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:
The question is raised about whether to send out e-mails promoting events not hosted by CAS, but that might be of interest to the CAS membership. Since this has only come up a couple of times within recent memory, and no one has complained, no action is taken.
Shelby Thomas reports that at least 100 members have already sent in their dues.
Nancy Bedan reports that the CAS-sponsored Noah Strycker talk at the Mizzou Botanic Gardens was a big success. A recording of the presentation should soon be available on YouTube.
The November 14 program (via Zoom) will feature Missouri Parks Association Executive Director Kendra Varns Wallis and MPA Vice President Shirley Wolverson addressing issues facing Missouri State Parks. Nancy will solicit questions from the board for the speakers.
Paige Witteck is scheduled to present a short version of her MRBO talk on January 19 (via Zoom.)
Hopefully, the February program will update the status of the Boone County Nature School council house, to which CAS has contributed funds.
The March and April programs might be in-person and held at CAS nature sanctuaries.
Outreach and Education
Lottie Bushmann led a bird walk at Forum Wetlands for members of the Bedford Walk community.
The Education Committee is delaying promoting the applications for the Hog Island scholarship since Hog Island has not yet posted any information about next year’s programs. A scholarship recipient from two years ago who delayed their trip is scheduled to go next summer. We were investigating additional teacher programs — some locally-based — but those options seem to have been delayed or cancelled due to COVID.
Jim Gast reports that he and Bill Mees have led a class of Moberly Area Community College biology students around the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary (CANS.)
Eric Wood is looking for field trip leaders. At this point only Lottie Bushmann is scheduled for her First Friday field trips.
We currently have 2 field trips scheduled for November; none in December; 1 in January; and 2 monthly for March, April and May.
John Besser reports a Songbird Station anniversary event coming up on October 30. People will meet up at Songbird Station, travel to a birding site, then return for coffee and snacks.
Lottie reports her initial First Friday field trip will be November 5, probably at 3M Wetlands.
Jim Gast suggests a field trip to Eagle Bluffs before waterfowl hunting season begins.
Bill Mees is still looking for Band with Nature volunteers — especially additional help for Raptor Rehab’s program in the morning.
Bill Mees shared information about the “Crepuscular Creep” — a pumpkin walk organized by Columbia Public Schools to be held at CANS. Donated pumpkins may be brought to the CANS (near the main sign) on the day before the event, or possibly the afternoon of the event.
Bill Mees picked up 32 potted plants from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery in Brazito. These will be shrubby species not currently present in the area, to be planted around margins of the trees, and to be protected from deer browse with chicken wire. (Suitable prairie rose plants weren’t available so another species was substituted.) Seed for the prairie expansion is still being collected.
Nancy Bedan asked about the prospect of a prescribed fire at CANS. Bill reports that Mike Snyder and Dave Dittmer of Columbia Parks and Recreation are making slow progress due to staffing shortages. Any burn would require the installation of firelines. John Besser mentioned we would need a Memorandum of Understanding with Columbia Parks before they conducted a burn on CANS. Bill suggests conducting the first burn wholly within the city’s Bonnie View property, to avoid that complication.
A work session has been scheduled for 2–5pm on Sunday. A scout troop may possibly help with firelines.
Dee Docken reported on recent developments with the proposed Canton Estates subdivision next to Rock Bridge Memorial state park. It seems as though the proposal has been successfully blocked at least until early next year. In the meantime there will be a joint meeting between the city and county commissioners to discuss land use planning. At the moment a majority of the city council seems to favor protecting the area.
Christmas Bird Count
Lottie Bushmann has volunteered to co-chair the Christmas Bird Count in preparation for taking over next year from Laura Hillman. This year’s count will be December 18. We’re still uncertain whether it would be feasible to conduct an in-person chili supper.
Lee Jenkins Slides
Jim Gast reports that a cabinet-full of Lee Jenkin’s slides have been offered to CAS. (Lee Jenkins donated land for the Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary.) The slides reportedly include many photographs of insects and fungi. Jim Gast will review the slides to see what’s there. Another possibility would be donating the slides to the State Historical Society, which has the facilities to digitally scan the materials and more easily make them available to interested parties.
Doug Miller has posted the newly-approved Bylaws to the website.
Boone County Nature School
A groundbreaking ceremony for Boone County Nature School will be held tomorrow. A number of CAS board members will be in attendance.
Nancy Bedan asks if we have received any concrete news about the status of the council house, to which CAS donated $30,000 nearly two years ago. Bill Mees reports that we have informally been told that designs for the council house were revised and expanded to the point that the expense became prohibitive. Bill will draft a letter from CAS to the Columbia Public School superintendent asking for an update on the project status.
Tuesday, November 16 at 6pm via Zoom.
Jim Gast reports that the Missouri Birding Society (MBS) has asked what is being done with the printed copies of their periodical The Bluebird that they send to us. Since The Bluebird is freely available online and we don’t do more than file the copies we receive, CAS will tell MBS that we do not need printed copies in the future.
Nancy Bedan thanks Eric Wood and Lottie Bushmann for their help in making the Big Sit even with Noah Strycker such a success.