The Columbia, Missouri chapter of the Audubon Society — serving Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe & Randolph Counties

Columbia Audubon Society Board Meeting Minutes for January 15, 2014

Present: Bill Mees, Jan Mees, Howard Hinkel, John Besser, Kevin Wehner, Lottie Bushmann, Lori Hagglund, Eric Seaman, Doug Miller, Allison Vaughn, Laura Hillman, and Carolyn Terry.

The minutes from the November board meeting were reviewed. Doug moved we accept as written; Howard 2nd. Passed.

The Christmas Bird Count of 12/14/13 was discussed. Laura Hillman deferred to Allison Vaughn, who is in the process of compiling the data. She is waiting to receive one more data sheet and will e-mail everyone when the data are complete. Doug will post the results on the website.

Treasurer’s Report: Eric reported that National Audubon sent our $1200 annual payment. We will convert our CD as planned when it matures later in January and add the funds to our Columbia Community Fund account.

John asked about November expenses. Eric confirmed that $500+ represented the expenditure for landscaping at CANS and $150 for the dumpster at Wild Haven.

Carolyn questioned whether we had placed an ad in the Columbia city guide at a cost of $795. Bill clarified that we had not, but that he had arranged to have CANS added to the map in that guide at no expense. John moved we accept the treasurer’s report; Doug 2nd. Passed.

Membership Report: Doug indicated that a few more renewals have brought this year’s total up from 114 to 121. Doug has placed membership information on the CAS Facebook page as suggested by Kevin, and will do so again in March. Ways to increase the membership were discussed. Doug believes we may have reached all the birders in Columbia who are interested. A suggestion was made that we may find future members through increased involvement with public education projects and city issues.

Lisa and Lottie are in the early stages of building a youth birding program that may draw in young people and their parents. Carolyn described an afterschool program she knows of in Connecticut in which a local Audubon chapter provides focused child care. We don’t have an appropriate facility for such a program here, but the future nature school planned by Columbia Public Schools may offer a venue. Jan suggested we could ask Songbird Station to place a small notice at the store inviting new members to join.

Allison and Bill finished and submitted a grant application asking for $375 from Cornell’s Urban Birding program to help fund Band With Nature. A response was promised by January 15, but none has yet been received.

The role of CAS in issues related to local real estate development was discussed and the need for a Conservation Chair voiced. The consensus was that CAS is identified as a nature organization rather than an activist one, and our public participation in contentious issues should be limited to those involving relatively large and important habitat areas.

Bill shared a new description of CAS that he wrote for the Columbia Community Fund. Dates for Band With Nature this fall have been set for October 8, 9, and 10, and the public schools remain very enthusiastic about this program.

Education Report: Lottie sent Hog Island applications out to schools in the 6-county area served by CAS. They are due back by 2/18. Volunteers are needed to help review them.

CAS will participate in CPS’s Science Sleuth program on 3/15. We need to come up with an idea for a “hands-on” booth for that event.

Natural Areas Report: John indicated that he investigated an odor complaint in the area of Wild Haven. He found no source of odor on the property, but did discover an attempted break-in to the storage shed that has left the door jammed shut. Security concerns and the possibility of installing one or more gates were discussed. The sheriff’s office was called and will monitor “on passing.”

Bill and Cleo Kottwitz met with an Amish man regarding the old shed on the new acreage of the CANS property. He agreed to tear it down for the sum of $200, leaving us the wood to burn and the sheet metal to recycle. Laura moved that we approve this expenditure; Lottie 2nd. Passed.

Two Eagle Scout projects have been proposed for CANS: an information kiosk and more wooden benches. Bill suggested that we offer Dean Ravenscraft $100 for his mowing services at CANS last year. Laura so moved; Lottie 2nd. Passed.

Albert Children’s Area is in need of a property manager.

Field Trip Report: Kevin noted the trip planned for 1/18 to the 3M Wetlands Project, led by Bill Mees. He proposed a Great Backyard Bird Count “feeder crawl” field trip for 2/15 and secured invitations to visit several CAS members’ homes and feeders.

Jan noted that Chat articles are due by 1/26.

At the general membership meeting, 27 members heard Susan Hazelwood speak on “Impressionistic Birding.”

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