The Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society

Mission: to promote an awareness and appreciation of nature, to preserve and protect wildlife and natural ecosystems, and to encourage responsible environmental stewardship.


The Elisha Mitchell chapter of the Audubon Society was formed in 1986. After contacting the Southeast regional office, then located in Charleston, SC a representative met in Asheville to evaluate the need and to determine the willingness to form a chapter. After organizing an exploratory committee comprised of about a dozen NAS local members, a meeting was held with the SE regional vice-president to discuss formation of the chapter. To form a chapter, they had to to recruit fifty new members, publish a newsletter, hold public meetings and form a Board of Directors. The initial board was made up of retirees, government employees, private business people and students. All with the common goal of forming a local conservation group.
After four months they were officially chartered as the Elisha Mitchell chapter of the National Audubon Society, taking their name from Dr. Elisha Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell was a North Carolina native, a doctor of Divinity and an early conservationist. The membership grew and included both Buncombe and Henderson counties.
One stipulation for forming a chapter was the participation in a "major conservation project". Shortly after receiving the charter, they were asked to participate in the preservation of a parcel of land adjacent to Beaver Lake in Asheville, North Carolina. The land was scheduled to be developed as a strip mall. The chapter spearheaded the effort to preserve the property and now own and manage it as the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary.
The focus and willingness of that original group of organizers to bring a credible, activist-oriented conservation group to Asheville has been instrumental to the ongoing success of the chapter.
Tree Swallow by Simon Thompson


If you live in the Buncombe County area, and wish to help and stay informed of events, an introductory $20 membership is available. You will receive a copy of the publication the Raven's Nest 10 times a year (now electronic), a subscription to Audubon Magazine, a chance to foray into the wilds of Western North Carolina on trips, and the chapters unflagging friendship. If you want just a copy of the Raven's Nest for $10.00 send a note and check to our P.O. Box below. Make your check payable to National Audubon Society and include complete name, address, and zip code. Then send this to:
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
PO Box 18711
Asheville, NC 28814-0711
General Meetings are usually held the third Tuesday of the month in September thru November and March thru June. There are no meetings in July or August.
Click this link: