COLUMBIA AUDUBON SOCIETY
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
August 29, 2018
President John Besser called the meeting to order at 6 p.m.
Present: John Besser, Bill Mees, Lottie Bushmann, Lori Turner, Eric Seaman, Eric Reuter, Eric Wood, Laura Hillman, Nancy Bedan
Minutes: Bill Mees moved (Eric Wood seconded) approval of the April 18, 2018, minutes. Motion approved without dissent.
Treasurer’s Report: Bill M asked if CAS intends to donate $1,000 to Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) again this year. John B suggested that CAS continue to offer this donation. Bill will discuss the donation with MRBO representatives during the Band with Nature field trip. Eric S noted that CAS donates to both MRBO ($200 per day) and Raptor Rehabilitation ($150 per day) for their programs at Band with Nature. Bill M moved (John B seconded) approval of the treasurer’s report. Motion approved without dissent.
John B noted that the insurance payment for the tractor and mower stolen at Wild Haven is still in the budget. He is weighing options for replacement of the equipment and secure storage.
CoMoGives Report: Nancy B reported that the CAS 2018 CoMoGives Committee held its first meeting Aug. 22. The committee set a donor goal of 85 and a dollar goal of $8,000 ($5,000 budgeted). Committee members are identifying organizations that have ties to CAS and might be willing to encourage support of CAS and drafting e-mail appeal messages for review in October. She asked board members and committee chairs to—
Nancy also described new aspects of the 2018 CoMoGives drive: 1) donors 70.5+ with IRAs can give all or part of their required minimum distribution to CoMoGives organizations ($500 minimum), 2) the CoMoGives web site will open for business on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, before closing and reopening on Dec. 1, 3) sub-groups can raise funds for CAS, and 4) people can make support pledges that will appear on our CoMoGives page.
Program Schedule for 2018-19: Bill M reported on programs for the year. The November meeting will be on the 14th to avoid meeting the day before Thanksgiving. Laura H asked if the church is available on the 14th; John B will check. The Christmas Count and Dinner will be Dec. 15; Eric S will check to be sure the Fairview Community of Christ Church is reserved. Eric and Joanna R will lead a discussion of the book “Welcome to Subirdia” by John Marzluff on Jan. 16 at the Columbia Library; Bill noted that the Friends Room has been reserved for the presentation, a conference room has been reserved for the board meeting, and we should make sure membership brochures are available. Carl Gerhardt is scheduled to present in March but may move to April. At this point April 17 is open, and Bill is considering a number of possible presenters. The year-end picnic is scheduled for Sunday, May 19.
Bill described a possible special event, tentatively scheduled for April 26, 2019, which would celebrate CAS’s 60th Anniversary (2018), J.J. Audubon’s birthday, and National Audubon Day. He said that Jan Mees has offered to head up a planning committee. John B moved (Lottie B seconded) to accept Jan’s offer to form a committee to present ideas to the board. Motion approved without dissent. (Note: The April 26 date may conflict with the Audubon Society of Missouri’s spring meeting.)
Board Meeting Schedule: John B said the board will continue to meet on third Wednesdays. He will reserve the Unitarian Church for those days and make our $350 donation to the church. Board meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and programs at 7 p.m. The next board meeting will be Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Church.
Doug M will check into the possibility of setting up a board-member mailing list, which can be accessed on the web site. Nancy B circulated a draft, hard-copy board roster for review.
Fall Picnic: Plans for the fall picnic were discussed. The picnic will be held Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary shelter, followed by bird walks. Bill M will provide pulled pork and turkey, and members will be asked to bring side dishes and desserts as well as tableware. Eric R suggested trying to make the event reflect Audubon’s environmental focus; Allison suggested promoting the picnic as a “green event.”
Field Trips: Eric W reported that only three dates are still open for the fall—Sept. 22, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. John B offered to lead a field trip on Sept. 22, location to be determined. Lottie B noted that she and Lisa Schenker are planning some Sunday walks for families and children. Eric W reported that CAS needs to get a special use permit from Eagle Bluffs for events that involve 10 or more people.
Band with Nature: Bill M reported that Band with Nature will be held Oct 8, 10 and 12. MRBO and Raptor Rehab are booked; portable toilets are ordered; e-mails have been sent to previous volunteers. Doug M suggested trying to get television coverage of the event; Allison will send event information to local stations.
Membership: Doug M said renewal notices will go out this weekend. He is changing the PayPal system to make it more “user friendly.” He will test the system on board members.
