Beaver Meadow is a 324-acre nature preserve in North Java, NY. The preserve features its namesake beaver meadow with its associated ponds, glacial kettle ponds, wetlands with a boardwalk trail, wooded uplands, meadows, a hawk watch, an arboretum, and eight miles of marked and groomed trails.
The first parts of the current preserve were acquired in 1951. Our holdings steadily grew over the years as other parcels were sold or bequeathed to the Society. By the 1960's the Preserve was being used as an outdoor education site. During the 1970s, the first facilities were constructed, tucked away in a corner of the Preserve.
Beaver Meadow is now home to our 8,000 square foot nature center. The center is the base for many of our programs [hyperlink to program page], whether they are a formal 'Audubon Day' for a school group or an informal nature walk.
Other structures include our Sugar Shanty where we boil sap collected on the property and demonstrate methods used to make maple syrup. The Buffalo Astronomical Association has built an observatory on the property and regularly runs astronomical programs. A three room 'Beaver Lodges' cabin on the property can be used for overnight stays for groups of up to 10 people. The smaller and more rustic Refuge cabin can accommodate 4 people for an overnight stay.
The upkeep and maintenance of the preserve and its buildings relies upon a dedicated corps of volunteers. Wednesdays are volunteer days - anyone is welcome to join us for coffee and a donut and to help with a variety of indoor and outdoor tasks.
Day camp, nature hikes, classes for boy scouts and girl scouts of all ages occur at Beaver Meadow. Special events and festivals, including our Maple Harvest Festival, Homestead Festival and the Enchanted Forest occur at Beaver Meadow.
Beaver Meadow is home to a great diversity of birds, reptiles, mammals, plants and organisms of many types that live in our diverse habitats. A plant list is available here. A recent study by students and faculty at the University at Buffalo is looking at the hydrology of our pond.
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