Colorado Native Plant Society
Board Meeting Minutes

Location: Denver, CO
Regis University Library, Tracy Center,Main Level
3333 Regis Blvd. (corner Regis Blvd. & Lowell Blvd.)
October 22, 2016
9:34 a.m. – 11:46 a.m.

IMPORTANT: CoNPS has reached a point in its development that we need to establish a Strategic Plan/Action Plan that projects several years into the future. Going year to year is no longer a viable way of doing business. There are many projects/funding issues that we need to consider. A document was put together as a starting point to begin the discussion and distributed before the meeting, the idea being to get the Board to brainstorm. Ninety percent of the meeting was to be devoted to this discussion, but taking care of other business took longer than anticipated, so the Strategic Plan will be covered under the next two meetings – Nov 19th and Dec 3rd.

Called to Order at 9:34 am by Charlie Turner

Attending: Irene Shonle, Kate Goes in Center, Mikl Brawner, Gary Mise, Renee Galeano Popp, Erica Cooper, David Julie, Lenore Mitchell, Ronda Koski, Jessica Smith, Cecily Mui, Samantha Clark, Amy Yarger, Sara Copp Franz, Denise Wilson, Jack Carter, Mo Ewing, Jen Bousselot, Linda Smith, Charlie Turner, Jan Turner

Attending by phone: Jenny Neale, Rich Rhoades, Bob Powell


  1. Welcome to Renee Galeano Popp, new Northern Chapter President
  2. Welcome David Julie, the new Chair of the Education & Outreach Committee
  3. Leo Bruederle is the new Metro-Denver Chapter President; he will be introduced at the Nov. 19 Board meeting.
  4. Rich Rhoades is the new Southeast Chapter President; Rich and Doris Drisgill will run the Southeast Chapter; Rich will be introduced at the Nov. 19 Board meeting.
  5. Stephen Stern (Plateau Chapter President) is the new Chair of the Research Grants Committee.
  6. Cath Kleier stepped down as Research Grants Committee Chair.
  7. Sara Copp Franz is Chair of the newly formed Restoration Committee (Horticulture & Restoration Committee voted to split into 2 committees); we need to help Sara publicize and recruit volunteers.
  8. Samantha Smith stepped down as President of the Metro-Denver Chapter.
  9. Jeff Jones stepped down as President of the Southeast Chapter due to time constraints.
  10. Ronda Koski stepped down as President of the Northern Chapter because Renee Galeano Popp volunteered to assume the presidency. Ronda remains as the CoNPS Workshop Coordinator.
  11. CoNPS SE Chapter is collaborating with the Pikes Peak Group of Sierra Club to present a John Fielder Program (Celebrating 100 Years of Colorado National Parks, Monuments, and Mountains). Congratulations to Doris Drisgill for arranging this. We could also do this in Denver at DBG next year.
  12. “Hometown Habitat”, the video based on Doug Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home, can be used for chapter meetings ($35 to download for small group) or $125 for large group. We highly encourage Chapter Presidents to show this video as a chapter program.
  13. Lichens of White Rocks by Erin Tripp Available for Pre-Order (Linda Smith has ordered some for CoNPS bookstore and they will be sold at the CoNPS discounted price (cheaper than University Press and Amazon).
  14. CoNPS Society Membership at Denver Botanic Gardens will begin in January.
  15. CoNPS’ Board Members Handbook Needs updating because of new committees and other changes (Jan Turner).
  16. Great Old Broads for Wilderness is holding a free week long “Wilderness Advocacy Leadership Training Session” (WALTS) in Santa Fe from April 6-10, 2017. For information, ask Charlie Turner.


  1. Approve Votes and Minutes from Email meeting (VOTE) (Denise Wilson) with changes from Charlie Turner: a. Aug 9 should be Aug 3; b. received 13 instead of 11 yes cotes for virtual meeting; c. on page 3 and #3: Delete “(Sam would you hold the Denver… membership?’ Also on #3 delete “Isn’t the Denver…at $1000?”

Charlie moved; Irene seconded; motion passed to accept minutes of Aug 3 virtual meeting.

  1. Native Plant Legislation (Irene Shonle)

Water-Wise is initiating a Bill to garden with native plants. They are requesting: 1) How should they define a native plant; 2) An actual list of Colorado native plants. Need these before Nov 2, 2016. Irene gave them CSU Extension list, and links to CoNPS horticulture page.

Jennifer Ackerfield shared an Access Database of all Flora of Colorado native plants, but it requires permission. Sara Copp will print it as a pdf document, however, this is a comprehensive checklist which includes many plants which are not suitable or available. Synonyms should be included (Peggy Lyons synonyms list on CoNPS site.) Possibly we could respond with two lists- one of what is available horticulturally, and a second with the possibilities.

Irene will follow-up.

