COLUMBIA AUDUBON SOCIETY
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
September 15, 2020

NOTE: Meeting conducted online via Zoom.

Present: Allison Vaughn, Doug Miller, Eric Seaman, John Besser, Brooke Widmar, Nancy Bedan, Bill Mees, Jim Gast, Eric Wood, Lottie Bushmann, Jean Neely

Time called to order: 6:04pm

Approve Minutes of the August Meeting

Bill Mees moves approval of the minutes. Nancy Bedan seconds the motion. The motion carries.

Treasurer’s Report

Question from Bill Mees: did Brad Jacobs donate $500 to us for the Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary? Bill would like to use those funds for projects there if possible. Nancy believes the donation was only for Wild Haven education programs; she’ll check.

Eric Seaman asks whether money for the Motus tower has already been seen to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation? Jim Gast answers yes.

John Besser would like to go ahead and start the process of erecting our Motus tower before we wait for all possible donations to arrive. Jim agrees.

Jim asks about an “insurance settlement” line item on the treasurer’s report. Eric explains that this was for the riding lawnmower stolen from the Wild Haven shed; the amount is still sitting there since he haven’t yet replaced the mower.

Audit Committee Report

The Audit Committee has met. Greg Leonard is typing up the minutes.

Approval of Shelby Thomas as Membership Chair

Bill Mees moves we accept Shelby Thomas as Membership Committee Chair; Doug Miller seconds. The motion carries.

Motus tower update

Jim Gast received an email from Sarah Kendrick informing us that all of towers locations along US Route 36 have been filled. We’re considering other locations for the Brad Jacobs memorial tower — possibly near Macon or at Bradford Farm. There’s support on the board for a Bradford Farm location considering the proximity to Columbia and because of Brad’s frequent birding there. Jim Gast has asked Brad’s family if they have any preferences, but they have not yet responded. If we were interested in Bradford Farm we would need to coordinate with the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, which operates the farm. While John Besser would prefer a location with possibly higher scientific value, for the moment we’ll let Sarah know that we’re currently looking at Bradford Farm.

Songbird Station Big Day

Jim Gast reports Songbird Station is proposing to donate $1 to CAS for every 20lb bag of birdseed they sell on the Big Day, October 17. They’re encouraging people to bring and share their checklists for the day. There will also offer specials on field guides and optics. Jim will write up something to put into the Chat and/or share on Facebook.


Committee Reports

Conservation

Brooke Widmar reviewed the upcoming Lights Out bird strike awareness event at the St. Louis arch. We’ll send an e-mail reminder to the membership closer to the event. She also talked about the Conservation Federation of Missouri Action Center which tracks state and national legislative issues. CFM sent out a questionnaire to politicians asking about their voting positions on conservation topics, as well as about their personal interests in order to develop further connections.

Bill Mees noted the 2020 Conservation Partner round table is coming up October 13-14. Teddy Roosevelt’s great-great-grandson will be the plenary speaker on the 13th; other speakers include Susan Flader; also the CEO of the National Conservation Federation. Allison will place that information into the October Chat. Allison mentions that Brooke Widmar will represent CAS (as well as the Missouri Prairie Foundation) at the meeting.

Nature Areas

Bill Mees reports that more work has taken place at the Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary on the “White” Trail. David Neely built two benches using salvaged boards from the old bridge, so it cost us nothing except for his time and the screws. John Besser ordered a dumpster which will be used to empty out the storage building. It has a roof, walls and a concrete floor, so it may be useful for CAS storage needs in the future. A work session has been scheduled for an upcoming weekend.

Bill also reports that he’s working on the Boone Electric Community Trust grant application for interpretive signage at CANS. Eric Seaman has provided the requested financial info; Allison Vaughn and Roxie Campbell have forwarded potent sign vendors. The application deadline is in December.

Herbicide will be applied to the CANS prairie expansion unit this month or in October, depending on the weather.

Outreach and Education

Lottie reports that the Hog Island teacher application has been refined; Lisa Schenker’s son has adapted the form to be type-in rather than write-in. The application deadline is in early December.

Lottie (representing CAS, and our partnership with the Columbia Public School system) volunteered to mend well-handled stuffed animals that are used in a district-wide first-grade science education program.

Field Trips

John Besser is looking to organize a Big Sit activity on the weekend of the October 10th/11th at Eagle Bluffs. There will be a sign-up sheet so people can be spread out over the course of the day; this will require a special use permit from Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area.

Lottie confirms the September 26 joint CAS/Missouri Birding Society field trip at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

Programs

Nancy Bedan is preparing for the Zoom presentation with Pete Monacell. This will be a test to see how many people participate, how difficult the web meeting process proves to be, and how people feel about this kind of program format. There’s been a successful test of the broadcast. The Columbia Parks and Recreation department has provided CAS with a credit for the Twin Lakes shelter reservation that we canceled due to COVID concerns.

Nancy will scout out the Boone County Nature School site in preparation for the October event there. Bill Mees reports that the Missouri Department of Conservation is already building trails at the Nature School site, rehabilitating the agricultural fields, and may have started to clear off the construction sites. There hasn’t been any confirmation that construction has started, though. Nancy expects that the Nature School event will probably involve self-guided tours on the trails. Jim Gast says that Andrew Kinslow has already been assembling bird lists for the Nature School site as a baseline for later observations. Nancy reports that Columbia Public Schools science coordinator Mike Szydlowski may ask Andrew Kinslow to be present to talk about birds while Mike talks about the construction.

Membership

Doug Miller reports that dues reminders have gone out to the membership; 2/3 of the dues have been renewed so far. More and more people seem to be renewing online, which saves us time on money on printing/postage.

Communications

Allison has sent out first Chat of the season.

CoMoGives Campaign

Bill Mees (on behalf of CoMoGives committee chair Jan Mees) reports that content for the donor postcard and subsequent messaging is being finalized. Members are being solicited for bluebird photos and/or testimonials that will support our CoMoGives drive. The CAS page on the CoMoGives website is already available.


October Board meeting

Jim Gast scheduled the next Zoom meeting for 6pm on October 14. On occasions when our monthly CAS program is held online, we may decide to schedule the board meeting for the prior evening.

Other Business

Bill Mees mentions that CAS can be a beneficiary of Amazon Smile donations, and that we should promote this fact to the membership. Jim Gast says he will mention it in the Chat.

Time adjourned:

At 7:06pm the meeting was adjourned.