Colorado Native Plant Society
Board Meeting Minutes

Location: Denver, CO
Regis University Library, Tracy Center
3333 Regis Blvd. (corner Regis Blvd. & Lowell Blvd.)
January 10, 2015
9:30 a.m. – noon

Present: Charlie Turner, Jan Turner, Linda Smith, Mo Ewing, Steve Olson, Jenny Neale, Sara Copp, Jessica Smith, Steve Popovich, Ronda Koski, Jeanne Willson, Jim Tolstrup, Irene Shonle, and Denise Wilson.

Bob Powell, Nannette Kuich, Ed Roland, and Betsy Bultema were present by phone. Jan Turner became proxy for Betsy later in the meeting, when Betsy had to leave.

Call to Order – Charlie Turner at 9:30am

Minutes – Denise Wilson moved to accept the minutes of the Dec 6, 2014 Board Minutes with the Stewardship Trust clarification given by Jessica Smith. Irene Shonle 2nd; approved Dec 6, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes. Send minutes only to people who have attended the meeting.


  1. Megan Bowes resigned as chair of the Horticulture & Restoration Committee
  2. Jim Tolstrup is the new chair of the Horticulture & Restoration Committee
  3. Sara Copp is the new chair of the Education & Outreach Committee
  4. Erin Tripp resigned; we still have enough Board members so seat on Board so she won’t be replaced until Sept. 2015 Elections
  5. Please update your email lists to reflect these (1-4) changes
  6. Aquilegia schedule – please get spring articles to Jan Turner as soon as possible
  7. Board Meeting Schedule – May 16th meeting moved to May 30th
  8. Bob Powell – protection signed by President Obama of Hermosa Creek Special Management Area, North Durango, after years of negotiations

