CoNPS Board Meeting
March 8, 2022
Present: Alan Moores, Amy Yarger, Ann Beard, Ann Grant,Barb Valenti, Chrissy Alba, Curt Nimz, Denise Wilson, Deryn Davidson,Donna,Erik Howshar, Jennifer Bousselot, Kathleen Maher, Kathy Okon, Kelly Ambler, Maggie Gaddis, Marion, Mary Van Dyke, Mo,, Pat Butler, Pat Shepardsson, Paul Alaback, Suzanne Dingwell, Tamara Tomorohlen, Tom Zeiner
At the beginning of each board meeting, someone (the facilitator or the secretary?) should determine if a quorum is present for conducting any business requiring formal board action. With 7 elected board members and 7 chapters, a quorum currently is 8. It would be important for all chapter leaders to do their best to be sure that a representative from each chapter attends board meetings (fortunately, a couple of chapter members were able to fill in on the spot at the March 8 meeting, but it would be useful to have chapter leaders recruit substitutes if they are unable to attend.)
To do items
For next agenda
Chrissy called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm
Chrissy moved to approve the January board meeting minutes. Deryn seconded. Motion passed
1. Events report – LWCNP, Plant Sale, 3 Garden Tours (Denise 10 minutes) – Please read the report: 3-8-22 CoNPS Board Report by Events Coordinator.docx
• Ann asked where can CoNPS members can apply for the LWCNP grant? Maggie put the link in the chat.
• Ticket price for tour at DBG Chatfield Farms will be established when DBGCF gets back to Denise, by May 1
• Ann liked the change of plant sale tactics to provide self-selected substitutions and “no refunds”
• Tom asked how it will be determined how orders are fulfilled. Denise said that she will start from the end of the alphabet – Tom wondered if it would work to go in order of when customers placed their orders. Denise doesn’t have admin capability for the cart function in MembershipWorks but will let us know.
2. Webinar report (Kathy 10 minutes) – Please read the report 2022 CoNPS Webinars To Date.pdf
• Kathy asks webinar participants what topics interest them. She has noticed 2 groups: native plant gardeners and plant lovers at all levels. She works to balance offerings between the 2 groups.
• Fantastic lineup!
3. Should we reinstate workshops and field seminars (Kathy 10 minutes) – Kathy offered some things to consider: A majority of our members are 60+. Most of the workshops are indoors and require sharing scopes. Field seminars may be impacted by wildfires.
• Other venues currently require masking and vacc/booster cards; if indoors
• Tom observed that it is a fluid situation. Chrissy thought that planning outdoor field seminars would be ok, option to leave language vague (within 2 weeks of workshop, we will contact you with current guidelines)
• We will still be doing webinars
• Maggie brought up that in Trinidad, they’d like to do a botanical illustration course – chapters are dealing with the same questions
• Kathy will be in discussion with Maggie to make final decision about field trips and workshops
4. Carter books discussion (Maggie/ Jen B. 10 minutes) – Common Southwestern Native Plants, donated by Jack Carter to CoNPS. Jack wanted to ensure that the funds from the 3rd edition of this book helped to fund CoNPS. We’ve sold over $26K worth of books. We have a consistent market for this book, especially from parks. We are down to our last few boxes of books. Jen proposes that we re-print current edition, doesn’t really need updates at this point. Jen is requesting that she is able to ask for donations to cover the printing of more books; she already has a $5K commitment, if matched, from Connie Holsinger. We would put out an ask in the e-news for the membership and/or make a donation from the CoNPS budget.
• Jennifer suggested that we decide by the end of the month, due to 10-12 week printing delays
• Denise suggested a special message to the membership, instead of just e-news for restricted donations for the printing match
• Money currently goes into the Mission Grant fund; board could modify that purpose, so that a portion of that fund could go for re-printing
• Perhaps chapter presidents can go to their chapters with this proposal – either from chapter budget or from members
Chrissy moved and Tom seconded to make the funding for the reprinting and distribution of Common Native Southwestern Plants sustainable into the future. Motion passed.
5. 2022 budget approval (Maggie and Mo) – 2022 Budget Proposal- M. Gaddis-final.pdfMaggie shared 2022 projections. Projections include increase in membership dues with new membership models, higher expenses for annual meeting. Chapter expenses are based on size of membership. The organization shows a net income of over $14K.