Web Page: John B proposed using a Google calendar as a planning tool for board members and committee chairs and asked if the calendar could be accessed from the web site. Doug M said that is possible. The group discussed the advantages and disadvantages of having a “month-view” Google calendar in addition to the “linear” calendar already available on the web site. Doug M will set up a link between the website and the Google calendar. Eric R said we will need to make sure the information is correct in both calendars.
Chat: Eric R reported that he is including a list of board members and committee chairs in The Chat and wants to include a sentence or two about each person. Send those very brief introductions to him by Friday afternoon. He also asked board members to send requests for content. He will miss one issue of The Chat later this year and needs someone to fill in.
Communications: Allison noted that she refers all requests for interviews to John B.
Outreach-Education: Lottie B reported a suggestion that CAS pay for a young birder to attend the ASM fall meeting. Lottie B will contact Shelby Thomas to see if she is interested in attending. Eric S moved (Bill M seconded) to pay the $50 registration fee for Shelby Thomas to attend the ASM meeting, assuming she is interested. Motion approved without dissent.
Lottie also reported that two teachers expressed interest in attending the recent MRBO Flying Wild workshop, and the CAS board had agreed to pay their registration fees. She will follow up to see if the teachers actually attended. Kerry Franz Quinn, Grant Elementary teacher, attended the Hog Island camp for teachers and had an inspiring experience. Lottie and Lisa are planning a couple of bird walks for families and two programs in January and February at the Columbia Library.
Eric R reported that 47 people attended the bird-song program that he and Joanna presented at the Columbia Library on July 12, and 21 people participated in the follow-up field trip on Aug. 9. Burroughs Audubon has asked the Reuters to give the program in Kansas City.
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MOBCI): CAS representative Bill M reported on MoBCI annual conference. MoBCI will partner with the Missouri Department of Conservation education and outreach program to inform educators about the Youth Habitat Enhancement Program (YHEP), established by Jerry Wade; the program offers grants to programs that connect youth to habitat restoration.
Nature Areas: John B plans to schedule a work day to clean out the workshop at Wild Haven. Bill M reported that the city has posted a “pick-up after your dog” sign at CANS; has installed a new, corrected sign for the CAS portion of the Adopt-A-Trail program; and plans to install two “wayfinding” signs pointing to Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. The city also suggested that CAS install a bike rack at CANS and can provide one free of charge. John B moved (Eric W seconded) to accept the city’s bike rack offer. Motion approved without dissent.
Bill reported that CAS has spent $2,200 on cedar and honey locust removal at CANS. He also said pawpaw trees were “taking over” in some places in CANS, and he would like to have a forester evaluate the situation. John B suggested revisiting the topic after further research.
Hospitality: John B reported that Lori Hagglund is not available to serve as hospitality chair. He suggested not having a formal position with board members handling hospitality duty as needed.
Request for Night-Science Program at CANS: Grant Elementary teacher Kerry Franz Quinn, who attended the Hog Island camp, would like to host a night-science exploration program at CANS, preferably during Band with Nature. Board members voiced support of Kerry’s proposal.
CAS Role in Hinkson Woods Proposal: John B reported on his discussion with John Mehuys, Columbia Public Works Department. CAS is being asked to partner with the city in a $50,000 grant request for funds to enhance riparian areas at Hinkson Woods Conservation Area and increase education about riparian habitat. John B said CAS is just being asked to sign on as a partner, similar to the 3M Wetlands project. No action is required at this point, and more information about the proposal will be available in September.
CAS Support of Loess Bluffs Project: Laura H reported that Edge Wade would like for CAS to consider supporting a grant request for a major wetlands restoration project at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (formerly Squaw Creek). Allison V said CAS needs more information about the multi-year project.
Fifth-grade Science Trip: Bill M reported that CPS Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski is starting a science trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park for fifth graders. Two groups of 125 will make the trip this fall (Oct. 26-29 and Nov. 16-19), leaving on Thursday and returning on Monday. The trip will cost $415 per student. Bill requested that CAS provide scholarships for two students to attend. Laura H moved (John B seconded) approval of spending $830 to fund two scholarships. Motion approved without dissent.
Elm Street Tunnel Mural: Lottie B encouraged board members to check out the newly completed mural on the MKT Elm Street tunnel. CAS, represented by Lottie B and Lori H, was a primary partner in developing the art installation. The project is part of the city’s Flat Branch Park Underpass Wall Mural Project. The Elm Street mural is the third project completed by students working with the Resident Arts organization. The Elm Street mural theme is “Nature is Our Shared Identity,” and the focus is on environmental stewardship in Columbia.
CANS-Bonnie View Prairie Articles: Bill M reported that the new edition of the Columbia “Citizen’s Handbook” features an article on CANS, and the city’s current “Leisure Times” booklet features the prairie at Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary.