August 21, 2019

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

Present:  John Besser, Nancy Bedan, Bill Mees, Eric Wood, Greg Leonard, Eric Reuter, Lottie Bushmann, Laura Hillman, Doug Miller, Allison Vaughn

Minutes:  Bill M asked that the minutes be corrected to clarify that CAS “previously received” a five-year certificate from the Columbia Public Schools Partners in Education program. John B moved (Bill M seconded) approval of the May 15 minutes as amended. Motion approved without dissent.

Treasurer’s Report:  Eric S was not able to attend but provided the financial statements by e-mail. Bill M reported that he and Doug M have purchased a new projector and two small external speakers for CAS for $853.65. The board agreed to make CAS’ old projector and laptop available to anyone who could make good use of them.

CoMoGives:  Nancy B reported that the 2019 CoMoGives Committee (Doug M, Eric S, Bill M, Lori Hagglund, Nancy B, John B) met on Aug. 7, and she invited other board members to join the committee. The committee has set a donor goal of 90 and a dollar goal of $10,000 for the 2019 fundraiser. Nancy B also noted that Doug, Lori and Bill will attend the CoMoGives training session on Sept. 5 and that the committee has started discussing appeal messages. She asked each board member to consider asking five or ten friends to pledge $1 or 50 cents to CAS through CoMoGives for each species the member IDs during the annual Christmas Bird Count. Or, board members could pledge to contact five or ten friends during the CoMoGives drive and encourage them to support CAS with the minimum $10 donation. She noted that a permanent interpretive sign at CANS would help explain what CAS does with its CoMoGives donations.

She also reported that there will be 136 organizations participating in CoMoGives this year, up from 122 in 2018. The online “Leaderboard” will show the Top 20 organizations this year, instead of the Top 10. The 2019 CoMoGives campaign will start on Dec. 1 as usual, because “Giving Tuesday” falls on Dec. 3 this year.

Field Trips:  Eric R discussed his goals for the 2019-10 CAS field trip program, noting that he would like to offer field trips on weekdays as well as weekends to engage more leaders; continue to partner with other organizations like Greenbelt Land Trust; offer field trips led by graduate students and focused on their areas of study; and offer an educational, beginner trip each month at various local parks. He would like to post a “best practices” information sheet for field trip leaders on the CAS website. Eric asked if CAS has a liability policy that covers field trips; John B said CAS does have liability insurance, but he suggested contacting Eris S for more information.

Eric R presented plans for a “Hawk Watch Happy Hour” on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 4-6 p.m., at Pressed rooftop bar, which has an excellent balcony for birdwatching. He said that Joanna R has been working with e-Bird data to determine the best times and places to see certain birds. The data show that the third and fourth weeks in September are good times to see Broad-winged Hawks, which could be visible from the Pressed balcony. He is planning trips through mid-October now and needs leaders for Sept. 21 and 22 trips, as well as a Sept. 14 trip to Prairie Garden Trust for the regular Second Saturday Stroll event. He is also looking for people to lead weekday walks in town parks.

“Chat” Newsletter:  Eric R, reporting for new editor Joanna R, said that newsletter deadlines will remain the 25th of the month. She is planning to include a regular “sightings” feature about what birds members are seeing.

Programs:  Bill M reported on programs planned for 2019-20 (see attachment). Edge Wade is presenting the Sept. 18 program on her birding trips to Florida, India, Brazil and Panama. In October, CPS Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski will speak on Fairview Elementary’s new place-based nature curriculum and the Nature School, which will be constructed on the Water’s property. Bill said Mike has offered to host the October meeting at Fairview Elementary School. Bill asked for board input on the day and location of the annual May picnic. Board members discussed the advantages of holding the picnic at CANS and Wild Haven.

Board Vacancy: John B reported that CAS is still searching for candidates for the board seat formerly filled by Lori Turner. A note about the vacancy will be placed in the Chat again.

