by John Besser

– by John Besser, CAS President.

Well, you can tell by the heat and humidity that it’s June, and for Columbia Audubon Society that means our fiscal year (FY2018) is over. At our meeting on May 15, the CAS Board of Directors took stock of our accomplishments and responsibilities at the end of the fiscal year:

60th Anniversary. The biggest event of this past year was no doubt the 60th anniversary celebration held in April at the Boone County Historical Society galleries at Nifong Park. We had a great time greeting past and present CAS members and officers, as well as some distinguished guests, and we enjoyed the recognition of our society in proclamations received from the Missouri Legislature and the City of Columbia.

Budget. The Board passed a budget of $19,733 for FY2019 (which started June 1), a 5% increase over last year. We actually ended FY18 with a substantial budget surplus of $8625, due to a very successful COMO Gives fundraising campaign and greater than expected earnings from our endowment. Our biggest expenses in FY18 were for education: Band with Nature, along with grants to teachers and students, made up almost half of our total spending.

Changes on the Board. CAS has a strong core of Officers, Board Members, and Committee Chairs, but as we start a new year, we need to recruit members to take on these now-vacant positions:

  • Eric Reuter resigned after a distinguished tenure as CHAT editor
  • Eric Wood completed his exhausting term as Field Trip Chair
  • Lori Turner completed her 3-year term as elected Board Member
  • Lori Hagglund has resigned as Hospitality Chair
  • Conservation Chair remains vacant


Do you want become more active in CAS? We have identified candidates for some of the vacant  positions, but others are wide open. Even if all these positions were filled, CAS still needs energetic volunteers to help with our standing committees or to get involved in special projects — or lead us off in an entirely new direction!  If you think you might want to get more involved, just contact me at or get in touch with any of the board members listed on the CAS webpage by August 1st.

Summer book discussion, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 19: Welcome to Subirdia, by John M. Marzluff. Don’t forget to join CAS at the Columbia Public Library for an open discussion of this interesting book. This was rescheduled from a winter event canceled due to weather. Even if you haven’t read the book, or haven’t read it since the winter, please join us anyway to take part in the broader discussion of how individual and collective decisions can help human landscapes become more tolerant of and integrated with the natural world. This event will be followed by an hour-long walk through nearby Steward Park.

Have a great summer, and I hope we will be hearing from you soon!

John Besser

CAS President