• Advertising expenses are rolled into event expenses (i.e. garden tours and annual meeting)
Chrissy moved and Ann seconded to approve the 2022 budget as presented. Motion passed.
6. Executive Director update (Maggie 15 min) -ED report 3-2022Maggie is working on member communication and outreach, partner development, chapter support, investigating fee for service to leverage our expertise, staff support. We engaged over 550 people over 2 months.
• Maggie suggested we could offer services to our members and nurseries to focus on native plant acquisition?
• Maggie is also working on adapting Linda’s admin position to shift toward membership and communication
• Still working on VISTA, SCFD funding (move mailing address to one of the SCFD counties), committee meetings
• Important to record participation and volunteer hours – just including events in calendar can help with this. We need a process for volunteers to log hours. Maggie is asking for help with this. Mo found a plug-in on the website. This data will be useful for applying for grants
• Maggie asked if we should vote to increase # of registrations for events – revisit at next meeting
7. Aquilegia winter issue recap/ spring issue planning (Kelly 10 min) Aquilegia 2022_46.2 planned content.docx Major shout-out to the Aquilegia team, including Alan Moores for his work as production manager! The team worked together to get the Winter issue out – it came out by email last week. The team is now working on the spring issue; we have enough content. This issue will come out May 1. They are continuing to recruit for Summer and Fall issues. They are using the Chicago Manual of Style and Ackerfield’s Flora of Colorado as basic references – Kelly requested funds for purchase of this book for any Aquilegia volunteer who needs them.
• Kathy O. asked if it was possible to list deadlines and publication dates.
◦ Publication dates: Feb 1, May 1, Aug 1, Nov 1. Deadlines for articles 6 weeks before that: Mar 15, Jun 15, Sept 15, Dec 15
• Mo felt that funds could be supplied to provide reference books to volunteers who need them. Kelly will look at expenses and need to provide an estimate to the board. Alan mentioned that there may be older editions that would work well and be less expensive. (16th edition is $23, probably 5 copies)
8. Aquilegia/ media committee intern/ stipend (Maggie 10 min) – Volunteers have been carrying large loads. Maggie would like a subcommittee to discuss how to delegate and fill these roles sustainably. Chrissy and Kelly volunteered.
• E-News is a separate set of skills from Aquilegia. Kelly is in favor of sharing information but feels that both publications require too much for one person.
• Aquilegia volunteers can work together to take care of tasks so that Kelly can focus on tasks where she can apply her expertise
• Kelly suggested that there is some coordination of topics/ content generation among blog, Aquilegia and e-news
• Maggie will call meeting of Media Committee
9. Statewide Budburst Group (Ann 10 min) Colorado Budburst.docx Ann, Paul and Kathy Maher collaborating on a BudBurst project, now listed on BudBurst website as community partner. Ann would like to urge all interested committee chairs and chapter presidents to brainstorm Earth Week activities. They currently are running a pilot project with over 500 observation – would like to expand statewide and collect more phenology data.
• Maggie observed that this program is a great fit with youth education – will launch with middle school students
• BudBurst can also be used to capture pollinator data
10. UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration/ City Nature Challenge (Sue Dingwell, 15 min) This resolution was made by UN General Assembly in 2019. The plan was for it to start from 2021-2030, but events were canceled by the pandemic. The goal is to halt degradation and to enhance livelihoods for people and for nature. They are looking for cooperation and nature-based solutions. City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a worldwide project to record all living species with the primary goal to connect people with nature. It’s a contest between cities to get the most observations! These are both things that CoNPS can participate in!
• Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) is having a conference next month with workshops – Suzanne will be going both days. Maggie will be presenting about CoNPS!
• Ann asked re: CNC – if observations have to be research grade to be counted. She suggested that we host a meeting to elevate observations to research grade. Maggie will host a iNaturalist working meeting from May 3-8
• Suzanne found out that her blog will be included in SER newsletter, reaching over 21K people!
11. Mission Grant updates (Chrissy 10 min) Mission Grant Overview_February 2022_FINAL.docx
We have been looking for a 3rd person to help us evaluate the grant applications; Chrissy found a volunteer, Barbara Thiers, but not a board member. Chrissy wanted to make sure this was appropriate. There’s also some wording in the application that applicants need to be CoNPS members – is that too restrictive or exclusive? The amount of the grant has been typically $500 – $750 – request to distribute $1000 2x/ year. We received many more applicants than previously thanks to Maggie!