  1. Southern Rockies Seed Network Annual Conference on December 7, 2016. Request for Sponsorship (Jen Bousselot) (VOTE) Jan moved to sponsor a $100 Harvest level and a free 1-year membership for a door prize, Denise seconded; motion passed.
  2. Scholarships (Cecily Mui) this is an AdHoc Committee for the moment. We have an application form on the website with a process for reviewing those, with 5 committee members and at least 3 minimum reviewers. We have $605, and a $605 match, for $1210 total; the goal is $2300, which can be released with match. Cecily developed a scoring ranking sheet based upon the questions to enable reviewers to be fair in scoring and granting the scholarships. Three scholarships were given for attendance to the annual meeting. We want to use this as a recruiting tool.
  3. Should we eliminate Membership, Sales, and/or Workshop Committees because staff are now in charge of these areas? Our new committees include the Annual Conference Planning Committee, Restoration Committee, and Scholarship Committee. Should we add a Field Seminars Committee? Jen and Linda do not vote to avoid a conflict of interest because they are paid employees. (VOTE) Charlie Turner moved to eliminate the Workshop Committee; Amy Yarger seconded it, and the motion passed. On #10 5-year goal,  need to add that Amy Yarger is chairing a Strategic Planing committee to meet before the next Board and the committee is to bring a more organized approach to the Strategic Planning.

Field Seminar – $4500 gross profit from the Field Seminars; paid $250 to instructors.

(VOTE) Charlie Turner moved to Form an AdHoc Field Seminars Committee; Bob Powell & Sara Copp Franz seconded it; the motion passed.

  1. Colorado Gives – online resource supported by Committee First Foundation has been in existence for 20 years. CoNPS is in the process of getting on as a charity; this is a six-month process. Capital Campaign Goal became contributions for a Conservation Coordinator position within CoNPS. Jenny Neale brought up the point that the donations are restricted and therefore will need to be restricted within CoNPS only for this purpose.

CoNPS and Charity Navigator (Jen Bousselot) CoNPS is not currently rated ($1,000,000 value required). CoNPS is not currently meeting several important requirements. Meeting some of those requirements, especially the tax and auditing requirements, will require significant funding. Jen is investigating. (For example, the California Native Plant Society is rated 83.2.)

  1. Chapter Funds – don’t roll over to the next year so can’t accumulate funds for large projects. If your Chapter has a special project, which exceeds the yearly subvention amount, then please request. Subvention is 25% of all the membership dues collected by the Chapter in the previous year. The subvention funds not used go into the general operating fund.
  2. Annual Conference Summary (Handout) (Lenore Mitchell & Jan Turner) Much discussion surrounding the conflict of trying to make money, getting enough volunteers and still involving the Western Slope. We made a $12,558 profit, but did not have enough volunteers. Possibilities for venues include 2 years on the Eastern Slope, followed by 1 year on Western Slope.
  3. Financial Report for 2016 (Mo Ewing) Do we want to have a Conservation Coordinator or an Executive Director (eventually replacing Jan & Charlie Turner)? We have a projected surplus of $18,644, which is still small to establish an endowment.
  4. CoNPS Five-Year Goals and Strategic Plan/Action Plan (Charlie Turner)

Thoughts: Before Jan & Charlie & Jen & Linda’s efforts, we were a much smaller, and less effective, and community involved organization. Our Vision includes capacity – partnerships, technology, impact in conservation. Amy Yarger is chairing a Strategic Planning committee to meet before the next Board and the committee is to bring a more organized approach to the Strategic Planning.

Building Capacity

– staff

  • more money
  • engagement of volunteers
  • effective partnerships
  • infrastructure

Increased Impact

  • advocacy legislation
  • increased awareness
  • conservation “wins”

It was resolved to table this discussion for two designated meetings, Nov 19 & Dec 3, 2016.

Adjourned at 11:46. Charlie Turner moved to adjourn, and Jan Turner seconded. Motion passed.

Next Board Meetings: The next meeting is November 19 and the following meeting is December 3. These will primarily be devoted to the Strategic Plan.

A poll for next year’s meetings will be sent out in early January. The Turners are not available January through April.

Absent: Steve Popovich (proxy: Charlie Turner), Nanette Kuich (proxy: Jan Turner); Steve Olson (proxy: Jan Turner); Jim Tolstrup (Irene); Steven Stern (proxy: Charlie Turner)

Handout attachments:

Jen Bousselot Board Meeting Notes (these are specific to marketing)

Jen Bousselot Charity Navigator

CoNPS Strategic Plan 1998

California Native Plant Society 2016 50-year strategic plan overview

CoNPS Goals for 2016(from Board Brainstorm (October 2015)

2016 projected Budget Summary January 1 – Oct. 12 (with projections to end of year)

Annual Conference Preliminary Summary

Scholarships Committee Summary

Conservation Committee Report

Membership Committee Report

Media Committee Report

Summer Field Seminar Report

Education and Outreach Committee Goals

Northern Chapter Report

Final Aug 3, 2016 Virtual Meeting Minutes