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Recent JPAC meeting minutes and resolutions

(Minutes are draft only until corrected and approved at a subsequent meeting. "Missing" month's meetings were cancelled.)

MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 13, 2017 JPAC MONTHLY PAC MTG

Louise McCurry convened the meeting, at 7 10 p.m., a quorum being present. Several new attendees were welcomed. Total was about 30.

Minutes of the October meeting were corrected and approved. Apologies to Sharon Lewis and Margaret Schmid re: misidentifications.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported $3,981.44 bank balance in the latest statement. Goods were bought for the Halloween party.
The officers presented Fran Vandervoort our Bertha Palmer award in thanks for her project Jackson Park In Your Pocket app video and for many other services to JPAC.

University of Chicago Police officers led by Zachary Ramey came to address issues of the PAC. They recently held joint open training seminars for community members and officers (COPP)- a real eye-opener according to Louise McCurry. Public safety really requires residents and people who use places such as parks who can tell when a situation is not as it should be and notify police promptly. 911 calls are needed- from everyone who observes a situation because the Chicago Police count the calls. However, also call UCPD 773 702-8181. Bike patrols are a growing resource, targeted at particular locations and issues. Members asked about UCPD boundaries and whether police can go into parks outside such as Jackson—they do as needed, but would need support to have the boundaries changed such as to Lake Shore Drive. They are aware that the park is becoming more active and added facilities are proposed. Anita Westbrook noted that parks in the boundary (such as Huckleberry in Woodlawn) are forming PACs around safety issues.

Environmental and Section 106 review and surveys of historical/archeological resources/ environmental impacts of proposed projects. Eleanor Gorski of the Chicago Department of Planning described the scope of the work, required by law when funds are to be spent in public spaces that are on the National Register of Historic Places (i.e. Jackson 1972) to assess resources and what might be adversity impacted and need mitigation. The two reviews will be led by the Federal Highway Administration, but a host of federal, state and city agencies including EPA and Illinois Archeological Survey are involved. The Chicago Dept. of Planning and Development, with Transportation (together the “Applicant”) will do the heavy lifting of the survey and the task force that includes a large number of Consulting Party (CP) organizations and groups and the public hearing. JPAC is among nearly 60 participating CPs. The boundary of historic resources extends 1 to several blocks beyond Jackson and South Shore parks and Midway Plaisance east of the railway, areas that are or may be eligible to be in historic districts or the National Register. Foundations of former historic structures on the Obama Center proposed footprint, work-affected roadways and a set of spots throughout the park will be bored and probed at the 6’, 12’ and 24’ levels. The physical work (started) is expected to take at least several months. Task Force kickoff invite meeting is December 1. Visit https://tinyurl.com/JPImprovements where reports and meetings will posted and comments taken. Members said they welcome not only the review itself and the chance for the public to weigh in on a new set of matters but also the opportunity to learn more of the park’s great past, many incarnations, and design principles.

Special places. Wooded Island. (See attached report by Jake Young.) Jerry Levy reported most of the fences are down. Much mulching, including of oaks was done this fall by the contractor, often using U of C students.
Bobolink- a very successful workday was held last Saturday and another is scheduled for December 9. Norm and Gail expressed appreciation for the large groups from schools and universities who worked this year removing debris and invasives, planting, collecting and spreading seed, and ecological learning.
McCurry noted the cleanups and improvements on LaRabida peninsula, praising E-On, Google, Apple, Scout and more. Other cleanups were done at beaches. The Iowa building still has leaks and other problems, but the 3rd District patrols it and ideas for teaching and storytelling programs are being explored.
Esther Schechter cited several areas in the south part of the park, that are overgrown and have concrete debris. Work groups should be organized.
There may be upgrading in the Japanese Garden- plantings, repairs to deteriorated materials, repairs to shoreline and possibly irrigation. McCurry said there needs to be better patrol to guard against vandalism.

Fieldhouse and recreation. Pierre Nealon said tumbling, pickleball for seniors, and volleyball are popular. A turkey trot foot race for age divisions is planned (JPAC is sponsor). A collection is being taken for needy kids. A problem is that many kids are not sports-ready—so safety sessions with parents in attendance are held, utilizing a program with Lurie Hospital. Our fieldhouse at times has power failures and flooding—a major outage led to Halloween party postponement. Ernest Radcliffe reported on the large varsity Wolf Pack program that utilizes Jackson Park- they will play in Florida nationals.
Tracy Raoul of Jackson Park Golf Association reported on a largely-attended gala that honored inter alia this year’s golf caddies and a new set of opportunities for youth to get into college and sports industry through golf. JPAC worked hard this year to recruit kids and schools for the caddy program, and AYSO soccer and the youth golf groups are partnering. Raoul cited extraordinary golf and soccer figures in Chicago’s past including the Speedy’s, who sued the Park District for the right of African Americans to play the Jackson Park course.

Sharon Lewis, transportation chair, reported on a One Woodlawn convening that focused on presentation with more detail by CDOT on traffic mitigations in and around the park that they would like to see with or without the OPC and golf consolidation. One Woodlawn is developing a general plan that includes more parks and coordination among parks. JPAC has been consulting with adjacent PACs about OPC, golf proposals. Ossewaarde said task force and public meetings will be coming early next year on Darrow Bridge.

Education programs. Dawn Posey said we will host another One Earth Festival screening in March- this will require a video rental fee and outreach for vendor tables (environmental/sustainability groups). Also next year
Tiny Trikes, South Chicago Dance, Summer Dance, Play for the Parks are likely, maybe Adaptive sports, and a White City themed foot race. We noted the highly successful family Halloween Party at South Shore Cultural Center and are considering helping (along with the 5th Ward) even more with theirs next year- for various reasons such a larger event for more than the day and sports camp works better there. The committee will be looking at very long list of program suggestions we have received. One program still to be held this year is an innovative park nature area tour and training in identification and tracking of wildlife and nature experiences through sounds. November 25 at 1 p.m. starting at the Japanese Garden. Infernal Sounds is the presenter.

A winter talk series ahead of JPAC meetings.
McCurry noted that we had a trial run at 6 p.m. in the room south of the entrance: programs on topics of general interest. This month Karen Szyjka of Chicago Park District planning and in charge of the Japanese Garden presented a slide program of recently discovered striking, historically and architecturally informative old photographs of the Japanese buildings and grounds and presence from the Columbian Exposition through the facilities added in the 1930s and beyond. She was thanked and has offered to present to a larger audience if there is demand. Our series will be evaluated but is expected to run at least through the winter when it’s harder to have outdoor programs such as our Columbian Expo and nature/history tours.
Our latest addition to expert docents and a new member, Trish Morse reported on well-attended tours she gave on Saturdays, recently concluded. Hopes are to add Japanese Garden and Midway tours.

Media. Jake Young said we share materials with other PAC, post photos and tweets. We need to promote youth engagement.

Nominations for the election December 11. Jerry Levy offered a motion to nominate the current officers as a slate, which passed: For President- Louise McCurry. For VP Anne Marie Miles. For Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, For Treasurer Dwight E. Powell. [Ed. Note, according to the Bylaws “nominations may be taken from the floor” at the election meeting.]

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting December 11, Monday, 7 p.m. at 6401 S. Stony Island. Election of officers shall be held.
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 9, 2017 JPAC MONTHLY PAC MTG

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:15 p.m. at La Rabida Hospital, which was thanked for its hospitality. Curry noted that this was Chicago Day at the World’s Fair in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, and this area of the park both housed replica ships and memorabilia of Columbus’ voyage and important innovations at the Fair including early wind power.

September minutes were moved by Sharon Louis and Esther Schechter and approved.
Gary Ossewaarde gave the Treasurer’s report- $4,267.17 in latest statement. Moved and approved to pay $107.24 to Jake Young for IT costs, Louise McCurry $100 for supplies, and to pre-authorize purchase of foods for the day camp Halloween program.

Workdays continue. In addition to Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow, work groups have included U of C students (and since July 8 different colleges as well as Mt. Carmel high School), A-ON company (250 expected on the 18th). There remain several overgrown areas in the park.

Activities- Program chair Sharon Louis moved to start planning for another One Earth film festival program next spring- approved. Saturday park historical tours have had regular attendance of up to 20. Recommended: each go to hydeparkhistory.org to learn how to participate by voting in the Historical Society’s restoration campaign for its cable car house headquarters. Many children’s and historical books have been donated to the fieldhouse library. Consensus was to consider hosting another community conversation supper later in the year.
Moved by Sharon Lewis, 2nd by Jake Young to postpone the election a month by opening nominations at the November 13 meeting, and hold the election of officers December 11, both at the fieldhouse. Approved

Recreation- Pickleball- 60+ (aged up to 84!) play in the fieldhouse 3 days a week. Football is the most popular youth sport; 22 in cheerleading. Summer camp was fully booked. Kenwood’s boy’s golf team plays. The disabilities golf tournament was a smashing success.
Wooded Island. Jerry Levy reported that 30,000 plants were put it, but some were trampled by members of a hunger march. The fence along the lagoon is nevertheless expected to come down later in the fall. Several safety and repair issues were addressed or reported. The 3rd District and park security held a roll call on the island and have a strategy for recurrent misbehavior. Sharon Louis said we should remember that indecent conduct, even when not explicitly violent, is intimidation and takeover of spaces. Norm Bell: Baker College Prep is among those who helped remove invasive goldenrod from Bobolink. The meadow is high and luscious thanks to this year’s controlled burn; critters include turtles. Final workday- October 28 rather than the 14th.

Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago expressed concern that a large number of mature trees may be lost on the Obama Center and golf course sites. Those involved in tree inventories disputed the numbers suggested, the park value of certain invasive species (although many examples are mature and stately), and any danger of cross pollination between native replacements and existing new natives. McCurry said she will ask the Foundation and SmithGroup JJR to supply/compare specific replacement numbers, locations, and groupings.

Esther Schechter opened discussion of letters in local media about JPAC, some with a hostile or accusatory tone both about the proposals and also saying JPAC gets nothing done. Members vigorously defended what JPAC accomplishes with volunteers and via reporting problems-- often getting immediate or timely repairs but that much is postponed for this large park in a district that must budget and has limited funds and crews spread thin. Partnerships/endowment could help? Some issues require inter-agency planning and funding process.
Re proposals, Margaret Schmid expressed concerns about lack of specifics and affirmative responses to concerns widely expressed in feedback and asked JPAC submit a set of questions to the planners. McCurry took down several and will submit and report back, including about trees, fieldhouse, nature sanctuaries, golf if not PGA, expanded footprints and whether all proposed is needed, alts. to road changes and parking.

Moved to adjourn- Andy Carter and Esther Schechter. Next meeting November 13 at the fieldhouse includes opening and process of nominations. Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.

MINUTES OF THE SEPT.11, 2017 JPAC MONTHLY PAC MEETING

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum and total of 22 present.

Minutes of the August meeting were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nded by Dwight Powell and approved.
Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell said we spent much for the kids at the fieldhouse. He commended the supervisor and staff. A generous gift from Hyde Park Bank enabled us to give book bags filled with school supplies to every child in day camp. Ahead of deposit of that check, the most recent bank balance was $3,874.41. Also, a check was written to Jake Young for software costs. At our wonderful Eclipse celebration at 63rd St. Beach August 21, we sold enough bottles of water to pay our DJ. Powell noted the help and cheerleading at that event by elected officials and others, especially Lanita Ross of the 5th Ward Office.

Supervisor Bobbie Beckam invited all to sign up for pickleball class this fall. Indoor and outdoor- it’s the fastest growing sport. Beckam will teach. There was a discussion of sports in the park. Fishing is popular, especially at snagging and trolling spots. Fishermen say they would like more. Kenny Newman asked we inquire about stocking the lagoon with game fish, as is done in Columbia Basin and was proposed in the GLFER project.* McCurry suggested we gather ideas for sports needs including additional sports for the park. These could be given during framework planning sessions, including at a meeting for coaches and other recreation persons with the Park District and consultants Wednesday at 6 and succeeding days in the fieldhouse.

Gary Ossewaarde reported on a public open house held by CDOT August 22 at the fieldhouse regarding design concepts for rebuilding Darrow Bridge and the paths to it from stony Island to Lake Shore Drive, slated for 2019. JPAC members and community residents shared ideas including for security to optimize the product.

Golf proposal. Jerry Levy, chair of the JPAC committee, said the committee will meet again after we see what changes are presented at next meetings [September 25 and 27]. He noted the media reports and commentary, petitions and letters to editors for and against or proposing changes. He recited some of the committee’s concerns—such as the Driving Range, including potential effects if it is expanded (and in which direction) or relocated- impacts for the interface with Bobolink Meadow we suggested could include a new, attractive bird-friendly fence, and for the present dog friendly area and tennis/pickleball courts. (Discussion noted that the present dog area is temporary, not approved and lacks a water line but fulfills a real need.) Another concern is for the nature/butterfly area at the s.e. corner of South Shore Cultural Center. Members who have visited noted that it’s overgrown and it and shoreline needs improvement even if all or most of the present is kept.
The Obama Foundation will hold its first public open house September 14. Buses to and from are provided.

History tours. Our Saturday 11 a.m. history tours focusing on the Columbian Exposition plus, have been popular. Louise McCurry said we need to train more docents (we presently have Ray Johnson, Trish Morse, and Louise). Suggested: recruiting high school students, who need service hours. Some evidence of overnight illegal activity has been found on tours and reported, so close inspection of the park from tours is valuable.

Safety. Esther Schechter said the fallen sign by the bridge on Hayes Dr. has been reset. Jake Young reported flooding in the 59th underpass and various problems with the 59th bridge and pier, also noted by Kenny Newman. Both said the 63rd beach and pier are topped by Lake water at times. Newman said there is deterioration along the harbor inlet walls. Noted- damage was done along Marquette and 63rd by a bicycle racing group that in the past has been banned from the park but comes anyway. (A strong letter was sent.)

McCurry announced that the Park District Framework Plan team and consultant Smith Group/JJR will meet with a set of members of JPAC, South Shore CC PAC, and local coaches about priorities, needs, concerns from values to uses and needs, starting Wednesday at 6 at the fieldhouse. In light of such meetings (ongoing), committees and point persons need to be recruited, McCurry said.
Sharon Lewis has agreed to chair transportation. She asked for new ideas on and comments about access to and in the park to inform input in framework planning and proposals. Dawn Posey is already chairing a program committee- one idea is environmental films. Suggested today-- “Shifting Sands” about Indiana Dunes, the se side and Great Lakes history, shores and environmental challenges. Ossewaarde chairs Darrow Br.

Natural areas. Norm Bell announced that the October Bobolink workday will be on the 4th Saturday, October 18, 9-noon, rather than its usual 2nd Saturday. On September 9, the usual crew pulled invasive goldenrod and buckthorn. On August 29, a group of 30 from DePaul also pulled invasives. Our Meadow, he said is not overgrown. There is seasonal succession in this long-established nature area, so the look keeps changing- so visit. He noted a problem with broken signage- the wood is deteriorating (a problem seen elsewhere).
Jerry Levy reported the Wooded Island contractor crew of 4 led by Russell Heinman and supervised by Forrest Cortes of the Park District is busy putting in 30,000 new plant plugs and removing low invasive plants. Groups, and students earning eagle scout badges have helped with removals. For example, volunteers from ASPINA further opened out and mulched the internal chip trail. Others have been pulling out overgrown grape ivy. Fences may come down later this year. Levy hoped this will not enable damage, especially to young plants—some already occurs, especially from young children who do not know. If you see someone walking off path, say something, Levy said. He also noted successful regeneration of native plants in the old Rose Garden—search for it off the east path. Workdays are usually on the 4th Saturdays, 10 to 1.
Jake Young said he looks forward to the dance performances in the Skylanding and Garden of the Phoenix September 15-17 at 6 p.m. by Hejla Yatkin and the South Chicago Dance Company. Also seen – fashion photographers and models.
Other work groups: Sept. 11, 50 U of C Law students pulled ivy that is impacting the 63rd beach house walls.
Sept. 15, American Academy of Pediatrics will work at the Driving Range lot and fence. Sept. 16, 250 from Roosevelt, for the afternoon beach clean and in other parts of the park. Sept. 19, 190 Mt. Carmel students. Sept. 23, 2 pm 30+ UC incoming. And ongoing well into October.
This has been our most successful year in many recruiting work groups and was called our most successful activity and outreach this year. Note- we couldn’t have had so many without the help of Chicago Parks Foundation. McCurry asked for more, experienced JPAC members to step forward to manage larger groups.

There were also more public programs in the park and better enrollment for fieldhouse programs than in at least 20 years. Members said we need to step up outreach beyond our major web, email and social media expansion to actually recruit and tell what we do, including at events like the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Announcements and introduction of visitors and new members was made. Moved and approved to adjourn. Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary. Next mtg. Oct. 9 7:15 p.m. AT LA RABIDA east conference room- from main entrance, 6501 S. Promontory Dr.- access via Marquette east of Jeffery/LSD.

*Editor- JPAC asked and was informed by the CPD planning dept. that fish stocking in the lagoons is not possible at present because of murky waters- many storm drains empty into the lagoons. (JPAC has been asking for the past 20 years for remediation.) JPAC is asking that the framework plan be sure to include among goals a strong commitment to actions needed to improve water quality in the lagoons and throughout the park.

MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 14 2017 JPAC MONTHLY PAC MEETING

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum and total of 26 present.
Minutes of the July meeting were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nded by Norm Bell and approved.
Treasurer’s report was given by Dwight Powell. Latest bank balance was $3,990.87. Checks were since written for book bags for the day and sports camp kids, which were covered by a gift from Hyde Park Bank and donations from individuals, to whom JPAC and the park staff are deeply grateful.

Safety. Esther Schechter reported a broken bench, a fallen sign at 63rd Hayes bridge, overgrown obscuring grass near the marina, and poor condition of fieldhouse tennis courts. These were or will be reported. Kenny Newman noted ongoing problems with rising Lake water and with paths such as the west side of Cornell.

Fieldhouse and program. Supervisor Bobbie Beckam noted that highly successful summer camp is winding down. Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport now; indoor pickleball programs will be added. Girl’s basketball (for age 14 and under) will be offered. Being explored is help from Chicago Sky, which is moving to the South Side and is interested in helping our area.

Work: Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell said wildflowers and grasses are in full bloom. A workday was held. August 28 DePaul students came to work, for the third year. These groups are really enthusiastic.

Wooded Island. Jerry Levy reported numerous workdays held and scheduled with large outside groups The focus is on invasives. Native plants, flowers are in bloom in the old rose garden, which is worth the search via the east paved path. Workdays are on our website and Facebook page- the project manager posts daily.

People take- and use on their visits- our virtual tour of Jackson Park [see links in page 1 of this newsletter].

Eagle Scouts are earning service badges in the park; other scout levels are active.
McCurry asked for volunteers to help manage several large groups coming to work in the park.

Golf. Jerry Levy reported that the Alderman’s leadership committee on golf and park changes is in consensus to support the project but expecting changes to the plans, including from the park district taking into account public and stakeholder input and its own views of park needs. It is hard to guess at timelines/deadlines in light of evaluations of the same and of needs and problems discovered in design studies and basic decisions needed. A next round of public open house presentation and comment-gathering will occur on September 21 and 25 4-8 p.m. at South Shore Cultural Center.
Reggie Seay reported that the new youth caddie program is in progress, growing, and recruiting at high schools. Efforts are being made to grow golf teams at the high schools. Lines of communication are not always easy to navigate to and within high schools. Dwight Powell asked questions regarding involving kids as young as 8th grade and about outreach at Hyde Park Academy.
An adaptive golf open tournament will be held in the park September 15. For information and registration email ddaniels@sralab.org. All are encouraged to volunteer or come and cheer. From the Clubhouse- tee-off 12:45.

Reuben Lillie described a petition drive to restore Green Line el service on 63rd Street as a way inter alia to bring people to the park (as it originally did from 1893) and to the new amenities as well as to help with traffic and local growth and development. Discussion elicited various perspectives and need to consult all interests.

Park events. Lucky Trikes held the first of four August children’s story read and performance programs Tuesday evenings at the 67th Ridgeland playground. The families, especially toddlers were enthralled. Books will be given to the children at one of the upcoming events. Moved by Sharon Lewis, 2nded by Dwight Powell to ask them back for next year. Approved. Likewise, Summer Dance in the Music Court was well attended and received. Moved by Powell, 2nded by Schechter to ask them back again. Approved.
JPAC’s next large event would be at 63rd St. Beach for the Solar Eclipse August 21- volunteers needed. Several organizations including Adler Planetarium as well as the Park District and Parks Foundation will be involved. We have the right glasses and a huge banner that McCurry showed, and a live media stream will be screened. [Other upcoming events are in the calendar below.]

A teacher at Hyde Park Academy asked for mentors, especially for young men at the school.

Important upcoming meetings: August 22, 5-7 p.m. at the fieldhouse Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT() will show and seek input on plans for Columbia (Darrow Bridge) reconstruction. There was consensus that we should have a committee to deal specifically with that- Gary Ossewaarde was appointed chair, and committees on other subject areas that have proposals, are in flux, or we have wish lists for. Chairs will be appointed.
August 23 and 24, 4-8 p.m. at South Shore Cultural Center, CDOT will present/show and take comments on its transportation proposal for the park and surrounding streets in light of proposals.
September 21 and 25, 4-8 p.m. at South Shore Cultural Center the same will be held for next step in a revised Framework Plan and updated plans for the Obama Center and the golf courses.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting September 11, Monday, 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE JULY 10 2017 JPAC MONTHLY COUNCIL MEETING

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Iowa Building. A quorum was present. Introductions and thanks for the wonderful picnic fare. Minutes of the June meeting were moved and approved later.

Park Safety with 3rd District Commander Darren Doss. McCurry and others, including our safety committee members Kenneth Newman and Esther Schechter, gave a description of continuing and new problem areas and conditions in the park that need specific actions, while thanking the commander for ongoing police diligence and service making specific locations safer than before. Areas requiring attention especially at night, include Iowa building, 56th and Stony, Darrow Bridge, Wooded Island and south, lots et al along Hayes Drive, 63rd St. Beach including traffic control weekends and special events (bike patrol was suggested). 3rd District does a lot of towing for vehicles left after curfew in the parks. JPAC has been removing aggressive grape-ivy growth on Wooded Island that serves as covers for illicit activity. Several matters near the park in the 2nd District (north of 56th and west of Stony to c. the Midway) were also brought up- Cdr. Dawson will bring these to the commander there, Gail Crystal-King..

Ashley Munson of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago discussed and took questions about its conservation, health, and drainage/counter-flooding initiatives. Concerns include lagoon and harbor water circulation and aeration. She said MWRD not only controls infrastructure in parks but also is absolutely in the loop on evaluations of projects in the parks.

