Board Minutes

­­­Iowa Master Naturalists Board of Directors 

Minutes of the April 1, 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) 

Peter Ault  

Executive Director: Elisabeth Swain (present) 

Advisors: Jean Prior (present), Lynette Seigley (present), Alida Selim, Letia Blanco, John Pearson, Tammy Wright 

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: $2350.03 in PayPal, $736.11 in checking, $510.47 in savings, for a total of $3596.61. In addition, Elisabeth has $1855 in cash to deposit, for a grand total of $5451.61. 

4) Chair and Executive Director Reports and Other Discussion 

   – The Spring 2022 course in Ames is going very well, and the students and the speakers are excellent. It began March 19 at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park. Everyone recently enjoyed the Day of Insects at Reiman Gardens. 

   – We discussed expanding the Board, and are considering three candidates, so far. 

   – Elisabeth booked a table for IMN at EcoFest, which is April 23 at NewBo in Cedar Rapids. Ben agreed to be the lead volunteer, Justin might join him, and Elisabeth will inform the others of this volunteer opportunity.  

   – Elisabeth distributed the T-shirts that Ginny ordered. They are a handsome deep forest green. 

   – Lynette said that Project Aware is July 10-15 this year. 

5) Round Table Nature Sharing – During the lunch part of the meeting, there was a roundtable discussion about pawpaw trees: growing, fostering (really), planting, the zebra swallowtails that require pawpaws as a host plant, and making pawpaw ice cream! Lynette saw her first pasque flower of the year, at Hamilton Tapken Prairie Preserve in Jones County. Anita’s neighborhood has a large mammal roaming around, most likely an unusually large red fox. At the Day of Insects, Elisabeth heard that there are dozens of mosquito species including one that targets bullfrogs by tracking their sound. She also saw a fascinating video about slime molds that said that they can learn and remember, making them a good model system for nervous system development. Ben reports that spring is off to a fun start at Kent Park, at least as far as bluebirds are concerned. “Supermom” bluebird in Box 9 has already started a nest! This particular bird, and Ben assures us that it is the same bird, has made the earliest nest for at least 3-4 years, has more broods, fledges more young, and fends off wrens better than most other bluebirds. Justin volunteered at the Maple Syrup Festival at Indian Creek Nature Center. He also attended the Rock and Mineral Show at Hawkeye Downs, where he learned about Iowa’s industrial mining of limestone, coal, gypsum and iron, and interestingly, that there were iron mines in Allamakee County (in northeastern Iowa). Ginny visited Sutliff Bridge, where beavers had downed a large cottonwood tree, which unfortunately for the beavers, landed on another tree. She could see the beaver trail down to the river. She also visited 20 acres of woodland for sale near Lake McBride, and saw a turkey with his tail fanned out. Sadly, Sue has been learning about backyard chicken predators, from a neighbor’s’ energetic black lab, hungry raccoons, and (suspected) great horned owls. With their excellent hearing, great horned owls can locate prey such as rodents under the snow; they store killed prey in their nest, and thaw them as needed by sitting on them. Jean saw two flocks of 15-20 pelicans recently! Pelicans are in the area now, more than usual. NPR had a recent program describing how waterfowl are making a comeback because of conservation practices such as wetland restoration. 

6) Next Board Meeting – The next Board of Directors meeting will be Friday June 10, 2022 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