by Douglas Miller

Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the last meeting:

Motus Tower

  • The Missouri Department of Conservation sign shop will manufacture the memorial plaque for the Brad Jacobs Memorial Motus Tower with funding from the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.

Nature Areas

  • In appreciation for the mowing efforts of Dean Ravenscraft and Riley Nichols at our nature areas, the board approved gift cards to help with their gas expenses.
  • During a recent excursion to Wild Haven, board members voted to approve outlining a small, unpaved parking area near the existing gate closest to the picnic shelter. This vote was reaffirmed.
  • Similarly, during the same excursion board members voted to approve $2000 to remove invasive Autumn olive within a designated area at Wild Haven. This vote was also reaffirmed.
  • Since the Wild Haven excursion, the Autumn olive removal work was completed in the designated area for $1,375, leaving an unspent amount of $625. The board approved spending the remaining amount on additional invasives removal.
  • Jean and David Neely re-sealed and re-hung the old Wild Haven sign underneath the front of the picnic shelter.

Outreach and Education

  • The deadline for the Hog Island scholarships was December 1st. There were seven applicants. The Education Committee awarded two scholarships: to Chris Laine of Madison and Tracy Fuller of Monroe City. An alternate was chosen given the uncertainty of any long-term plans during the COVID crisis. The remaining applicants were encouraged to re-apply next year. Lottie Bushmann will contact the Hog Island program to see if they can accommodate the 3 recipients postponed from last year as well as the 2 new recipients.
  • The Placed-Based Education sticker representing Columbia Audubon was presented for our review. This is a Columbia Public Schools (CPS) program that encourages teachers to incorporate place-based curriculum into their classrooms. CPS has designed a curriculum unit specific to Columbia Audubon Society, completion of which the proposed sticker is an award.


  • Nancy Bedan reports the Missouri River Bird Observatory will present a program on grassland birds for the January program. Filmmaker Tim Barksdale of Birdman Productions will present the February program. The Columbia Public Library will co-sponsor our March webinar with Sarah Kendrick, which is a program for beginning/intermediate birders who want to improve their skills during the pandemic. April will mostly likely be Ethan Duke presenting a bird song acoustics workshop (hopefully with a focus on warblers). We hope to hold the May picnic at Wild Haven.

CoMoGives Campaign

  • Jim Gast and Jan Mees appeared on radio station KFRU for 15 minutes to promote the ongoing CoMoGives fundraiser in which Columbia Audubon Society is participating. At the time of the broadcast, 59 donors had donated $5,990. (As of the conclusion of the fundraiser, CAS raised $12,350 from 109 donors)


  • Edge Wade, author of the 2007 version of the CAS by-laws, spoke with other Audubon chapters around the state and sent a draft of proposed revisions to the By-laws Committee, which includes Eric Seaman, Bill Mees and Jim Gast. The Committee will meet in late January to assemble a new draft which will be submitted to the board for review. The final board-reviewed version will be submitted to the membership for their approval.

Memorial for Garland Russell

  • The board would like to properly memorialize Garland Russell for his strong advocacy of conservation and generosity towards CAS. We will spend the next month thinking of how we might honor his memory; suggestions may be sent to Jim Gast to review at the next meeting.