by Douglas Miller

October 21, 2020

NOTE: Meeting conducted online via Zoom.

Present: Doug Miller, Jim Gast, Eric Seaman, Bill Mees, Nancy Bedan, Greg Leonard, Elizabeth Schenker, Shelby Thomas, Brooke Widmar, Allison Vaughn, John Besser, Eric Wood

Time called to order: 6:04pm

Approve Minutes of the September 2020 Meeting

Nancy Bedan asks that the September minutes be amended to reflect that Mike Szydlowski might ask Andrew Kinslow to speak at Boone County Nature School open house.

Nancy moves that amended minutes be approved; Lisa Schenker seconds; motion carries.

Treasurer’s Report

Eric Seaman reports that the Mid-Missouri Community Foundation has abbreviated their financial reporting.

Brad Jacobs Memorial Motus Tower Update

Jim Gast has checked in with Sarah Kendrick; so far there has not yet been a conversation with Bradford Farms about possibly placing the tower on their property. In the meantime Jim will be sending out thank-you notes to the Motus tower donors.

Eagle Bluffs Overlook

Jim Gast has been asked whether CAS is interested in building an overlook at Eagle Bluffs over Pool 14 for birdwatchers to better observe the shorebirds. Doug recalls someone bringing up this project as a suggestion of how CAS could spend its money during a previous member meeting, but the board itself has not considered the proposal. Given recent large expenditures and the uncertain fundraising outlook in the near future, the board decides not to pursue this project at the present time.

Committee Reports

Field Trips

John Besser reports that planning is beginning for the Christmas Bird Count. Nancy Bedan suggests possibly scheduling a visit to the Greenbelt Land Trust’s Hundred Acre Woods around the same time as the upcoming CAS program with Mike Powell from the Greenbelt Land Trust.


Incoming Membership Chair Shelby Thomas reports no current developments.


Brooke Widmar attended the recent Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Conservation Round Table virtual meeting, attending many great sessions as they happened and catching up on the other recorded sessions. Given the results of CFM’s conservation questionnaire sent out to Missouri legislators, she suggests inviting local and statewide legislators to springtime field trips (post COVID.) The Lights Out Heartland virtual event went well; all of the proceedings are recorded and available for watching. This was National Audubon’s “Birdability Week” highlighting issues of accessibility in birding areas; there is a related program that promotes wildlife areas which meet accessibility standards; CAS could assess our nature areas and participate in this program.

Nature Areas

Bill Mees reports that Roxie Campbell led a “Hike and Hack” field trip at Wild Haven a few weeks ago during which she distributed handouts on recognizing and treating invasives. Some Mizzou journalism students who attended that hike later contacted Allison and Bill to schedule an interview at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. One of the sign poles at Wild Haven is deteriorating but shouldn’t be difficult to repair. We have received the new access key to the Albert Children Area. Jean Neely is suggesting making trail maps available at Wild Haven; Jim Gast would volunteer to GPS-plot the site and Doug could assemble a print version that incorporates John Besser’s hand-drawn map.

Outreach and Education

Lisa Schenker reports that the Hog Island Teacher Scholarship application deadline is December 1st; 4 people have already applied. Confirming that we will be funding five people to visit Hog Island next summer: 3 from the previous year, and 2 from this round of applications. A scout group has approached CAS about teaching classes for their den in the spring. Lisa and Lottie Bushmann, who have presented classes at the public library in previous years, have placed these programs on hold until the COVID situation improves.


Nancy Bedan reports that about 20 people attended the Boone County Nature School open house, presented by Columbia Public Schools science coordinator Mike Szydlowski, Reagen Webb and Brian Flowers. The next presentation in November will be Mike Powell of the Greenbelt Land Trust. Doug suggests not only that we present an associated field trip (to Hundred Acre Woods) but that we specifically invite Greenbelt Land Trust members.


Allison Vaughn asks for Chat submissions earlier than October 26.

Christmas Bird Count

Eric Wood, John Besser, Laura Hillman and Allison Vaughn will meet to coordinate CBC plans, given the COVID situation. If we go ahead, the CBC would be held December 19.

CoMoGives Campaign

Jan Mees reports that Bill Mees has sent out an annual letter to donors (both CoMoGives and otherwise) reporting on our status and activities, and signed by Jim Gast. The committee is developing a promotional postcard again this year using a member-submitted bluebird photo. The postcard will be sent out to coincide with the beginning of the CoMoGives campaign. In addition, 6–8 messages will be sent out via e-mail and Facebook on various topics during December. The fundraising goal is $10000 in donations and 100 donors; given the uncertain year we will be pleased with any support.

Next meeting

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, November 17 at 6pm.


Bill Mees moves we adjourn; Nancy seconds; the motion carries and the meeting adjourns at 7:13pm