New Business:

  • Calendar: John B noted that efforts to publish CAS events on a Google calendar a month in advance haven’t been entirely successful. Doug M said that the website has been updated to publish events further in advance.
  • Natural Edibles Policy: Board members discussed adopting a policy about harvesting plants and edibles on Columbia Audubon properties and the possibility of posting signs to deter collectors and foragers. Bill M said, at this point, he would like to continue to deal with the problem on a case-by-case basis. Board members noted that CANS is relatively small and in a populated area and deserves protection.
  • Fairview Placed-based Education Program/CPS Nature School: Bill M reported that Fairview Elementary now has a nature playground. He suggested that CAS should start birding in the area near Three Creeks Conservation Area, where the new Nature School will be located, to develop bird lists for the property.
  • Recognition of Hog Island Attendees: Bill M noted that Mike Szydlowski posted a pix on the CPS Science Facebook page of the two teachers who received CAS scholarships to attend the Hog Island Audubon Camp this summer.
  • Red-tailed Hawk Rescue/Recognition: Edge Wade has related a story about efforts of the Columbia Country Club golf course staff to rescue a red-tailed hawk chick and suggests that CAS consider recognizing the staff involved. Bill M will draft language for a “CAS Hero Award,” and Doug M will prepare the certificate. John B will ask Jean Leonatti, CAS and Columbia Country Club member, if she has a picture of the chick.
  • Membership: Doug M plans to wrap up the fall membership drive by the end of September, far ahead of the start of the CoMoGives fundraiser.
  • Communications: Allison V has a new contact at “Vox” magazine. She plans to publicize the larger field trips and high-profile speakers in “Vox.”
  • Education: Lottie B reported that two individuals, who are not public school teachers, have expressed interest in attending Educator’s Week at the Hog Island, Me., Audubon Camp. Board members discussed the criteria for CAS scholarship applicants and whether to advertise the program to private schools as well as secondary level science teachers. Lottie and Lisa S will develop a written criteria for selection of the teachers for the CAS Hog Island Camp scholarships.

Lottie and Lisa also are planning to provide children’s programs at the Columbia Public Library this winter.

  • Nature Areas: Allison V suggested dedicating a portion of our CoMoGives contributions to repairing facilities at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary, including the shelter and bridges. John B said hosting a special event at Wild Haven, such as a joint field trip with the Greenbelt Land Trust, is being discussed. He noted that a neighbor is mowing the property now and keeping an eye on things. CAS has had problems with tent campers at both Wild Haven and CANS.

Doug M proposed that CAS identify specific projects for the funds received through CoMoGives, such as the proposed improvements at Wild Haven and interpretive signs at CANS. Lottie B noted that interpretive signs at CANS would be very helpful to Fairview Elementary teachers as they implement the school’s place-based curriculum. Allison V is available to help develop the interpretive signs.

Nancy B said that she will be unable to attend the Sept. 18 CAS Board meeting and asked for a volunteer to fill in as secretary and take minutes.

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




Columbia Audubon Society

2019-2020 Programs

September 18, 2019

Edge Wade will talk about her trips to Florida, India, Brazil and Panama

October 16, 2019

Mike Szydlowski will speak on the new place-based nature curriculum at Fairview Elementary School and the “Nature School” on the Water’s family property.

November 20, 2019

Margy Terpstra:  Why our yards are so important to the full life-cycle conservation of our native birds.

December 14, 2019

Christmas Bird Count

January 15, 2020

Sarah Kendrick:  State Ornithologist Updates

February 19, 2020

Bill Palmer will share his knowledge from four trips to Magee Marsh including tips for those who might visit the marsh.

March 18, 2020

Robin Hirsch-Jacobson, Associate Professor of Biology, William Woods University:  topic to be determined

April 15, 2020

Mike Powell, Executive Director, Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri:  Greenbelt–what we do, with data from Cornell Ornithology Lab regarding land trusts and bird conservation

May ??, 2020

Columbia Audubon Society year ends with pot-luck picnic.  Date, time and location to be determined.