July 15, 2020

NOTE: Meeting conducted online via Zoom.

Present: Douglas Miller, Allison Vaughn, Jim Gast, Greg Leonard, Lottie Bushmann, Eric Wood, Nancy Bedan, John Besser, Bill Mees, Jean Neely, Eric Seaman.

President Jim Gast called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.


Jim corrected the confirmed price of a Motus tower from $4400 to $4000.

Nancy moved we approve the minutes with that correction; Jean seconded; the motion carries

Audit Committee

Members of the Audit Committee will be Greg Leonard, Jean Leonatti and Eric Seaman

John moves we approve the appointment of Greg Leonard, Jean Leonatti and Eric Seaman to the Audit Committee; Lottie seconds; the motion carries

Conservation Chair

Brooke Widmar responded to Jim’s e-mail looking for a Conservation chair. She is the Director of Administrative Operations of the Missouri Prairie Foundation and the representative for the MPF on the Steering Committee of the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative.

Allison moves to accept Brooke as incoming Conservation Chair; Nancy seconds; the motion carries.

Treasurer’s Report

Bill had a question about an apparent discrepancy in the prairie restoration fund amounts. Eric S. has noted the discrepancy and will issue a correction.

Nature Areas

Bill reports that John and Roxie Campbell are planning a Wild Haven work day (date TBD) to remove invasives and clear trails; volunteers with chainsaws are being sought to remove downed trees that are blocking trails. Recently, Bill and David Neely shored up the sagging roof of the Wild Haven picnic shelter. We’re hoping that these improvements will encourage more visitation.

Program Committee

Nancy has composed a draft schedule of programming. Given the Unitarian Church is not hosting events until further notices, we’ll look at other options including outside and/or socially-distanced events, as well as online meetings or seminars.

  • The Twin Lakes shelter has been reserved for a September picnic and program by Pete Montacell that will cover eBird.
  • The October meeting will be an open house at the Nature School site for members to see the property and get an overview of the project. People could safely walk the trails in small, socially-distanced groups.
  • In November, Mike Powell present an online program (originally scheduled for April) about the Greenbelt Land Trust.
  • January may feature a photography program (perhaps using photos submitted by members,) or a video presentation from Tim Barksdale.
  • February would be a presentation about grassland birds and prairie fragments by Carole David of the Missouri Prairie Foundation or Zeb Yoko of the Missouri Bird Observatory.
  • Finally, in March Sarah Kendrick will conduct a bird identification workshop, format and details TBD.

Given the possibility of multiple, lengthy online presentations programs, CAS will pay for a Zoom account with an appropriate level of service.

Education Committee

Lottie reports that Songbird Station would like to partner on presentations again when it’s safe and appropriate to do so: possibly online programs for the library.

The Hog island Application has been finalized and will be made available to the teachers. Doug requested a copy of the scholarship information and application materials to post on the website


Allison is collecting content for the September Chat, including a story about the 3M wetlands area, submissions from frequent Facebook posters, and a remembrance of Brad Jacobs with news about the memorial Motus Tower that CAS is funding.

Field Trips

No meeting yet for the Field Trip committee to figure out a safe, feasible plan to resume programs. Ideas include: breaking up into smaller groups; more predictably scheduled outings; and designated trips for beginning birders.


Renewal reminders have gone out. We ended the 2019–2020 season at about 130 local members.

Band with Nature

The annual field trip for Columbia second graders to CANS has been cancelled for the 2020–2021 school year, due to COVID-19.

Lights Out Campaign

The St. Louis and Kansas City Audubon chapters are participating in a program to raise awareness of the connection between artificial lighting and bird strikes. They have asked if we are participating. Jim thinks this sounds like a good project for incoming Conservation chair Brooke Widmer to look into.

Other Business

  • Bill requested that a link to the MoBCI newsletter be shared to CAS members, given many stories of interest, including an article about the upcoming Nature School, a remembrance of Brad Jacobs, and information about the Motus tower program.
  • Bill reports that another person has contacted CAS to see if we’re interested in purchasing land to be protected as habitat. It’s 200 acres along a half-mile of Hinkson Creek, north of town.

Meeting Adjourned

At 7:18pm the meeting was adjourned.