September Members’ Meeting: During her “Plants, Pollinators and People” presentation, Xerces Society’s Jennifer Hopwood described the widespread declines of invertebrates and the importance of native insect habitat conservation for bees and butterflies. Planting for pollinators is crucial, she said, emphasizing that every garden is important. Hopwood urged gardeners to plant a mix of native, nectar-rich flowers all season, noting that pollinators appreciate a steady supply of food. Visit Xerces Society’s online pollinator resources for info.
Director and Officer Elections: Three new members of ASO’s Board of Directors were elected during the September meeting: Megan Deichert (with Keep Nebraska Beautiful), Christine Jacobsen (Director of Education at Lauritzen Gardens), and Kayla Johnson (restoration biologist at Fontenelle Forest). On a related note, ASO Second Vice President Virginia Stauffer formed a nominating committee for the 2020/21 term for ASO leaders, which the board approved. Committee members are Kathy Schwery, Jackie Scholar, Shannon Engberg, and Helen Bartee.
UNO Campus Audubon Chapter Initiative: ASO is addressing the National Audubon Society’s goal of increasing college and university student participation through its UNO Campus Audubon Chapter Initiative, led by Bob Wells and Kayla Johnson. ASO is creating a new partnership with UNO professors and ornithologists, Dr. John McCarty and Dr. LaReesa Wolfenbarger, which may involve assisting with UNO’s spring semester Ornithology classes.
Cuming City Cemetery Update: Restoration plans are beginning to take shape at ASO’s Cuming City Cemetery property. Shrub removal will take place soon, with help from contractors.
ASO Education Program: Programming for the 2019-20 school year is under way. Education Committee Chair Elizabeth Chalen said that fall field trips have been lined up.