Park places and issues. McCurry-The Park District planted new bushes including roses by the golf driving range and Lake Shore Drive. Clearing was done around the golf clubhouse by the contractor, which does an excellent job with course maintenance.

Areas that have been or will soon be addressed by JPAC or community service groups coming to the park include Wooded Island invasives, pickleball area, LaRabida peninsula wheelchair paths, graffiti and more, overgrowth at the track comfort station, and beach cleanup days.

Anne Marie Miles discussed in brief a harbor improvement concept (presented at a meeting called by the Alderman) prepared by Jackson Park Yacht Club, which was unable attend to tonight’s meeting. Harbors (including problems cause by high waster and approaches to the inlets) and beaches need to be taken into account in the framework evaluation and planning process. An example of inconvenience to serious swimmers is that at the outer perimeter for swimming at 57th St. beach is only waist deep despite rising lake level. The sailing program is going well, but the word needs to go out better to South Siders. The Park District pays the YMCA to teach kids to swim. Miles agreed to chair a committee on these harbor-beach-swimming issues.

Reggie Seay pointed to substandard conditions in the fieldhouse including lack of central A/C. He said the possible recreation center at the Obama Center would be an inadequate and unacceptable substitute for a new or better fieldhouse in/by present location accessible to the neighborhood. Members said the Park District needs to be pressed for a commitment for that.

New JPAC initiatives discussion. Dawn Posey proposed an education programming and activity initiative, with a major goal being a corps of people committed to take ownership when in the park and care of the park. Agreed to set up a team led by Dawn to develop programs and options.

Coming events and workdays [see attached schedule] include Eclipse Viewing and disabilities golf.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting August 14 at the fieldhouse.

Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

MINUTES OF THE JUNE 12 2017 JPAC MONTHLY COUNCIL MEETING

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse. A quorum was present. New attendees and guests introduced themselves.

Minutes of the May meeting - with a clarification, the minutes were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nded and approved.

McCurry reported for treasurer Dwight Powell that we have about $4,000 in the account after purchasing large fans for the fieldhouse at $1107.

Reports and guests

Adaptive Golf. Larry Labiak and associate described the park district mission that parks be accessible to persons of all abilities, including wounded veterans and survivors of gunshot wounds. Larry is the first department-level manager of programs for such persons. They work extensively with the Ryan Rehabilitation Institute and the Ability Lab and are seeking a place participants can go for mentoring. Several sports now have competitive teams and leagues in the parks for persons with special abilities and needs, including with wheelchairs, and is continually expanding to new sports. This includes a veterans golf camp in conjunction with the Ability Lab. For golf, they have accessible golf carts. They practice at Jackson Park and Diversey Driving Ranges Mondays and Wednesdays. A tournament will be held September 15, Friday, 1 p.m. in Jackson Park. There will be 24 golfers; visitors are encouraged. Volunteers are needed to attend a planning meeting (several volunteered, for information on this or for registration information on the event, contact larry.labiak@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Golf and park coordinating committees. Jerry Levy, chair, said the committees will meet again after the public meetings presenting the engineering and design reports and proposed golf layouts. Alderman Hairston’s golf and park advisory council toured the parks last Thursday. The Alderman spoke of infrastructure and shoreline needs for park and community that should in any case be addressed. CPD Superintendent and CEO Mike Kelly assured that the parks are being evaluated in their entirety, potential plans being coordinated, and public input process being set up leading to comprehensive park plans. He emphasized that the Obama and golf proposals are turning points in really discussing, looking at these parks. Committee members gave feedback.

Program and fieldhouse. Supervisor Bobbie Beckam said that summer camp will have at least 160, more than in recent years. New opportunities will include pickleball for kids and seniors in the fall, including in courts by the fieldhouse and in the gym. He was asked to look into developing a regular adaptive golf program here.
Area Manager Farah Tunks called attention to new welcoming flower box plantings and rose bushes at the fieldhouse. The memorial bench will be dedicated at 67th and Ridgeland June 17, noon. She also encouraged people to attend and promote the many Night Out in the Parks and other events in Jackson this summer, fall.

History tours. Ray Johnson talked about the Jackson Park history and Columbian Exposition tours he (and occasionally others) leads every Saturday through October at 11 a.m. from the east side of the Darrow Bridge (south of the MSI basin) at the parking lot. Numbers vary to quite large and can last up to two hours, depending on participants’ interests and stamina. They are free. Specials can also be arranged, contact friendsofthewhitecity@gmail.org. They have a website. Suggested was a box for flyers.
McCurry showed impressive poster panels by George Rumsey that will be installed on our “history wall.”

Safety. JPAC will have a golf cart drive through of the park, including of back areas with Bobbie and Farah Friday to examine and evaluate safety, security, graffiti and repair issues and places. McCurry said JPAC continues to work with very cooperative 3rd District police and park security regarding problem places.
The 63rd Street Drummers groups, who drum 7 days a week east of the beach parking lot, asked better marshalling of trash cans and delineation of fire lanes in the lot so people won’t miss-park and get tickets.

63rd Street Beach was cleaned by JPAC members, teachers and students from Muchin College Prep, and Miss Great Lakes, from Indiana, who is competing in a national water environmental NGO’s competition. The beach sweep was assisted by Alliance for the Great Lakes. McCurry asked appreciation for the many large groups from colleges, businesses and service groups from Chicagoland volunteering this spring and summer in Jackson Park. The next will be June 17 It’s Your Park Day in Jackson and the Midway inter alia. Missionaries from the local congregation of Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints offered to organize work groups.

New business. Jerry Levy expressed concern and queried whether JPAC should discuss an implication he saw in Preservation Chicago’s position (article and letter in the May 31 Hyde Park Herald) that the Obama complex be repositioned in the park to 6300 block of Stony Island, that this would eliminate the fieldhouse or downscale a replacement. Margaret Schmid said this was a misconstruction of the position. Consideration was deferred pending request to take a closer look at the position. [Ed.: The fieldhouse is not mentioned in the letter’s paragraph listing the “existing and underutilized” facilities in that block now, but in a following paragraph describing what the complex could include as a community center, “and include a fieldhouse” is stated.]

July 9 afternoon, On the Beach: Remastered- concert at 63rd St. in the beach house to honor 50th anniversary of Phil Cohran’s (inter alia co-founder of AACM) pioneering jazz series there. [Ed.- Cochran since passed June 28 aged 90- the concert will celebrate his life and career.] Dr. Carol C. Adams introduced the coming event. JPACers will use the occasion also to reflect on the life of its former president Eric Hatchett, who was inter alia sparked the restoration of the bathing pavilion- a plaque has recently been placed naming the upper stories for him—and the Schiff Legacy that funded the interactive play fountain and the serenity garden.

Among the many events offered this summer in the park [see attached schedule] is a series of storytimes with Music for all Ages Tuesday evenings in August at the 67th/Ridgeland playlot. Members of The Lucky Trikes described their program, which has been in 2 other parks this season. For these and other events visit the park district or www.nightoutintheparks.com website.

Robin Kaufman asked that we continue to be vigilant about private and outside groups wanting to use or locate in parks, citing recent Friends of the Parks Conference sessions attendees from several parks about problems.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting is expected to be the annual planning picnic at the Iowa Building.

________Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary ________________________________________

Minutes of the May 8, 2017 Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order. A quorum was present, and attendance 30. Introductions were made.

Darrow (Columbia ) Bridge. Tanera Adams from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) provided an update and answered questions. The bridge is formally Columbia Bridge, as an extension of Columbia Drive to the east. It was originally built in the 1880s, 28 feet wide, and rebuilt for the Fair the in 1895- 56 feet wide and long. The bridge was rebuilt in 1941 and 1961. Phase I evaluation and planning is still underway. Work is funded 80 federal (SAWA program) and 20 state at $6M and will commence and be completed in 2019. It will be usable for ambulances and police as well as bikes and pedestrians- but will not be able to accommodate fire trucks. Work will include removal of the existing structure and abutments, steel beams and wall and replacing them (exact options are under consideration--access to the abutments, reestablished about 2002, may not be provided). The bridge will be rebuilt historically, under ongoing approvals by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, including the railings (part were used on the grounds of the Columbian Exposition). Paths will be provided (promised provisionally) as far as Stony Island.

April minutes. Members noted that a news item following the minutes, concerning crossing signals desired at the difficult, dangerous set of intersections of Cornell Drive and 59th/60th, is confusing. McCurry said she would clarify and seek a site meeting with CDOT, noting that even if Cornell Drive is changed, that is over a year away.

Wooded Island and ACE ecological project. Jerry Levy reported per project manager Lauren Umek that most of the plastic water piping will be removed this spring. The contractor is on site working. The Island is starting to flower. Many groups visit from the south end. The next workday is May 27, removing invasives.

Bobolink Meadow workdays are 2nd Saturdays 9-12 from the south end.

Fran Vandervoort announced the Jackson Park in Your Pocket is up as an app accessed from smart phones and other devices. Go to www.vamonde.com, make password, and find Jackson Park in Your Pocket.

McCurry showed photographs of a broken-stone breakwater that decades ago protected LaRabida Hospital and shore from wave damage. Today, groups of Eagle Scout, University of Chicago, and corporate (Exelon) volunteers come frequently to remove washed up rocks and debris and maintain wheelchair paths for patients. Groups will be coming to work on May 22 and several days in June, as well as at 63rd St. beach. June 4 U of C students and alumni are expected for a workday and a walk through Wooded Island.

Safety issues. Kenneth Newman and others discussed a broken drain pipe by 57th St. beach, drifting sand on the bike path at the south end of 57th beach, paths along Cornell opposite the Lab School, and curbing by 59th St. pier. Roberta Siegel noted that stop and other signs often are hidden by vegetation in summer- these should be reported to the 5th Ward.

Jackson Park Projects Coordinating Committee. Jerry Levy described the committee of about 15, made up of stakeholders, Park District leaders, the city, Obama Foundation, and Golf Alliance. A second meeting had a good discussion early in May, but there was nothing yet to look at. (The first presentation of the preliminary Presidential Center design occurred after the meeting.) The golf engineering studies and drawing of possible layout were held up by the serious deterioration found with the shoreline, especially at the south Shore golf course and by dilemmas presented by the water table at the pinch point at 67th St. It is hoped the committee can meet in June.

Fieldhouse and program. Supervisor Bobbie Beckam and Area Manager Farah Tunks gave the news that, thanks to the Obama Center project, there will be a new, state of the art Jackson Park fieldhouse (details to be developed collaboratively).

Tunks reported that coming to the current fieldhouse is a new program for ages 8-12, known as Kiddie College, similar to one at Ping Tom Park, to run September through June. Also, kid’s gardening classes in new raised beds north of the fieldhouse. McCurry said JPAC is in contact with those running the community garden program at Dyett High School (run by the students and that helps fill a food desert), to see if it could be adapted here.
The park district hopes to work out an arrangement for kids to swim at the YMCA across the street—they now go to Nash and Rosenblum. There was still room in the summer programs, and scholarships are available. Football now runs spring though November. The range of sports is now quite large- pickleball, golf, croquet, lawn bowling, tennis. More kids are being drawn from the 67th area. Instructor Andria Frink has returned from illness.

Treasurer. Dwight Powel reported $5,719 in the bank. Current purchases: binoculars and other supplies for the Migratory Bird Festival, and replacement fans for the fieldhouse (latter moved/approved up to $1,000).

JPAC and partners have been busy. Past events included Earth Day work projects April 22, which refreshed the Wooded Island chip trail, netted about 180 pounds of trash at the 57th beach and similar in the Music Court- Columbia Basin edge area. A large group from the Chicago Children’s Choir sang at Sky Landing and in the Music Court and did a work project. A highlight was the late afternoon One Earth Festival screening of “The City Dark” about the consequences of light pollution and nighttime blue light.

Migratory Bird Day Festival provided bird ID tours and the making of bird houses and feeders by lots of families on a very cold morning. Meanwhile, bird organizations did an annual count. That day also had the season’s first JPAC/Friends of the White City park tour, and a Jane’s Walk flashlight tour with 87 guests.

Obama Presidential Center. The initial design and model was rolled out at a big, invite event at South Shore Cultural Center. There is much to think about and changes in response to input are already being made.
Jackson Park Watch distributed and summarized a sheet of questions and comments worth considering and asking answers to- available at www.jacksonparkwatch.org. Examples (condensed and extrapolated): What is the actual amount of parkland gained or lost and what new parkland off-site could be created? How do we balance the new provision for children and activity with the need for peacefulness and the needs of wildlife in the adjacent core area? Who would pay for infrastructure work including to Cornell Drive? How will the input process be made broad and robust?
Lanita Ross, aide to Alderman Hairston (5th) said the Center should provide as broad a service to the community as possible, and not just be for visitors for a few years. She liked the idea of youth instruction, preparation and exposure to all the possibilities open to them, and that the programming starts right now. We have to make sure that CPS and more are bought into to the programming now.
The process and planning are just at the start, Mr. Obama said. The purpose is to create a Center for the community and for training the next generation of changes, as well as to reinvigorate the South Side. McCurry said that Mr. Obama called her and other stakeholders personally and sent a signed portrait- it will be placed in a cabinet in the fieldhouse.

Fifth Ward news. Lanita Ross noted especially a water safety demonstration by the Chicago Fire Department June 6 at 11:30 a.m. at 57th Street Beach and The Jackson Park Classic 5K run and walk June 15, 5 pm to support youth triathlon training and the South East Chicago Commission neighborhood enhancement grants. Also, there will be a memorial event for Sue Purrington, who inter alia worked for parks, at Promontory Point May 20, 4-6 pm.

COMING EVENTS. May 16 On the Table 6 pm at the fieldhouse.
May [27] Bench dedication and picnic 12-2 at 67th Ridgeland Playlot.
May 27 Wooded Island workday 10-1 from south entry.
History tours, Sats at 11 east side of Darrow Bridge.
June 3 63rd beach clean 12-2 or 3 meet at east end. Preferred: register with www.greatlakes.org.
June 10 Bobolink workday 9-noon at south end.
June 17 It’s Your Park Day-(Help needed w large groups) 9 am around fieldhouse, 1-3 La Rabida. Reg. wwww.chicagoparksfoundation.org).
June 24 Wooded Island.


M
oved to adjourn. Next meeting Monday, June 12, 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


Minutes of the April 10, 2017 Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting

[At the May meeting, members noted confusion about where a pediestidan signal is requested at the Cornell Drive crossing(s) in the 59th-60th area. McCurry will look with CDOT.]

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7 p.m., a quorum and total of 22 being present. Intros.
March minutes were moved and approved. Noted as clarification by Dwight Powell re: our minutes and a Hyde Park Herald Article—The caddie positions offered by Chicago Parks Alliance starting this year are for freshmen-seniors but freshmen and sophomores are especially encouraged so the youth can receive an optimum of training and mentoring and qualify for college scholarships.

Treasurer. Dwight Powell reported an end of March balance of $5,793.81. Significant membership renewals and contributions were received, including $100 from LaRabida Children’s Hospital—thank you.

Committee and special reports.
Golf Alliance communication: Four tournaments will be held this year by area clubs, including Women’s. Encouragement of high school student sign up for the caddie program was asked so a full contingent can start this spring. McCurry reported on a large meeting of golf clubs, city and park officers, and some stake-holders with the Alliance to share ideas and suggestions and concerns.

Wooded Island workday is coming up – there is lots of trash.

63rd beach house area and beyond- Saturday 62 volunteers from the University of Chicago Service Center picked up trash, mulched trees there and mulched new shrubs by the driving range. More UCSC teams will work in the park monthly. UCSC is heartily thanked.

Park in Your Pocket Ap. Fran Vandervoort asked members to view Draft in Vamonde.com (password creation is required) and give her feedback. Once final additions are made, the app will be made public. Fran was heartily thanked for her vision and hard work on the project.

Bobolink. Norm Bell and Gail Parry reported that 25 kids aged 6-12 from Project Vision in Chinatown joined other volunteers for the hard work of re-chipping the path and removing invasives in the wooded area. They also described the nature play space created in Cornell Playlot Park. (Members were asked to think about having one at one of our playgrounds.) Cornell held a wildly successful “play date” for toddler though primary age children and their families April 8. Pictures- www.bluestem.info/natureplayspace.

Sailing Program. Edmund Gueringer, Jackson Park Yacht Club Commodore, said they can teach 100, but there is already a wait list for this year’s sessions. Ages are 8-14. They use what is called bug boats. (The PD program at Northerly Island goes up to age 18- but there is also a Sea Scout program at Jackson. JPYC so far has to charge more than the PD.) The Club, whose membership is going up, is really involved. Next step is a swimming program –people can spread that word and create a demand. Noted: insurance cost for swimming and sailing instructors is high. Learning to swim is important in itself for youth and also is a prerequisite for sailing and boating lessons. Meanwhile, there are swimming learning programs at various Park District facilities—these do fill up right away. Members note there used to be swimming lessons at 63rd St. beach. Rental hours at the South Side YMCA could be explored. The harbor also has kayaking groups.

Park and fieldhouse. Registration for summer camp and programs opens online April 25 and in person May 5. (Unlike at some other parks, ours do not fill up immediately.) Programs start June 26. Pickleball by the fieldhouse is ready to go. 22 girls are in spring break camp—the boys are on a trip to Orlando.

On the Table. Jackson Park will host one of these community conversations May 16. [Ed.- in the fieldhouse 6 p.m. More information will be in the Newsletter.]

Social Media. Jake Young reported our posting program is robust (website, Facebook, and Twitter) but we need more of both news stories and pictures. Send Jake your ideas at jake.r.young@gmail.com. For both the website and Facebook use JacksonParkAdvisoryCouncil.

Lakeside Lawn Bowling Club. Open House is Sunday May 21 afternoon. The club bowls Wednesday evenings. While it is a wonderful activity for seniors, they encourage younger people and children and seek new members. Lorrie and Tom Michael reported difficulties with getting needed lawn tending and asked JPAC’s good offices. Tom handles club communications-- bigguylor@comcast.net.

Earth Day April 22. Louise McCurry described the evolving day-long program, including work at Wooded Island, 57th St. Beach, and the Music Court area, also singing and stories.
One Earth Film Festival will also screen “The City Dark” with community speakers and discussion at the fieldhouse at 4:30- Dawn Posey and others described that program and the city- and community-wide One Earth Film Festival held every April-- www.oneearthfilmfest.org.

May 6. International Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated May 6, 9 a.m. to noon at the South entrance to Bobolink Meadow (see details in the Newsletter—to volunteer contact Louise McCurry at 773 844-2225). There will be a foot race in the park that day. Also on that day in the afternoon: our first White City/history/ nature tour for the season takes place (see the Newsletter).

May 20- 67th /Ridgeland Playground. Big block picnic party and named bench dedication by Chicago Park District takes place Saturday, May 20, 12-4 p.m. This has been organized by Sylvia Brooks and friends. A storytelling program for July Saturday noontimes there is being organized.

Coming in June—June 8, 11:30 a.m.: Chicago Fire Department water safety demo at 57th St. Beach;
June 15 evening: Jackson Park 5K Classic Run and Walk, funding the Tri-Masters and South East Chicago Commission. (Report by Lanita Ross of the 5th Ward Office)- contact the office regarding participation 773 324-5555.

June 17 is It’s Your Park Day- details on work projects and activities are coming.

Golf and park coordination and planning. Chicago Parks Golf Alliance reported meetings with numerous high school coaches and kids in local public and private high schools to promote the caddy program and creating golf teams to play in Jackson and South Shore courses. Golf will remain free to youth. Under the consolidation proposal Junior Golf will have a new facility and the many teams and leagues using the courses will have preferred tee times and low pricing. There will be four tournaments this summer, including Women’s. A large meeting was held today by the Alliance and its supporters with representatives of the city and park district, the various leagues, and stakeholder and youth groups—many ideas and concerns were shared. Alderman Hairston’s advisory Council and JPAC’s Park and Projects Coordinating Committee continue to meet.
Pictures of damage to and needs of the fieldhouse were shared with the Alliance and the Obama foundation, which say that the fieldhouse issue is in their planning. Brenda Nelms asked that JPAC set up a fieldhouse committee to start gathering ideas on what the community wants in the fieldhouse and to call attention to the fieldhouse as a high priority. Kenny Newman urged people to think big for the fieldhouse.

William Hill of William Hill Garden and Gallery reported that he will manage reconstruction of the ecology garden of Hyde Park Academy High School, which is across from the park at 63rd, and has grants to create a community mural project under two artists in the 64th Street rail underpass.

Safety items included sand drifting at the south end of 57th St. Beach impacting the Lakefront Bike Trail, storm damage around 63rd St. and La Rabida areas, and Marquette Dr. underpass still flooding. James Farmer expressed a desire for higher priority for security matters in the park. McCurry said it’s always on our radar, and security forces have been quite successful in heading off problems as they emerge.

Moved to adjourn c. 8:45 p.m. Next meetings May 8 and June 12, 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary.



Minutes of the March 13, 2017 Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at approximately 7 p.m., a quorum and a total of about 30 being present, several new.
February minutes were moved by Dwight Powell, 2nded by Pat Harper and approved.
Treasurer. Dwight Powell reported end of February balance of $4,958.81 in our account One membership check is to be deposited.

Committee and special reports.
Nature app (Jackson Park in Your Pocket). Fran Vandervoort says after final approvals it will go live.
Wooded Island. Jerry Levy announced a workday Saturday March 25, Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (4th Sats) Kenny Newman found a car driven onto the Island and parked at the Garden. He noted that people doing something plainly wrong in the park should be reminded and park security called- they respond promptly and regularly circle through the golf area. PARK SECURITY- 312 747-2193.
Earth Day. A group of 65 will be working at the Garden on April 22. There will also be a general project on the Island under Jerry, 10-1; Beach and shore cleanup 57th to 59th noon-2 pm and cleanup on the Midway Plaisance interface from Stony Island to the tracks with storytelling, 2-4.
Bobolink. Jake Young reported lots done on a very cold day, including in the woods. Workdays are 2nd Sats. The controlled burn in the meadow earlier uncovered a huge number of golf balls from the driving range.
Iowa bldg. A team that wants to fundraise wants to meet JPAC with revised ideas then with Chicago Parks Foundation. McCurry said that Montgomery Place security is watching over the Peace sculpture heads, doing a good job. JPACers will present at Montgomery Place March 17 6 p.m. on Sky Landing.
LaRabida. Beavers took down some large trees- beavers were relocated and the trees are being removed. McCurry asked volunteers for trash removal in that area in early April. commissioner751@comcast.net.