Business Requiring a Vote

  1. Conservation Coordinator (Advocacy) (VOTE)
  1. Conservation Coordinator proposal (Mo Ewing)
    1. Issues – do we have the money?
    2. Do we have the engagement of the Board, Chapter Presidents, and membership to do it?
  2. Input from each Board member on why or why not on whether to continue with the Conservation coordinator position.
    1. Mo Ewing – have no history or experience in getting members to do volunteer conservation projects. Rocky Mountain Wild has some higher level projects which we can do. Can we engage our membership? Can we start at a smaller level and step it up in time? There is major concern of the trend of decreased memberships over the past several years.
    2. Bob Powell – New Mexico Chapter has a strong Outreach Program – 1) main interaction with children’s’ events, who bring their parents; 2) involvement with Native Master Gardeners Program; 3) well advertised field trips; 4) always runs a spring course on elementary botany with a field trip at end of course. Bob has been doing this for 7 years, and 75% of participants walk out with a good idea of how to identify plants using a key. Believes in fiscal responsibility, scholarships to adults, expansion of the education programs, and that conservation is best done at the local level. Have doubled the New Mexico membership over the years. SW Chapter has their own website. (Note: Al Schneider sent out an email in the past year saying his chapter – San Juan/Four Corners Chapter – has been losing members).
    3. Ed Roland – scout master example; inner city Boy Scouts could not afford the expenses. Built a story around real kids with real life challenges and the benefits of scouting, and this got more donations in one mailing than the previous year. Suggest we communicate with other organizations and forward our message to people already concerned with protection of habitat. The story of CoNPS accomplishing something would be inspiring. We have done several outreach programs: Essential Botany and native plant propagation classes we do with CSU Extension, evening meetings (e.g., the “Night at the Herbarium” at Colorado College, the lectures on native plant phylogeny at CSU-Pueblo), the Grass I.D. Workshops (one of which Nanette had attended) and multiple field trips.
    4. Irene Shonle – what about a temp part-time membership job $1000-2000? Strengthen collaboration with the Extension Native Plant Master Programs
    5. Mo Ewing – what if we just be the best botany education organization? Encourage gardeners to become members. Teaching people to appreciate plants – hikers, birders, photographers.
    6. Jan Turner speaking for Lenore Mitchell, who says there has been standing room only for the Native Plant Master Program’s basic botany courses. This is a natural collaboration. Most people are not botanists but have an interest either in botany or horticulture. Has offered a free class with 60 people using native plants in landscaping, but does not get many of those to join because what are we giving them? I’m not sure who said this last sentence. I think it was Ed Roland.
    7. Mo Ewing – Denver Post has a new section called, “The Hub” and we should be in it.
    8. Ed Roland – we have already been doing these things and down here we do not need CoNPS for education support, but there is a definite need for an organization in our state to stay on top of these conservation issues where valuable habitats are being threatened.
    9. Ronda Koski – Can we just get all of the existing activities funneled into the Education & Outreach Committee?
    10. Charlie Turner – collect a database of what people are doing. Sara Copp feels we need to use a centralized information base such as Facebook and the social media tools, and as the Education & Outreach Chair, she is willing to be the communication point.
    11. Nan Kuich – a small chapter really needs the website and workshops.
    12. Committee to develop a high level description of Membership & Outreach
    13. Jenny Neale moved we drop for now the Advocacy Position (has been on the agenda for 3 years) as outlined in this proposal, Bob Powell 2nd. Discussion – Jessica Smith can we try to grow this on a volunteer basis? Irene Shonle – The Advocacy Position won’t be pursued at this point but we can revisit this in a year. Ed Roland abstains. Motion passed.
    14. Mo Ewing moved Sara and people who raised their hands (Irene Shonle, Ronda Koski, Sara Copp and Jan Turner) to get together to write a job description for a Membership Development Coordinator, who will help facilitate communication between different CoNPS committees and with CoNPS members. Charlie Turner said that we do not need a motion or a vote to do this. The group will write a job description and come back with how much funding is needed. Mo commented that this paid position would be the first step toward increasing our membership so that we might be able to afford funding for an advocacy position sometime in the future.
  1. 2015 Budget (Mo Ewing) (VOTE) Some notable points were made by Mo regarding the financial statements which he supplied for this meeting.
    1. Membership dues projected 3% increase and it happened.
    2. Running with about $3500 net profit for the last few years; this year $3900.
    3. We have about $25,000 in general endowment funds.  Usually organizations do not spend the capital in these funds, but just use the interest and dividends, which in our case would be about $850 per year.
    4. Pat Murphy has not gotten back with us about buying a bench for Ann Armstrong Fund with the $475 restricted funds.
    5. 3% of Marr and Steinkamp Funds are made available each year for research grants.
    6. We have about $11,000 on our checking account and another $21,000 in operating funds in Vanguard Funds (which is like an interest-bearing savings account).  All of this is liquid and available to fund projects.
    7. Each Chapter gets a subvention of ¼ of their membership dues.
    8. Mo is comfortable with the Budget showing $2500 loss for 2015 because historically most Chapters do not use their subventions.
    9. Mission Grant $1872 based upon last year’s net income.
    10. Field Studies at $200 will be spent on Black Forest this year.
    11. Boulder Chapter needs room rental of $850 and $400 for digital projector.
    12. Steve Popovich asked what the research level has been for obtaining free Boulder meeting space.
  2. Charlie Turner moved we pass the budget as is, Bob Powell 2nd. Charlie Turner amended the motion to add that the projector is owned by CoNPS, not the Boulder chapter, but is loaned out on a permanent basis. Jan Turner 2nd the amended motion. Motion passed. Steve Popovich asked if there is anything in the bylaws to disallow us voting in a budget with a loss. Charlie Turner said “No.”
  1. Mount Evans Fund (Mo Ewing) (VOTE)
  1. A few years ago, Mo made a donation to endowment to fund the Mount Evans fund. This was originally intended to fund projects on Mount Evans.
  2. It doesn’t look like CoNPS is going to run any projects up there so Mo would like to have the money transferred to the CoNPS General Endowment.  Mo thinks there needs to be a vote on this so that the transfer is documented. Bob Powell moved Mount Evans amount of $1024 be transferred to the General Endowment Fund, Charlie Turner 2nd. Jenny Neale stated that this will not preclude any projects on Mt Evans in the future. Motion passed.
  1. Standing Committee Chairs to Get a Vote – Charlie Turner moved that standing committee chairs have a vote, if they do not already have a vote as an Officer, Director or President. This number would also go toward the quorum. Irene Shonle 2nd. Discussion- Jan Turner- they do a lot of work, and it is appropriate to give them each a vote. Motion passed. The Bylaws will be revised. Add: No voting member will get more than one vote – one person, one vote.
  1. Membership Mailings – Linda Smith
    1. Linda Smith said that Eric Lane has been able to do these mailings for free in the past using his organization’s bulk mail permit, but may not be able to in the future.
    2. Board agreed to gradually change (over the course of a year) CoNPS general delivery email (that Linda Smith monitors) from AOL to GMAIL. It is currently
  1. Black Forest/Pineries Open Space Update
    1. Steve Popovich wants to pitch this for Field Studies. Jenny Neale and Jessica Smith are scheduling this for May and July. Steve Popovich will work directly with Jenny Neale.
  1. Field Trip Committee
  1. Still exists although inactive.
  2. Should we bring the position back to help chapters plan field trips? What do chapters think? Bob Powell – statewide field trips were an historically valuable function of CoNPS. Steve Popovich asked for a clarification of duties – is this the coordinator of the local Chapters’ Field Trips? The local chapters seem to be doing this on their own. We will abolish this Committee. Charlie Turner will revise the manual.

Charlie Turner moved we adjourn. Jan Turner 2nd. Motion passed at 11:58am, and the meeting was adjourned.