Colorado Native Plant Society
Board Meeting Minutes

Location: Denver, CO
Regis University Library, Tracy Center
3333 Regis Blvd. (corner Regis Blvd. & Lowell Blvd.)
October 24, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Called to Order by Charlie Turner at 9:33 am

Present: Charlie Turner, Jan Turner, Jen Bousselot, Cecily Mui, Amy Yarger, Denise Wilson, Jack & Martha Carter, Irene Shonle, Jessica Smith, Steve Olson, Ronda Koski, Sara Copp, Linda Smith, Erica Cooper. Steve Popovich and Richard Bunn joined us at 10:20 and 10:25, respectively.

Attended by Phone: Samantha Clark, Jim Tolstrup, and Robert Powell.

Proxies: Jessica Smith for Mo Ewing, Cath Kleier & Jennifer Neale; Jan Turner for Lenore Mitchell, Richard Bunn & Stephen Stern.


  1. New CoNPS Membership brochures were distributed by Charlie Turner.
  2. Charlie introduced new Board Members, Amy Yarger & Cecily Mui. All others introduced themselves.
  3. Did not receive Colorado Garden Foundation Grant for printing costs for native plant gardening guide brochures (Jan Turner).
  4. 2015 Annual Conference Survey/evaluation available (Jan Turner). The evaluations were excellent with most aspects being 5 out of 5.
  5. Collaboration between CoNPS and Plant Master® Program passed by email vote (Charlie Turner).
  6. Plug-In for CoNPS WordPress website will be set-up on an identical system and then moved over when bugs worked out (Charlie Turner). Hope to streamline registration information on fieldtrips, workshops and possibly bookstore.
  7. Website: Charlie is the person to go to, if you want something updated on the CoNPS website; Mo is the person who is updating the bookstore. Linda has had extraordinary demands on her time because of the new website and the annual conference, so website duties are being reassigned and spread out. Additional volunteers to learn WordPress and help with the website are needed as back-ups. In the future, chapter presidents and committee chairs will be encouraged to learn WordPress so they can update the information for their pages on the website.
  8. Northern Chapter President: Ronda would like help finding a new president for the Northern Chapter. Between her job at CSU and her job as CoNPS Workshop Coordinator, she does not have enough time to give it adequate attention.

Business Requiring a Vote

  1. Approve Minutes from last 2 meetings (attachments) (VOTE) (Denise Wilson)
    1. We were not able to get enough people to vote online
    2. Motion to pass Minutes from May 30 and August 8, 2015 meetings; Charlie moved; Irene 2nd; minutes passed with $17 added as student membership rate on the August 8th meeting minutes.
    3. Samantha Clark & Bob Powell abstained, as they were not present.
  1. Request for CoNPS to sign the Equal Protection for Plants under the Federal Endangered Species Act – (Jan Turner) (VOTE)
    1. Jessica Smith pointed out that some information on the website; Native Plant Conservation Campaign is out of date.
    2. New Mexico is also undergoing the some effort, and has been giving information to the State Wildlife Action Plan.
    3. Jan Turner brought up the website to show the list of 72+ organizations who have signed their assent. Jan moved & Irene 2nd that we support this action. Motion passed.