Fieldhouse. McCurry asked for volunteers for a committee planning for a new fieldhouse. She was informed that a funding/fundraising opportunity has arisen and JPAC should submit a needs and wish list. The board recommended a committee be formed, to start by visiting Chicago state-of-the-art fieldhouses then writing up the case and for a fieldhouse and the features it could have. If the possibility comes true, there need to be community planning process. Suggested for the first visit was Friday the 17th; several volunteered.
Park programs. Supervisory Beckam reminded that spring registration is open. Tennis and pickleball (tennis lite) classes will be offered. Two pickleball courts are north of the fieldhouse. Equipment is on hand.

Park Safety. Kenny Newman reported the playground at 63rd St. beach is still partially submerged in sand. The PD could consider moving it to a better location in the beach house area. There is also storm damage east of the building. A bench is missing on the north side of the outer harbor by the parking lot. Concrete stais south of the 59th harbor east of the bike trail are in bad shape and there is broken concrete at the 59th harbor mouth. CDOT knows of the 59th Drive bridge problems with pillars and sidewalks.
There was consensus to ask a park drive through with staff in a few weeks.
Darrow Bridge. McCurry noted that corings were taken at the bridge for a report on the “next step.”

Golf updates and questions. Dwight Powell thanked Fran Vandervoort for working with him to arrange meetings of high school coaches and students with golf clubs and the Golf Alliance about the new opportunity to caddy in Jackson Park this year. He especially thanked her for her contacts with King College Prep. Brian Hogan of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance said they now have a regular liaison at Chicago Public Schools. Hogan said that Dion Madkins, who spoke about caddying at our last meeting, has now been hired as a coach by First Tee of Chicago.
Hogan reported that geological and ecological survey is underway despite field conditions. He reassured that the golf season at South Shore golf course will open as normal this spring (Jackson course is open year around).
Nichole Sheehan, Chicago Park District Project Manager for the golf course study of the consolidation proposal, gave new details on the feasibility and engineering study by Smith Group/JJR.
Survey has been completed at South Shore but a document not yet delivered. Jackson’s will take longer- for example the tree survey requires special equipment because the ground is so soggy form this winter’s rains. Roadway coring is being done under permitting to CDOT. The permitting protocol has been decided. Asked about scheduling and timetable, she emphasized that plans and the open vetting and process by the public has to be based on studies and reality rather than rushed.

Old Business.
Jackson Park Coordinating Committee. Jerry Levy, chair reported on the first meeting (Monday March 6) of this committee set up to bring together persons in authority at agencies overseeing the park and proposed projects and at the Obama Foundation and the Golf Alliance with leaders of JPAC, Jackson Park Watch, Friends of the Parks, a neighborhood organizations and a some others from the community to learn and discuss what is happening, and what needs to be taken into account to make the park and projects work and work together no matter what is or is not done, and inform broader planning. About 20 were invited based on discussion at the February JPAC meeting and by the JPAC board. Jerry thanked Gary Ossewaarde for preparing meeting minutes for the committee. Jerry said that especially helpful was the presence and discussion with the owner of Living Habitats, a landscape design firm hired by the Obama Foundation. It has experience with Olmsted, presidential centers and natural landscaping and roof gardens and is committed to having the Center blend in and the site be better than before. Much sharing of details and community concerns were expressed regarding how golf reconfiguration could work for all, community connections and roadways (studies are just starting- there is no preferred solution), and how replacement sports fields, existing grass fields, and the driving range would work together (field study is done but no firm decisions are made yet).
Jerry said that this is one part of community planning discussions that are going on, large and small, and people need to let each other know it is and share opinions—there’s a long way to go. He noted that he Alderman’s Advisory Council is discussing a wide variety of park and other issues, not just the golf. He felt that essentially the park will remain functionally as it is, divided along 63rd St.- the north half natural and open spaces and the south devoted to golf. The committee will meet again next month. McCurry thanked Jerry and the committee. Powell reminded us that many people from different backgrounds, nd communities have worked together in the interest Jackson Park for decades; all of them deserve recognition.

Appropriation. McCurry said the board had determined that final payment should now be made on the Jackson Park in Your Pocket app production, and the board moves that this be authorized, up to (est.) $3,828. Unanimously approved.

McCurry announced that JPAC under Sylvia Brooks has set up a fill-a-bag furniture and gently used clothing collection to fund street furniture at the 67th Ridgeland playlot—bring to the fieldhouse through March 25.
Lanita Ross said that the annual Darrow wreath toss and speeches were very nice (but kept short because of weather). They retired to the Museum for a talk on what Darrow might say about today’s populism.
McCurry announced that Cornell Park will host an interactive nature play program March 25 afternoon- get ideas for Jackson Park. She describe the park’s nature play space.
The Woodlawn Summit March 18 was discussed.
Earth Day reminders were given.
Lanita Ross from the 5th Ward Office announced Shredder Day March 18 11-1 at Revere School.

Fran Vandervoort moved to adjourn at 7:59 pm.

Next meeting April 10, Monday, 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Minutes of the February 13, 2017 Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at approximately 7:10 p.m. a quorum and a total of about 30 being present.

February minutes were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nded by Esther Schechter and approved.

Treasurer. Dwight Powell reported $5,067.31 in our account and two checks cashed totaling $119.05.

Persons from several golf organizations providing youth with caddy, mentoring and scholarship opportunities, spoke including Dion Madkins of the Golf Academy and representatives of The First Tee of Chicago including two young girls, Jada and Riley.

Thanks to JPAC members including Dwight Powell and Fran Vandervoort, persons from the Golf Alliance and WGA’s Evan Scholarship program (based in Chicago) met with youth of Hyde Park High about forming a team and caddying this year. Similar meetings are being set up with other mid-South schools. Volunteers are sought to train and mentor youth in golf. Twenty youth caddies will be subsidized in the park this year. The South Shore Excel Academy anticipates having a golf team for the first time in several years. The golf team was asked to consider kids and schools in the middle grades as well.

Brian Hogan and Michael Ruemmler of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance answered questions—welcomed as part of an important vetting and planning process by Jerry Levy head of the golf committee. Hogan and others said that the engineering firm SmithGroup/JJR is examining drainage, soils and damage and was not yet prepared to plot the golf lies, but noted PGA requires 7000 yards per. They stressed that the golf will stay in the current footprint, that in combining 27 holes into 18 longer holes, effort will be made to provide both challenges and comfort to those who want a simpler golf experience. They would work to keep fees, if possible even lower than the Park District can, grandfather priority access tee times and events of the area and Jackson Park clubs. When work is being done at a regular spot for such a golf event, the event will be moved to another part of the course. The remake will pay attention to safety in both the golf lies and circulation in the course and to the communities. They are not ready to say what the schedule of work is, but want to go now with the youth programs. They would like to start at South Shore (not sure which hole will be recommended), which is the simpler course, working on perhaps three holes at a time. Golfers recalled that Waveland has an indoor practice facility and they would like to have something similar here.

Margaret Schmid of Jackson Park Watch and another said they want no work done until after a new plan is drawn up for all Jackson Park. Mr. Hogan Golf Alliance said such matters are in the provenance of the Park District. Dwight Powell said it is important for the people of the South Side to get things done; we need action-- but also to work together and stress the positive aspects of Chicago. Sharon Lewis said that because of these proposals other things are getting fixed.

Reports. Wooded Island. Levy announced the first workday of the season for March 25, 10 am. Meet at the south gate. New, larger tree ID tags are ready. Planting will resume in the spring. He replied that although the Island is open, the fences will stay up because of contractor liability for the new plants.
Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell said the next workday is March 11, 10 am from the south end. A controlled burn was held, plants should be popping up soon.

La Rabida. Soccer kids did a cleanup and looked for fossils on the limestone beach March 4.

Jackson Park in your Pocket app is awaiting final editing and Park District approval.
Social media. Jake Young. The U of C team has strengthened our site and Facebook and Twitter. The online donation and blog should be going by the end of March.

Playgound- A memorial bench will be installed at the 67th/Ridgeland playground.

Committees. Rules. Chair Jerry Levy reported that according to the bylaws, committees are established either by motion at council meetings or by the board; chair appointed by the president.

The PAC passed a resolution at the December meeting for a committee on nature and science issues. The board determined that this will be under the general nature committee that includes Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow that is currently co-chaired by the stewards.

Ad hoc Golf committee. Jerry Levy reported that the special ad hoc committee of 10 established by the board and appointed by the president met and heard a detailed report from and asked extensive questions of Brian Hogan the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance about the golf proposal. Members each gave detailed views and all voted to recommend support pending the feasibility and design study and that certain conditions and commitments be met, including a public course with low City and local fees, grandfathered times et al for local clubs, and that ecological standards be met. (Report is appended to the February Newsletter.)

Chair Jerry Levy proposed that, as a response to recent transformative proposals for the park and widespread requests for coordinated planning, JPAC establish an ongoing general committee to review proposed changes, projects and construction comprehensively-- how does each affect others, how and do they work together or not, do they serve and meld with the park as a whole, what broader planning is needed? Responsible agencies and direct stakeholders would be invited to join or send representatives to join the appointed JPAC members. Invited would be Chicago Park District, Obama Foundation, Chicago Parks Alliance, 5th Ward Office, Friends of the Parks, JPAC, Jackson Park Watch, and Chicago Department of Transportation. Others can be added, but initially not too big. Jerry so moved and Dwight Powell seconded to establish such a committee to review and oversee park projects and their fit and coordination with each other and the park as a whole. The motion carried, with no dissent and a few abstentions.

New business—The Park District PAC Conference February 25 was recommended to all as a great learning & networking experience. Reg. Bill Hill was commended for his work on the event planning committee.
Moved to adjourn. The next meeting will be on March 13, 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony I.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

JANUARY 9 2017 JPAC COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.

President Louise McCurry convened the community meeting portion at approximately 7:10 p.m. a quorum and a total of about 150 being present.
The regular meeting was preceded by a community meeting convened by JPAC, with Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly and staff present to discuss the championship golf proposal that would combine the two courses and answer questions from the audience.
Mr. Kelly had originally agreed to come to discuss various questions that had been raised about the pets, wildlife, and signage. Mr. Kelly noted that new signage reflects long-standing Park District policy, but it is a matter that the Advisory Council can and should talk about.

Mr. Kelly said that the golf proposal is at the beginning of the process—a need and scope has been identified to address a recommendation in the 1999 Framework Plans for the two parks (to improve the golf courses) but for which there has been no money so far. There is no money or plan yet; public input starts tonight.
Questions and comments (appended to the minutes) commenced and additional questions attendees submitted on paper were taken to be answered by the Superintendent. Answers will be published on the chicagoparkdistrict.com and jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org websites. In addition, Lanita Ross of 5th Ward Alderman Hairston’s office encouraged the public to attend the January 24 ward meeting, 6 p.m. at South Shore Fine Arts Academy, 1415 E. 70th St. The Superintendent will be there.
The regular business meeting commenced about 8:20 p.m.

Minutes- there was an objection to wording about the vote establishing a nature committee. The chair ruled this a substantive matter to be discussed under old business. Moved 2nded and voted to approve the minutes.

Treasurer’s Report. Fran Vandervoort reported for Dwight Powell that the balance is $5,067.31. Checks written: $44.08 to Home Depot for the fieldhouse Christmas Tree. Deposited: two contribution checks totaling $120.00, with another check to be deposited.

President’s and committee / activity reports. Park in Your Pocket- Vandervoort said it nears official approval. Our website and Facebook pages continue to be updated.
LaRabida workdays- groups of high school students chipped patient and wheelchair paths.
Fieldhouse—University of Chicago students will do fix ups in the fieldhouse, including if possible work on the History Wall, for ML King service day.
McCurry asked for more volunteers to walk/drive through the park to report emerging problems.
Sylvia Brooks is looking for volunteers for this year’s children’s garden by the fieldhouse.

Fieldhouse. Instructor Pierre Nealon reported on the wide range of programs for youth, and some for seniors. He noted a teen opportunity fair January 21 and that the PD is now providing after school coaching in schools. 60 books from the HP Used book Sale are now available for kids to read. The kids enjoy the t-shirts we gave.
Anne Marie Miles said Jackson Park Yacht Club has raised the funds for its youth sailing program and now seeks a sailing director.

General comments from discussion of the golf proposal. Sylvia Brooks said she looks forward to an underpass at 67th and South Shore Drive so she can safely take kids to the beach, and hopes for golf alignment changes that will keep golf balls from hitting people’s cars and houses.
Brenda Nelms wants the plans at each stage and public input to be posted, including tonight’s questions.

There was discussion about inconsistent dog policy and signage on the Island and Garden

New business. JPAC members are participating in Network of Woodlawn’s community input and planning for Woodlawn in light of the Presidential Center. The next public meeting is being planned. [January 26, 6 p.m. Apostolic Church Banquet Hall, 6320 S. Dorchester.]
William Hill said planning continues on fix up and murals for the 63rd and 64th St. Metra underpasses near JP. Migratory Bird Day/ International Bird Treaty will again be celebrated in May. We are looking for best weekend day to replicate last year’s highly successful collaborative program.
On the Table discussion potlucks under the Community Trust will again be held this May. Suggested was for JPAC to host one in South Shore this time. Miles offered to be lead coordinator.

Old business. In response to Mr. Stanley’s objections regarding handling of a new committee vote at the previous meeting, McCurry asked that the Board meet to review bylaws procedures for JPAC, including committees and start reconstitution of our committees. Report will be made at the next JPAC meeting. Mr. Stanley suggested an outreach committee, for example to the high schools.

Moved to adjourn. The next meeting will be at the fieldhouse February 13, 7 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Questions asked orally of Supt. Kelly at the January 9, 2017 JPAC meeting. (NOTE: VISIT THE PARK DISTRICT WEB HOMEPAGE – UPDATES FOR Q & A FROM THE JAN. 9 MEETING AND 5TH WARD MTG.. www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. Following here is ORAL Q & A only, as recorded by the Secretary.)

1. (Jerry Levy, JPAC steward and committee co-chair.) There needs to be assurance that high industry standards will be used in applying herbicides and other treatments in the new golf course and that the needs of birds and other wildlife will be served. He distributed a brochure recommended by Jane Masteson -golf courses are good for birds.
2. The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce believes this project will grow and be good for businesses.
3 . I believe this will be a job creator for kids—the caddie positions are important. I especially support an underpass into the community at 67th and South Shore for access to the beaches .
4. As a resident I am completely on board.
5. I want South Shore Drive including at 67th and other access to the park and in the community addressed regardless. And all must benefit from any changes.
A (answer). Connectivity is a high priority. The underpasses et al are costly and require funding.
6. The golfing clubs would like a meeting to which we can all come to discuss the concept and timetable, including how to keep the groups place in the golf courses and the free and reduced fees.
A. Meetings with golf is part of the process. We intend to keep fees as low as possible for city residents and hope for free to under 17. As to speculation of starting in spring, we cannot say that yet—if so, spaces will be found at Jackson.
7 As a businesswoman, I think this is good. I commend Billy Casper management. Will golf clubs and groups still get their dates? Questioned priority when cannot get a full service grocery at 71st and Jeffrey and city can’t pay bills. Have many parties doing it including with Boys & Girls clubs.
A. Golfers can still get their dates this year. Nothing will be done in Jackson this year. Golf needs to be ramped up (to keep the courses viable?).
8. The PD has not used the South Shore Cultural Center as a community or arts center or keep it up or invested in equipment for quality shows—will this change? Will access to the lake and South Shore beach be improved or hindered? Will facilities at the beach including ice cream and the beach house be improved3 and a high quality restaurant open regularly?
A. The Cultural Center will not be turned into a country club. We do have to charge something- it’s expensive.
9.. It’s about the “What’s in it for us?” We need a community benefits agreement with an ongoing direct relationship, and a business plan that is sustainable to use revenues from the new facilities. A solid recreational replacement for what the footprint that is taken by and facilities displaced by the Library need to be part of the mix.
A. The fields will be displaced. The golf courses are losing money, any extra expendable revenue is doubtful. We will share numbers. This may not happen- it requires money, the community, and the golfers.
10. Rainbow Beach AC). Rainbow wants to be part of the mix, as with a practice facility or offsite parking for big events? Talk to us.
A. There may be an opportunity here.
11. Golf moves the pain out. We must provide youth opportunities.
12. It will be fantastic, especially for kids. Move the fields (without dispersing) but go beyond- a year round indoor-outdoor practice and athletic facility that will serve as a safe haven. Would like a CBA regarding these. We can help raise the money.
A. I can’t commit tonight- such facilities are expensive but if you will help raise the money, we will help.
13. How do you start a golf club and get times?
A. It’s easy to do.
14. Parking on the lakefront is too expensive for families and goes up.
A. Disagrees, says it’s cheap is to pay for programs. Fees are better than a property tax hike. It is an ongoing debate.
14. Sports facilities don’t bring youth or other jobs or bring much economic development.
(Remark by Mary Ellen Holt - Entities like WGA only provide help for youth in exchange for getting something.) A. How can you know that (“it’s only because”) but of course we asked and they will start paying youth caddies this summer.
16. (Lanita Ross, 5th Ward Office announcement). The January 24 ward meeting will host the Park District to continue the conversation- 6 pm at South Shore Fine Arts academy, 1415 E. 70th St.
Written questions were collected from the audience and questions sent by email for this purpose were forwarded to Maria Stone for the Superintendent. These will be posted in the Park District’s and linked rom Jackson Park Advisory Council’s websites.

 

MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER 12, 2016 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse. A quorum of members was present ,with total attendance 32--several new or guests, a diverse representation of neighborhoods, interests.

Minutes of the November meeting were moved, 2nded and approved.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported $4,990+ as of the most recent statement. Dues/contributions are coming in (and some came in this evening). Expenditures included $106.09 for turkeys for the kid’s foot race and a church ad for JPAC and park programs, $44.08.

Handouts and oral notices-- JPAC children’s initiatives past and proposed;
Suggestions for long-term asks for the park;
Obituary for long-time parks, JPAC, and South Side activist Kay Clement;
Member Bob Nelson’s new book about the Chicago harbors, “Dirty Waters”; and
Wooded Island rules and CPD general Code, and WI signage, concerns and CPD answers.
Attendees were encouraged to attend Candles and Carols at the Shrine Dec. 17.

Wooded Island. Jerry Levy reported mulching the self-sprouting oaks. WI concerns from last month were solved.

Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell said there are also about 30 new oaks there (a third having been planted)- an oak can live 500 years and there are a large number of animals and plants that can live in/on oaks. In response to Jane Masterson’s citation of recent findings of better success saving partially diseased ash trees (and at low cost), Norm thought the remaining ash in Bobolink are too far gone. Re: tree diseases, experts will be consulted starting with CPD. In November, a team from Nature Conservancy did a Bobolink workday. Native plants were given by Kathleen Soler of the Park District and planted. Workdays are over for the year. A burn is expected in the spring.

The Photo Class and Contest went very well, but deadline for submission will be extended through the month to encourage more kids to participate.
The U of C is soliciting Ideas for a ML King project for a team of its students. Suggested were hanging photo montage, other tasks in the fieldhouse--please give ideas to Louise McCurry.
Volunteers are needed to help with the kid’s Christmas Party, probably December 23, details coming.

Nature Trail: Fran Vandervoort reported on continuing work on Jackson Park in Your Pocket, which will be in app and brochure form. She reported that Project 120 paid for the videotaping; the final product is being prepared gratis by Vamonde of IIT. There is enough good material left over for additional loops. She was asked that the full accounting include the many in-kind volunteer hours.

Park program. Pierre Nealon said fall programs are winding down and that preparations are underway for winter programs that will start early in January. There will be a wide variety of sports, as well as off-season conditioning for other sports. A first-time girl’s team is forming (the teams are normally co-ed); gymnastics are popular with girls. Twelve turkeys were given out to winners of the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Awards were distributed for football, which enrolled 150 this fall. Two problems were reported for the gym- lights are dim except by the bleachers, and the scoreboard, damaged by rain a couple years ago, is still not functional. Inquiries or work orders will be made.

Anne Marie Miles reported on the second year of the Jackson Park Yacht Club/CPD partnership sailing classes, which were full, with a diverse set of students aged 12 plus, including from Altgeld Gardens. Growth, and inclusion of more local youth requires fundraising for boats, including for Sea Scouts - CPD wants the latter boats located in the main harbors to the north. Youth are being encouraged to take swimming lessons in surrounding parks with pools, including Harris and Washington. Dwight Powell and others noted that JPAC pushes for and keeps sailing and swimming programs here-- if the funds are not used on the South Side, they are taken to the north.

Bob Nelson, author of Dirty Water, history of the Chicago harbors and the Park District, talked about the Coast Guard Station from 1907 through its ups and downs, including its recent stint as a popular restaurant, and the elimination of amenities post privatization. There are reuse ideas but problems with the roof and perhaps more.

Safety: Stephanie Franklin discussed the WhistleStop anticrime program being revitalized by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Louise McCurry noted that homeless were living and starting fires under the Nancy Hays bridge and that criminal activity continues to re-emerge and be combated in the 63rd Cornell parking lot and by the 59th “dog-tennis” area. Kenneth Newman asked that people riding or walking trails move fallen branches.

McCurry announced there are at least three park and community planning processes coming in mid January or February (dates to be announced). Two will be public—CPD General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly will meet with the community about the long-term layout and programming of Jackson Park. Representatives of the Obama Presidential Foundation will hold a public meeting on impacts and promises (re: the park) of the Presidential Center. Also, Rev. Brazier of Apostolic Church will continue to convene groups around community and park planning for the coming of the library, with hope there will be a single plan. The Apostolic meetings are by invitation, but JPAC, Project 120,Jackson Park Watch, and many others participate. Powell said it is important that the various groups and interests take a holistic perspective and try to get on the same page. William Hill noted 63rd St. vacant lots were put on hold re: the city’s initiatives- green lots and sale of lots to neighbors.

Sylvia Brooks said the 67th-Ridgeland playground group continues to work on naming, making a garden, and events. She proposed also a broad get together like the On the Table gathering last May. Members asked that the community garden at the golf course sw edge be revived and safe- perhaps by thinning surrounding vegetation.

Karen Szyjka, manager of the Japanese Garden for CPD, talked about conditions and ideas for more full realization. The latter include expanded plantings under the tree rings and of ground cover and conifers, and expansion of the moss garden. The cherry trees were pruned in a way that creates an illusion of depth. She suggests a healing-walk brochure. CPD is meeting with designers about a replacement traditional fence or wall. (not to enclose the Skylanding sculpture-- she was asked to return with a set of options when ready.

Signage and rules on Wooded Island. A paper with questions was distributed by Jackson Park Watch and summarized by Margaret Schmid. Also, handouts re: the Island with responses to various questions, concerns, and requests (some by CPD project manager Lauren Umek), and sections of the CPD Code were distributed and summarized by the JPAC President and others. Highlights of responses: McCurry had conferred with CPD leadership-- regulations are uniform across the district. Tonight’s discussion revealed that more clarity may be needed regarding future of fish stocking and fishing and whether sign language about fishing may need changing in the future. Jerry Levy noted five signs on the Island that point out its designation as the Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary. [Ed.- other questions raised are considered in discussion pieces in the accompanying Dec. Newsletter.]

