Deep Fork Audubon minutes, 7 November 2011, Shawnee Public Library
Notes taken by Donald Winslow

Attending were Br. Damian Whalen, Deane Carlberg, Ruth Beasley, Becky Carlberg, and Donald Winslow.

We are almost finished with our annual reporting to National Audubon Society. We only need to add the number of volunteer hours contributed by our members during the last fiscal year (30 June 2010 - 30 June 2011). Members will provide Ruth ( with estimates of their hours contributed by 12 November 2011.

We decided to take a jaunt around area lakes this next Sunday, 13 November 2011. We will meet at 1 PM at Lake Tecumseh. Take Benson Park west from US 177. Stop before you go into the lake.

Donald has tried to contact the Tulsa Audubon Society to see if the Christmas Bird Count for kids at the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge is taking place this year. If so we will plan to participate.

In January we intend to participate in the Oklahoma Winter Bird Survey (6-9 January) and the Pontotoc Ridge Winter Bird Count (28 January).

Deane gave the Treasurer's report. We received a contribution from Mary Jo Myers (thank you, Mary Jo!). We discussed the process for becoming tax-exempt and considered whether or not it might be easier than figuring out how to pay taxes. The first step is for us to develop our organizing documents, such as a charter and by-laws, and then apply for corporate status with the state. We will need a Board and an annual meeting where finances are reported and officers are elected. Brother Damian volunteered to look into the matter.

We discussed potential fundraising techniques to advance our goal of increasing urban bird habitat. One possibility would be to build birdhouses to sell, or else sell kits for building birdhouses. Br. Damian volunteered to price materials for birdhouse kits. Deane volunteered to ask the Shawnee Mall about craft shows where we might sell birdhouses, homemade suet, etc. Ruth suggested we might build swift towers. Becky volunteered to look into grant opportunities with the National Wildlife Federation.

We discussed strategies for increasing urban bird habitat. We plan to table at the Pottawatomie County Fair and the Wildlife Expo at the Lazy E Ranch. Karen was volunteered to write an editorial for the Shawnee News-Star. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the National Wildlife Federation both have processes to certify residential yards and other urban properties as wildlife habitat. We will distribute information about these programs when we table.

John Kennington has asked all Oklahoma Audubon chapters for a statement of support for the Lesser Prairie-chicken Festival, in case extra sources of funds are needed. We agreed on the following statement on behalf of Deep Fork Audubon: "Although our budget is very limited, if the need arose, we would help to the extent that we could."

The next meeting of Deep Fork Audubon will be at 6:30 PM on Monday, 12 December 2011, in meeting room B of the Shawnee Public Library.