Iowa Master Naturalists Board of Directors
Minutes of the July 22, 2022 Board Meeting
12:00 p.m. at Groundswell Café in Cedar Rapids
1) Roll Call
Justin Voss, Chair (present)
Ginny Paulson, Vice Chair (present)
Sue Travis, Secretary (present)
Anita Hutton, Treasurer (present)
Ben Rowold (present)
Steve Keane (present)
Executive Director: Elisabeth Swain (present)
Advisors: Jean Prior (present), Lynette Seigley (present), Alida Selim, Letia Blanco, John Pearson
2) Minutes from the previous meeting – The most recent minutes are on our website: https://iowamasternaturalists.org/Board-Minutes/ Older minutes are archived on the google drive in the folder called Board of Directors Meetings.
3) Treasurer Reports – Anita reported our bank balances: $50.03 in PayPal, $3124.45 in checking, $510.73 in savings, for a total of $3685.21.
4) Chair and Executive Director Reports and Other Discussion
– During the pre-meeting discussions, Ginny shared the new edition of her “Prairie Seed Harvester’s Guide.” Lynette reported a successful Project Aware event last week; they collected tons of garbage and hundreds of tires.
– Justin welcomed Steve Keane, IMN graduate, to the meeting and motioned that we accept him as our newest board member. Ginny seconded the motion, and everyone approved. Welcome, Steve!
– Elisabeth thanked Ben for his leadership in staffing and supplying the IMN table at EcoFest, which was April 23 at NewBo in Cedar Rapids. She also thanked Sue for promoting the IMN FaceBook page, which now has over 2200 “Likes.”
– The Spring 2022 course at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park in Ames went very well; Elizabeth acknowledged Jerry Keys, SCC Environmental Education Coordinator, for helping publicize the class. Justin and Elizabeth described some of the students’ very creative capstone projects.
– A Fall 2002 course is being planned in Dubuque County; if there are enough applicants, it will run from Sept. 10 to Dec. 3. Classes will be held at the E. B. Lyons Nature Center near the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, except the Sept. 17 class will be held at the nearby Swiss Valley Nature Center. Elisabeth is looking for a board member to host the October 1 class, as she will be out of town.
– We brainstormed ideas for publicizing the classes. Jean, Ginny and others suggested contacting groups such as Pheasants Forever or Ducks Unlimited, Corps of Engineers, and relevant “Friends of ____” groups, and sending a pdf of the flyer to all past students so they can share it with their friends.
5) Round Table Nature Sharing – Justin visited New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia, where he learned about the hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive aphid-like insect that harms North American hemlocks. Insecticide injections are used for control. Back home, he has noticed that some of his flowering plants (including daisies, sea holly and rattlesnake master) are not visited by honeybees or mason bees, but they are visited by various tiny bees and flies. He learned that there are 4000 types of bees in the US, and 300-400 types in Iowa. Sue has been scouting out roadside sites for collecting native plant seeds, such as Penstemon digitalis. She recently identified coyote poop in the yard, and felt like quite the naturalist. Ginny’s yard had abundant Tall Bellflower one year, and none the next, but it’s back this year and seems to be migrating toward the house. She read that Tall Bellflower is annual or biennial, depending on when germination occurs. Elizabeth shared her experience of mindful walking and appreciating the intricate pleating of banded grasshopper wings and bindweed flowers, and the drought adaptation of equisetum (horsetail). Jean has not been caring for her backyard as much as usual this year, and notes that it is doing well anyway (maybe it’s the yard’s turn to care for Jean). Lynette has seen an albino nuthatch in her yard! Ben’s bluebirds at Kent Park have been doing very well, and may break a record for hatchlings. It looks like “Supermom” bluebird is on her third brood for the year. Anita usually visits Lake of the Woods in Canada in the summer, but this year there have been unusually and heavy rains and bad storms. Steve reports that Yellowstone had to close roads because of too much rain and they might not rebuild a particularly picturesque road because of continued wetness. Steve has helped local schools with pollinator gardens, and at Taylor Elementary, the kids got to pick out what they would plant. Most of the kids chose sunflowers, and now the garden has so many sunflowers that the kids like to hide in there. Elizabeth suggested cutting a path through the plants instead of cutting them all down.
6) Next Board Meeting – The next Board of Directors meeting will be Friday September 16, 2022 at the Groundswell Café, 201 3rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids.
Sue M. Travis, Secretary
IMN Board of Directors
5464 Lackender Ave SW
Riverside IA 52327