Jane Masterson sought more involvement of naturalists, including tree condition experts and suggested a nature subcommittee for JPAC- Julius Stanley moved the same. It was approved, but by consensus more discussion and implementation were deferred to the next meeting, with CPD experts asked to attend.

MOVED TO ADJOURN. Next meeting January 9, time and place as today.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 14, 2016 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse. A quorum of members was present with total attendance 23, 6 being new or guests, a diverse representation of neighborhoods, interests.

Minutes of the October meeting were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nded by Dwight Powell and approved.

Treasurer’s report. The balance remained $4,777.39. Three generous membership gift checks were given at the meeting. Funds for turkeys was previously appropriated for the Turkey Trot this Friday Volunteers were asked for tasks including shining flashlights for the runners. For the Halloween party, we had several volunteers and paid for food (thanks Dwight, Robin Carter of FritoLay) and carving pumpkins, Help is sought with Christmas/Holiday party (the day before break).

Angelina Sorrentino and Jennie Scheerer from the Chicago Parks Foundation described the Giving Tuesdays crowd funding campaign late November for teen programs and shared examples of teen programs-- at McGuane and Veteran’s Memorial Parks [descriptions attached]. The Park District is also hiring middle school coaches in partnership with CPS. Noted by the Foundation team and by members is the need to structure and spotlight every program for teens, have extended hours, build upon and move beyond sports (McGuane has robotics, some have nature-based/biodiversity programs), and find or develop facilities. Suggested was using the coming Presidential Center as an impetus to start planning. President McCurry suggested exploring reuse of the currently un-programmed building north of the Jackson Park fieldhouse for teen programs.

Workdays. November 11 Bobolink volunteers gathered perennial seeds and pulled invasives. A controlled burn is expected sometime between now and spring. A volunteer group came to prep a raised bed children’s garden by the tennis and pickleball courts by the fieldhouse. Groups also cleaned near La Rabida. More is needed by 67th.
Jerry Levy announced tentative plans for a workday November 19 from 10:30 a.m. mulching oak saplings and possibly creating a mulch path from the parking lot on Hayes Drive to the south entry bridge to Wooded Island.

Levy reported that Army Corps work over the winter will be minimal. Among items he felt would enhance the Island and natural area experience are:
A path with a sign pointing to the south entry and one or two similar signs north of the Island to help people find their way,
Alternative parking such as the Museum west lot until the Darrow bridge is fixed and open,
Opening the path around the south end of the lagoons from the Island to Bobolink as soon as plants are established,
Benches at the lookouts, solutions to aesthetics of the trash cans there and erosion gulleys in the gravel,
Planning re: security concerns.
Levy moved, Kenneth Newman seconded, and approved that JPAC prepare a letter to the Museum of Science and Industry asking weekend parking in its west lot for access to Wooded Island and the Japanese Garden.
Placed on discussion agenda: concern about after hours security on the Island and asking the Park District for its protocol, ideas or options that could include an arm-gate at each end like at the Golf Driving Range drive.

Park program. Pierre Nealon said floor hockey is big and there is wrestling, tackle football for 8-12s, and teen hoops, an upcoming football event, and an Afterschool Matters program. Turkey trot next Friday will feature relays of 800 yards to a mile for different age groups (volunteers needed to provide lighting). Seniors can inquire at the fieldhouse (773 256-0903) regarding cards and other activities.

Sylvia Brooks invited all to an appreciation for Maria Stone for playgrounds this Saturday at Norman’s Bistro.

Election of officers for one year terms. Ballot forms were ready and the floor was opened for nomination. Esther Schechter and Jerry Levy nominated the present officers – President Louise McCurry, Vice President Anne Marie Miles, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, and Treasurer Dwight Powell, all of whom were willing to serve. No other nominations were made and the above officers were elected. Per request, at the next meeting, having additional board members for specific tasks, as allowed by the bylaws, will be considered.

Moved to adjourn. Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.


MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 11, 2016 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse. A quorum was present with total attendance 28+. Introduced were several from organizations engaged with youth and residents in surrounding communities, several willing to volunteer in Jackson Park, and leaders from other PACs. Minutes of the September meeting were moved by Dwight Powell and Fran Vandervoort and approved.
Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported deposits were $200.00, bank balance 9/30 was $4,767.39. Our manor expenditures are for the kids in park programs. He encouraged people to send in their contributions now.

Speakers: Loretta Lomax gave thanks for the dedication and success of the 67th Ridgeland playground.
Denyse Stoneback described the work of People for a Safer Society and invited all to a screening later in the month of Katie Courac’s “Under the Gun” at the Harper Theater. This led to discussion of a rise in homeless and persons with various problems sleeping in our relatively safer park and finding resources (increasingly scarce) to offer these people while mitigating problems to the park. Action: ask for a Park District committee including PACs.
W
illiam Hill described his garden and gallery at 64th/Dorchester, one of several new Woodlawn assets.
Jahmal Cole described My Block-My Hood-My City, which includes youth excursions and raises horizons.

President’s report and actions. Louise McCurry and others noted that a group rallied earlier, concerned through a misunderstanding that the basketball courts at Hayes west of the Drive might be removed. This was incorrect and members expressed their solidarity that the park’s bb courts are a positive force and must remain.
Skylanding, Yoko Ono’s lotus flower peace art would be dedicated at the Japanese Garden in the following week. October 20 JPAC and the Park District will open the gates to Wooded Island permanently and hold open house for the sculpture and Japanese Garden and the whole Island with its overlooks. There will be informational stations with maps and docents about the ecological restoration project.
McCurry said the peace sculptures by the Iowa building have been well received, with some programming and lots of people walking over and taking selfies or meditating. Thank You Farah Tunks.
Beach cleans September 17 accomplished much and were recorded for TV.
About 100 University of Chicago students helped with work projects on September 28.
October 15 (and after with volunteer teams coming in) JPAC will do two tasks the fieldhouse seeks- striping the tennis courts by the fieldhouse for pickleball classes and preparing next to it a kid’s garden for next year.

McCurry and Powell, with Park supervisor Bobbie Beckham, discussed the holiday events that JPAC usually helps – Halloween- members were asked to volunteer at the day camp party October 31, 4-6 pm. The Turkey Trot just before Thanksgiving and the Christmas party on December 23 also need help. Moved, seconded and approved to appropriate $75 for supplies and seek donations such as Turkeys for the Trot.
JPAC members are participating in reactivation of a PAC for Harris Recreation Center. It is hoped that the number of kids learning to swim there can be increased and that this will in turn feed into an enhanced, low-cost sailing program in the harbors-- Jackson Park Yacht Club is raising funds for a training boat.
“Wants” suggested by members for next year: youth teams at beach cleans / volunteer work, spaces and programs to highlight and teach biodiversity and nutrition, and a tree replanting program/schedule.

Announced: Nomination and election of officers will be held at the November 14 meeting at the fieldhouse. Adjourned.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.

MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse. A quorum was present with total attendance 14. Introductions were made. Minutes of the September meeting were moved and approved.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported, with details from Supervisor Bobbie Beckam, that thanks to Walgreens at 71st and Jeffrey we were able to purchase, fill with supplies and distribute 142 back-to-school bags at the end of summer camp. 9 persons packed the bags. Photos will be posted in the fieldhouse. Letters of thanks were sent to the store and its Pharmacy department. Independent of our treasury, Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Parks Committee provided Jackson Park t-shirts and carry bags for volunteer leaders. For the month, deposits were $174.00 and expenditures $105.24. Bank balance at the end of August was $4,567.39.

President’s report. A highly successful ribbon-cutting and picnic were held at the 67th/Ridgeland playlot. Thanks to those who supplied food & music (esp. associated with Parkways), and set up information booths. Our sympathy to organizer Sylvia Brooks, who suffered a broken foot a few days prior but nevertheless participated with a moving talk. Thanks also for support from Alderman Hairston. The Park District and City will celebrate completion of the ChicagoPlays! Playground program October 15.
Help was requested for the September 17, noon-2 pm. 63rd St. Beach Clean with Alliance for the Great Lakes. Gary Ossewaarde would be the point person.

On September 24, University of Chicago incoming students and anyone else who wants to participate will converge for various work projects in the park in the afternoon—both the north and south gates to will be open. The main project will be completing the mulching of the interior trail on the Island, starting at 1 p.m. Contact Jerry Levy for information. The students will have a de-briefing and recruitment party at 4:30.
Jerry Levy reported on discussion and hope for resolution on taking down the fences around Wooded Island – if this happens, it will be accompanied by a welcoming program with tours. New plantings will come next year. Thirteen workers will be on the Island daily. Meanwhile, foundation work was underway for Yoko Ono’s Sky Landing sculpture. Full information about the site and its operation, programming and maintenance has been sought and is expected. The dedication ceremony (not yet set or announced) will include the major group that performed at the site dedication 2 years ago. McCurry also reported on cleanups and path work at LaRabida and the Music Court by volunteer teams.

World Peace Day/Jackson Park Peace Sculptures. All were encouraged to attend the September 21, 4:30-6:30 installation dedication for Changing Worlds-10,000 Ripples, Emerging Peace heads west of the Iowa Building. The Jackson Park Teen Leadership Club will perform spoken word celebrating the sculptures and UN World Peace Day.. (See information and link to flyer in the September Newsletter at http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/newsletters/Sept_2016nl.htm.

Mc Curry said she will present at the next meeting on a Jackson Park Book Club, suggesting as a first book Andy Carter’s book on George Washington Carver at the Columbian Exposition.

Jake Young asked help planting trees October 1 in Washington Park- 9 am-noon, meet at 54th and Cottage Grove. At 9 for a brief bird walk ahead of the planting. Sponsored by Openlands and Project 120.

Obama Presidential Library. Michael Strautmanis, Vice President for Civic Engagement and Christopher Brooks, head of real estate and Senior Project Manager, the Obama Presidential Foundation discussed progress so far and answered questions. Main takeaways: The city and park district are committed to replacement of existing facilities including the track before work begins on the Library and to a full and honest traffic/parking study and solution. Site study and design work will take about two years, then the construction will take place, with the Center opening in 2021. Right now there is just a spreadsheet of space needs. (Dina Griffin, head of the design co-team IDEA will come to a JPAC meeting soon.) The Foundation knows that the benefits have to come to the greater south side and are working, for example with Rev. Brazier, Dr. Tony Barrett and four aldermen to determine programming and economic impact. There needs to be a public decision-making process, which the Foundation is discussing now. The structure of the Foundation as a 501 was explained. Questions and ideas should be directed to Mike at mstrautmanis@barackobamafoundation.org. [To get epostings- www.my.barackobamafoundation.org/hello.]


Fran Vandervoort discussed progress on the Jackson Park in Your Pocket app.

Announcements included the Park District budget hearing September 21; Volunteers Appreciation Day October 1 and September 29 Netsch lecture on Jackson Park and the Library [by Victoria Ranney, Olmsted in Chicago]

Moved to Adjourn. [The October meeting will be on Tuesday the 11th due to Columbus Day observed.]
Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 8, 2016 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry called to order at 7:10 p.m. in the fieldhouse, a quorum being present, 18 plus guests.

Workdays- Jerry Levy: August 13 mulching. Norm Bell: August 13, and several groups have worked on invasives and wildflowers including from Come Youth Center and DePaul.
McCurry reported that large groups (1550 hours) including from CPS Leadership Academy, GreenCorps, and UNUM cleaned up and cleared wheelchair paths at LaRabida, resulting in more people including patients being able to access the shore.

Area Manager Farah Tunks said the 63rd St. basketball courts will be closed for resurfacing August 15-26, some signage is coming, and there will be two festivals- August 21 South Shore at the Cultural Center and August 28th 5th Ward Back to School at 63rd Beach House.

Safety: Kenny Newman reported various issues on the Lakefront Trail 59th-63rd and trails on both sides of Cornell Drive, storm damage to beaches, and tree limbs remaining down.
Esther Schechter – the Marquette underpass refills as soon as drained but lawns there were mowed.

Trail App (Jackson Park in Your Pocket). Fran Vandervoort reported filming and interviewing continue. She demonstrated how an important event in the past could be acted out for the program, such as Bertha Palmer using a silver-headed hammer to tap in the last (golden) nail at the Woman’s Building. Signage is anticipated at a few starting points and overlooks, someone suggested including Braille. Fran noted there is much that is natural area in the golf course.

“Ten Thousand Ripples Public Art, Peace, and Civic Engagement” project. Indira Freitas Johnson presented a plan, pursuant to approval by JPAC in August 2015 to place half-head white statues representing peace emerging (based on portraiture of Buddha) on the hill west of the Iowa Building. There will be seven, in a circle. The contract is for them to stay a year, although that could be renewed. Statues have been placed around the country to stimulate reflection about peace and to encourage neighborhood activity and community building, each community choosing different placement, surroundings and programming. There are nine sets in Chicago, including at Palmisano Park and at the Lakefront at Diversey. They are heavy fiberglass 24 inches high. The goal is the have them in by World Peace Day September 21. Programming including with youth was promised by Chicago Park District Director of Art Initiatives Mike Dimitroff.
Dimitroff announced that a sculpture called C Leap was placed at 67th St. and South Shore Drive and a dead ash tree will be carved into a figure by 59th and Cornell (artist who carved the wolf and raven in Nichols Park).

A date will be announced for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and picnic, to which all of JPAC is invited, at the 67th-Ridgeland refurbished playlot [Set for September 10 afternoon]. The 67th-Chappel playlot has a problem in that the surface matting there is no longer used by the Park District. Request is in to refurbish the playground.

Fieldhouse. Supervisor Bobbie Beckam announced the closing awards ceremony for summer camp. JPAC received help from members and sponsors including Debaye Ogunsuya of Walgreens at 71st and Jeffrey and Apostolic Church members for back to school book bags to the most needy at summer camp. JPAC will fill and distribute the bags Friday at 1:45. Enrollment has started for Fall- there are still openings. In the news: two species/varieties of birds not before recorded breeding together were observed doing so in the park recently.

IT continues to learn and to put more up on the website and Facebook. They will work again with a UC team. Our team thanks Pro ject 120 for a laptop. SEND US PHOTOS. Workdays, Columbian Expo tours are posted.

Obama Library. Gary Ossewaarde reported and and discussion was held on the decision to site the Obama Library in Jackson Park and the need to be engaged in planning and any changes that might be caused by that, including that if the track and field or south ball field are moved, there be no downtime, impacts including to access be minimized, and that JPAC partner for outcomes for kids and neighborhoods. Lanita Ross of the 5th ward office reported that a broad focus group was being formed and led by Andrea Zopp.

Also discussed was commencement of work on the Yoko Ono sculpture and the former Phoenix Pavilion footprint on Wooded Island. The plan was not yet complete.

Financial. Dwight Powell said the latest balance was $4,780.90. Deposits: $70 in memberships. Moved and approved a reimbursement of $105.24 for IT to Jake Young.

Minutes of the July meeting were moved and approved.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting September 12, 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE JULY 11, 2016 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m., a quorum present, adult attendance 32. (We were pleased that some brought children and teens.) All who contributed to the fine picnic were thanked, especially Dwight Powell for the home-barbecued chicken. McCurry introduced the videotape tea, for the Jackson Park tour-in-your pocket project, Joshua Jackson and Donnell McCrairie of 720 Films, a South Shore firm.

Dwight Powell asked for a moment of silence in memory of those who died or shot and over the violence of the past week and previously.

Each present described their most exciting positive experience or favorite things in the park this year, then things that should be reported for fixing or could be improved. (The list is attached.)

Dwight Powell noted that patrons of the Golf Driving Range and other members of the public are angered that this South Side facility some days closes as early as 5 p.m. and opens late, apparently due to lack of staffing.

Jake Young and Ray Johnson described progress on the website and Facebook page.

Norm Bell and Gail Parry reported on several Bobolink Meadow workdays in May and June that included groups from Gary Comer Prep (despite snow on the ground one day) and youth from Chinatown.

McCurry noted groups are coming for LaRabida cleanup in July and August. The June 18 cleanup and mulching in the Music Court area had about 12 volunteers. A large group mulched the Wooded Island trail June 23 and there will be a workday and tour on the Island July 16 10 am-2 pm from the south bridge.

There is a new head of Park District Lakefront security, Thomas Snooks. (Noted: Park District offers do not have powers of arrest, so call 911 if you encounter a threatening situation.) Members asked for a safety-security section on the website with phone numbers and emails. Roberta Siegel reported safety concerns including with cars and bikes on the Point that Kenneth Newman said were being reported and addressed. Some of our members including Esther Schechter and Zelia Stevens walk parts the park daily as observers, reporters and as people presence. Sylvia Brooks is seeking volunteers to help her in rounds at the south end of the park. Problems with activity continue especially in the south and west edges.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported a $4,710.90 bank balance. $300, as appropriated was spent for summer camp- $100 for fees for needy families and $200 for supplies.

Minutes of the May and June meetings were moved by Anne Marie Miles, seconded (Fran Vandervoort/
Dwight Powell and approved.

Playgrounds. Replenishment fibar is needed at some, and volunteers to rake it back under slides and swings from time to time. Need for more amenities such as benches and trees is being assessed for the two playgrounds on 67th street that are getting new play equipment. A ribbon-cutting celebration is anticipated, perhaps in the second week of August. Ms. Brooks is seeking to have the west playground named for T.R. Sims. Naming suggestions are sought for the east playground.

Jane Masterson showed examples of damaged leaves including oak from the park. Diagnosis and solutions are being researched.

1-hour Columbian Exposition tours schedule: Saturdays 9 am.
1st Saturdays (August 6, September 3)- north part of the park, meeting at the Music Court parking.
3rd Saturdays (July 16, August 20)- The Midway, meeting at the skating rink.
4th Saturdays (July 23, August 27)- south and east, meeting in front of LaRabida Hospital main entrance.

Bylaws amendment. Per previous month’s discussion and request there for revision, the secretary read and explained new language for Section III, Sections 2 (and 3 for organizations), that “An individual is a voting member if they have attended at least two meetings during the prior twelve months.” (Old was “second meeting.”) After discussion the question was called and approved 12 for and 4 against.

Moved to adjourn. The next meeting will be on August 11 at the fieldhouse.

Submitted by Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

The following were noted by attendees at the July 11, 2016 JPAC picnic as best or most exciting associations with the park during the past year.
LaRabida shore, especially the carvings in stone blocks from 1892 on.
The loads of garbage removed
Major activities: Migratory Bird Day, Its’ Your Park and really good workdays and tours:
New attendees, visitors and allies, new points of view
Jackson Bark and other communities of people
On the Table dinner May 10
Chosen Few picnic
Andy Carter and his telling and singing about George Washington Carver’s time in Jackson Park
New playgrounds in and coming
Field Museum involvement monitoring monarchs and milkweed and birds
Discovery and care of oak saplings on the Island, ecological care from micro to GLFER
The 3 yacht clubs and enjoyment of harbors and Lake Michigan
Website, social media development, taping interviews

The following were said to need attention
Golf Driving range closing as early as 5 pm, opening late
Lack of benches / seating (see Dwight, Esther, Sylvia for specifics)

The issues raised by last week’s violence and how the park can help or be affected
Darrow Bridge
Marquette underpass
62nd comfort station (may be fixed?); that by La Rabida
Signage at Jackson Bark
Need for a Safety tab on the website with emergency and fix numbers, possible posting section
More improvements, rethinking at 67th playgrounds under installation
General security and safety, especially south and west edges of the park
Better fibar supply and maintenance, workdays
La Rabida upkeep, beach etc. protection
Trees including oaks under attack by insects and diseases

 

MINUTES OF THE JUNE 13, 2016 JPAC MEETING

Dwight Powell opened the meeting at 7:05 p.m. at the fieldhouse,/ He reminded of our standards of courteous discourse, and turned the meeting over to President Louise McCurry. Quorum was present, 21 signed in.

Reports, committees, and members’ offerings: Jerry Levy confirmed a workday on Wooded Island June 25 (chips on trail) and possibly July 23 (by which time he expected the fence will be down). He did not think substantial plantings will be done this spring or summer, but expected that, with a lighter canopy and more sunlight lots of former plantings and an additional cohort of volunteer oak saplings will sprout (and need protecting). Next year, at least as many trees as were taken down and many thousands of low plantings will go in. Levy recommended exploring the woodchip path on the Island.

Bobolink. Someone noted a deer has shown up. Concern was expressed at what appears to have been heavy spray killing of stands of (common?) milkweed in Bobolink. Inquiries will be made. Also reported was cutter bee damage to tree foliage. There were two Bobolink workdays, on paths and some planting.

McCurry reported that water stands in the Marquette underpass because no drainage pump was installed during its construction c. 12 or more years ago. The underpass belongs to CDOT; correction is being sought.

Paths along the east side of Cornell especially by 65th are greatly rutted and one stretch has chunks of concrete, and it is often filled with water. Removal of the concrete is on the list for Green Corps. Holes will have to be filled with gravel or dirt. With regard to a general perception that park south of 63rd St. is in worse shape than north, Dwight Powell said involving people from the surrounding neighborhoods to advocate and help out is needed. The council applauded the many repairs and upkeep arranged by CPD Area Manager Farah Tunks.

McCurry narrated a PowerPoint presentation developed by our Web and Media team led by Jake Young and Ray Johnson. Praised was our partner, a U of C Community Accelerator student team. The display poster they made was shown. The presentation documents conditions especially in the south part of the park but includes positive activities and conditions throughout the park. Problem spots, in addition to those mentioned above, include along Promontory Circle/LaRabida area shore, deteriorating stairs and fallen in drains; fence-constricted playgrounds along 67th St., Darrow Bridge, area south of the fieldhouse, and some paths.

McCurry asked for volunteers for the It’s Your Park workday June 18 mulching trees and clearing trash in the Music Court and adjacent parking area. August 5, a large group is coming in the morning to LaRabida area; volunteers are welcome. Jane Masterson gives nature walksand full moon moonrise walks-find in PassItOn.

Guests. Judith Heineman, storyteller, discussed the important role of stories. Her largest yearly event is Tellabration (a worldwide phenomenon) on November 20 this year, at Experimental Station. Members thought that storytelling, especially with kids in parks in stressed areas, but elsewhere too might get us talking to one another in these times. Fran Vandervoort, Nature Trail steward thought stories can be included in virtual tours. Heineman will tell stories June 18 at 1 at the Midway Skating Rink.

Treasurer. Dwight Powell explained our annual donations to the summer camp program, and providing back-to-school backpacks. He moved, 2nded by Esther Schechter, to give $300 to these program. Approved. Also approved was $30.70 to Ancien Cycles regarding free bike clinics and supplies they will give in the park.

