Upon review and board approval, final meeting minutes are posted to the Minutes page. Following are highlights of the unapproved minutes from the March 16, 2022 CAS board meeting:
Jim Gast encourages the board to look over the proposed budget for the coming season and let Eric Seaman know if there are any suggestions for changes. Bill Mees asks to change the line item for the prairie restoration at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS) to a new prairie restoration project at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary. Nancy Bedan suggests removing the line item for FeederWatch since no classrooms have been participating. Nancy also proposes budgeting $1000 to facilitate the inclusion of speakers from outside our area at CAS presentations.
Jim Gast reports there has not yet been a response to our letter to Columbia Parks and Recreation requesting a deer hunt at the city’s Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary.
Bill Mees has submitted a grant application to the Boone Electric Community Trust for a second interpretive panel at CANS. Allison and Bill are authoring the text; we are still collecting photos of pollinators. Jim Gast will ask Donna Brunet for photos.
Bill Mees proposes converting unused fescue areas at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary to prairie habitat. It would require spraying herbicide and spreading seed, the labor of which we could accomplish ourselves. The spraying would take place this spring and summer, with the seeding happening during winter. Nancy Bedan asks whether we should also replace the toilet at Wild Haven, given that we are holding events there. Bill will talk to David Neely who might be interested in building a toilet. Nancy suggests adding the cost of the toilet construction to the budget.
Bill Mees moves that we spend up to $1000 to convert areas of fescue at Wild Haven to prairie habitat. Nancy Bedan seconds the motion. The motion carries.
Scouts are constructing small kiosks at Wild Haven. Bill Mees is coordinating with the scouts; one kiosk is already complete, with two more to be completed soon.
Bill Mees reports that additional mulch will need to applied to a section of the CANS walking trail between the parking lot and the kiosk due to muddy conditions. This expenditure would be included in the already-budgeted funds for nature area maintenance.
Bill Mees and Allison Vaughn propose placing a deer exclosure in the woods at CANS to document the level of deer browse on vegetation. Allison suggests constructing a 16’×16′ area with a 6′ high fence. The estimated cost for the required 4 cattle panels, 4 posts and baling wire is $600.
Bill Mees moves that we spend what is required to construct a deer exclosure in the woods at CANS. Allison Vaughn seconds the motion. The motion carries.
John Besser and Eric Wood outline upcoming field trips. April’s events feature a First Friday walk and visits to Lake of the Ozarks and Twin Lakes. May will include a trip to the Prairie Garden Trust, another First Friday event, the Migratory Bird Count, and a file trip to Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary. A trip to Cole Camp-area prairies may happen in June.
Nancy Bedan reviewed upcoming programs. March 23 is the warbler identification program with Dr. Sarah Morris, jointly sponsored with the Missouri Birding Society (MBS). Pete Monacell will present a shorebird program on April 20 — which is also a joint CAS/MBS program; John Besser and Eric Wood may lead a related field trip on April 23 at Eagle Bluffs. The April 20 program will be held in-person at the Twin Lakes shelter. The final event of the season is the May 22 picnic at the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary shelter.
Education and Outreach
Lottie Bushmann reports she’ll be working with a gifted students’ program at Prairie Fork on April 12. The recent First Friday program attracted 28 people, including 12 new birders.
Church Meeting Space
Jim Gast proposes offering the Unitarian Universalist Church additional funds for our use of the space this year. We paid $75 at the beginning of the 2021–2022 season in the midst of uncertainty over the degree to which public gatherings would be allowed. Given the use we have made of the space this season, Bill Mees suggests an additional $75 be sent.
Nancy Bedan moves that we pay the Unitarian Universalist Church an additional $75 for the use of their space during our 2021–2022 season. Lottie Bushmann seconds the motion. The motion carries.
The next CAS board meeting will be 6:00pm, Wednesday, April 20th at Twin Lakes Shelter.
Boone County Nature School
Bill Mees reports that the Nature School was discussed at a recent Columbia Public Schools board meeting. A $2 million bond will be issued to cover the school district’s portion of the project. The Request for Proposals to construct the main building and council house will go out in April, with construction hopefully beginning in June.