January 16, 2019

President John Besser called the meeting to order at 6 p.m.

Present:  John Besser, Bill Mees, Laura Hillman, Greg Leonard, Allison Vaughn, Doug Miller, Lottie Bushmann, Eric Wood, Nancy Bedan, and Jan Mees, chair of the CAS 60th Anniversary Committee

Minutes: Bill M moved (Eric W seconded) approval of the Nov. 14 minutes. Motion approved without dissent.

Treasurer’s ReportBill M moved (Doug M seconded) approval. Motion approved without dissent.

Christmas Bird Count:  Allison V reported that the tally has been completed, and a summary report was prepared for the January Chat newsletter.

CoMoGives Report:  Nancy B reported that Columbia Audubon received $9,405 during the 2018 CoMoGives fundraiser for area nonprofit organizations, including $9,130 in online gifts and $275 in checks from off-line contributors. A total of 80 individuals contributed to CAS, and 14 gifts were made in honor or memory of someone. CAS exceeded its dollar goal of $8,000, but fell short of its goal of 85 donors. Nancy thanked the CoMoGives Committee members Doug Miller, Bill Mees, Lori Hagglund, and Eric Seaman. Board members discussed the timing of the annual membership renewal notices and the end-of-year CoMoGives appeals.

CAS 60th Anniversary Celebration:  Jan Mees provided an update on plans for Columbia Audubon’s 60th Anniversary celebration, which will begin with a reception on Friday, April 26, followed by additional events on Saturday, April 27. The Friday reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Boone County History and Culture Center. The committee is now planning for 100, instead of 75, guests at that event. Committee representatives have visited the center and discussed event plans with Executive Director Chris Campbell. Committee member Judy Lincoln is arranging for falconers to bring their birds and visit with guests during the reception; CAS will need to rent an additional outside, covered area for this, which ups the facility cost to $400. Jan is working with Bleu Catering to arrange food for the event. Committee members also are checking into the cost of liquor liability insurance for the reception.

Jan is working with the Columbia Public Library to coordinate a presentation by Brian Fox Ellis, a John James Audubon storyteller and enactor, on Saturday afternoon; the library is sharing the cost of his presentation and paying for his lodging. On Saturday morning, Fox will lead a bird walk at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and give a presentation on “Audubon’s Birds” at the Fairview School media center.

The committee has secured several event and food sponsors in addition to the library—including Goldcrest Distributing-Songbird Station, Orscheln Foundation, and Logboat Brewing—and is looking for more. There will be printing and postage costs for “save-the-date” cards, invitations and programs. Jan noted that several Audubon members are sifting through old chapter records to develop a brief program on highlights from CAS’ 60-year history for presentation during the Friday reception.

Contribution to Loess Bluffs Project: Board members reviewed a request for Columbia Audubon to become a supporting partner in a major wetland improvement project at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Missouri. Members had indicated their interest in supporting the project with a $250 contribution, made through the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI), to help the refuge meet requirements for matching funds for a federal grant. Bill M recommended making the donation now rather than waiting to see if matching-fund requirements are met; Laura H suggested noting that our gift is from a project partner. John B and Bill M will determine how to route the donation. Laura H moved that Columbia Audubon make the agreed upon $250 donation immediately (Lottie B seconded). Motion approved without dissent.

Conservation Federation Membership:  Bill M reported that most non-governmental organizations on the MoBCI steering committee also belong to the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM). The CFM membership fee is a $50 flat rate for the organization and an additional $1 per dues-paying members; Bill estimated it would cost $170 for CAS to join CFM. John B noted that CAS currently doesn’t have a conservation chair and joining CFM would give the chapter some representation in the state legislative process. It was also noted that CFM supports bird conservation and offers grants to member organizations. Laura H moved that Columbia Audubon join the Conservation Federation of Missouri (Eric W seconded). Motion approved without dissent. John B will prepare an article for the Chat about the board’s decision to join CFM.

Web Page, Membership, E-mail:  Doug M has registered Columbia Audubon with the AmazonSmile Foundation, which donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to a charitable organization designated by the buyer. Doug will also set up a donations page on the CAS website, so that people can donate to CAS without joining the organization. Donors will be able to make gifts in honor or memory of someone.

CHAT:  John B will invite Brad Jacobs to write an article about his “big year” of birding for the Chat.

Communications/Outreach:  Board members discussed opportunities for communicating with CAS members about board actions and organization programs and events. John B will make a list of items to be shared with members at monthly meetings, including plans for the 60th anniversary celebration and upcoming field trips.

Education:  Lottie B said that she and Lisa Schenker still need to discuss the best way to formalize the process of awarding grants to young birders who want to attend bird and nature-education programs. She said a fifth-grade teacher has applied for the CAS grant to attend the weeklong educator’s program at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine. Information about the grant currently is sent only to elementary teachers, but Lottie believes that high school biology teachers would also be interested in the Hog Island program. The “Feathers” program for children, which Lottie and Lisa were scheduled to present on Jan. 13 at the Columbia Public Library, was cancelled because of weather but has been rescheduled for Feb. 10. They will present a second children’s program on migration on March 10.

Field Trips: Eric W reported that he will lead a field trip on Feb. 9 to the Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge, in conjunction with St. Louis Audubon. CAS’ Feeder Crawl, part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, is scheduled for Feb. 16-18 but needs a coordinator. John B plans to lead a field trip later in February.

Nature Areas: Bill M reported that CANS is in good shape for beginning the next phase of the prairie restoration. He is working with Allison V to prepare another MoBCI grant application, but he cautioned that funds may not be available. Bill said he hopes CAS will proceed with the restoration with or without the grant. For this phase of the project, CAS is partnering with Columbia Public Schools and will have students collect and spread seed. Bill also is asking Native Plant Society members to work with students to collect seeds. He discussed the spraying schedule to kill the existing fescue.

Bill said a number of trees are down at CANS as a result of the recent heavy snow; he will need help clearing them. Bill asked that CAS send a donation of $150 to Dean Ravenscraft for gas purchases; Dean mows the paths at CANS as a volunteer. Lottie B moved approval of sending $150 to Dean Ravenscraft to cover the cost of gas (John B seconded). Motion approved without dissent.

John B reported that the Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary neighbor is doing a good job of mowing parts of the property. He said the maintenance building still needs a lock, but that the gates are more secure now.

Hospitality:  Allison V and Doug M volunteered to bring refreshments for the Feb. 20 meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.