Bylaws Amendment. Gary Ossewaarde presented an amendment to the current bylaws introduced last month-to return to earlier practice (and current practice grandfathered at some other PACs) providing that members gain familiarity with JPAC’s range of activities and oversight before having a vote. The wording was to change “second meeting” to “fourth meeting” in Article Three- Membership, Section 2 and similar in section 3:
“An individual is a voting member if he or she is attending at least the second fourth meeting in the preceding consecutive 12-month period that includes that meeting.”
Discussion included the change itself and both present and proposed wording. Offered by Andy Carter for a rewriting was to say that one may vote after having attended two meetings in the preceding 12 months. Consensus was to present that and take a vote at the next meeting.

Members reflected on the May 31 meeting on Project 120 and cases for and against various potential or proposed structures in the park including for visitors or for events. Fran Vandervoort read from Victoria Ranney’s book on Olmsted about his proposal for a pavilion building in Washington Park. Most agreed that we need to emphasize taking better care of existing facilities and the park in general.

Darrow Bridge. Ossewaarde, McCurry, and others discussed progress on Darrow Bridge. At the May 31 meeting assurance was given by Alderman Hairston that the bridge will only be restored for pedestrian, bicycle, and emergency vehicle use, and not open for general traffic. CDOT is asking IDOT for $2 million at a hearing for start on the bridge. JPAC was asked for and provided CDOT with a general letter of support for the request. The letter will be in the next Newsletter and in the website [appended]. Those who have met with CDOT said their timetable is stretched out over several years even if the full funds for the actual work gets earmarked. Motion was made by Dwight Powell and 2nded by Jake Young that JPAC fully supports and urges the historic restoration of Darrow Bridge as a pedestrian, bicycle and emergency vehicle bridge and supports CDOT’s request for funds for the same. Approved.

Marquette/Coast Guard Drive Underpass. Moved by McCurry and 2nded that JPAC supports the efforts of the appropriate agencies to place a drain pump in the underpass to ensure proper drainage. Approved.

Annual picnic: The next meeting will be July 11 at the Iowa building across from Montgomery Place on the east end of 56th St., with a picnic. People are urged to arrive at 6:30 p.m. to set up so the meeting can start at 7.

Moved to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE May 9, 2016 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry called to order at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse, a quorum being present, 16 in attendance. Former vice president Judith Hill was welcomed back. The agenda was distributed. Introductions were made. Minutes of the April meeting were moved by Dwight Powell, 2nded by Norm Bell, and approved.

Media upgrade team. Maddie Anderson, University of Chicago Accelerator group engaged to help JPAC update its website and media presence. The UC team consists of four persons from the Gamma Delta Sorority. Point persons for JPAC are Jake Young and Ray Johnson. Ms. Anderson reported on objectives including workday and events online registrations, memberships, and donations, update of videos, and creation of active social media pages. Emphasized: donations and membership are distinct. Approved by consensus that modest fee can be contracted if necessary to our internet server and platform providers.

67th St. Ridgeland playground area. Sylvia Brooks reported that work has begun. When the work is close to done, a community workday 2nd week in July? (spreading chips, planting, ribbon cutting and party) will be scheduled with CPD and JPAC. Cliff Kelly has offered to participate, and Home Depot will donate flowers. Meanwhile, new sidewalk is being installed on the entire north side of 67th by the park and replacement of curbs and catch basins continues on Stony Island. Thanks was expressed to the community groups and the Alderman’s Office, which have pushed for these for many years.

Bobolink Meadow and Migratory Bird Day, other workdays. April 28-30 about 30 teachers who work with the Museum of Science and Industry planted over 600 butterfly friendly plants and fixed the main path. May 14 workday removing trash and garlic mustard and other invasives will dovetail with Migratory Bird Day tours and bird ID programs. This program with many programs in the Music Court area and Bobolink is designed to introduce children and youth to wildlife and environmental responsibility and celebrates 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty, first signed by the U.S. and Great Britain. There is a wide range of sponsors. Noted- this might be a nice program to repeat in the fall.
McCurry will hold cleanup and mulching of trails by LaRabida Hospital Saturday May 21 1 p.m. The next Wooded Island tour is set for May 28, 10 am (Island open10-2) from the south end gate.

Fieldhouse and sports. Bobbie Beckam discussed which ball fields and tennis courts may be best candidates for rehab (and they are overdue) should selection of Jackson be confirmed. Need for seats was specified. JPAC was requested to submit a form. Our track team is advancing to citywide competition. Summer camp target is 150-160. JPAC was asked and agreed to help host a Faith in Action program ahead of the May 27 Windy City Hoops session—members are asked to come about 6 p.m. and can stay and watch bb action with the parents.
Members asked about a program whereby kids can earn school community service hours, especially nature stewardship. Lanita Ross said an impediment is lack of funding for busses to bring or move the kids around.
Lanita also gave details on the May 14 early morning Jackson 5K Classic race. Kids can earn community service hours for this. All proceeds will go for Tri Masters racing and fitness classes and for South East Chicago Commission/HPKCC neighborhood enhancement (beautification) grants in neighborhoods surrounding the park.
McCurry noted that a private permitted event May 7 led to activities and closures that interfered with soccer and other programs already permitted and paid for. On several other occasions this summer soccer fields are preempted. She is in discussion with CPD staff.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported $5,189.41 in the account.

Old business. Earth Day beach cleanups April 23 netted 310 pounds of trash collected and sorted at 63rd and 57th beaches. Thank you Alliance for the Great Lakes and Green Energy. A bike clinic in the afternoon at 57th had less success, partly due to weather and time of year. The main trail through Wooded Island was mulched.

New business. Virtual Nature Trail. Consensus was to proceed with applying for a grant from Field Foundation for a virtual nature trail tour like the Park Services’ Ranger in Your Pocket. Fran Vandervoort with others 2
has explored the possibilities in consort with Park District staff and the Vamonde.com team at IIT, headed by Prof. Anijo P. Matthew, which has agreed to work with JPAC and CPD parties gratis and has developed such virtual tours for Humboldt Park and other places. Funds would be applied to signs at heads of trail and if necessary to hire a narrator. A committee will meet with Vamonde et al This Thursday. Moved by McCurry and seconded to name project leader Fran Vandervoort JPAC’s Nature Trail Steward. Approved.

Bylaws Amendment. Louise McCurry proposed an amendment to the current bylaws--to return to earlier practice (and current practice of some other PACs such as Nichols) that members have a longer familiarity with the full range of JPAC’s park responsibilities and operations before voting on major issues. The proposed amendment would change “second meeting” to “fourth meeting” in Article Three- Membership, Section 2 and similar in section 3 (which covers designated representatives of organizations).

“An individual is a voting member if he or she is attending at least the [second- del.] fourth meeting in the preceding consecutive 12-month period that includes that meeting.”

Six members spoke in support, pointing out that JPAC, to be effective and responsible as a recognized advisory and operating body for the long term good of a complex park, has to be primarily a standing group with broad park experience rather than be a set of community meetings. This need not diminish its role as an open forum to take the input and sense of the surrounding community, and new persons can be encouraged to become involved in committees and activities and so soon be voting members. At least two others disagreed strongly with this viewpoint and opposed the change. The proposed amendment was placed on the agenda for the June 13 meeting, with due notice to be sent that a vote may be taken on the proposed amendment.

News coverage and programs. Hyde Park Herald has agreed to expand sports coverage to the fieldhouse and Hyde Park High. Powell noted that coverage is important in seeking to keep and promote funding of programs and parent involvement.

Anne Marie Miles said that Jackson Park Yacht Club is raising funds for a boat to renew teaching Sea Scouts and others swimming and sailing.

JPAC is hosting an On the Table dinner discussion May 10 on ways parks can better make neighborhoods stronger and more united. To expand and continue the discussion, asked that our July 11 meeting be a picnic at the Iowa building.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting June 13 at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

MINUTES OF THE APRIL 11, 2016 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m., a quorum of members and total of 30 present. McCurry distributed the agenda. Select attendees gave introductions of who they are and their interest in the park.

Forrest Cortes and Kathleen Soler, CPD, described and took questions on the Park District Natural Areas and stewardship and the Nature Play Space and natural materials initiatives. CPD has about 60 natural areas (including in Jackson Park) spread throughout the city and expects to establish more in coming years. Natural areas promote biodiversity, house wildlife, heal the environment, provide erosion control, and serve humans in many ways. CPD has a large corps of trained volunteers working under site stewards, but more of both are needed. This work includes planting, controlling invasives, serving as ambassadors conducting tours and activities including for school groups, and participating in planning. How can a PAC help? ID potential sites and plan the natural areas, drawing upon public input on how people will use and maintain the area. Recruit volunteers and allies; recruit stewards (without whom there are no workdays!). Help with supplies et al.
Re: Nature Play Spaces and natural play materials. Several parks are experimenting with such spaces, which can be adjacent to existing natural areas but do not need to be. The focus can range from getting kids in touch with nature and the outdoors in safe spaces to letting kids play on logs and other natural materials or create their own paths, or providing outdoor environmental education and intergenerational activities. Studies have shown important developmental and social gains for kids who play in such spaces and engage natural materials. The steps for PACs and neighbors include ID of spaces with the Park District (light and safety are important criteria), build a set of stakeholders and decide what you want, hold community meetings, get a cost estimate (costs can be very low), and raise funds. Use all of these for community building.

Volunteers are needed. Louise McCurry described final details for our Earth Day participation April 23 that includes two beach cleans, mulching the Wooded Island trail, and a bike clinic.

May 14 8 a.m. noon. This day is the designated International Migratory Bird Day. McCurry has lined up experts, bird and ecology-management groups, businesses including Office Depot, scouts and more for nature walks including bird-siting logs, demonstrations, bird house making, nature photography classes and launch of our spring photo contest (birds the focus), and a planting in Bobolink Meadow. The activities would be in Bobolink and the Music Court southeast of the Museum. General support was expressed
June 18 It’s Your Park Day activities citywide and in Jackson Park.

B
ob Karr of Project 120 distributed flyers and invited JPAC to attend and for promote a program May 1 at 2 in Museum of Science and Industry followed at 3:30 by a tour of the Japanese Garden of the Phoenix on Wooded Island.“In the Garden of the Phoenix: The Shoji Osato Story.” See attached Flyer. Attendees are asked to RSVP at info@project120chicago.org. Strong interest was expressed in promoting this program. Karr also noted that April 30 2-4 p.m. Dr. Kendall Brown will give a talk at Montgomery Place on Japanese Landscapes in America- Then and Now. In answer to questions, Karr said that the project120chicago.org website has an interactive survey and new sections on the Garden and on “South Parks- Our American Story". Dwight Powell added that Americans need to understand that the country is multi-cultural—many contribute, and we need to appreciate one another. He said we ought to be upset when people don’t know about diverse contributions from the South Side and in Jackson Park and still say they are afraid to come to Jackson Park.
Karr also said Yoko Ono’s Sky Landing be installed this summer, with opening and dedication fall 2016.

Park and Program. Bobbie Beckam, Jackson Park Supervisor, introduced our new Area Manager, Farah Tunks. Beckam said there is a new citywide grant for tennis court rehabilitation. He has put in for rehabilitation of courts near the fieldhouse where our tennis ace can train our teams. Members moved support—approved while noting that some of our other courts are also in poor shape. Beach volleyball is among additions to a strong summer camp program. Summer camp costs $252 (half price to those in the schools’ free lunch program). No child is turned away. Schedule is posted in the fieldhouse.

Regular business: Treasurer Dwight Powell reported $5,004.65 in our consolidated account at MB Bank.
Minutes of the March meeting were moved by Fran Vandervoort, seconded by Esther Schechter, approved.

New business and information. Members of Bleuden Mentoring announced their launch party and that they want to work with the park and JPAC. They thanked JPAC for help seeking improvements along 67th St.

JPAC is working with a coalition for a green, healthy, and safe Woodlawn to start and mentor PACs and plant trees in parks in Woodlawn. There have been joint meetings with CAPS and the Ministerial Association there.

Bobolink had a (cold!) workday April 9 with 20 students from Gary Comer Prep. April 28 and 29 teachers who work with Museum of Science and Industry will plant various Milkweed varieties for monarchs in Bobolink.

Wooded Island- April 23 will see a tour as well as a workday re-mulching the trail through the Island. Jerry Levy said access through the south gate-only has encouraged many to see the whole island, not just the Garden. and access is restored both ways.

McCurry said that on the just-passed cold and snowy weekend, many workday project persons, youth soccer, and groups of visitors to the park sorely needed year-round bathrooms and shelters, including to get a bit to eat or have an orientation. Current facilities have a short open season and sometimes hours. Some former facilities are in disrepair and permanently closed or were demolished or burned down in the past.

Lanita Ross of the 5th Ward Office reported on ward and city doings, including One Summer youth jobs (application deadline May 15) and a new Jackson Park 5-K Classic May 14 to raise funds for athletic training camps and for beautification projects in 7 communities. Roberta Siegel expressed thanks that Alderman Hairston introduced an ordinance to replace the current police oversight board. She also suggested that JPAC sell bike bells on the Lakefront Trail to raise money and promote safety—members wish to explore this.
Jake Young praised the PBS program on 10 Parks that Changed America, including Olmsted’s South Parks.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting May 9, 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


MINUTES OF THE MARCH 14 2016 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7 p.m., a quorum of members and c. 45 being present. McCurry distributed the agenda. Attendees gave introductions of who they are and their interest in the park.

McCurry gave a brief history of Jackson Park; accomplishments and additions; JPAC’s locales of focus for fixing such as Darrow Bridge, Iowa building, and at LaRabida; workdays and history-nature tours now underway and planned, with extensive planting soon to begin on Wooded Island.

Guests: Michael Strautmanis, Vice President for Civic Engagement, Obama Presidential Foundation, said he was starting a serious and extensive community input-gathering process and that the Foundation wants the library and center to be place for the community to carry out its hopes and for the center to be impactful for communities.
Stephanie Franklin, president of Nichols Park Advisory Council and co-chair of 4th on 53rd Street Parade and Picnic, described the importance of this annual event and appealed for both volunteers and planners- if there are enough so each can do a small task, it will be an enjoyable time for all. She distributed a flyer and sign up sheets. She can be reached at 773 955-3622.

Park and program. Bobbie Beckam, Jackson Park Supervisor, said the teams are very competitive citywide in nearly every seasonal sport. Windy City Hoops has a major impact on youth. Youth are also impressed with our park’s having fiberglass backboards outside.

Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell said the workdays, 2nd Saturday mornings, include environmental education. They plant milkweed for the monarch butterflies among other work.

Wooded Island. Jerome Levy and Lauren Umek. All remaining major work short of planting will be done before the migratory bird season. After the spring bird season and observation of what comes up naturally, planting begins with 400+ mature trees and large amounts of lower native vegetation (corps of volunteers will be needed, especially 4th Saturdays. And the fences will come down. Fran Vandervoort called attention to the nature trail connecting Wooded Island to Bobolink that will be open when the fence comes down.

Volunteers needed. Earth Day April 23, convening at 63rd St. Beach. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up in
advance with Friends of the Parks (www.fotp.org ) or Alliance for the Great Lakes (www.greatlakes.org ).
April 30, 9 am. Workday at LaRabida beach. Contact Louise.
May 14 Migratory Bird Day- volunteers are needed for several activities in the Music Court- contact Louise.
The next nature photo contest will start in May.
June 25 a.m. Its Your Park Day- save the workday focused on neighbors taking responsibility in their parks.

Esther Schechter noted trash and fly dumping in the south part of the park especially Marquette & Richards Drives and asked both CPD action and setting up a volunteer team.
Kenny Newman cited safety issues including storm damage such as at the harbors and LaRabida, bike path ruts and failures.

New Business. Jackson Park Watch representatives Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmidt submitted for future discussion a paper, “Community Input Process Procedure” addressing Project 120, available from jacksonparkwatch@gmail.com. It called for meetings with stakeholder groups who would hold a combined meeting to set up a process. They described Jackson Park Watch and its website jacksonparkwatch.org. They said there have been public meetings as well as private but insufficient engagement.
Several persons spoke on need for process or reasons against new facilities or changes, especially east Darrow Bridge, allowing traffic across the bridge to Cornell or narrowing/slowing traffic on Cornell Drive.
Others cited an article by Landscape Architect Patricia O’Donnell, hired to oversee the GLIFER ecological restoration project and South Parks Framework Planning. The article gives the research and vision for restoring/balancing Jackson Park’s Olmsted vision/landscape and habitat—and for equity and public voice in the integrity of the park. Fran Vandervoort circulated her Hyde Park Herald letter (03/09) on the perils and inequitable past of “benign neglect” in Jackson Park. Dwight Powell cited past and present inequities in parks: the park district has little money; citizens must do the work, apply pressure, and seek partners. 2

Bob Karr, head of Project 120, said that for the park’s future and in proposing any changes we need to look at the park holistically and in context of public will. Public input will continue and be taken seriously. Project 120 will not raise money for or do things not wanted by the public. He said their 2014 Memorandum of Understanding with the Park District rose from need to show a holistic park vision to secure funding for and justify the GLIFER restoration project and to create oversight and vision so the Army Corps habitat mandate was balanced with repair of the historic Olmsted character and vision of the park-- a broad set of stakeholders wanted both. The MOU used extensive research, which is ongoing. It references and draws upon the existing framework plan. Any revisiting of it is subject to a public input process. Money being raised currently is $1 million for phase II of the GLIFER project, not for such projects as a pavilion in the Music Court.
Other informational questions: 1) more information about the Memorandum of Understanding between CPD and Project 120 such as whether it created a revised framework plan or simply sets forth descriptions and a vision as of 2014 as context for Project 120 to participate in funding for the GLFER restoration. Kim duBuclet offered to investigate the MOU’s background and role.
2) Darrow bridge—the obligation of responsible governmental bodies to restore and open it, the possibility of a temporary bridge, and desirability and type of further advocacy by JPAC and others on behalf of the bridge.
3) The future of the 59th tennis courts and dog area and also the well-used 63rd tennis courts if the golf driving range is moved—generally agreed that each would require its own public process.

Jane Masterson noted that she gives frequent nature walks in the park. These are posted in Good Neighbors and Pass It On.
Kenny Newman asked that JPAC seek a screening of a new documentary “Shifting Sands,” (shown in part by Friends of the Parks March 10) when released,

Jake Young said that the calendar in www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org is now in operation and updated.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported $4,989.65 in the bank account.

Minutes of the January 11 meeting. Margaret Schmid moved that the resolution regarding Project 120 be corrected to the originally introduced text,
“Moved that JPAC should reconsider its vote in support of the Project 120 concept of a pavilion east of the Darrow Bridge and should provide a forum for more open discussion and community input on the pavilion concept and other aspects of Project 120 proposals.” Upon an objection, vote was taken. Vote in favor of the correction was 8 to 3 with 1 abstention. The minutes were accepted as corrected.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting April 11, 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Link to Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and to the 1999 Framework Plan (the latter also in the park district website)- go to www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac and scroll down index to Framework and to MOU.

Jackson Park Ecological Restoration tours
2nd Saturdays – April 9, May 14. Self-guided tours
4th Saturdays- April 23. Guided tours with information about the history of the park
Until the fence comes down, tours start at the south gate, near the parking lot off 63rd/Hayes Dr. east of Cornel Dr. and visitors will be expected to sign in. Tour and visitation start at 10 a.m.
Once the fence is down, location will be confirmed or changed. While the fence is up, visitors must leave by 2 p.m., at which time the gate will be locked.
Please dress, including footware for conditions and possible standing water.
The work at Jackson Park is part of a 5-year capital improvement project to restore wildlife habitat within the natural areas of Jackson Park. The Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are partners in this bio-cultural endeavor that integrates ecosystem restoration and cultural landscapes.

(No February meeting)

MINUTES OF THE JANUARY 11 2016 JPAC MEETING


Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. at the fieldhouse. Quorum and many Hyde Park, South Shore and others were present. Minutes of the December meeting were approved with corrections and additions described in the addendum. Gary Ossewaarde reported for treasurer Dwight Powell (excused) that the latest balance was $4,093.28 plus $285 has been deposited. A check-endorsement stamp is on order.

Sylvia Brooks reported on the playground at 67th and Ridgeland. Ms. Brooks, who resides in the Parkways complex across from the playground, has actively sought better upkeep and monitoring for the playground. Thanks to efforts of her group, the Alderman’s office (including Lanita Ross), JPAC and others, repairs are underway and CPD will install new play equipment this year. Consensus was for JPAC to schedule a workday and celebration in conjunction with the new equipment. In addition, Ms. Brooks is circulating petitions for naming the playground for her son, who before his death in an accident worked with kids in the community.

Members were polled about attending the February 4 Friends of the Parks Annual Luncheon. We will have a table. Each going must register and pre-pay FOTP ($75).

Fran Vandervoort is helping plan the March 5 all-PAC Conference at Kennedy-King College and needs volunteers to make and staff our posters. JPAC members will also present at some of the breakout sessions. All are invited- RSVP Maria Stone at CPD. JPAC members will also present at some of the breakout sessions. All are invited- RSVP Maria Stone at CPD.

Park Supervisor Bobbie Beckam reported on fieldhouse and team activities. Our tumbling team excelled citywide, especially the girls; there is a girls track team, a DJ class, and Friday and Saturday night basketball are big. Another trophy case is needed, JPAC will help get one. Beckam was invited to present Jackson’s youth programs at the Parkways Community Center. The largest capital need is for a new scoreboard.

Naomi Davis, director of Blacks in Green (blacksingreen.org) described their program intertwining and growing environmentally and healthy, sustainable economies (whole-system solutions to village-building and relationship-building) in communities including west Woodlawn where they have pilot gardens. She noted that each park (and she knows Jackson and Washington well) has its own character, uses and needs, and their health and direction depend on getting everyone into the conversation and pulling together to get needed and equal resources- sometimes through community benefits agreements.

Park- Much was done at a late-season workday in Bobolink and Mt. Carmel students participated in a late-season beach clean. Kenneth Newman reported several safety problems in the park including to paths and bridges that need to be evaluated and put on a watch or capital list. Wooded Island tour/open days reviewed.

