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 update

So far $1235 has been donated to the Brad Jacobs Memorial Motus Tower, with the remainder being supplied by CAS. Jim Gast has sent thank-you notes to the donors and sent a note to Brad’s family. Sarah Kendricks of the Missouri Department of Conservation has reached an agreement with Bradford Farm to place the Motus tower there. It should be installed by March at the earliest, depending on the weather. There’s already an existing pole from a past research project at the site that we’ll use. There cost of the project has been updated to include solar panels and clamps.

Bill Mees inquired about a memorial plaque; Jim will ask Sarah and/or CAS will take care of it.

The tower has nearly a 15km (9m) radius, reaching to Little Dixie to the east, all the way to the 3M Wetlands and the MKT trail to the west; it will also include Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Three Creeks, the Mark Twain and Ashland wildlife areas, and the forthcoming Boone County Nature School. Its coverage is just short of Wild Haven and the Albert Childrens Area.

John Besser asked how the tower data will be reported. Jim said the data is available online.

Committee Reports


Nature Areas

Bill Mees reports that the grant application to fund CANS interpretative signage has has been turned into the Boone Electric Community Trust. The deadline is December 1. We likely won’t receive an answer for a couple of months. Of the two required bids, the lowest was $1056 for a 2’×3′ laminated sign including the stand.

In the previous week Boone Electric delivered 7 used utility poles to Wild Haven. Former CAS board member Lori Turner works for Boone Electric and said that additional used utility poles were available for our use upon request. A “6900 O’Rear” address sign has been installed along the road at Wild Haven. Thanks to David Neely, the gate was improved so that it’s mounted on sturdier poles, and now swings in both directions. David also relocated the old Wild Haven sign that had been hanging over the gate to the shelter to protect it from further weather damage.

Bill suggested using utility poles to set up a perimeter for a small parking lot. Discussion ensued about the possible placement of such a lot: either close within the existing entrance to the shelter, or over by the old workshop. Without an immediate consensus for the location, John Besser suggested that we schedule a board visit to the site to investigate possible locations.

A proposal was submitted to the board to treat all of the invasive autumn olive at Wild Haven for $5500, including required materials. While there was agreement that the autumn olive has become a serious problem, it wasn’t as clear whether all of the autumn olive needed to be treated at once versus incremental removal; and whether some of the work couldn’t be accomplished by volunteers. During the upcoming site visit to Wild Haven, the board will also assess the autumn olive situation. Also, we’re already at the end of the summer–fall window for herbicide application, so we have until next summer to reach a final decision.

Outreach and Education

Lottie Bushmann reports that 5 applications for 2021 Hog Island scholarship have been received, though not all are complete. The deadline is December 1. At the same time, the national Audubon Society has not yet made a decision about what their 2021 Hog Island season is going to look like, so we don’t know if they will have space for the likely 5 teachers we would be sending. Audubon will make this decision at the end of November or in early December.

Other Business

Columbia Public Schools science coordinator Mike Szydlowski is developing a program to encourage teachers to engage in placed-based teaching. Part of that is developing a set of stickers to designate that a teacher and their class have engaged in specific place-based learning projects. Mike asked if CAS would like to be a part of this program; that is, to come up with curriculum or activities related to our mission that teachers and their students could use as an educational curriculum unit. Suggestions included building birdhouses or birdfeeders, identifying a certain number of birds, getting students to participate in Great Backyard bird count, etc. Lottie and Lisa Schenker will see if they can come up with something.