CoNPS Board Meeting Minutes
Saturday April 10, 2021 10 am – 1 pm
Present: Chrissy Alba, Ann Grant, Denise Wilson, Linda Smith, Steve Olson, Lynn Reidel, Haley Stratton, Kelly Ambler, Rahman Minhas, Maggie Gaddis, Kathy Okon, Mo Ewing, Gayle Hemenway

Thank you, Chrissy, for leading this meeting! Meeting called to order at 10:08 am

1. Approval of Feb minutes (Amy, 5 min)
Chrissy moved to approve Feb minutes. Mo seconded. Motion approved.

2. Legal counsel advice for CoNPS recorded virtual presentations (Denise, 10 min)
(Please see doc link above) William Honaker, copyright attorney, said that copyright law protects proprietary content in tangible form. For videos, whoever “presses the button” owns the content, but for good practice we will ask permission and only record with their consent – best if permission is captured on recording.

If a speaker’s PowerPoint includes someone else’s images, that could pose a risk to CoNPS, so we’ll have to confirm with speaker that images are their own or permission is given to use the images (for educational purposes and credit attributed)

For webinars so far, speakers have given Kathy copies of slides ahead of time to share with attendees – ok as long as speakers have explicit permission to use any external images. The speaker owns the slides, but CoNPS owns the video. For best practice, we will ask permission to charge for re-broadcast any video.

3. Meeting recordings and copyright issues (Boulder Chapter, 10 min)
The Boulder Chapter is also grappling with the above issue and will continue to monitor the decisions made by the organization.

4. Executive Director position (Ann, 30 min)
Ann wrote a draft CoNPS Executive Director job description and position advertisement (please see doc link above). The priorities of this position are to financially support their role within the period specified in the hiring contract as well as supervise paid CoNPS staff. Chrissy suggested that goals in the description be ranked from highest priority to lowest; this document can be used in the review process for the ED. We also added a qualification demonstrating success in supervising employees, as well as required and desired qualifications. Ann will get her updated, ranked version of the description to Amy to include in Google Drive folder for the April 2021 meeting.

If the description advertisement is submitted to Kelly this week, it can be included in the next issue of Aquilegia. The advertisement will also go out in the e-news as well as specialized listservs, such as COSA (CO Open Space Alliance). Denise will help Ann with putting the position out on the COSA listserv and other websites.

Mo moved to approve the Executive Director position description and advertisement as written (along with any minor editorial changes). Chrissy seconded. Motion approved.
The OC is looking for board support in reviewing and interviewing candidates. Chrissy volunteered – that would be fantastic!

5. New San Luis Valley chapter support (Denise for Carol English, 10 min)
(Please see doc link above) Carol English is proposing herself as president of the San Luis Valley chapter and has 7 individuals already signed up to assist. She is knowledgeable, organized and well-positioned to get a new chapter going. Her email address is , if any of us have any questions for her about this commmendable effort. Kathy will also invite her to present the topics Carol listed on a state level.

6. Native plant sale update (Denise, 5 min)
(Please see doc link above ) Two-thirds of the plants are already sold out, but we need to sell more in order to make money on the plant sale. All of us should share this sale with our contacts and get those plants sold! We have volunteers signed up and will be prepared to sell any “leftovers” on the pickup day via Square app.

7. Annual conference update (Denise, 10 min)
(Please see doc link above) We may need more blocks of rooms, since many attendees will be coming from outside the region. Registration will open on July, but attendees should book their campsite now. Maggie will call about the price/ availability of the group campsite. Maggie also has information about camping availability at Earth Mountain Farms that she will share:

The conference theme is focusing on shortgrass prairie and a “long look back” – Maggie has reached out to some local ranchers about how landscape has changed over time and life on the range. Steve is interested in having a rancher host a field trip as well. Maggie will also be reporting on her shortgrass revegetation research and citizen science. She is also talking with Melody Daugherty about Manitou Springs’ pollinator district efforts, and watershed managers to talk about their efforts. Maggie has also been working with Irene Shonle to re-establish Native Plant Master program in the southeast chapter, Alex Goetz about riparian restoration, and Jennifer Ackerfield has offered to talk about 2nd edition of Flora of Colorado. She would also like Ann and Paul to talk about the CoNPS Budburst efforts – they are committed. CoNPS has collaborated with the Southern Plains Land Trust before,and there is a rare Frasera on their lands. Chrissy will be working with the SPLT on a botanical survey – another idea! We are well on our way to confirm 6-7 speakers for the event!

8. Garden tours update (Denise, 5 min)
(Please see doc link above) No questions at this time– the tours are proceeding and volunteers have signed up to staff these events. Volunteers and participants will be expected to follow all COVID-19 guidelines

9. Webinar update and brainstorming speakers for special speaker series (Kathy, 10 min)
(Please see doc link above to see past and exciting upcoming webinars). Kathy has worked to ensure that topics are balanced to address interests of our diverse members. Kathy would like to hear special speaker ideas from the board (Scott Hoffman Black, David Inouye) – please contact Kathy with your recommendations!

