submitted to scientists to support their research. We can also use this data as indicators of local/regional environmental health, which can in turn tell us something about the impact environmental organizations like us are having on local conservation.
Affiliations & Memberships
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania
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Board of Directors
as of 5/3/2016
Mr. Gwilym Price
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board Leadership Practices
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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?