• Pat asked about past recipients and whether there’s been interest among non-members. Chrissy answered that all applicants have been members (i.e. Southern Rockies Seed Network).
• Mo observed that neither Marr or Steinkamp require CoNPS membership. We want to grow our membership so we will
Mo moved and Chrissy seconded to allow non-board members to serve on Mission Grant committee.
Chrissy moved and Mo seconded that Mission Grant is open to everyone, but membership is encouraged.
12. Boulder chapter – conference planning (Pat Butler 5 min) The committee has all speakers confirmed and Kelly has the info for the upcoming Aquilegia. Denise has been very helpful and involved. Lynn Riedel and Dave Sutherland are working on field trips – perhaps up to 10! In summer the team will be identifying volunteer tasks. The committee has received a great outpouring of support! Pat will forward list of speakers to Suzanne and Kathy O.
13. Board meeting hosting/ retreat (Maggie 5 min) – Maggie would like the board to have a full-day strategic planning session in the spring, perhaps with a service element or outdoor activity. Maggie secured Camp Shadybrook in Deckers for free. Is Deckers too far? Is a whole day too long? Weekend or weekday? Maggie will contact board members, including chapter leadership, and try to identify some dates.
• We do have a 5-year strategic plan, but much has changed in the last few years. Time to re-visit.
• We don’t necessarily need a quorum, but a chance to have high-level discussion.
14. Jan-Feb Financial Report (Mo 10 min) – Mo pointed out that more people are buying hardcopies of Aquilegia than expected. Membership goal of getting to $40K/ year – for the 1st 2 months, we are operating above budget, an increase of 18% over last year. Book sales are also up this year, as well as workshop income. No outstanding issues with expenses – they are about what we expect.
a. Operating Budget/ Actuals Jan-Feb CoNPS Operating B to A Jan-Feb 2022.pdf
b. Balance sheet CoNPS Balance Sheet 02 28 2022.pdf
• SAGE program is self-paced with monthly meetups; about 12 people in the program
• Well done, everybody!
15. Linda’s successor (Pat Butler is asking, 10 min) Admin Asst > Membership and Communications Coordinator .docx
What will role look like when Linda retires? Also, can chapter leaders enter events in events calendar, instead of sending it to admin role to do? Maggie is willing to train others to do this. The membership and communication coordinator would take on member communications, bookstore management, website, social media and e-news – someone with a communications background. It’s unlikely that we will have someone in that role before Linda retires. Maggie would like to get this into March 15 newsletter – We will do a digital vote by end of week – Maggie will send out position description for us to review.
• Linda currently routes emails to the appropriate person
• Denise suggested that hours are underestimated, that this role takes closer to 15 hours/ week
• Mail can be forwarded for 1 year, with 2 weeks lag time; have to keep renewing it
• Maggie observed that the way CoNPS handles the mail is due for change
• Kathy asked if it’s possible to have 2 mailboxes? Maggie wondered if CoNPS could have a mailbox at DBG. Chrissy will look into CoNPS having a mailbox at DBG.
• Invoices to Joni from here on out – all bookkeeping duties
• Who will be email contact – Maggie will set up firstname.lastname@example.org with Google phone # attached
16. Committee and chapter updates
• Horticulture Committee (Ann) has been getting involved in more partnership events, such as the seed swap in Fort Collins, seed collections and cleanings; meeting folks from Wild Ones and PPAN. Ann met with League of Women Voters Pollinator Habitat Working Group today – they invited CoNPS to be part of an event at Fossil Creek. On June 18, Gardens on Spring Creek is having a garden party/ seed swap – opportunity to reach out to regular gardeners. Building relationships and sharing expertise is a great way to grow CoNPS. (Partner events listed as “Other” on calendar)
• Southeast Chapter (Curt) The chapter is working on setting up 12 field trips and meetings through June, as well as working on plant inventory with the Manitou Pollinators.
• Denver Chapter (Leadership Team) Would like to give a bigger honorarium for speakers, Maggie approved
Chrissy closed the meeting at 8:00 pm