by Lori Turner, President

Wow, it’s already March?! This year is already passing by faster than ever.

Back in November the board approved the purchase of a new interpretive sign that will be mounted at CANS, close to the parking lot. The sign will be designed to help educate visitors on pollinators and how they use our prairie for resting, nesting and food. It will discuss the wildflowers that are thriving on the property and how pollinators benefit from them. There are many people working on the format of the interpretive sign but the person managing the project is Bill Mees and he’s hoping to have it erected in June, just as the prairie is starting to be in full bloom.

You all may have heard that a Columbia family has donated 201 acres of their property to City of Columbia Parks and Rec with the agreement that it stays a nature area and never gets used as a sports facility. CAS wrote a memo to the City Council, supporting the donation and encouraging the acceptance of the request from the family to develop it as a nature area, similar to that of Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and our very own Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary. There is a Parks and Rec Commission meeting on March 16th and a family member of the Alspaugh’s (who donated the land) will be giving a presentation. He is asking for support by attending the meeting. If anyone would like to attend, it will start at 7 pm and be held in the ARC Meeting Room, 1701 W Ash St.

There’s a new non-profit organization in town that has been working hard to eradicate non-native plant species in Kiwanis Park. They are Missouri Conservation Corps and we are loving their passion to bring their local park back to a healthy natural state – not only for the folks that visit but most importantly for the wildlife. Now that the invasive species are gone, they are busy with planting native trees, shrubs and perennials in their place. Stephen Bybee, Project Director for MCC, and others in the organization are interested in knowing what kind of impact this has on the local bird populations. He’s trying to get the word out to birders so they will visit the park often and submit their lists on eBird.  You can visit their Facebook page by typing Missouri Conservation Corps in the search field of Facebook. Read their whole story in this newsletter.