The History of Genesee Valley Audubon Society
Genesee Valley Audubon Society started as Genesee West Audubon Society, the local chapter of National Audubon Society. In the early 1970’s a group of people came together to keep the area that is now Black Creek Park from becoming a landfill. If this area in western Monroe County had become a landfill, toxic leaks from the landfill could have made it into Black Creek for years. The thinking at the time was that there would be another chapter on the east side of Monroe County.
Genesee West Audubon Society (GWAS) incorporated in 1975 and has been working to motivate people to become involved in the environment. In the 1980’s GWAS did a biodiversity survey of Black Creek Park and supplied the information to Monroe County Parks.
In 1995 Genesee West Audubon was on the Board of the New York River Otter Project which ran from 1995 to 2001. We helped to raise funds that allowed the project to release 281 North American River Otters in Central and Western New York.
In 1998 GWAS started organizing volunteers to watch the young Peregrine Falcon eyases that were on top of the Kodak Tower on State St. as they learned to fly. Our volunteers have rescued a number of young falcons that have come to the ground. The Falcon Watch volunteers have been watching over the young falcons each year ever since.
While the nest box was on the Kodak Tower there were cameras on the nest box for the world to watch while the young falcons grow. In 2008 Kodak needed to do work on the exterior of the Kodak Tower. For the safety of the workers the falcon nest box needed to be moved off the Tower to another building. GVAS worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to find a new building and move the nest box in the fall.
After 33 years as GWAS, in early 2008 Genesee West Audubon changed our name to Genesee Valley Audubon Society (GVAS) to reflect the large area that we now cover. In the fall of 2008 the DEC allowed GVAS to put cameras on the nest box now on the Time Square Building. The GVAS falcon web site is RFalconCam.com.
In 2013 we partnered with the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISIM) to control invasive water chestnut in Braddock Bay. This invasive came from Europe and the leaves grow in large round rosettes that will cover lakes and ponds shutting off the sunlight to the bottom. Our efforts have been successful over the years. We have gone from pulling tons of water chestnuts in a summer to only a few hundred pounds in 2017.
GVAS has been involved in lobbying for the protection of Great Lakes issues. We work with Audubon New York and Healing Our Waters Coalition to keep our eye on legislation that would threaten the Great Lakes. GVAS has a seat on the Remedial Action Committee, Rochester Embayment Area of Concern, which oversees the delisting of the criteria that have determined that the area has been impaired for decades. We work with this committee to ensure that research and restoration projects are carried out.
Mission & Vision
“The vision of Genesee Valley Audubon Society is to promote environmental conservation. Our mission is to educate and advocate for protection of the environment, focusing on birds, wildlife and habitat.”
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Genesee Valley Audubon Society
P.O. Box. 15512
Rochester, NY 14615-0512