10. Discussion of when to reconvene workshops and field seminars (Kathy, 10 min)

Planning for summer events has to happen now! Indoor events have to take CDC guidelines as well as capacity/ revenue into account. Even outdoor events have space/ capacity considerations, if attendees are crowding around a plant. Kathy asked how the board felt about vaccine requirements for indoor events – Chrissy also asked if that was a legal requirement to make? We could require mask wearing indoors and outdoors. We could also have a box of disposable masks available and refund mask refusers that we ask to leave.

The board consensus is that we should keep offering webinars through the fall (and beyond!) and then consider field seminars aligned with COVID-19 guidelines. At July meeting, we can discuss the future in-person workshops or seminars.

11. Discussion about accepting links to website and other requests for promotion (Ann, 15 min)
These promotion requests usually get forwarded from Linda to the OC and Denise – for example, a member who has a book coming out about transforming a conventional to a native landscape in Chicago. We’ve also had discussions with what gets included in the E-news for length considerations – strictly CoNPS events. We can promote things from our partner organizations for our chapters, when appropriate, but there should be a relationship there. Aquilegia has criteria: relevant to CO and CoNPS membership. “Cross-pollination” content is primarily filler material as space permits.

12. Restoration committee – Rock Ledge Ranch (RLR) Native Plant Garden Project in CO Springs (Haley, 10 min)  Rock Ledge Ranch is asking for help in successfully establishing a native plant garden at RLR. Irrigation is key to the success of this garden, as well as volunteering to plant and maintain this garden. Haley would like the OK from the board to proceed with this project. Ann suggested partnering with the local parks department in assistance with watering. Maggie has an email out to the parks already, and there is already organizational buy-in. Haley and Maggie will coordinate offline.

The board is in favor of this project! Thank you, Haley, for sharing this with the board!

13. Contact person for media committee (Kelly, 5 min)
(Please see doc link above) The media committee also includes E-news, website and social media, as well as Aquilegia – but current society contacts listed on the Aquilegia masthead are content pre-reviewers may not be the appropriate contacts for the Media committee since they aren’t otherwise active. What is the function of the Media committee, if each arm operates independently? Having a committee allows members to sign up for helping with the individual arms. Kelly is ok with listing her name there, if necessary, but does not want to be chair. Mo added that ideally, there would be a chair and all arms would be integrated into the CoNPS brand. Another option is to list the lead on each of the arms (Mo-website, Kelly – Aquilegia, etc.)

14. Ed and Outreach (E&O) committee update (Amy, 5 min)
Amy sent out request to listed E&O members to look for replacement chair/ leadership team – no one is interested in that role right now. However, this is the season when there are more educational events. Amy does not want to be E&O chair long-term, but she is willing to forward event opportunities to the E&O roster (about 7 recently active out of a current roster of about 20) until other leadership can be found. E&O objectives also overlap with various chapter projects, so E&O members can be considered a pool of volunteers for those activities. Amy will recruit E&O leadership later in the year when there is more normalcy.

15. Other chapter and committee updates (Chairs/Presidents, 15 min)
Boulder – Lynn reported that Boulder has field trips and activities planned for this season. Lynn thanks Rahman for pointing out the new Rocky Mountain Botanic Garden in Lyons to the chapter – the Boulder Chapter will have a field trip there in July.

Denver Metro – Denver Metro is also scheduling field trips but are still having virtual meetings. They will poll their members about how they feel about in-person meetings after June. The Denver-Metro chapter is also working with Balarat teachers to provide professional development about native plants – Rahman is working with Dina Baker and Kathy on this project. CSU Small Acreage land manager has a seed mix they’d like to try out on their site as well. Rahman would like to make this a long-term relationship with Balarat School.

Kathy asked whether chapters decide when in-person meetings can start? Different counties have different guidelines depending on their case numbers and public health recommendations. We are leaving those decisions to the chapters. Mo recommended that when Rahman sends out the poll regarding in-person meetings, including a question about whether they’d be more comfortable if everyone was vaccinated. Rahman is also investigating the DBG venue whether they could stream the meeting for remote participants. Maggie noted that having an online option has increased member participation!

Southeast – Southeast chapter are looking to revive the Native Plant Master program and also participate in iNaturalist events. They plan to hold outdoor events of 10 participants or fewer. Maggie proposed that students helping with the conference organization, can they be called CoNPS interns? This is a great idea, and Amy suggested that the internship follow federal labor guidelines for internships.

Northern – Finding hiking sites without fire destruction has been a challenge, and the chapter is investigating where they can go. The Northern Chapter has also been working on setting up phenology project – we have applied to the national BudBurst project to have a statewide CoNPS project appear on the BudBurst website. Chrissy said she is doing work on the Cal-Wood site for a potential fire ecology field trip in the future, perhaps fall 2021.

16. In person board meetings (Amy, 10 min)
We will continue with Zoom meetings through 2021, then consider in-person meetings with a remote option for 2022. Amy will send out a survey in Q4 2021 to gauge board member comfort level and availability for 2022 meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 12:55 pm
Next meeting Saturday, July 31, 10 am – 1 pm