The Visitor Pavilion concept proposed by Project 120 will be part of the discussion at a second South Parks Workshop February 8, Washington Park Refectory. Jackson discussion will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. Attendees tonight asked that the Pavilion and JPAC’s resolution of support for the concept, passed at the December meeting, be placed on the agenda for tonight. JPAC members noted that the pavilion had been discussed at many JPAC meetings and other meetings and workshops including aldermanic convened, some heavily attended, and with many supporting, and that only a concept, not a plan was subject of the December resolution. About 10 persons spoke, or read statements including from residential associations citing concerns about possible change to character; loss of trees, parking, picnicking, quiet or walking space; potential for noise, crowds, birds hitting glass; upkeep and sustainability; and privatization. Attendees urged a more robust process (not just presentations or done deals), and better ways to get the word out. Aldermanic staff and other will work on input process. Request to revoke or reconsider JPAC’s resolution of support was declared problematic in terms of rules of order, but a clarifying resolution could be passed. Noted: voters must be attending their 2nd meeting within a year and must have become members by filling out the park district form (the latter waived since most had not had the opportunity to fill one in until now). A motion was offered by Margaret Schmid and seconded Brenda Nelms. As adjusted from the floor and stated from the chair:

JPAC will continue to evaluate, and hold open discussions regarding Project 120 or other pavilion concepts or proposals for east of the Darrow bridge and whether to support these. JPAC also supports there being well advertised public meetings with robust input on the same. Approved with no nays.

Moved to adjourn c. 9:15 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

ADDENDUM on December minutes. At the January 11 2016 meeting, Fran Vandervoort presented the following communication from Dwight Powell giving comments not included in the December minutes. (Part of the comments on engaging South Side scout troops in JPAC activities and previous lack of lake swimming and sailing lessons on the South Side had been recorded in previous minutes.)
Dwight Powell expressed willingness to approach Boy Scout troop leaders about, for example, sailing. Dwight reports that there is, at present, a Boy Scout troop at his church, the Apostolic Church. Dwight will determine [the leader’s] name and report to JPAC by the next meeting. There is also a troop at the South Shore Methodist Church that is still active. Dwight believes that participation by South Side Boy Scout groups supports the inclusiveness of JPAC.
Powell cited as an example of historic dismissal of South Side interests in park improvement that when a new Ferris Wheel was proposed for Chicago [a couple decades ago], it was slated for Jackson Park but ended up on Navy Pier. He is pleased, however, that for two years sailing classes have been held [at Jackson Harbor] and swimming lessons [at 57th beach].

MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER 14 2015 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry called the meeting to order and distributed the agenda at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse. A quorum was present.
Minutes: In the printed mailed version, the bank balance should have read $3,758.28 and the JPAC Awards should have read: Olmsted to Lauren Umek, Burnham to Robert Karr and Ray Johnson. Moved and 2nded and approved to accept the minutes as corrected.

The balance remained the same, and the officers were completing work on the new bank account and fund transfers.

Safety items (Kenneth Newman). South of the 59th causeway- a jagged crack on the bike and walking path. Along the lakefront 63rd to 57th , blown beach sand has built up along the edge of Lake Shore Drive and seems not to be restrained by current snow fencing. A body was found in the lagoon by the fenced off Darrow bridge.

Fieldhouse and programs. McCurry reported that serious issues at the fieldhouse have been corrected by the Park District over recent months including flooding in the basement.

Physical instructor Pierre Nealon gave praise for the book bags distributed to the kids and for citywide and regional team victories. Pictures were placed in the PD website. Wrestling is the big program of the moment, with basketball taking center stage by February. A problem is getting full attendance of younger kids after daylight savings ends. Another is competition from Wolfpack teams. Members asked that JPAC and the staff check into getting finding or buying a bulletin board to show pictures of Jackson Park winners/achievers.
Report was made on a successful summer program through the Jackson Park Yacht Club with the Park District to teach both swimming and boating. The yacht club is considering buying small vessels.

JPAC, the Alderman’s office and others have secured commitment on repair and replacement of playground equipment and the gate at 67th and Ridgeland.

McCurry reported from the CPD board meeting that the 2016 budget has passed. Although there are significant staffing cuts including at many parks, new funds are becoming available. President Bryan Traubert is stepping down after several years of strong leadership including on deficit and debt reduction. He will continue to work on behalf of our parks from California. Jesse Ruiz is expected to be elected next President.

Website and communications were being upgraded by Ray Johnson and Jake Young. A priority is to activate Paypal contributions.

Wooded Island. Jerry Levy said heavy construction is finished and consideration was being given to increased public access. He said he and others were asking regular open hours starting this winter.
There was discussion about best ways to encourage more speed on repairing Darrow Bridge.

Jerry Levy asked that JPAC undertake detailed discussion of what kind of visitors destination or structure there should be at the Music Court and its placement. Such needs are met in many parks but not Jackson. Jake Young, citing history supported a visitor’s facility and reactivation of the Music Court. Levy moved, Anne Marie Miles 2nd, that JPAC supports the concept of a visitors facility in the Music Court such as Project 120 has laid out. Approved.

Peter Zelchenko, a scout leader, laid out ideas he hopes to present to the Washington PAC for repair and community use of the “Chalet” building in Washington Park (a parallel to both the Iowa Building and to what is being considered in Jackson Park). Pointed out was need for sustainable funding and synergistic uses.

Moved and approved to contribute goods for the fieldhouse holiday party and to the community project of hot chocolate for the security manning corners along school routes. We will work on a winter photo contest.

Announcements included the January 9 ballet based on a famous ballet dancer connected to the Japanese Garden, and the PAC Conference March 5 at Kennedy-King College.

Adjourned. Next meeting Jan. 11 7 pm at the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 09 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry opened JPAC’s regular and 2015 Annual Meeting at 7:30 p.m. Ten voting members were present plus CPD and 5th Ward representatives. Minutes of the October meeting were moved by Esther Schechter, 2nded by Fran Vandervoort and approved.
Financial. Gary Ossewaarde reported for Treasurer Dwight Powell the latest balance in Hyde Park Bank- $3,758.88. Ossewaarde and McCurry proposed and led discussion of merging accounts into the one at MB, the bank of our present fiscal agent, Chicago Parks Foundation and to initiate regular retrieval of statements. Reports are due to the Foundation. Moved by Ossewaarde, 2nded and unanimously approved.

Reports. McCurry and Kenneth Newman commended work by Midway PAC and JPACers to clear railway embankments at the Midway and obtain other improvements and commitments including mowing embankments, obtaining cooperation from Metra, CPD and CDOT through walkthroughs. Negotiation, clarification continues with Canadian National. Removal of dead trees continue on the Midway and are anticipated in Jackson Park. Replacement trees will be with varied species.

Bobolink Meadow. Gail and Norm reported work was done, and assessment for new shrubs at the south end, on October 31. A doe and two fawns have moved from the Island to Bobolink Woods. Workday November 14.

Wooded Island. Lauren Umek reported there will be another tour November 28, 10 a.m. from the south end. Work complexity and delays and the need to let plants establish has pushed back reopening the Island longer than hoped, to as late as the middle of next year.

A site meeting will be held regarding concerns with landscaping and security along Lake Shore Drive.

Jackson Park is expected to be one of the parks that will benefit from a community service arrangement with the Hyde Park Church of Latter Day Saints, called Just Serve.

South Parks Workshop. Members who attended the South Parks Framework workshop November 9 in Washington Park were impressed with presentations and diversity and insights of attendees, with opportunity to weigh in individually and in critiques at plenary. Both the presentations and the materials showed the depth and complexity of Olmsted’s parks and that thinking about them has to be ongoing and open. Project manager for CPD Lauren Umek said the teams will follow up on suggestions and concerns.

Ossewaarde noted the passing of John LeNoble, early JPAC member and bowling green/tennis devotee.

Ossewaarde noted there will be a Hearing in Federal Court December 22 on motion of both parties to Dismiss the Shakman Decree on political hiring (69 C 2145). He has information on the case and ways to weigh in.

McCurry announced and presented JPAC’s Annual Awards. The Olmsted was presented to Lauren Umek, Chicago Park District manager of the habitat restoration project. Two Burnham Awards were given this year, to Robert Karr of Project 120/South Parks and Ray Johnson of Friends of the White City for developing and promoting our tours and digging into the history of Jackson Park.

Upon motion from Fran Vandervoort and 2nd from Norm Bell, JPAC authorized up to $50 in prize turkeys for the Turkey Trot and treats for the December 14 fieldhouse holiday/Christmas party.

Election of officers. Nominations were opened and received for those currently holding the offices., who were willing to serve. Fran Vandervoort moved, Kenneth Newman 2nd to re-elect the current officers for 2016. Unanimously approved. They are: President- Louise McCurry, Vice president- Anne Marie Miles, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer- Dwight Powell. In addition, Jake Young and Cherry Theard were elected to continue to serve as auxiliary board members for Membership and media.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m. The next meeting will be December 14 at 7 p.m. in the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony I.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

MINUTES OF THE OCTOBER 12, 2015 JPAC MEETING

The meeting was preceded by a toast to the Columbian Exposition at the battlement wall, where the original LaRabida replica and museum stood at the Columbian Exposition near the replicas of Columbus’ first journey’s ships.

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:20 p.m. in LaRabida library. Guests Erika Kelly, Kevin Lee, and Kimberly Oglesby were welcomed. Updated Newsletter front page was distributed. September minutes approved upon motion of Fran Vandervoort and second of Kenneth Newman.

Team and president’s reports. Wooded Island. 25 attended the birding and update walk October 7. A count showed a 20 percent increase in birds and more species including a rebound in herring gulls, which had been largely driven out by a rival species.
White City Plus tours were winding down for the season, ending with October.

Safety- attempted criminal activity occurs, balanced by police moving perpetrators out of favored places. A major problem in parts of the park, including LaRabida is lights burned out or not working. (Superintendent Kelly stated at a CPD board meeting that adequate and working lighting is a priority of the Park District, so we should not hesitate to report lights out.) A major problem reported by members is periodic or perpetual flooding such as at underpasses, south of the running track, and along a stretch of Lake Shore Drive (east side, related to planting and sand placement as well as storm attack—corrections are promised there).
Along the shores and beaches considerable storm damage and washing up of stone and large amounts of trash from the Lake has occurred recently—the beach sweeps, such as a large one recently with Alliance for the Great Lakes and service groups is only temporarily effective. Damage is especially severe by LaRabida and the end-wall, which are not protected from the open Lake waves, and stretches north of 63rd beach.
Bike paths are deteriorated, grown over, especially north of the running track, west of Cornell up to 60th and on the east side of Cornell Dr. from 63rd to Marquette west of the ball field. Trees around the track need trimming.
Service: Mt. Carmel students spread chips and mulch in Dickerson/other playgrounds and mulched trees.
Walking approaches to the park under the railroad especially (kids coming for soccer use them) are deteriorating and covered with trash. JPAC with Midway PAC has explored with agencies cleaning out invasives and trash along the tracks crossing the Midway; Metra examined their section and has committed to doing some remediation, although they have 40 miles of track along the Electric Main Line.
More trees were observed dying, to be added to dead trees slated for removal as the PD can get to them. All of these matters as appropriate will be assigned for work order requests or budget asks.

Iowa building- an identifying sign has been placed on the building, grass cut nicely, and lights replaced. Cleanups occur and more are planned. Flower bulbs will soon be planted on the north side, flowers next spring since there is now a water source. More improvements are likely. Major headaches are the broken-up patio pavers and the roof.

Louise McCurry opened the floor for discussion of partnering with the Midway Advisory Council on recognition and restoration of, and grounds improvement around the stone bench west of Stony Island that memorializes two Woodlawn-Hyde Park women who were among the founders and leaders of the Illinois League of Women Voters and of local social services and served in the Illinois General Assembly in the 1920s. Thanks to the initiative of Fran Vandervoort, Louise McCurry, Patricia Morse and others and interest from the Chicago Park District, the monument is researched and under restoration evaluation including determination of how to proceed and funds needed. Motion by Fran Vandervoort and Louise McCurry to work with the Midway PAC to advance this undertaking. Approved.

Programs- football is full but there was still room in the afterschool. (We were told that Jackson does not have an Afterschool Matters program.) Suggested were ways to make the fieldhouse more attractive to kids; JPAC was asked to explore mosaics, which have been highly effective in schools and the park underpasses.

New business. JPAC agreed that election of officers will be held in November if possible and nominations are open (and can be sent to the officers now or can be made at the meeting). Also at the November meeting JPAC’s annual Burnham and Olmsted awards will be given; consensus on winners was reached. The Burnham goes to a group/organization or its representative; the Olmsted goes for promoting nature or natural areas.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting is November 9 7 pm at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:10 p.m., a quorum being present. August minutes were approved.

Natural areas. Groups came in for workdays on Wooded Island and a work-in-progress tour was held September 5. Three evening tours will be held incl. October 7 and 21. Two workdays with outside groups removed some of the weeds in Bobolink despite uncooperative weather. October’s workday will be rescheduled from the 2nd Saturday. Wildlife sighted includes a doe with two fawns, and a red fox.

President’s report. Cars parking on the lawns have become a nuisance; police have been helpful getting them removed or ticketed. Two workdays at LaRabida fixed gardens and wheelchair and beach paths. UNUM gave us tools and bulbs. U of C students moved rocks around at the outer shore to form informal seating. Major deterioration was reported for the harbor walls around the end of Promontory Circle. Cathy Breitenbach of the Park District did a walk with JPAC around the southeast corner of the park/67th St. Ideas for fix up and new facilities at various spots were explored—including a playground, a dog facility, and soccer for children with disabilities, as well as need for tree trimming and removal of dead trees and clearing backed up drains.
Orders were put in for new chips for the Dickerson and fieldhouse playgrounds. Groups from scouts and high schools will be recruited to spread the chips (and to re-spread in Chrysalis Playlot).
The Iowa building—a garden on the north side has been approved and water source identified (water key needed). JPAC is securing plants and bulbs and will have a workday. Suggested: a gardening group.
Members expressed concern about lack of care, grass cutting on the Golden Lady circle on Hayes Drive.

McCurry asked that JPAC endorse and become involved in a project in adjacent Midway Plaisance to restore and enhance a commemorative granite bench with sundial installed in 1930 to honor two leading suffragettes and pioneer women legislators, designated a historic space facing Jackson Park and the site of the Women’s Building at the Worlds’ Fair. Restoration would include a plaque and plantings as well as a proper organic graffiti removal (that could also be used elsewhere). Moved by Ossewaarde, 2nd by Dwight Powell to sign and support the restoration and petition and purchase bulbs and solvent for up to $200. Approved.

Financial. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported $4,362.76 as of the last statement. Checks were approved and written to catch up on expenses including the photo contest prizes and book bags for the camp kids.

Nature Photo Contest awards. We received 32 stunning submittals from three individuals. Hyde Park Herald photographer Owen Lawson selected the winning photos and described why each stood out:
1st Prize ($50) to Joanne Cohen for close-up of a bee on a clover flower
2nd Prize ($30) to Mark Chantell for picture of a cormorant on a beach

3rd Prize ($20) to Hal Cohen for a close up of a skimmer dragonfly in stop-motion and clear detail.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting will be October 12, 7:30 AT LA RABIDA HOSPITAL.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary.

MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 10, 2015 JPAC MEETING

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7 p.m., a quorum being present. Minutes were moved and approved. There was no financial report.

Park, Facilities and Programs. Instructor Pierre Nealon reported summer camp full at 160. Offerings and dates have been modified and extended- added include western dance and a carnival day. Cross country, starting in September is geared to engage the youth in the football and other sports. There has been some damage to outdoor facilities, including from 4th of July illegal fireworks. Fitness equipment- further repairs or replacements are needed. There is ongoing water damage to the ceiling tiles in the gym. A member noted that the surfaces are coming loose in Nike basketball courts installed last year. Suggested: reviving winter sports in the 63rd fields- cross-country skiing and snowshoe. Two movies were very popular, but some gave up trying to find them as no signage identifies locations such as “Grove Six.”

Natural Areas.
Lauren Umek, CPD project manager announced that she and Jerry Levy will hold the next informational walk through and planting or other work option on Wooded Island on September 5, 10 am, from the south end. Possible is an evening walk through, requested by birding groups and others.
Project work progress includes: completed slopes and removal of invasives along shores of the lagoons and Jackson Inner Harbor (although funding is not yet assigned for planting at the latter- which was suggested for a workday). Water is nearly at proper level. 160 pounds of minnows were placed in the lagoons and will be watched for survival and growth. Stocking with larger fish awaits establishment of the lagoon and shore plants-- 90,000 plants and lots of seeds are in. At work is a daily crew of 15, several from the city’s Green Corps. Crushed limestone gravel for the roadway and paths to the overlooks is installed, but there was a delay in getting the right color (Olmsted palette) pavers for the overlooks themselves. The concrete roadway will be the last of the heavy work and must precede even partial opening of the Island. People have requested some kind of access to the Japanese Garden as soon as possible—it is opened to guided tours only, when safe to do so. Jerry Levy pointed out that the mulched side trails in the interior need to be reconstituted in coordination with the fall burn and getting ready for heavy planting. Asked about Sky Landing, Jerry said that the only work this year is the two mounds already installed that will surround the artwork.
Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell reported that the huge meadow is in full, gorgeous summer bloom of purples, golds, and other colors and abuzz with this year’s bumper crop of dragonflies as well as the birds. A church group participated in last Saturday’s workday, and college and church groups are coming. A fall burn is anticipated. (Ed. Note- background, latest, and workdays on Bobolink is in http://bluestem.info/bobolink/.)

President’s report. Several church and college groups, and Unum (as well as CPD crews) are coming to work on LaRabida point, shores and gardens in the next few weeks. This will include planting, trimming, and debris removal. A group of students from UC rearranged some of the protective rocks at LaRabida beach into charming “chairs” in conjunction with cleanup. Louise suggested JPAC think about setting up a committee or work/stewardship group like we have for Bobolink and Wooded Island.
The problem of flooding pedestrian underpasses has been surveyed—repairs will be a big, expensive project.
Horses in the park: a group has been training kids to ride and taking rides around the Iowa building through parts of Jackson Park and the Midway.
There have been varied complaints and problems with the 63rd St. Beach and Pavilion. (Ed. Note: the interactive spray fountain has since been repaired and will be staffed). Beach sweeps with Alliance for the Great Lakes and volunteers will take place August 21 10 a.m. and in September.

Business. Election of a Vice President to fill the remainder of the term (November). It was noted that Fran Vandervoort has been elected the vice president the new Stout Park PAC. She will continue to be active in JPAC and keep us on our toes. She received a round of applause for her service as VP. Election to fill our vice presidency having been publicly announced for this meeting and a Park District staff person being present, nominations were opened. Moved to elect Anne Marie Miles by acclamation. Miles was elected. As per Park District rules, members cast paper ballots, which were counted and turned over to the fieldhouse staff.
F
iscal. The Park District and Chicago Parks Foundation have modified paperwork and require affected PACs to have individual nfp TINs. Moved by Margaret Schmid, seconded and approved to proceed.
Ossewaarde asked for a report at the next meeting report on what appropriations are needed for ongoing projects such as the photo contests and appropriate needed funds.
10,000 Ripples proposal. Moved by Esther Schechter, 2nd Fran Vandervoort to approve and request two Buddha head sculptures for the Iowa Building area, understanding that they will remain about a year. Unanimously approved.

Other business and announcements. Esther Schechter called attention to the cloth-birds artwork by Margot McMahon (Chicago Sculpture International) on a dead tree along Lake Shore Drive.
Anne Marie Miles noted that whatever other effects the increase in Lake Michigan water level has wrought, the boaters have been helped.
August 11 a press release will be held by the Park District and the committee for the naming of the 31st St. Beach and Park for Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs. JPAC has supported this naming and worked with the committee to gather support. (Ed. Note- information on the naming and its relevance to JPAC is appended to the September Newsletter.) Members were encouraged to join the board at this press release at 31st St. beach.
The board and members will speak at Wednesday’s CPD Board of Commissioners meeting, supporting the naming and presenting park concerns and needs.

Next meeting is on September 14, Monday, 7 p.m. location tba- 6401 S. Stony Island if not changed.

Moved to adjourn 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary_____________________

MINUTES OF THE JULY 13, 2015 JPAC MEETING

The meeting was preceded by a potluck picnic in the Iowa Building on 56th Street. Thanks everyone. Louise supervised a picture sampler of the past year, and decorations. Parks staff, Louise, others spiffed up the site.

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. with a quorum present and a total of at least 30, including Ald. Leslie Hairston and staff,
Park Supervisor Bobbie Beckam and others from the Park District, Capt. Loughran and others from the Chicago Police 3rd District, new members and visitors including from Montgomery Place Retirement Community. Attendees introduced themselves. Joining JPAC was encouraged.

Park safety matters. Captain Sean Loughran, 3rd District and Yolanda Irvin, CAPS, discussed logistics and resources and answered questions about specific locations, times, and issues including managing high traffic volumes on Hayes and its lots and at the 63rd beach, and speeding on Hayes. Members said a modern set of paths/bike trails from Stony to Lakefront via Darrow Bridge would help safety and patrol and serve park users.

Alderman Hairston has a priority to see the park used by residents, both in organized activities and in family and individual visits, and plenty of spaces suitable for picnics etc. An example of activities she sponsors or facilitates are movies (such as “to Kill a Mockingbird” August 3 behind the Museum), dancing and other Nights Out, neighborhood festivals, senior days at the harbor, and the August 30 Back to School Picnic at 63rd St. Beach. She is also working to resolve issues on types of vegetation for maximization of picnic space at 63rd.

Park Supervisor Bobbie Beckam. Summer camp has 160 kids aged 6-12, with younger in the majority. Sailing classes in the harbor and swimming classes at the beaches are doing well—they will be promoted to local youths earlier and more heavily next year.
A large number of work orders in the park have been completed. Members said we need to do more to clear and resolve repeat areas of standing water, one example being in the Marquette underpass. Members mentioned locales of blowing sand. Vacant facilities were discussed—the former harbormaster offices were fixed up and are now used by park district staff, but members want a concession, restaurant or new public use for the adjoining Coast Guard facility. Trades buildings north of the fieldhouse/south of Hayes have been vacated—opportunities for teaching, camp and other program use should be explored.
The bowling green and clubhouse have been brought up to snuff and are heavily used for croquet and lawn bowling, including by summer camp.

Nature. Only shore work and planting is planned at Bobolink Meadow. Workdays 2nd Saturdays (but July 18).

Iowa Building. Mr. Dimitroff of CPD Arts Initiatives led discussion and answered questions about use of art installations such as the large heads that 10,000 Ripples installs to enhance a space and serve to teach or to create a sense that this place is special and tended- so enjoy it and treat it well. Two such heads are being considered here. He would like more and broader publicity and public discussion about the idea.
McCurry recounted improvements recently made, such as drain and lighting work and tree and vegetation trimming, or desired such a new roof and covering the “basin”. JPAC will continue cleanups, deal with loose stone slabs that are used by kids to throw on the roof causing more holes, and is planning a shade/peace garden on the north side. Built in 1936, the building used to have beach changing, washrooms, concessions.