Business Not Requiring a Vote

  1. Goals – Discussion of Chapter, Committee, and Society Goals (Charlie Turner)
    1. Chapters
      1. Boulder Chapter (Erica Cooper) read goals:
        1. 1-2 forms of social media
        2. Learn to edit the website
        3. Take on a local conservation project
      2. Gore Range Chapter (Nannette Kuich); not present
      3. Metro-Denver Chapter (Samantha Clark) is working on goals:
        1. Sharing on Facebook & other social media
        2. Conservation planning
      4. Northern Chapter (Ronda Koski) read goals:
        1. Form a board of officers in chapter with each in charge of committees
        2. More membership participation; examples are Elkorn Noxious Weed Project & Pawnee National Grasslands collecting data for their pollinator garden monitoring. Jan requested an article on these activities.
      5. Plateau Chapter (Stephen Stern), read by Charlie Turner:
        1. Expand membership by collaboration with other like-minded organizations
        2. Work to make more activities & meetings to engage members
        3. Delegate fieldtrip activities
      6. Southwest Chapter. This Chapter dissolved, but Charlie has been talking with John Bregar to revitalize this Chapter. Comments by Bob Powell:
        1. Work with San Juan Mountain Associations to offer trips through their organization
        2. Locate rare plants
    1. Committees
      1. Annual Conference (Jan Turner); read by Jan
        1. Recruit more Committee chairs & members
        2. Update conference planning manual
        3. Successful 2016 conference attract new members, involve existing members & make a good profit
      2. Conservation (Mo Ewing); read by Jessica Smith
        1. Rejuvenation of Rare Plant Conservation of Denver Botanic Gardens
        2. Offer joint conservation efforts with existing organizations, such as WRV and SRSN. Ronda Koski wants these events coordinated into the workshops & fieldtrips schedule.
        3. Conservation Awards
        4. Support Erica Cooper’s efforts
      3. Education & Outreach (Sara Copp Franz); read by Sara:
        1. Increase membership committee involvement; reach out to other parts of the state
        2. Connect with teachers interested in working with CoNPS via bi-monthly events with at least four per year.
        3. Get CoNPS into the classroom. Booth & presentation at Colorado Science Conference. Meet with teachers. Amy Yarger suggested offering internships. Bob Powell commented that New Mexico Chapter offers scholarships to geography students, and gives research grants to students.
      4. Field Studies (Steve Popovich); read by Charlie:
        1. Offer one field studies event per year; Focus on BioBlitz. June 1-3 Browns Canyon and second half of August (last half of August) with access on the Arkansas River by rafts
        2. Species List has had in the past some sensitivity about publishing rare plant information; Steve is working on this.
        3. Getting report & products onto the website
      5. Finance; read by Denise Wilson:
        1. Get credit card acceptance for CoNPS
        2. Find funding to keep Jen Bousselot as CoNPS Membership & Marketing Coordinator
        3. Increase membership revenues
      6. Horticulture & Restoration (Jim Tolstrup), read by Jim:
        1. Native Plant Booklet, headed by Irene Shonle, is now in process; plan to roll out early next year
        2. Statewide Native Plant Landscaping Conference,
          1. (Get goals list from Jim Tolstrup)
          2. Virtual plant sale
        3. Network CoNPS with organizations with related native plant conservation missions
      7. Media (Jan Turner)
        1. Ensure that all CoNPS members receive our E-News. If necessary (if members don’t have an email) we can mail them the one to two page newsletters.
          1. Only about 54 members have no email address
        2. Aquilegia – Once all members receive E-News, can we reduce the number of announcements in Aquilegia and focus on using it to encourage and report inspirational member/chapter/committee activities in more depth in addition to the usual material (news, columns, articles, cartoon, research grant reports, book reviews)?
          1. Include information on what is going on even outside of Colorado
        1. Website – Use MemberFindMe plug-in to organize and streamline membership functions and CoNPS activities. Get more people trained on WordPress to serve as backups for the web administrators, etc.
          1. Already had the update from Charlie
      1. Membership (Jen Bousselot)
        1. Expand CoNPS to 1000 members.
          1. Currently we are at nearly 800 members. Between engaging lapsed members and people on the Facebook group who are not currently members, and our many other outreach efforts, this goal should be reasonable.
        2. Engage existing CoNPS members even more. An example would include member engagement that would surround a native plant day/week to be named by the Colorado legislature.
          1. Regarding the native plant day/week, Steve Popovich suggested contacting Susan Stockman and Cecily said she had another political figure in mind. Jen will follow up with Cecily and Steve.
        3. Expand partnerships with other like-minded organizations to reach at least 100 active partnerships. Promote events and search out funding opportunities with those partners.
          1. Jen requested any additional potential partners be suggested via email.
      2. Workshops Committee (Ronda Koski) – see workshop handout
        1. Partner with other organizations and offer joint conservation programs for our members (but do not create new volunteer programs).
          1. Had over 50 for grasses workshop
