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 All proceeds generated through the New River Birding & Nature Festival and our other events go to the registered 501C3 local nonprofit Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. (FCEF). Festival participants and friends have helped support Education Fund programs since the first Festival in 2002. It is the mission of the FCEF to secure the future of Fayette County by providing relevant leadership training and environmental education to the community with an emphasis on youth. The mission is carried out through the programs Leadership Fayette County and a variety of environmentally focused programs delivered in our outdoor wetlands and woodlands classroom at the New River Birding & Nature Center located in Wolf Creek Park.

The FCEF is an important organization in leading our county down a path to strengthen sustainable growth initiatives. Through various programs, local youth gain important knowledge and are better informed about the area to make the decision to return upon completion of their higher education.

As a non-profit organization, the FCEF graciously accepts tax-deductible monetary donations from generous businesses and the individuals. Donors may designate contributions to any of the programs listed below.

Checks made payable to Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. with a donation designation on the memo line can be mailed to: Fayette County Education Fund, Inc., 310 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901.

Student Festival Scholarships Available to students from grade 6 through college, for a half-week package during our spring Festival to be immersed in environmental education under the instruction of the expert guides in the field and in presentations. Students under age 18 must have a paid guardian present. The scholarships are awarded by the Fayette County Education Fund and made possible through donations. After verification and acceptance, a schedule of field trips will be provided. Lodging is not included. Included: three daily meals, three field trips, daily presentations, field trip transportation, checklist, itinerary. For scholarship information and application requests, please Contact Us.

Leadership Fayette County Free program for selected Fayette County high school juniors to promote essential leadership qualities while providing first hand experiences in the business, government, and tourism sectors of Fayette County, West Virginia. Send your donation by mail or by PayPalRead More

Wolf Creek Wanderers Free 5-day summer program for those entering grades 8 - college, exploring Natural Science at Wolf Creek Park's New River Birding & Nature Center's Wetlands and Woodlands. More Info to Come - Updates in Progress

New River Birding & Nature Center With a gorgeous view in any season, this gem of a spot drips with migrating birds and overflows with plant and wild life. Since 2008, the New River Birding & Nature Center serves as an environmental education hub for residents, businesses, and visitors from across and beyond West Virginia. School groups, families, and anyone who visits the site benefits from programs, guided field trips, and self-interpretive activities unavailable anywhere else in the region. You can help us maintain and extend the Wetlands Boardwalk in the outdoor classroom for all ages at New River Birding & Nature Center. Send your donation by mail or by PayPalContact UsLearn More

FUNdraisers These are fun fundraiser ideas we've come up with, such as Sunday Dinner in the Meadows to start the Festival week and the Leadership Fayette County Graduation Banquet held each May.

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Did You Know... The New River Birding & Nature Festival was established in 2002 to help fund the Fayette County Education Fund's youth environmental education and leadership training programs. At the time, bird watcher Dave Pollard (aka Guru) had an idea that included supplementing student education to develop a competitive edge and sense of place to help foster future leaders and community organizers while spearheading the development of a mixed-use business park with a natural element for environmental education and beautification to positively impact economic and community development immediately and long term. Well, there are a lot of pieces to that puzzle and Dave's analytical brain put them all together and with help from friends and colleagues the vision became reality.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

A free program made possible by Festival participation and donations for selected Fayette County high school juniors to promote essential leadership qualities while providing first hand experiences in the business, government, and tourism sectors of Fayette County, West Virginia.

Each year, twelve to fourteen Fayette County resident students are selected by application and interview to participate in the ten + session program throughout their 11th grade school year.

Sharing secrets of science and nature in the New River watershed with West Virginians and their friends

Voted the #1 Birdwatching Spot in the Best of the Blue Ridge: 2022 Readers' Choice Awards! While exploring, be considerate to leave only soft footprints and take only litter. The Boardwalk and Trails are maintained by donations and volunteers. Open from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Donations are welcome.

With a gorgeous view in any season, this gem of a spot drips with migrating birds and overflows with plant and wild life. Since 2008, the Center serves as an environmental education hub for residents, businesses, and visitors from across and beyond West Virginia. The Center is an outdoor classroom featuring a Wetlands Boardwalk and self-interpretive Woodland Trails and plans for an Observation Deck.

Christmas Bird Count in Fayette County, WV

Community science and bird watching. Yes, please!
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a program of the National Audubon Society since 1900, in which thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Western Hemisphere spend a day counting birds within their local geographical circle. All skill levels are encouraged to participate. CBC history and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at audubon.org.

Participation is Free. 
Sign up is Required. Send your name, email address and phone number to the circle compiler, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You'll be contacted to discuss a survey area or place.
Spend as time as you want to. December 16th, identify the species of birds you see and hear, and count the number of each.
Easy-peasy. Complete a digital or printed data collection form(s) and send to Rachel. Online WVOH CBC Data Collection Form. Using this online data entry form, a copy of your entered data is immediately provided to you.
Warm up after. Participants are invited to warm soup and warm drinks, from 4 to 6PM, in Mount Hope. An opportunity to meet other participants, share stories from the day, and begin the total tally of species observed! Location address is shared to participants.

DateTENATIVELY December 14, 2024     Count Year: 125     Circle Name: WVOH (Fayette County, WV)
Covering a 7.5 mile radius from the intersection of Lochgelly Rd, Summerlee Rd, and Byrnside St in Oak Hill, covering territory between Beckwith to Mount Hope, and Mossy to Cunard.
WVOH Circle Compiler: Rachel Davis

Feathered Lovelies Youth Art Gallery

All works are original pieces by Fayette County, West Virginia students! No image is public domain or free for download or use. 
Since 2023, the FLY Art Challenge is an annual student competition celebrating the birds of the New River Gorge, through art! Through this program and its online gallery, students as community leaders raise awareness of bird conservation and diversity of avian species found in this region of West Virginia. 

Best in Show
Each spring, the works of the five Best in Show artists of that year are framed and displayed for silent auction during the New River Birding & Nature Festival. These five artists are invited to a special dinner at the Festival, Monday evening. Best in Show artists receive 50% of the winning auction bid, the remainder is donated to the nonprofit Fayette County Education Fund, Inc. to support youth programs in Fayette County.

Awards for Exhibit Arts
Exhibit artists receive a certificate of participation honoring the acheivement for their work being selected for exhibit, a Festival t-shirt, and their original art is returned to them in the latter of fMay. Original art is not returned to the five Best in Show artists. Each artist can request a digital copy of their artwork by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2023 Gallery 
Top Five Best in Show *all 2023 auction items sold*
"Mountain Momma" by Katie Buckland, sophomore, Oak Hill High - AUCTION 1 - Best in Show.
"Call of the Belted Kingfisher" by Maren Boblits, senior, Private - AUCTION 2.
Barred Owl by Bobby Collins, sophomore, Oak Hill High - AUCTION 3.
Common Loon by Payton Mahood, sophomore, Oak Hill High - AUCTION 4.
"Dash of Scarlet" by Anessa Sullivan, freshman, Private - AUCTION 5.