Business was deferred to the next meeting due to weather. Moved to adjourn c. 8:30 p.m. The next meeting is on August 10 at the fieldhouse. Members are encouraged to come a little before 7 pm for photography contest awards. Also on the agenda will be election of a vice president for remainder of this term.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M . Ossewaarde, Secretary


MINUTES OF THE JUNE 8, 2015 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. with a quorum present and several new visitors or members we haven’t seen for a while.

Guest presentation. 10,000 Ripples- Public Art, Peace, and Civic Engagement. Indira Johnson, artist and 2013 Woman of the Year and teacher at the School of the Art Institute presented, along with Mark Rodriguez, Executive Director of Changing Worlds. Indira showed how the several indoor and outdoor installations led to the program and collaborative of c35 organizations that has resulted in installations in 19 Chicago communities so far of sets of white Buddha heads emerging from the earth and of programs and spaces for peace, personal reflection, and outreach in violence reduction. The heads are made of cast fiberglass filled with sand and generally anchored in concrete. Each community set its own themes and goals, sites, and programs or activities—indeed the process of community engagement, input, dealing with community differences, and planning itself served often as a catalyst for change as well as a sense of ownership, community upkeep, and new community collaborations. The number of heads at each varies from one or two to nearly a dozen, and the sites chosen by the communities vary from beaches to street corners to the front of a church, and more recently parks such Palmisono (2700 S. Halsted)- even the back of a truck to be moved around! Indira and Mark emphasized that outreach with community stakeholder groups (including schools) and a full community decision-making process must take place, and unless there is independent funding to make more heads, a community must wait until the one-year residency of a set of heads in a park runs out before heads can be installed. To learn more: changingworlds.org, indirajohnson.org, 10000 Ripples on Facebook, and a booklet.

President McCurry explained that Jackson Park reached out to 10,000 Ripples and the Park District to start the conversation and suggested the Iowa building location on 56th St. as an example of a beautiful historic structure that needs peace healing (a homicide having occurred a year ago, for example), needs to have something that makes more of a destination so that repairs and upkeep are justified, and the place is a logical place (next to the retirement community) for peaceful reflection and small gatherings and activities as well as teaching and programming for youth. (There are already some tai chi etc. there.) The Iowa building has also attracted the interest of architects and outside groups such as the School of the Art Institute. JPAC can do some short term improvements there also, such as plant a shade-plant peace garden, McCurry said.
Members of the audience asked many questions and were enthusiastic about the 10,000 Bubbles programs and the possibilities for the location, asked for it for other sites on the South Side, and were interested in starting a process of community engagement and input. 5th Ward Office—Lanita Ross-- will help coordinate.

Discussions and updates. Dwight Powell said in regard to engagement that he met with the kids in the gym, as has the president and with their families, to let them know the many supplies and goods JPAC has given park kids and the fieldhouse and to ask for their input in decisions and participation—the tip of the iceberg in needed outreach and collaboration. Perhaps we could have a special meeting with the kids. He said preparing the gala was a wakeup call on need outreach, citing with appreciation the work and advice of Donna Hodge.

All who worked on the gala fundraiser were thanked.

Artist Yoko Ono will hold a ceremony this month ground breaking for the SKY LANDING project at the site of the Phoenix Pavilion on Wooded Island. (Report attached.)

Selection the South Side Bid for the Obama library was announced May 12 but actual site (which could be in Jackson) seems to be several months away.

Lauren Umek, Chicago Park District project manager said work is progressing fast on infrastructure for the Island and lagoons- for example, the limestone and gravel pathways are nearly done. They expect they can have a planting component as part of a public update walkthrough on June 27, but the plantings will be complex and strategic, so planning for a volunteer activity will have to be very careful.

Norm Bell reported that Bobolink is gorgeous; the contractor has done some thinning. Volunteers are needed for invasives cleanup June 13, 9 a.m. meeting south end. (July Bobolink workday will be on the 18th.)

There will be lots to clean up at LaRabida June 20, 9 to noon. 2

White City tours have had some large turnouts, and Midway tours are starting on Sundays at 1- skating rink.

McCurry reported on JPAC help getting new PACs started. A “Big Ideas for Small Parks” seminar at Nichols, hosted by Elm Park shared many ideas for PACs and the parks.

Business. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported May 31 balance of $4,102.96, expenditures and as of yet partial accounting from the May 17 gala.

Minutes of the May meeting were moved by Norm Bell and approved.

Dwight Powell was given JPAC’s “No Child Left Behind” Award, to enthusiastic applause.

Jake Young and Cherry Theard continue to activate and update our website and calendar and Facebook and to work with the Chicago Parks Foundation and its bank.

McCurry introduced our intern, Michael Bradley, Jr., a student at Illinois Wesleyan in history who will work on surveys, outreach, tour/educational development and bring computer and writing expertise to bear.

Frances Vandervoort announced that she is retiring from the position of Vice President. She will continue to help in other capacities. She was heartily thanked. Next meeting- elect an interim VP for the rest of the term.

Make Music Chicago will host events at the 63rd beach house and on the Midway. MakeMusicChicago.org, mnichol16@earthlink.net.

We will march with AYSO and have a table at the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic—combined PACs will give away from 10 boxes of children’s books donated by IIT. July 4 evening there will be fireworks by the Golden Lady (Hayes Drive). July 20 is 5th Ward shredding day at Jeffery Plaza.

Decision was to have July 13 meeting be a picnic at the Iowa building—we can start before the usual 7 pm.

Move to adjourn.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


MINUTES OF THE MAY 11 2015 JPAC MEETING

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. with a quorum present. April minutes were moved by Fran Vandervoort, 2nd and approved.
Treasurer Dwight Powell reported a balance of $4,035. Gala costs and investments are underway.

CPD Area Manager Cordell Hopkins announced a great summer of programs in Chicago parks, Night Out in the Park, and camps (find them all online from chicagoparkdistrict.com) and announced donation of a summer camp scholarship for raffle at the JPAC Gala.

Sports/Kids. Instructor Pierre Nealon detailed the sports teams (doing very well!) and programs and camps for year-round experience. New is basketball for 13-15 year-olds and an earlier start for football practice.

Wooded Island update. Lauren Umek, CPD project manager reported an excellent annual Bird Count with Department of Natural Resources and Audubon. This was able to proceed despite Island closure and work. The numbers and species of birds and turtles is large. Members asked that the bird count be available online. The deteriorated road was demolished and will soon be replaced. Finishing structural work on Wooded Island and the lagoons- including turtle and fish habitat- is top priority, to be completed if possible by the end of summer. Re-opening date depends on completion of shore work and the road, and weather. Planting starts in the next few weeks-- Nurseries in Wisconsin and Kansas are growing many thousands of plants. A major community planting day will occur June 27 including trees and shrubs. Fences and signage are meant to be taken seriously--all are asked to stay out of the lagoons, which have dangerous drop-offs, uneven bottoms, and unstable sand. Grading is essentially done and the water is being allowed to rise naturally to its level. Bobolink shore work was still in progress. Norm Bell discussed possible shore plant relocations and new plantings. Umek has met with local groups including the U of C Service League and has led informational walk throughs, including a “Jane’s Walk” (co-host CPD parks historian Julia Bachrach) that drew over 50 participants. The next Island walk through will be on May 30 10 am from the south bridge. Umek gave JPAC detailed drawings and samples of the fence signs.
Army Corps site for the project: http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx.
In other nature news, beavers are back; the situation will be monitored to see if any action should be taken.

Guest presentation- The Iowa building re-imagined. An art and architecture class this spring at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago conducted design experiments (5 collaborations) re-imagining the Iowa building and programming there, including drama, themed around “memory.” JPAC sponsored a presentation at Montgomery Place and a shorter one tonight by Odile Compagnon and students. Both were well received.

President’s report, news. JPAC members have been active establishing new PACs in the area including for Midway Plaisance, and cleaning up or getting action in parts of the Midway, especially at Canadian National tracks, visible from Jackson Park. The next Midway workday will be June 20, 12:30 p.m.—this will be one of many city wide “It’s Your Park” activities organized by the Park District (queries: Maria Stone, maria.stone@chicagoparkdistrict.com.) The work activity for Jackson will be at LaRabida 9 a.m.-noon.
Watch this summer for Midway Plaisance to be added to Ray Johnson’s suite of White City Columbian Exposition tours, already underway Sats 11 am from the east (parking lot) side of Darrow Bridge.
The winning bid for the Obama Presidential Center was scheduled to be announced the following day via video and press conference at the Gary Comer Youth Center. Hint: UC South Side. Site selection- later.

Our website, jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org, has been upgraded. More will be done. Jerald Miller developed and continues to maintain the website, with Jake Young assuming duties. People can now make donations and pay dues via PayPal through the website. There is also an email, JPACChicago@gmail.com, and a phone number, 773 357-7617 that go to a JPAC responder. Also find on the website our Facebook and Twitter links.

Nomination and election of two non-officer advisory at-large board members. Jake Young and Cherry Theard volunteered to assume the positions, discussed and sanctioned at previous meetings. The positions are charged especially with membership, database, and web/media development. The council assented by acclamation.

Following some financial and other directives related to the Gala, Dwight Powell moved adjournment.
Next meeting Monday, June 8, 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.

 

APRIL 13 2015 council meeting minutes

The meeting was preceded by announcement of the winners of JPAC’s Youth Nature Photography Contest: Julia Jovorka 1st, Melodia Shaw 2nd, and Ava Hunter 3rd. The pictures are on display in the Nancy Hays Gallery right room as you enter the fieldhouse.

Louise McCurry opened the meeting and took adjustments to the agenda at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum being present. Introductions were made including member George Rotramel and visitor Ava Butler. Minutes of the March meeting were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nd Fran Vandervoort and approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported a balance of $4,771.85. We are transitioning accounts and completing paper work with our new fiscal agent, Chicago Parks Foundation.

President’s Report. Re-visioning the Iowa Building is a project at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The class is scheduled to present on May 8, 1 p.m. Call Louise for details.
JPAC president McCurry spoke and gave update on the Darrow Bridge at the annual Clarence Darrow memorial wreath toss and lecture March 13. (The bridge is now firmly closed until reconstruction begins, possibly 2017.) The program at the bridge was followed by a walk through of Wooded Island with project manager Lauren Umek-- the Island now at the end of the heavy removal phase-- regarding what’s next. Ms. Umek arranged a similar walk through the public March 21, and offers for others on an ask basis and contingent on access and safety. The island is expected to be closed off for several months through this summer. The closure requires postponement of some workdays.
JPAC continues to help neighbors set up PACs for parks in the area, arrange a suite of Earth Day cleanups—there is a great HP area parks t-shirt, and attend area wide planning meetings.
McCurry reported on the highly successful PACs are Gold Conference at Truman College March 29, attended by over 300 from across the city, including several JPAC members. JPAC members helped plan the Conference, gave breakout classes with great powerpoints, and had admired poster stations led by Fran Vandervoort and Ray Johnson. Separately, JPAC participates in planning web/social media and communications expansion with the Chicago Parks Foundation.
Spencer Bibbs was commended for teaching the Photography Class April 4 and recruiting expert judges.
Brookfield Zoo community groups were commended for participation in JPAC events and workdays.
WITS reading to kids will return, with training starting in May.

JPAC acknowledges a generous contribution from Peter McCarthy. We are gathering many gifts and certificates from generous businesses and organizations for the May 17 Sundae in the Park JPAC fundraiser-- TO VOLUNTEER CALL FRAN OR LOUISE. Summer programs and a membership drive are on the horizon.

Placed on the agenda for the next meeting (May 11, Monday, 7 p.m.): Nomination and election of two additional board members to chair membership and fundraising. Moved to adjourn- Dwight Powell.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.

 

MARCH 9 2015 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry opened the meeting and took adjustments to the agenda at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum being present. Introductions were made. Minutes of the February 9 meeting were approved by consensus.

Jerry Levy- Wooded Island update. The removal stage is nearing an end in a carefully planned long-term project. With more light, many plants should sprout now and protected oak saplings grow. The “rose garden” fence was removed. Work will resume after the migratory season, including grading and reworking the bottom of the lagoons, lagoon refilling,/stocking, planting on the outside shores of the lagoons, creating lookouts and replacing the Island road. Experience with this year’s plant growth will inform a big planting next year. Update and project outlines by Lauren Umek and Jerry were distributed. They are willing to give update tours- sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. Workdays for Wooded Island and Bobolink are starting again for the season.

President’s report. Louise McCurry noted that Park District and City bodies continue to forward land transfer to make possible selection of Jackson or Washington parks for the Obama Library. These are Olmsted parks.
Cherry Theard and Jake Young have agreed to develop our membership and database program, web presence (including ability to donate online) and publicity.
Dwight Powell, Fran Vandervoort, Brenda Nelms, Ruby Houghton-Pitts are among the commitee developing our gala Benefit May 17, 1-4 at historic South Shore Cultural Center. We are reaching out to many businesses, individuals for raffle and silent auction items –if you can donate or help call Fran at 773 752-8374. Theme is ”Sundae in the Park with JPAC!” Ice Cream Social. Family and learning activities, music and more.

Under way: Youth Nature Photography Contest (thru Ap. 10) and free class (April 4 9 a.m. Darrow Bridge).
JPAC is active in planning for the March 28 PAC Conference at Truman College; members will be presenting.
JPAC continues its participation in starting and mentoring new PACs for additional area parks.

Ray Johnson discussed options for the 3 on 3 race, Run Like the Devil through the White City in September.

Business: Moved and approved final passage of a bylaws amendment allowing election of up to two additional board members. Nominations will be taken at April’s meeting.
Discussion and approval by consensus to change our fiscal agent to Chicago Park’s Foundation (advantages and obligations were presented at this and the last meeting) and to pay the $75 annual fee to the Foundation. JPAC expressed appreciation for the service of Friends of the Parks over many years.
Grants applications in process, including to South East Chicago Commission for a sign at 57th and Stony Island Ave., were discussed and approved with no objection.

Park and Facilities. The WITS summer read-to-children program will again be at Jackson—contract the fieldhouse if interested in helping one day a week for about 7 weeks (fingerprinting and background checks are required for working with children). Kids camp will include a strong preschool, including programs from Brookfield Zoo.
Pierre Nealon reported for staff. The park is recruiting for football and doing well in Windy City Hoops (ages 9-12). Carnegie and Robert A. Black are among schools involved. Track recruits well. Senior programs include health and movement, including zumba outside, and cards. There is parents’ aerobics. Pierre was applauded.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting April 13 at the fieldhouse.

LINKS OF IMPORTANCE
LIBRARY. JAN 12 DISC Q&A, STORY: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ObamaPLibrary.htm.
Official Foundation site: obamapresidentialfoundation.org. U of C bid site: http://www.oplsouthside.org.
Project 120: http://www.project120chicago.org.
Army Corps project: http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx.
Short update papers by Lauren Umek and Jerry Levy+ more info: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ace2014.htm.

FEBRUARY 9 2015 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting and took adjustments to the agenda at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Minutes of the January 12 meeting were moved by Frances Vandervoort, 2nd and approved.

In the absence of treasurer, the secretary noted that the January bank balance was $4,753.85.

President. Louise McCurry showed pictures taken here with the Gold Medal won by the park district, also historic views, including of the Museum lawn before there was a parking lot there.
A workshop and program at Brookfield Zoo on MLKing Day will lead to programs in Jackson Park this year.
Largely attended hearings were held about the Presidential Library, one of the proposed sites being JP.
Several members are working with a professional photographer and the HP Herald for a nature photography contest and exhibit in Jackson Park starting Apirl 4. There was enthusiastic support for proceeding.
McCurry discussed progress and support on nearby parks improvements (or more parks) and PAC formation—people have come to us seeking a more dense network of public spaces and volunteers to serve area needs.

Luis Mendez of the Chicago Zoological Society, which runs Brookfield Zoo, described several programs bringing nature learning, interpretive and stewardship to parks and neighborhood youth and families—Nature Start, College and High School Program, and King Conservation Scholars. The latter includes teams that can do action tasks in Jackson Park and schools. Several are aimed at green, conservation, and science careers. A program for preschoolers will participate in the park camp program, taught by high schoolers on career path.

Maggie Daly, from the new Chicago Parks Foundation of the park district discussed events, otueach, and PAC opportunities the Foundation will bring. These may include fiscal sponsorship of PACs—arrangements would include free banking at a particular bank, fee to the Foundation $100 yearly. These Foundation programs will be launched at the March 28 PAC Conference (“PAC’s are Gold”) at Truman College. (Members were encouraged to register promptly.) A fundraiser of the Foundation will be teams in the Chicago Marathon and other runs. The foundation will offer grant management.

Peter Cassel of Antheus Capital/MAC Properties presented and answered questions about a 24 story residential and (they prefer) hotel building starting to go forward at the north edge of the park. They are working to mitigate parking and traffic effects. There might be more park visitors. Members said they would let the developer know any ways it might help improve the park.

Wooded Island. Jerry Levy and McCurry showed pictures of the temporary wooden bridge for bringing the heavy equipment onto the island. Queried- a similar temporary bridge at the Darrow bridge.

Business. Vandervoort moved to appropriate up to $50 for park kids needs. 2nd and approved.
Moved and approved an upcoming Photo Contest with prizes, likewise up to $150 for table covers.
Discussed: applying for local grants for an informational/welcoming sign on the west/nw side of the park.
Fundraising and membership are growing and planning. Membership committee will meet after the meeting.


Moved to adjourn. Next meeting will be Monday, March 9, 7 pm at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

January 12 2015 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order and said the agenda would be adjusted for needs of guests.

Minutes of the December meeting were approved as presented.

Jerry Levy and Lauren Umek said Wooded Island and lagoon work waited on equipment and lowering water level. Tree inventory was taken in the Japanese garden and vicinity, Jake Young helping with this. Bobolink will only have shore work. McCurry noted that LaRabida shore is still messed up from the Halloween storm.

Park supervisor Bobbie Beckam said Windy City Hoops is going strong Friday and Saturday nights, as are the teen and Park Kids programs. (WCH is free.) McCurry said JPAC is working to develop a partnership with Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society) to bring family and camp animal programs to the park this spring and summer. Fran Vandervoort said nature tours and materials will be ready. She commended seeing the park in winter. McCurry described work helping parks neighbors form PACs and get new play and other equipment.

Treasurer. Several have contributed dues for 2015. JPAC supported the kid’s holiday party. Funds c.$5,000. Actions.

McCurry introduced a resolution in memoriam of Gus Swift, who brought AYSO soccer to Jackson Park. Approved by consensus. She also introduced a resolution supported by other organizations asking repairs and new park equipment for Jesse “Ma” Houston Park at 50th St. Approved by consensus.
“Visiting“ at tonight’s meeting was the Gold Medal of the American Park and Recreation Administrators Association, won this year by the Chicago Park District—the first large park district to win this award.

Announcements included the Wild Things Conference January 31 and February 1 at UIC Halsted and Roosevelt, Friends of the Parks Polar Picnic annual awards lunch February 5, upcoming meetings on shoreline protection north of 52nd St., and the Hyde Park Historical Society annual awards dinner, which will include a special tribute to Dev Bowly, who fought for parks including Jackson and recognition of their historical significance. People were encouraged to attend the hearings and public meetings on the Library and the park framework to be held over the next two days. The many media present tonight were acknowledged.

Program. The team from Project 120 and Heritage Landscapes was unable to attend due to airport delays.

Obama Presidential Library presentation and discussion. Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago and Sonya Malunda, Senior Associate Vice President for CE, presented history, variety, and needs of presidential libraries (composed of library/archives, museum, and the president’s research institute). They also described benefits and community-building the library could bring, community input sought for the U. of C. bid, conditions and principles set by the Foundation (some of which limit where it could be built), what the University would be expected to contribute, and the two site areas being considered for building and grounds in the U. of C. bid—one being along the west edge of Jackson Park between 60th and 63rd, Stony Island and Cornell (the other in northwest Washington Park and adjoining neighborhood). The building would occupy c. 5 acres, the whole site that the city would acquire from the park district and assemble (if either site is selected) for the foundation and national archives would be about 21 acres.
At least 16 persons (members or neighbors but some from organizations with interest in parks) asked specific and general questions answered by Douglas and Malunda or made statements for or against sites or use of park land. Dwight Powell enforced time limits for speakers and responders. All were thanked for their input.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting February 9 at 6401 S. Stony Island Ave..

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary. # # # # # # # #__________________________

LINKS OF IMPORTANCE

LIBRARY. JAN 12 DISC Q&A + LRGR STORY: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ObamaPLibrary.htm.
Official Foundation site: obamapresidentialfoundation.org.
U of C bid site: http://www.oplsouthside.org.
Project 120: http://www.project120chicago.org (NEW MATERIAL)
Army Corps project: http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx.

 

December 8 2014 JPAC Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.,26 attendees and a quorum present. Agenda was presented. McCurry gave a brief background of council and park accomplishments and hopes.
November minutes were moved by Dwight Powell, 2nded and approved.
Financial. Treasurer Powell: $320 were deposited with $70 more to be. $54 was paid for 6 turkeys for the kids Turkey Trot. $4,443.82 was in the treasury. Dues and contributions were encouraged and planning for a fundraiser was asked. Moved by Fran Vandervoort and 2nd by Norm Bell to appropriate up to $150 for the fieldhouse Holiday Party.

McCurry encouraged interested members to attend the annual Wild Things Conference January 31 at University of Illinois Chicago. Members who have attended highly recommended the program.
Also recommended was the Park District’s 2nd public input meeting on shoreline protection and park improvement in the “Morgan Shoal” area, 45th to 52nd Streets, December 15, 6:30 at Mandrake fieldhouse and a third to be scheduled for late January.
McCurry and others who attended described a fine ribbon-cutting for the 100th renewed playground in the ChicagoPlays program, at Sycamore Park, 5109 S. Greenwood. Mayor Emanuel, CPD CEO Mike Kelly, Ald. Will Burns, and McCurry spoke. McCurry noted tonight progress on formation of PACs in various area parks and availability of funds for a brochure and video about the parks in the Hyde Park area including Jackson. A survey of parks users and neighbors re: needs, wants, and concerns for parks is available.
Jerry Levy moved suspension of the regular agenda so our guests could present and answer questions.

FRANCES MCNAMARA described her mysteries set in Chicago starting at the World’s Fair of 1893 and early University of Chicago and featuring fictional amateur sleuth Emily Cabot.
RAYMOND JOHNSON, author Chicago History The Stranger Side and The Haunt Detective gave an illustrated program that zeroed in on one of the tragedies at the Fair, the destructive fire midway through the Fair of the Ice House at 64th/Stony, with the greatest loss of firefighters in a single blaze in 19th century. There were many questions and the two talks were greatly appreciated.

