Board Minutes

Iowa Master Naturalists Board of Directors

Minutes of the January 6, 2023 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:  Older minutes are archived on the google drive in the folder called Board of Directors Meetings. 

3) Treasurer Reports – Anita reported our bank balances: $50.00 in PayPal, $1495.04 in checking, $511.06 in savings, for a total of $2056.10. 

4) Chair and Executive Director Reports and Other Discussion

   – This month, the chair and vice chair positions are open. After a brief discussion, Ginny agreed to be chair, and Justin agreed to be vice chair, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

   – The Board presented Elisabeth with a gift basket in appreciation for her dedicated and amazing work with IMN. Ginny had assembled the basket, which included nature notecards and an assortment of wonderful chocolates. Elisabeth thanked everyone for the gifts and for all the ways the board members and advisers support IMN.

   – Jean, Lynette and Anita joined Elisabeth at the fall class capstone project presentations at the E. B. Lyons Nature Center near the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. They described some of the projects, including a treasure hunt at Mines of Spain, a blog of children’s nature books, nature programs for handicapped kids, a study on bee diversity, removing invasive species, and photography of IMN activities. They were impressed with the diversity of projects and the way that students developed projects that complemented their personal and professional interests.

   – Elisabeth reviewed tentative plans for 2023 classes. She will not lead a spring class this year because of family responsibilities, but if board members or others want to moderate a local spring class, she will set it up. The class would be held on twelve Saturdays beginning in mid-March. For the fall 2023 class, potential locations include Cedar Falls-Waterloo, Ames, or our popular local options: Kent Park, Indian Creek or Wickiup Hill.

5) Round Table Nature Sharing – Elisabeth was enjoying a drive with frost-covered trees with dark bark when four trumpeter swans flew overhead – a stunning sight. Ginny has been appreciating the activity that is now visible in leafless trees, including the usual fun squirrels and, surprisingly, bluebirds near the bluebird boxes in Kent Park (great job, Ben!) On a darker note, Sue reported that, although cats have a bad rep when it comes to killing birds, her lab puppy has been very successful in hunting birds, unfortunately, as well as mice and moles. Jean noticed a pair of eagles in the sky, circling toward each other then separating, several times, as if they were playing, and we guessed that this could be a mated pair (as eagles mate for life). Lynette and Dean were cleaning up broken branches in the timber, and when Dean cut into one tree, a large amount of water came gushing out! Anita found a mouse hole in her foundation and live-trapped a couple of mice outside, but that didn’t seem productive, so she just plugged the hole with steel wool – smart and humane! Ben recommends the app “Seek” by iNaturalist for identifying critters and plants.

6) Next Board Meeting – The next Board of Directors meeting will be Friday February 17, 2023 at the Groundswell Café, 201 3rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids.

Respectfully submitted, 

Sue M. Travis, Secretary 

IMN Board of Directors 

5464 Lackender Ave SW 

Riverside IA 52327