          2. Financially we went up to $200 pay for speakers per workshop session
          3. Ronda reported several workshops already planned for 2016 which are updated on the CoNPS website.
          4. Steve Popovich is concerned about excluding people by having minimum requirements on our workshop
          5. Suggest a student reduced fee for workshop to fill up the classroom. Ronda tried to get CoNPS workshops and meetings on the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU with no luck.
            1. Sam Clark suggested her large office conference room at Lincoln and I-25. Ronda will follow up with her.
            2. Cecily suggested a discussion on the low income access option for our workshops in the future.
        2. Offer a couple CoNPS-member only events with SRSN (Southern Rockies Seed Network) or WRV (Wildland Restoration Volunteers)
        3. Observe how many members are willing to participate. Let participation direct future efforts.
      3. Southeast Chapter (Robert Bunn)
        1. Need more engagement for the members
          1. Find out who attended field trips in the past and engagement
          2. Try some partnerships such as Colorado Mountain Club
          3. Get an email list from Jen
      4. Research Grants (Cath Kleier); not present
      5. Sales (Linda Smith); not present
    1. CoNPS Goals Discussion (Charlie Turner)
        1. 1. Test website plugin (MemberFindMe) in identical website to verify that it will actually benefit CoNPS
        2. Engage more chapter members
        3. See if there are other ways to reduce CoNPS costs
    2. CoNPS Goals – Jan Turner (Co-President)
        1. Increase our Impact (in conservation, education, and horticulture) through collaboration with other organizations.
          1. Work on the legislation side of advocating for Colorado native plants
            1. Example: Great Old Broads for Wilderness have done a lot of advocacy and legislation
            2. Example: more work with Audubon Society
        2. Increase our Income through specific events. (will help fund Jen Bousselot’s job)
          1. The more income we have, the more we can do.
          2. To fund Linda and Jen’s position (Linda’s is permanent and Jen’s is temporary)
          3. Things like garden tours and plant sales are ways to increase income
          4. Fundraisers such as what Brian Kurzel has done at the NWF
          5. More field seminar sessions – partner with universities
            1. Rocky Mountain Nature Association does it with Colorado School of Mines
            2. Could be part classroom and part outdoors
            3. More for continuing education
            4. Make sure the instructors get a percentage, also for CoNPS to do the registration
            5. Jan contacted David Inouye to teach a pollinator session at RMBL in August or later
            6. Jennifer Ackerfield suggested a wildflower workshop during the Wildflower Festival in Crested Butte
        3. Increase our Membership (Jen B. will do this – will help fund her job)
        4. Measure our impact and progress in achieving our goals.
          1. Measurable goals/metrics like a professional organization
          2. Example: Northern Works on Weeds, Boulder Works on Conservation, etc.
          3. Therefore, set goals and measure them
          4. Jessica Smith and Steve Popovich had concerns with the political stance of some of other partners and the potential reputation that CoNPS could have by association.
          5. CoNPS may need to research the non-profit and political stance of an organization
          6. Ad hoc committee formed on the partnerships and politics:
            1. Jessica Smith, Linda Smith, Sara Copp, Jack Carter, Jen Bousselot
    3. CoNPS Goals – Irene Shonle (Vice-President) ®
        1. Continue to focus on increasing membership
        2. Find funding to keep Jen Bousselot
        3. Work to attract a wider range of people to get involved– especially conservation-minded people and beginners.
          1. Still too much of an intimidation factor, demystify CoNPS
          2. More prominent on our website, online, etc.
            1. The single requirement is interest! No expertise required
    4. CoNPS Goals – Jessica Smith (Board Member at Large)
        1. Education focus – I think the field trips, workshops, chapter and annual meeting talks are very important to continue
        2. Outreach – I would like us to continue outreach on using native plants in the landscape setting. This is good for resource conservation, pollinator support, and can bring in beginners/different audience
          1. Really like the native plant sale
        3. Conservation – I know the BioBlitz received less attendance this year, and we can’t find folks to respond to agency management plans, but I think these things are also important, and something that maybe only CoNPS has the expertise to do. I’d like to keep this on our radar.
          1. More promotion on BioBlitz, more on agency management plans, etc.
    5. CoNPS Goals – Erica Cooper (Boulder Chapter President)
        1. Make an effort to slow down and DESCRIBE new changes as they occur. New efforts (like Facebook, Meetup, E-News, etc.) have come about quickly and many of our members may like to slow down and understand the changes as they are occurring.
        2. Focus on conservation advocacy
        3. Reach out to each chapter’s local universities for membership recruitment, sponsorship, new ideas for workshops, fieldtrips, and/or winter meeting topics, etc.
    6. Steve Popovich (Field Studies Committee Chair)
