A Short History
The Wyncote Audubon Society is a Chapter of the National Audubon Society serving the nearly 2000 Audubon members who reside in major portions of Montgomery County and Philadelphia including Chestnut Hill, East Falls, Manayunk, Mt. Airy, Roxborough, North Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia. Throughout its history, the Wyncote Audubon Society has had a long association with the Briar Bush Nature Center. It is our official “corporate” address of Wyncote Audubon Society and 1212 Edge Hill Road, Abington, PA 19001 and where our mailbox is maintained.
The Wyncote Audubon Society was founded in April 1914 as the Wyncote Bird Club. Its original meetings were held at All Hallows Church and later at Thomas Williams Junior High in Wyncote. Its original members hailed from Wyncote adjacent communities like Glenside, and Elkins Park. The Wyncote Bird Club became an official chapter of the National Audubon Society in 1967 and was renamed as the Wyncote Audubon Society in 1970. Over all of its history, Wyncote Audubon has maintained conducted monthly meetings on the third Friday of most months from September through May.
Where We Meet
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to change our meetings to a virtual setting for the time being.
We are hopeful that we will be able to resume bird walks, field trips and in-person monthly meetings by late 2021.
Wyncote Audubon Outreach
Wyncote Audubon participates in community days, bird festivals, and other community events where there is a focus on community organizations and bird friendly activities. Our volunteers set up tables and displays to provide information and encourage interest in our programs, activities and membership. Volunteers for these events are welcome.
Post-pandemic we will resume our monthly field trips. Outings are led by outstanding leaders to birding “hotspots” in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Please follow our Facebook page or register for our monthly e-newsletter for updates.
The Wyncote Audubon Society is an all-volunteer organization. Our Officers, Directors, and Committee Chairs conduct the activities of Wyncote Audubon.
The Wyncote Audubon Society Officers, Directors, and Committee Chairs are as follows:
* Board Members
Leigh Altadonna is the current President of the Wyncote Audubon Society that serves Audubon members in major portions of Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania. Leigh serves on the Boards of Audubon Pennsylvania and the Friends of Hog Island. He also is the chair of the Stewardship Board of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove and the Montgomery County Advisory Board for Parks, Trails and Historic Sites. Leigh has served four terms on the Board of the National Audubon Society most recently as the Regional Director for the Atlantic Flyway-North. He currently serves on the Board of the National Audubon Society Action Fund.
Connie Sanchez been a part of the Audubon network for close to 20 years, serving in various conservation, technology, and engagement roles throughout the organization, as part of the national teams and state staff. Trained as a biologist with a focus on birds, Connie’s passion lies in creating connections with people and nature. Connie currently coordinates Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Buildings efforts at the national level, in addition to managing digital content for Audubon Pennsylvania. Her expertise lies in data management and the development of tools and resources to engage local communities in conservation. A NJ native, she holds a MS in Biology from Fort Hays State University in Kansas, with research focused on migrant warblers, and a BS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Rochester in New York.
Jane has been involved with Wyncote Audubon Society for 40 or more years, and served as WAS president for nine years. Over the years, she has served as a Board member and regularly attended monthly meetings. For 12 years, Jane served as the Program Chair, which enabled her to contact and get to know many of the interesting speakers WAS has had over the years.
Jane also served as co-chair of the Field Trips Committee, leading many trips herself. She also served by editing “Naturally,” the WAS newsletter. Thanks to WAS teachers’ scholarships, she attended Hog Island camp for a week, as well as the Audubon camp in Wyoming.
Jane has birded all over North America as well as many areas in Europe and Central and South America. In her “real life” Jane taught in the School District of Philadelphia for 23 years, teaching mostly high school students. Her husband Bob Cohen and her have been together for over 40 years, and married for 20. They have 6 children and 7 grandchildren, scattered all over the US.
Jenn has served on the Wyncote Audubon board for several years and is the Crossways Sanctuary Chair. She is active with Abington Township’s Environmental Advisory Council and is a backyard birder, interested in habitat preservation and restoration.
Katie works as an educator and animal curator at Briar Bush Nature Center, which has had a long-standing partnership with Wyncote Audubon. She has been a self-proclaimed "bird nerd" for most of her life, starting with birding at her family's lake cabin in Minnesota at the age of 12. She has worked with birds both in the wild and in captivity through organizations such as the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and various bird research groups, including Tampa Bay Audubon. When not working, you might find her hiking, kayaking, working in her native garden, spending time with her two cockatiels, or volunteering at the Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Clinic caring for sick and injured birds.
Katherine’s second career has been in the public-school system, teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade for nearly 30 years. Her classroom includes the natural world as a co-teacher. Her students are stream keepers for the Tookany Tacony Frankford Watershed, maintaining raised-bed gardens for a food pantry, and helping the groundskeeper maintain the butterfly garden. With the support of Wyncote Audubon, she has invited Cheltenham Elementary School’s 3rd and 4th grade students to enjoy their own Audubon Club and to get to know their resident red-tailed hawk.
Katherine earned her master’s degree at Xavier University and became a National Board-Certified Teacher in 1997. She is a member of NSTA and NCTM.
Her first career was as a mother of two boys who now let her enjoy five grandchildren. When not busy with children, Katherine is found outside, in the kitchen, or curled up anywhere with a good book.
Kevin graduated in May 2015 with a BS in Early Childhood Education from Bryn Athyn College. He joined Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust’s staff in 2013 as a part-time Stewardship Assistant, and was promoted to his current position as Education and Outreach Coordinator in 2018. In addition to his responsibilities in the preserve, Kevin runs the Pre-School Nature Club, offers guided walks in the preserve, and coordinates the activities of the Trust’s group of volunteer StreamKeepers. He has served on the Wyncote Audubon Board of Directors since 2019 and is the Chair of the Program Committee.