February 20, 2019

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

Present:  John Besser, Greg Leonard, Eric Wood, Eric Seaman, Bill Mees, Doug Miller, Lori Turner, Allison Vaughn, Nancy Bedan

Minutes:  Bill M moved (Doug M seconded) approval of the Jan. 16 minutes. Motion approved without dissent.

Treasurer’s Report:  Eric S reported that CAS has received two donations in memory of Phil Lewis and acknowledgments have been sent to the donors and Mr. Lewis’ son. Bill M pointed out that the report shows CAS has received only $945 in local membership dues for the year to-date, compared to $3,000 budgeted. Doug M said about 30 people haven’t renewed yet, and he plans to send another reminder. Also, the CAS PayPal account contains about $400 from membership dues, which are not reflected in the current treasurer’s report. Bill M moved (Eric W seconded) approval of the treasurer’s report. Motion approved without dissent.

Nancy B reported that CAS received a second-place Challenge Grant of $500 for finishing the 2018 CoMoGives community fund drive with the “second highest amount raised by an organization with a budget of $25,000 or less.” CAS also received an additional donation for the CoMoGives drive in January. With those funds and the grant, CAS completed the 2018 CoMoGives drive with a total of 81 donors and $9,975 raised. The Community Foundation of Mid-Missouri is mailing checks to participating organizations this week.

CAS 60th Anniversary Celebration:  Lori T reported that the anniversary committee’s next meeting is March 14. Save-the-date cards for the April 26 reception have been mailed and e-mailed to members and friends of Columbia Audubon. All major arrangements for the events have been completed, and committee/board members are working on a photo presentation, press coverage, additional sponsors, favors for guests, additional beverage donations, table decorations, nametags, etc.

Update on Conservation Federation Membership: Bill M reported that the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) asks organizations that join CFM to provide their membership lists, which are used to distribute three CFM electronic publications (newsletter, magazine, legislative action bulletin). He noted that CAS policy prohibits sharing our membership list. Board members suggested that CAS could provide links to the CFM publications on our website and in the Chat newsletter. CAS also could notify members that if they would like to receive the publications directly from CFM, they can opt to provide CFM with their e-mail addresses. Bill will discuss this plan with CFM administrators. The CFM board could consider approval of the CAS membership application at a March 5 meeting.

Youth Volunteer Corps:  Bill M reported that Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) participants will be available again this summer to help with CAS projects. The goal of the program is to give youth, ages 11-18, an opportunity to address community needs and develop leadership skills and a commitment to service. Corps volunteers have helped with cleanup projects at CANS in the past. John B suggested contacting the YVC when we identify a project(s) they could help with.

Possible Land Donation:  John B reported that he was contacted by an individual who owns a 47-acre tract of land north of Columbia, near the Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area. The person has no heirs but would like to be sure the land is protected in the future. John told the landowner that CAS representatives would meet with her this spring to look at the land, which has pasture and forest on one side and strip-mine lakes on the other, and discuss the possible donation. John noted that the city owns a large 400-acre tract nearby.

 Web Page:  Doug M reported that he has added a page to the CAS website with information for potential donors. Also, he has received our first funds ($16) since registering CAS with the AmazonSmile Foundation. The foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to a charitable organization designated by the buyer.

Chat:  John B said that Eric R would like to write an article about tonight’s program for the Chat. John will ask our speaker, Dr. Charles Nilon, if he can provide a copy of his PowerPoint presentation to Eric R.

Communications: Allison V reported that she has been posting notifications of field trips and meetings to Vox magazine and the Missourian, and plans to continue doing that.

Field Trips:  Eric W reviewed the upcoming CAS field trips through April.

Nature Areas:  Bill M said considerable clean-up work is needed at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary after the heavy snowfall in January. A lot of large, hanging, dead limbs will need to be removed. He and John B have done some of the work. Bill also reported that Cleo Kottwitz has volunteered to brush-hog the area on west side of the creek at CANS in preparation for prairie restoration work.

Bill noted that the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is offering a Master Pollinator Steward Program this spring. The series of eight classes will meet from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays, beginning March 12, at the Moss Building at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Area, 1905 Hillcrest Drive. A five-part series of MU publications was prepared for the course. More information is available on the Osher website:

Hospitality: Lori T has volunteered to bring refreshments for the March 20 meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.