        1. FINALLY effect revised plant collecting ethics policy in 2016: get revised approved ethics re-assessed with new board to see if any new edits needed and get it posted on line; develop web-based way to record once ethics training has been completed by an individual; awareness push of implementation date of new ethics. This relies heavily on Popovich finishing his tasks on completing the training module and board approving before we can move forward with effecting it
          1. Get a PPT training module done
          2. Get it on the website and add a signature line at the end
          3. In lieu of the online, workshops have been provided
        2. While recognizing the new energy on the board, take pause as a focused exercise at one of the meetings and assess the many things and themes the board is taking on to make sure it is not too much.  Re-instill the concept of not committing board to things that result in being spread too thinly by any member or the board as a whole.  Should board have periodic “check ins” to assess over commitment/staying on track before something gets too far off track?
        3. Assess impacts and feedback — if any — from members regarding if burden from increased dues and workshop fees
          1. Good to know if there is burden
        4. New plant ecologist at Rocky Mountain National Park, Charles (“Charlie”) Repath,
    7. Cecily Mui’s Goals
        1. Recruitment, especially college students and young professionals
        2. Bringing together a lot of other professions
          1. Weed managers and environmental consultants would benefit from knowing native plants.
        3. How to manage native plants in noxious weed sites, BMPs for weed managers, which Cecily is working on.
  1. Update on 2015 Annual Conference & Plans for 2016 Conference (Jan Turner)
    1. Annual meeting planning committee recently met (Monday, October 19th)
    2. After feedback on the evaluations, September and the American Mountaineering Center seemed ideal
    3. Theme: related to the 40th anniversary, something with the last 40 years of change and the vision of the future
    4. Really want to engage the founding members such as William Weber, Dieter Wilkens and Beth Painter, Scott Peterson, John Marr’s wife Ruby or son in BC, get a major ecologist to talk about the changes (David Inouye has been at RMBL for about 40 years),
    5. Move social to Saturday afternoon to have a larger turnout and a shorter day
      1. Bring students in by submitting proposals for lightning talks
      2. Two tracks to appeal to a larger group
    6. Jack Carter agreed to give a talk on botany and education
    7. Made about $6,900 from the conference, plus additional from the bookstore
  1. Finance Report (attachments) (Charlie Turner for Mo Ewing)
    1. Finance support, about $3700 in the black
    2. Mo has a more detailed account if you would like it, email Jan and Charlie
  1. Partnering with Youth – Ronda Koski
    1. What Sara said in her goals is what Ronda was aiming for
  1. Virtual Plant Sale – Jim Tolstrup & Jen Bousselot
    1. Jim has suggested a “virtual” plant sale in which HPEC could send out our plant list to local chapters for pre-order and do a one drop delivery to the various regions. We could offer our wholesale price plus delivery cost and CONPS could add a markup to generate some additional funds.
      1. From HPEC perspective, we sponsored the meeting for $300 and stayed overnight, so it was about equal to the sales of the plant sale. It takes a lot to ‘prime the pump’ to get sustained interest
      2. Can put a plant list together and include other growers (i.e. Fort Collins Wholesale?)
      3. Preorder early enough (i.e. April) so that they can be delivered at each of the Chapter locations, possibly during a Chapter meeting
      4. HPEC would offer at wholesale price, $5 for 1 gallon (standard wholesale price)
      5. Don’t use nornicotines in production – need to make sure other growers have the same policy
      6. Division of labor: CoNPS will do marketing and receive orders, HPEC will pack and deliver the plants
      7. CoNPS could do a mark up as a fundraiser
      8. Does require a lot of good: some funding for CoNPS, good product out to people who are looking for it, getting new plants into gardens, develop a market for the plants and CoNPS members who are good at taking care of them
    2. Feedback?
      1. Good idea but aim for those species that are on the pollinator sheets/booklets
      2. Make sure that this is a fundraiser with a goal, and tell members where the money goes
      3. Great for distribution at Chapter meetings
  1. Membership & Marketing Business (Jen Bousselot)
  1. Potential Partners for CoNPS (attachment)
      1. Many potential partners like CO14ers want to collaborate.
      2. Suggestions: Ronda – golf courses (Tony Koski – Jen will contact)
      3. Amy Yarger suggested a parallel list of sustainable businesses – sponsors
      4. Sara will send more names.
  1. Membership Survey (attachment)
  1. Update of the 2008 membership survey
  2. Anything missing?

Irene – maybe add another category under 6 – ‘other’

Cecily – add to #8 – ‘I enjoy donating to organization like CoNPS.’

Steve Popovich – ‘have you read our revised ethics policy?’ – #8 and add the link.

  1. Promoting Communications in CoNPS

Survey for Facebook members – answer the survey and win a free membership/NPM course.

Volunteer spot is available for committee chairs, etc.

  1. New Chapter Presidents – (Charlie Turner)
    1. Who is responsible for finding new chapter presidents?
  1. Native Plant Conservation Campaign (attachments) – (Jan Turner)

The CoNPS board agreed to sign it.

  1. Chapters Reports (if anything to report)
  1. Committee Reports (if anything to report)

Next Board Meeting: December 5, 2015