March 20, 2019

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

Present:  John Besser, Nancy Bedan, Lottie Bushmann, Laura Hillman, Greg Leonard, Bill Mees, Eric Seaman, Lori Turner, Eric Wood

Minutes:  Bill M moved (Greg L seconded) approval of the Feb. 20 minutes. Motion approved without dissent.

Treasurer’s report:  Bill M moved (Eric W seconded) approval of the treasurer’s report. Motion approved without dissent.

Board members discussed the proposed budget for 2019-20 as presented by Treasurer Eric S. Bill M asked if CAS should increase the amount budgeted for grants and scholarships for students and if $500 would be enough for the 2019 CoMoGives fund drive. He suggested subtracting the amount spent on prairie restoration this year to-date ($2,200) from the $4,992 budgeted for 2018-19, and including the balance ($2,792) in the proposed budget for 2019-20. Bill M noted that current revenue from membership dues barely covers administrative and office expenses. John B said that the picnic shelter at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary needs to be repaired and that it would be appropriate to use the tractor insurance money for that project.

CAS 60th Anniversary:  Lottie B and Nancy B provided an update from the 60th Anniversary Committee’s March 14 meeting. Board members discussed the program for the April 26 reception and the events scheduled for April 27.

Request for Young Birder Scholarships: Lottie B presented a request received from the Mosteller family for scholarships for their son and daughter to attend the American Birding Association’s Camp Avocet. (Camp Avocet is an 8-day camp for young birders ages 13-18. The 2019 camp will be held in July at the University of Delaware’s Virden Center, Lewes, DE. Workshops and field trips are led by ABA staff and guest instructors.) Board members reviewed the applicants’ essays explaining why they would like to attend Camp Avocet. John Besser recommended that CAS provide half of the $1,500 camp tuition for each child and make the expenditure a special allocation out of the 2018-19 budget. Nancy B moved (Laura H seconded) that CAS provide scholarships totaling $1,500 from the 2018-19 budget to send the Mosteller children to ABA Camp Avocet. The motion was approved by a vote of 8-0; Bill M abstained.    

Bill M suggested that CAS develop a formalized process for awarding scholarships to young birders. John B said that CAS should advertise the availability of scholarships in the Chat and on the CAS website; he also suggested adding a page about opportunities available for young birders to the web site, noting that financial support for participation is available.

Missouri River Relief Request for Scholarship Funding: Board members discussed a request from Missouri River Relief for funding to support student attendance at the Missouri River Academy summer program.

CFM Membership: Bill M reported that CAS has been approved for membership in the Conservation Federation of Missouri. He will write an article for the Chat to explain the advantages of this affiliation.

MoBCI Grants: Bill M reported that applicants are needed for the Jerry Wade Youth Habitat and Education Program (YHEP) grants, funded through the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI). He said that $38,000 is available for grants, and that the application is being streamlined. (YHEP grants provide financial support to projects that improve habitat for birds in Missouri and that involve students in grades K-12. Applicants must be youth educators, such as teachers and 4-H and scout troop leaders.)

John B suggested that he and Bill M write a broader article about CAS affiliates, including CFM and MoBCI, and that CAS consider adding a page on the website about its affiliate organizations.

Chat:  Eric R will step down as Chat editor June 1. He will place a notice in the April Chat to recruit a replacement. If no one volunteers, Joanna Reuter is willing to serve as editor.

Field Trips:  Eric W reviewed the upcoming CAS field trips through May. John B added that he, Lynne Hooper, Boone County’s urban hydrologist, and Dave Dittmer, a forester with Columbia Parks and Recreation, will lead a walk along Grindstone Creek on Wednesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m.; participants will learn how streams and their diverse riparian communities benefit Columbia’s residents and visitors, including migratory birds.

Education:  Lottie B reported that she and Lisa Schenker presented two bird programs—“Feathers” in February and “Migration” in March—at the Columbia Public Library. The maximum 15 children attended each session. They are planning to offer programs again in the fall. Lottie noted that library policy prevents them from taking the students outside for bird identification and field work.

Bird Counts:  Laura H needs volunteers for the Migratory Bird Count on May 11.

Spring Picnic:  The annual spring picnic will be held in May at the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary shelter. Bill M will confirm the date and reserve the shelter.

Future Board Meetings:  John B noted that there will be no board meeting in April because of the CAS 60th Anniversary events on April 26 and 27. He said it may be necessary to hold a special board meeting to approve the 2019-20 budget or to approve the budget by an e-mail vote.

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