October 16, 2019

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

Present:  John Besser, Nancy Bedan, Bill Mees, Greg Leonard, Lottie Bushmann, Doug Miller, Eric Seaman, Laura Hillman, and Jean Neely, guest and prospective board member

Minutes:  Bill M asked that Joanna Reuter’s e-mail address be deleted from the “Chat” report in the Aug. 21 minutes. John B moved (Bill M seconded) approval of the Aug. 21 minutes as amended. Motion approved without dissent.

Treasurer’s Report:  Board members reviewed the treasurer’s report. Eric S and Doug M reported that CAS has received about $1,770 in 2019-20 membership dues so far.

Wild Haven Shelter:  John B reviewed a quote from Bilt-Rite Buildings in Ashland for replacing the shelter at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary. The $7,500 bid for an open-sided 20’ x 30’ pavilion provided options for a concrete floor (an additional $3,795) and for a finished metal ceiling (an additional $2,100). John noted there also would be additional costs for demolishing and removing the current structure and for trimming or removing any trees that might overhang the building. Board members discussed the options. Nancy B said she supports the concrete floor option; John B noted that the slab would make it easier to position tables and chairs and allow for the posts to be anchored in concrete. Doug M would like to see a bid that included concrete footings but no floor. Bill M said he didn’t believe we needed the metal ceiling. John B will get an estimate for taking down the current shelter.

CoMoGives:  Nancy B reported that committee members are preparing a postcard mailer and e-mail appeals for the December CoMoGives fundraising drive. She noted that the committee discussed the possibility of sponsoring a “Counting for CoMoGives” fundraiser in conjunction with the annual Christmas Bird Count, to encourage new donors to contribute. The idea would be for CBC participants to find friends and family members who would pledge to contribute a small amount to CAS during CoMoGives drive, based on the number of species the participant identifies during the Christmas count. She said, at this point, the committee isn’t planning to pursue this activity but is still looking for ways to attract new donors and to let people know that even small gifts are valuable to CAS.

Band with Nature:  Bill M reported that 19 elementary schools participated in the 2019 Band with Nature field trip, which was held Oct. 7, 8 and 9 at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. He noted that two schools just come every other year because they have combined classes. Sixty-nine classrooms and an estimated 1,350 second-graders attended. The estimated cost of the 2019 event is $1,600, which includes $450 for Raptor Rehabilitation, $170 for Missouri River Bird Observatory, $460 for toilets, $80 for printing, $200 for lunch for fieldtrip faculty and staff, and a $238 donation for bird bands and wrist bands. Bill noted that the event may be scheduled later in October next year because of changes in school start dates.

Conservation Federation Affiliates Summit:  John B reported that he and Laura H attended the Missouri Conservation Federation affiliates summit on Sept. 12 and 13 in Jefferson City. He noted that the group has a diverse membership, which seemed to be working well together. Laura noted that CFM has a good and timely system for legislative action announcements. John said the organization offers opportunities for affiliates to get together regionally and raise issues they are concerned about. He suggested that CAS would benefit from having someone maintain a better connection with CFM and perhaps fill CAS’ long-vacant conservation chair position.

MRBO Report on National Audubon Convention:  John B reported that Dana Ripper and Ethan Duke, Missouri River Bird Observatory, attended the 2019 Audubon Convention, which was held in July in Milwaukee. They will provide a brief report at the beginning of tonight’s membership meeting and program.

New Business

  • Property Visit: John B reported that he and Mike Powell, executive director of the Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri, visited a 45-acre property whose owner is interested in donating the tract for conservation management.  John said the site, located north of Columbia, is pleasant but doesn’t have much nature habitat. There is an overstory of black locust and a lake, which is associated with historic coal mining. John said that Greenbelt is interested in helping the owner protect the land with a conservation easement; Greenbelt, however, can’t place an easement on property it owns. Mike P estimated it would cost $14,000 to put a conservation easement on the property; the funds enable the land trust to monitor the property and pay for realtor and legal fees. Mike P will look for a source for matching funds. John noted that CAS could potentially provide some portion of the matching funds but emphasized that no commitment has been made.
  • Liability Insurance for Field Trips: John B recapped the report and recommendation concerning insurance for CAS field trips, which Eric R, field trip chair, provided for the September board meeting. John B noted that we need a cost estimate for the insurance. Eric S will contact Pachner & Associates, a company that Eric R said is recommended by the National Audubon Society and specializes in providing insurance for non-profit, conservation, and education groups. Eric S also will get a list of what is covered by the current CAS liability policy.


  • Education: Lottie B reported that information about Educator’s Week at the Hog Island, Me., Audubon Camp has just been distributed by e-mail to every teacher in Columbia Audubon’s six-county area. Columbia Public School teachers also will receive information from Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski.
  • Field Trips: Eric R provided a field trip report by e-mail. There are no trips scheduled for the second half of October. Trips are planned for Nov. 2 (Binder Lake) and Nov. 9 (Runge Nature Center, in conjunction with the Tim Ernst presentations).
  • “Chat” Newsletter: Joanna R reported by e-mail that she is planning to publish articles provided by Andrew Crawford and Emily Reynolds, the two teachers who received the CAS Hog Island Camp scholarships this year.
  • Membership: Doug M said it is possible to make the CAS membership an online subscription, which would auto-send a renewal notice each year.

Old Business

  • Laura H invited Jean Neely to observe the board meeting and to consider filling the current board vacancy.

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