CoNPS Board Meeting Minutes 10-25-22


Present: Maggie Gaddis, Anne Beard, Julie Hanscome, Alex Smith, Kathy Okon, Pat Butler, Jim Pisarowicz, Kenar Houghton, Shirley Marquardt-Tynan, Gwen Kittel, Suzanne Dingwell, Kelly, Chrissy Alba, Kelly Nicole Kirk, Ann Grant, Sheryl Sadler, Amanda Kuenzi, Metro Denver CoNPS, Kathy Maher, Alex Crochet, Jessica Smith, Amy Yarger

Future agendas
Agenda here:

1. Mission Moment – Over 60 people showed up to plant seeds and tour city greenhouses! Over 7000 seeds were planted, these plants were given to open space rangers in El Paso County, over $50K in native plants grown by members.

2. Events Report – P&L statement here:

a. Plant Sale – 230 people purchased plants;

i. Netted about $10K this year
ii. Ordered 10% extra and was able to sell all the leftovers

b. Garden Tours – also did well, clearing the same amount of money as last year
c. Annual Meeting – Numbers will be finalized by next board meeting and videos ready next week

3. Webinars and Field Seminars Report

a. Field Seminars re-instated this year
b. Increase in program participants overall compared to same time last year due to increased attendance at webinars
c. Revenues have increased in 2022
d. Workshops – concern about physical proximity and risk level of potential participants; outdoor workshops are one option; Kathy asked if workshops are something that CoNPS wants to reinstate for 2023?

i. Pat Butler, Mo, Chrissy, Ann Grant and Anna Wilson looking forward to in-person plant identification workshops – that’s why many people join CoNPS in the first place
ii. Chrissy moved and Ann Grant seconded to reinstate in-person workshops in 2023. Motion passed unanimously.

4. Boulder Chapter – Conference Recap

a. Boulder Chapter worked very hard, and the event was successful both from a program and financial standpoint (Over $12K surplus)
b. The steering committee drafted detailed records to assist future annual meeting steering committees
c. Attendance: 158 in-person attendees, 52 virtual attendees – lower than expected; 46 non-members registered
d. Successful engagement with 27 business sponsors this year!
e. Ann asked if there was a post-meeting survey – unknown at this time
f. Mo needs names of photo contest winners so he can send out awards

5. 2023 Annual Conference – hosted by San Luis Valley Chapter

a. Master planning for Heart of the Valley Trail – possible for CoNPS to influence? Partnership with Americorps? Opportunity to review grant proposal to identify existing connections

6. Aquilegia Winter Issue Planning – a full winter issue planned including wildfire recovery, the alpine strategy and green roofs

a. The fall issue is in final stages of layout
b. A full winter issue planned including wildfire recovery, the alpine strategy and green roofs

i. Committees and chapters should provide Kelly a summary of 2022 accomplishments and goals for 2023, by Dec 15

c. Many thanks to the Media committee for their work!

7. Committee/Chapter Updates

a. Committees have monthly standing meetings with Maggie, times subject to change
b. Horticulture – currently recruiting leadership
c. Maggie would like to see more board participation on committees
d. Grants – Alice Eastwood grant for undergraduate students interested in working with native plants will be shifting to a rolling deadline from Oct. 1 through the following Oct. 1; grant is for $475, with CoNPS matching an additional $475 for total of $950

i. Targeted announcements to faculty to promote applications – looking for help to connect this opportunity with more students
ii. Chrissy will check with Leo to confirm the length of the awardee’s CoNPS membership

8. Chapter Updates – All are welcome to participate!

a. Boulder – starting fall and winter meetings; field trips planned for next summer
b. Denver – fewer in-person meetings lately due to cost
c. Northern – haven’t been able to recruit new chapter president, would like to get people used to attending meetings again; plant swaps and seed swaps, as well as seed collection at HPEC
d. Plateau – planning a Zoom meeting on November 16 at 7 pm, program about fall wildflowers; also planning spring wildflower field trips for 2023; looking for chapter leaders in Grand Junction
e. San Luis Valley – lots of people show up to programs, chapter is looking to convert nonmembers
f. Southeast – chapter meeting tonight, with Carol English presenting; looking for replacement chapter leader; completed 2 plant inventories associated with Manitou Pollinators
g. Southwest – had a field trip series, partnership with Durango Nature Center for inventories, opened 2 seed collection events, revegetation project on Bolam Pass, lecture series for the winter hosted at Ft. Lewis College with a focus on student research; hoping to have springtime (March/ early April) hybrid conference with a focus on water conservation and planting for climate resilience at Durango Botanical Gardens – looking for speaker recommendations

9. Board Development – recruiting new members! The goal is to have an electronic membership vote on onboarding new members by the next meeting. Pat will summarize provision in bylaws for board members before deciding how many new slots are available. Maggie will share introductions from prospective members with board.

a. Alex Smith – experience with educating gardeners and plant enthusiasts
b. Gwen Kittel – member since 1985, career in conservation, semi-retired
c. Alex Crochet – love for horticulture, has worked as CO Springs horticulturist for a year, propagating native plants and converting landscapes to native plantings
d. Suzanne Forsberg – interested in mentoring CoNPS in grant proposals
e. Wind Clearwater – native plant grower on western slope
f. Elizabeth Rose – high school student, president of biology club, has done seed collection, help with connecting with students
g. In progress

i. Julie Lehman
ii. Mikl Brawner/ Alex Bruce
iii. Janna Hanson
iv. Maddie Maher
v. If you know anyone else – especially people strong in organizational management skills!

10. ED Update

a. Fundraising – in-kind office rental, Susan Martin, Terra Foundation, USFS seed contract, seed bank; sponsors for native plant summit and annual meeting
b. Membership – 1677 member accounts, but need new strategies for renewals, such as a sustaining membership, also looking for ideas for communicating with non-members – chapters are more successful at that than the statewide organization

i. Website membership sign-on process – # of designations currently based on chapters and membership levels, but we are looking for ways to simplify communications with members. MailChimp allows sorting of memberships (levels, expiration dates) and analytics.
ii. E-news purpose and cadence

c. Program development

i. USFS seed collection contract
ii. CNHP rare plant surveys – connecting CoNPS volunteers to assist with evaluating historical plant records
iii. SAGE – passed on to horticulture committee
iv. Education programs – will be passed on to Kathy
v. Native plant propagation – in CO Springs with Alex Crochet, meeting Wind Clearwater on western slope
vi. Internships
vii. Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
viii. Seasonal programs aligned with revenue-seeking events – see YouTube video from 2021
ix. SB22-199 Pollinator Health Study Bill, Maggie has been asked to be a reviewer; CoNPS can help to study native habitats

d. Staffing

i. Cost of living increase
ii. Vacant positions – Bookkeeper, Field Programs Assistant (new) – propose increased hours
iii. Kathy – Education Programs Manager, propose increased hours; Kathy will present education proposal
iv. The OC will review finances and Maggie’s proposal for hours for each staff member in detail, then share with board. The board will then have a closed session to make a decision on the 2023 staffing plan by the next meeting in November
v. Maggie will write job description for Field Programs Assistant

e. Organizational management

i. Alliance Center – mailbox, storage, meeting space; Denver address for a variety of purposes
ii. Establish residency, prepare to be audited, accept contract funds

f. CO Gives Day

11. Board retreat
Next meeting is November 29, 2022 5 pm via Zoom