Board Minutes

Iowa Master Naturalists Board of Directors 

Minutes of the March 3, 2023 Board Meeting 

1:00 p.m. at Groundswell Café in Cedar Rapids 

1) Roll Call 


Ginny Paulson, Chair (present) 

Justin Voss, 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, Tammy Wright 

2) Minutes from the previous meeting – The most recent minutes were approved and 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, $241.21 in checking, $511.06 in savings, for a total of $802.41. Elisabeth said that the balance is lower than last month because of books and supplies purchased for the spring course. 

4) Chair and Executive Director Reports and Other Discussion 

   – Elisabeth reported that 16 students have been accepted for the spring course.  Connie Mutel’s book Tending Iowa’s Land has been added to the list of materials distributed to students

   – Elisabeth distributed the syllabus for the spring course, which includes a great lineup of presenters. Classes will begin April 1, and will be held at Indian Creek Nature Center, in their Amazing Space or Barn, or on site, as indicated in the syllabus. The reptiles class at Big Sand Mound will be very special because access is rarely granted; because of this, there may not be space for anyone not leading or enrolled in the class. The other classes are open to IMN graduates. Ginny, Ben and Justin have generously volunteered to facilitate the classes, and there was discussion about logistics.  

5) Round Table Nature Sharing – Signs of Spring!Justin said that that Indian Creek Nature Center is busy collecting maple sap for making maple syrup. He recently noticed a hepatica leaf, a bald faced hornet nest, and a busy beaver in Marion. While driving up from Iowa City, Jean saw several pelicans flying, a sure sign of spring. Anita has signed up for a DNR class, Becoming An Outdoors-Woman, and she also noted that Venus and Jupiter are aligned in the night sky. Steve will be working in the Sugar House at the Indian Creek Maple Syrup Festival. So far, they have collected about 762 gallons of sap, which will make about 13 gallons of syrup. Lynette reports that Project Aware will be July 6-14, on the Iowa River, beginning in Marshalltown. Also, on Presidents Day, she saw turkey vultures migrating north. Sue rarely catches native birds in her sparrow trap, but last month released an American tree sparrow and some juncos. Ben recommends An Immense World, a book by Ed Yong. Ben will be giving a bluebird presentation at the Purple Martin Workshop in Kalona on March 25. He told us about a farmer in Washington that used Muscatine pearl button factory discards to fill gullies, and sometimes purple martins would collect the pearl buttons and put them in their gourd houses for some reason. The server heard Ben’s story and chimed in that he used to work in the Button Factory Restaurant in Muscatine years ago. Ben credits Jim Walters for helping increase his bluebird fledges from 45 to 130 per year. Elisabeth is enjoying the nature book club that she attends. Ginny saw pelicans in Iowa City along Ralston Creek, and several trumpeter swans flying on March 1. 

6) Next Board Meeting – The next Board of Directors meeting will be Friday June 23, 2023 at the Groundswell Café, 201 3rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids. 

Respectfully submitted,  

Sue M. Travis, Secretary  

IMN Board of Directors