Committee and other reports. Lauren Umek, CPD project manager reported that work would start in Wooded Island the week of December 15. When fencing is up, access will only be available to Osaka Garden, and only via the north bridge to the Island (Nancy Hays bridge)- the south bridge will be closed.
Suggested and with enthusiastic support by JPAC was having a large planting day involving the public and schools similar to those in Burnham Park. Umek noted that in hand is only the funding for the north part of the park (area or phase I including lagoons and Wooded Island).
Norm Bell said Bobolink Meadow will remain open, although at some point there will be shoreline recon- struction. Bobolink is in good shape and beautiful (although in winter dormancy). Lots of seeds were spread.

Consensus was to schedule for the January meeting nomination and election of two non-officer board members, as proposed and approved at the last meeting. McCurry suggested the two could handle fundraising and membership-building and asked people to think about volunteering for these.
McCurry announced that at the January meeting, representatives from the University of Chicago and Chicago Park District will discuss with us the UC bid for the Obama Presidential Library.

Move to adjourn by Jerry Levy. The next meeting - January 12, 7 pm at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Website for the Army Corps project, already in progress: http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx.

November 10 2014 JPAC meeting

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order, a quorum being present with a total of 26 members, attendees.
September and October minutes were approved as presented.

Louise presented our Daniel Burnham Award plaque for Jason Steger, who manages natural areas volunteer programs, whose collaborative planning and oversight culminated in the restoration project and other accomp-lishments in the park.

Louise and JPAC congratulated Chicago Park District on winning national Gold Medal Award—a very big deal.

Ray Johnson was commended for organizing and conducting weekly free tours of the Columbian Exposition footprint, attended this spring through fall by 387 persons, often with over 30 per tour. Tours return in spring.

Pierre Nealon, JP recreation leader, gave the park report. Football finished strong, including a city champion- ship and best player in city. Track is starting, to include the Turkey Trot and, this year, a Turkey Bowl between kids and parents/adults. There has been some success getting girls involved. Weight and fitness is active.

Army Corps project. Lauren Umek of CPD showed posters with plans and schematics of the restoration project--to be on view in the fieldhouse with schedules as periodically revised. The contract has been signed and work should start in December. All of the scope (Area 1) in the northern part of the park will be done. Significant area, especially on Wooded Island will be fenced off during the heavy work; it is hoped that closure will become minimal by the spring. Dead trees will also be removed from the Marquette/Richards Drives area. Ms. Umek will attend our monthly meetings. The project’s website will be regularly updated- http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx.

Louise reported extensive damage along the shore, especially at La Rabida, and in the lakeshore parks northward, from the Halloween super storm. She will give documentation to the park district, which has been working hard at making paths etc. usable again. Noticed: native sea grass and heavy sea walls did a much better job absorbing the pounding and water than turf, asphalt, and stone rubble/riprap. The storm did not much damage in the natural areas but trees were felled in the park (c. 72, especially already dead ones).

The natural areas thrived this year, reported stewards Norm Bell, Gail Parry, and Jerry Levy- in Bobolink the tallgrass prairie is expanding. At least 1372 volunteers, from around the world, including large groups, worked in the natural areas, parkland and beaches this year) clearing trash and invasives, collecting seeds, planting trees, and protecting and marking for work crews c. 250 oak saplings and other plants that need to remain unharmed during work projects. Work activity was generally preceded by talks about the history and nature in the park. Bobolink is very popular on our and other tours. It was part of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Bldg. at the Fair and later part of the Nike missile base.) With the Darrow bridge access to Wooded Island cut, groups coming to Osaka Garden park south of the lagoons and discover the wonders of Wooded Island en route. However, the south bridge will be closed for the project this winter.

The park “to do” list developed on drive-through with Supervisor Beckam and the Region staff is about 90 percent done. Rehab of playgrounds at 63rd St. beach and south of the track have been approved. Much graffiti, out of the way trash, and broken benches have been taken care of (they re-occur of course). The music court has been improved, the golf driving range fence propped up and cleaned, the Iowa building infrastructure put out to bid, and the Darrow Bridge put on the capital budget, with design to begin.

New business. Thoughts were shared on likelihood and options regarding the Obama Presidential Library. It was uncertain how much the UC bid will be narrowed in its December 11 final bid. The council will be visited 2 by representatives of the University and Park District at the January 12 meeting.

Dog area: Louise confirmed those diligently keeping up and enhancing the dog-friendly area by the 59th tennis that it will be moved and enhanced in a couple or more years from now under the ACE project. A new dog area/park is being designed by Patricia O’Donnell, consultant from Heritage Landscapes. Funding is needed.

Safety: A youth who perpetrated two assaults at the lakeshore trail has been caught. One tool of personal protection is whistles. Louise is part of a safety committee of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and can be contacted about getting whistles. Attendees appreciated their being available at JPAC meetings.

Louise raised that JPAC has been encouraged by the Park District, Friends of the Parks, the 5th Ward Office and others to participate or take a lead in encouraging formation of councils in PAC-less parks, workdays and needs assessment in various parks, and help area PACs work more closely together. At PD behest, we helped select playground equipment for a section of Burnham park just to the north of Jackson. PACs in-formation include Harold Washington and Cornell. The prospective president for HW, Thomas Allen, spoke and invited and thanked JPAC participation.

JPAC members also attended the first recent meeting on lakefront protection and enhancement 45th to 52nd streets and gained perspective and shared ecological/geological background.

Turkey trot. Dwight Powell moved and Norm Bell seconded buying up to 7 turkeys for winning families. Approved. JPAC provided candy for the park kids Halloween. Appropriation for the holiday party will be considered in December. Louise noted that our contact at Walgreen’s for backpacks etc., Dr. Anne Ridgeway, has been promoted to head Walgreen’s pharmacist division in Ohio, so we will be seeking a new liaison or angel. JPAC gave Dr. Ridgeway a Golden Lady award earlier in the year.

Gary Ossewaarde and Louise McCurry introduced a bylaws amendment to allow election of up to two at-large additional board members (besides the officers) who could handle membership and fundraising. This was moved, seconded and approved. Confirmation will be voted on at the next meeting and nominations sought.

Nomination and election of officers. Jerry Levy temporarily assumed the chair and moved re-election of the current officers as a slate. 2nd by Esther Schechter and approved by acclamation. To satisfy park district record-keeping requirements, qualified voting members filled in ballots, which were provided for the park supervisor. The officers, to serve to November 2015, are President-Louise McCurry, Vice President-Fran Vandervoort, Secretary-Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer-Dwight Powell.

Treasurers report. Dwight Powell reported that our paperwork and $175 in fee and membership was submitted to Friends of the Parks, our fiscal agent. $4,123.82 was in the treasury with two checks to be deposited. He encouraged members and friends to pay 2015 dues, which underwrite needed things.

Fran Vandervoort reported ideas on fundraising shared earlier in the day at a Friends of the Parks Networking meeting. Wicker Park PAC leader Doug Woods there shared funding and outreach strategies and successes. View was expressed that next year should we should emphasize fundraising base and sustainability- to be on the agenda for discussion next month, along with a volunteer for fundraising chair. Things JPAC needs money for, suggested by members, include a video, brochure-map, signage especially for the nature trail, having a movie in the park, towards dog park, and a historical foot race next year. Some places to contact were shared.

The next meeting, December 8, will be Author month. Frances McNamara, author of Death at the Fair will present, as will Ray Johnson, author of books on strange Chicago history who has researched the Fair.
This meeting will be at Earl Shapiro Hall, U. of C. Lab Schools Early Learning Center, 5800 S. Stony Island.

Actions summary: Elected officers, provisionally approved amendment allowing up to 2 additional board members, and appropriated for Turkey Trot.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

October 13 2014 JPAC meeting

Following a toast to the Columbian Exposition, Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:15 p.m. at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. Although several visitors/new persons attended, there was not a quorum of established members to approve the minutes. JPAC expressed its gratitude to La Rabida for meeting space, the fieldhouse being unavailable due to holiday.

Introductions brought a number of new, fresh insights on park issues. For example, boats in inner harbor being damaged by casting by some fishermen, and ways to upgrade playgrounds. We heard about the tours and programs of the revitalized South Shore Historical Society, accommodating dogs safely, and a group of SoSh residents who work with Brookfield Zoo on ecological issues and might work with JPAC. We met a young woman currently working with the Gary, IN park system and were informed that residents near Lakeside (the old US Steel Plant) would like to work with us. Members explained the functions and recent accomplishments and concerns of the council, ways councils serve as a resource, and the large numbers of volunteer groups who have worked in the park. Attendees suggested potential new contacts including schools and ways to spread the word around. Louise said JPAC is interested in sharing work groups among parks. She described a new citywide PAC Leadership Alliance being formed and at least one local alliance of pac’s and organizations that works to help “pac-less parks” organize around their interests and needs.

A Chicago Maroon article featuring an interview with Jackson Park steward Jerry Levy about managing/ removing trees devastated by the ash borer was shared, including that a large number of dead trees on the adjacent Midway Plaisance will be removed soon. Pointed out was the importance of replacing lost trees.

Thoughts were solicited about potential siting of game-changing facilities such as a presidential library in or near the south side parks. Concerns and principles were raised, but also proposed was that we set up a committee to explore ways to anticipate various kinds of change coming, develop our own priorities, and to leverage asks, regardless of whether and what changes or new things are proposed. An early step might be a list of allies and movers to consult.
JPAC nominations and elections are to be held at the November (Annual) meeting November 9, at the fieldhouse. JPAC does not have proxy or absentee voting, but nominations with attestation of willingness to serve can be sent timely to the Secretary in advance for preparation of the ballot. To vote, a member must be attending their second meeting in the past 12 months. The offices to be filled are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Votes are cast and counted and if necessary runoff held at the meeting. Paper ballots are turned over to the authorized Park District person in attendance. The November meeting (the Annual Meeting) also confirms the schedule of days and times for meetings and has committee sign up.

Move to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

The November meeting will see posters and provide opportunity for more details on the Army Corps projects, grant an award to a Park District employee who been of great value to the park, elect officers, and discuss the possibility of additional officers or board members, and encourage committee signup.
THIS MEETING IS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO BRING DUES CONTRIBUTIONS (checks) FOR 2015.

Workdays are winding down for the year- we are doing what can yet be done to keep the park in good shape. This has been a banner year for volunteer groups coming to work in the park. For remaining weeks, contact Norm Bell, Jerry Levy, or Louise as per on the front page.

Our White City tours that ended Oct. 25 were most successful and will return in the spring.

September 8 2014 JPAC meeting

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum being present. August minutes
were approved as updated. The treasurer was unable to attend.

Nature reports. Norm Bell reported the Bobolink is in fine shape, with the help of a large group from
Northwestern Law School. Part of the group coming from UChicago September 27 2-5 may help in Bobolink.
Jerry Levy reported on Wooded Island, and tasks for September 27. A master contact list will be made, and
stewards were asked to make sure all volunteers sign waivers. September 20 Alliance for Great Lakes beach
sweep was next- they weigh the waste and recyclables and test the water. FUFG and Chicago Japanese
Chamber of Commerce service groups will participate.

President’s. Music Court including its “spokes” was cleaned up. Good groups keep coming for the While City
and nature tours, including from the History Share program in August. More volunteer docents are needed.
Officers were updated by Friends of the Parks on policies and fiscal agency and heard from other parks. Hope
is to create local and citywide collaborative networks and encourage neighbors of parks that don’t have
councils or support groups. FOTP also sought award nominations of volunteers in various categories.
Volunteer groups including Gay for Life and Pepsico have done much work at LaRabida, but there is always
more to do. Birds and butterflies are now showing up there. A thorough golf-cart drive-through with park staff
resulted in many improvements and identification of capital repair needs. Dog training/exercising, pickleball,
tennis are active at 59th area. Senior Games will have activities in the park in September- track and field and
lawn bowling. Iowa building interior inspections were made, and work continues to make light fixes permanent
continues. CPD Commissioners were enthusiastic about rehabilitating and reviving activity at the building. 2nd
district CAPS will meet there next summer. The city removed a two-block row of dead ash trees from 56th
parkway. Dead trees in the park landscape will be removed over a number of years. Bridge fix efforts continue.
Member suggestions: making a video on JPAC and the park with the Herald Radio Project, doing a video of
Jackson Park stories this winter, and asking experts about our Purple Martin houses and getting a bat house.

F
ieldhouse and programs. Supervisor Bobbie Beckam reported on work/help offers from Mt. Carmel and
Hyde Park High School. (In turn JPAC talked to the HP High group about park ecology.) Jackson had one of its
largest day camps in years. Junior Bears are under way- they won a really long game in double overtime.

Other business. Lauren Umek, CPD project manager, described pre-bid meetings and planning for the Army
Corps project.
Aimee Ramirez reported on Congressman Kelly’s interest in the park and Darrow bridge and
routes to grant writing.
JPAC unanimously reaffirmed changing the meeting time to 7 p.m.
Dues and fiscal agency fee for Friends of the Parks was moved and approved for up to $175.
Moved by Levy and approved to request of Alderman Hairston and CDOT a traffic study toward traffic and
pedestrian safety improvements on Cornell Drive, especially at 59th/60th and behind the fieldhouse at 6400.
Lanita Ross of the 5th Ward Office offered to facilitate the requests.

The next meeting will be at LaRabida Children’s Hospital library, preceded by a brief Columbian toast at
the hill at the end of the (Promontory Circle) drive. Monday, October 13 7 pm. Moved to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted
Gary M. Ossewaarde

Minutes of the August 11 2014 JPAC Advisory Council monthly meeting

(Presentations are attached- USACE Project, Darrow Bridge, Alliance for the Great Lakes/beach clean.)

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum being present.
Louise congratulated Supervisor Bobbie Beckam on his tennis doubles championship in an American Tennis Association tournament.
Louise praised the upcoming Nike World Basketball Festival at 63rd and the Lake, with youth clinics and mentoring from some of the country’s top stars and coaches including from Team USA, and exhibition games. Nike funded rehabilitation of at least three basketball courts as state-of-the-art and other improvements. The event calls attention to the importance and resources of this park and Chicago.
Attention was also called to the many activities in the park scheduled by the Park District, the 5th Ward Office, and private groups this summer. A highlight was Shakespeare in the Music Court.
Many groups have participated in scheduled and special workdays in the park- 8 more private groups were already scheduled.

Winter saw severe fish kill in the lagoons, as is common in hard-freeze winters, requiring frequent restocking.

Summer camp, one of the largest in years, included a weekly one-on-one reading with volunteers with WITS.
Camp included croquet and lawn bowling introduction- golf may be added next year, and field trips. Camp concluded with JPAC distributing a filled backpack to each child—Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce (Wallace E. Goode) invited JPAC to participate in its annual backpack program, Kaufman and Kaufman Dental paid for the backpacks, Dr. Anne Ridgeway at the 7109 S. Jeffrey Walgreens paid for the supplies, and JPAC volunteers and park staff filled the bags. All were thanked. Next programming: football and cross country.

Louise reported on a thorough drive-through inspection and evaluation of the park- 6 JPAC volunteers rode in a golf carts caravan with Region Manager Daphne Johnson, Area Manager Cordell Hopkins, Jackson Park supervisor Bobbie Beckam, and staff. Many work orders had already been completed—Esther Schechter was especially pleased with repair of benches throughout the park.

A poll showed members prefer to start our meetings at 7 pm.

Minutes of the July meeting were approved with corrections.
Bank balance was $4,263.82.
Announcements.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. Next meeting Sept 8, 7 p.m., fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Attachments

US Army Corp of Engineers presentation of updated plans—August 11, 2014 JPAC Meeting.

USACE ecologist and planner Frank Veraldi and Chicago Park District Dept. of Natural Resources ecologist Lauren Umek.
Jackson Park Section 506 Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Project.

The ACE focus is to restore habitat-- aquatic, pond, edge, sedge meadow, and woodland and the Great Lakes wildlife (including fish) of these habitat types. The Park District focus is Olmsted’s landscape vision and vistas. The areas of the park where work is to be done are arranged in four time phases over five years- 1- (first) in and around the lagoons and Wooded Island, 2- the inner harbor (aka South Lagoon), 3- parts of the golf course, 4- certain Outer Harbor edges and south edges of the park. The plans, which were still in progress, will have much greater detail and specification than is usual in such projects in order to make sure the grading, plant palette, paths and overlooks are right and true to the mandates for both habitat and this Olmsted park.

At least some of the work will be disruptive—for example, as some of the first work (after fall bird migration), the lagoons will be separated (with a mesh) from the Columbia Basin (where game fish are stocked yearly). Now, runaway species destroy the lagoon bottoms, and plants, and water quality and prevent establishment of fish species that are both native to this Great Lakes habitat and desired by fishers. After fall bird migration. certain fish will be killed quickly and the lagoons cleaned. Fishing success will recover slowly as water quality and bottoms are improved, spawning holes and structures are installed, the lagoons stocked in stages with a diversity of native fish and the latter mature and adjust. Edges will be re-graded and planted. About 12 viewing/fishing outlooks over the lagoons will be made at historic or strategic spots, with chipped wood side paths or bow-outs to reach them. The fishing pier at 63rd and Cornell will be remade (Fishing and birding groups have been consulted.)

Work will be staged to avoid interfering with migratory bird arrivals and seasons, and as much as possible of the heavy work will be done in winter to avoid soil compaction. Where possible, grading will include berms to reduce the noise to the lagoons that can disturb birds. But in some places where that has been called desirable such as along Cornell Drive there is little room. Trees and shrubs will be used to have a calming effect.

Work in other sectors will also introduce new plant communities and wildlife—marsh including reeds along, for example some of the inner harbor shores, a rough-grass hummock in the golf course turned into a sedge meadow, ponds that mudpuppies (salamander-like) will use, and some grass turf replanted to sedges that foster wildlife.

Wooded areas will be re-balanced so there can be plants of varied heights and both sun-loving and shade-tolerant low and ground plants. Some areas are overgrown and need a fair amount of removal and replanting. Parts of Wooded Island will have about 25% changeover, including removal of trees trying to grow under oaks and so won’t live long. Much of the new material will be shrubs and ground plants designed and staged so birds will have more forage, shelter. Trees will take time to grow. Attention is given to mixing and balancing the plants— botany that fits while respecting Olmsted’s look, but not over-dense, and making sure each season has interesting things to see. Questions were asked and answered; conversation and refinement will continue.


___________________________________

Highlights of the project
What/ where: Pond habitat including the east and west lagoons- re-grade and replant much of the edges for wetland and emergent plant and aquatic plant and animal habitat and islands (7 new) for heron habitat, renew bottom and islands and replace invasive fish population with native, separated from Columbia Basin, clean and restore habitat of edge of the South Lagoon (Inner Harbor) and parts of the Outer Harbor. Restore woodlands in and around Wooded Island. Create at various places including in and around the golf course 12 new sedge meadows and ponds to include reeds and others marsh plants for amphibians and dragonflies and 2 for mudpuppies. Clear c.300 dead or dying ash trees. Work on Wooded Island may include up to 25% replacement in places, esp. SW, and heavy along the west edge of the west lagoon to Cornell Drive (with a new path, fishing pier). 1 million wildflowers/native plants, 300,000 shrubs, 1,300 trees. Excluded: most of the north and west-edge, missile-base areas (Bobolink and golf driving range), most east lawns, golf & rec’l, lake shore.

Funds: Total $8.1M. c. 65% federal. Park District total $1.9M in money-- $700,000 in bond revenues, $700,000 from Project 120 (which also is paying for Olmsted oversight and landscaping planning by Heritage Landscapes and 3 continuing inspections), $500,000 more in private. Value of acreage is also counted
.

Link to the Project website: http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx.

JPAC letter of support to Chicago Park District August 2014.

Jackson Park Advisory Council, the first Chicago park advisory council founded in 1983, who has advocated for environmental stewardship in Jackson Park is writing in support of the Olmsted Natural Area Plantings as part of the Chicago Park District and US Army Corps of Engineers project. We have hosted and attended multiple public meetings on the project and have been involved in the development process.

The project will create biologically diverse habitats in the park while respecting the Olmsted firm design intent. The Jackson Park Advisory Council believes that the restoration project is an important ecological investment for Jackson Park. We are grateful to the Chicago Park District and the Army Corps of Engineers for their transparency and support of community involvement in this important project.

Louise McCurry, Jackson Park Advisory Council President

[Additional attachments expressing JPAC views on the ACE project is expected to be added in the last week of August.]

Darrow Bridge update. Chicago Department of Transportation. Luis Benitez, bridge engineer.
Funding has been secured for phases 1, design study, and 2, full design, but not yet for the construction. While the study will take only a few months (and include laser scanning the entire bridge), full design and its approval will likely take at least two years (before construction could start) following the law (which designates this bridge historic) for complete historic restoration. However, that reconstruction will nevertheless allow having both a traffic lane (max. allowed 36 tons as nominally for the present bridge) and a bike-pedestrian lane. Mr. Benitez confirmed that the bridge truly is compromised structurally and could not just be covered over for pedestrian-bike passage in the meantime. Some of the compromise is from damage done, and the access to the understructure, reopened about 12 years ago, will be permanently blocked.

A temporary foot bridge would cost at least a half million, need to be structurally sound and safe and require time also. Asked about the ugly, off-putting closure fencing, he said other funding would have to be found and replacement would also have to effectively close the bridge to passage. Members pointed out that blocked access to the Island from the parking lot east of the bridge and the cut off of east-west access through the park to the lakefront in this north half of the park are a serious, untenable burden to the park and community and that JPAC should seek a temporary solution such as a footbridge until the bridge is historically restored.

Regulations and procedures are very complex, including even putting the bridge up “for sale” and doing an environmental impact study. One of the practical problems is that this is a “small” non-traffic bridge and project, so getting fast tracking and then the interest of contractors (who have lots of projects in tow now) will not be easy. On the other hand, a 80-20 federal-state SACC match may be possible. Construction is not expected to start before some time in 2017 or 2018.

Alliance for the Great Lakes (http://www.greatlakes.org).

Sarah Neville described the expertise, advocacy, beach cleanup, school outreach/curriculum, and recreational activities of The Alliance for the Great Lakes (formerly Lake Michigan Federation). She called the recent problems of Toledo a wakeup call and said AGL and allies are working on renewed commitment by the state and provincial governors and the federal governments to clean waters and shores for the Great Lakes. AGL and JPAC will hold a beach cleanup September 20, Saturday, 9-noon at 63rd St. beach, west shore of the Outer Harbor (across from La Rabida) and 57th St. beach. AGL will record conditions and trash collected. Water, bags, gloves provided.

___________________________

Minutes of the July 14 2014 JPAC Advisory Council monthly meeting

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at the Iowa building in the northeast corner of the park. A fine picnic and social time was followed by round of introduction by the 45+ attendees (many new to JPAC). These included Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th) and staff; aide to state representative Christian Mitchell (26th); 2nd Police District commander Williams; Cpt. Sean Loughran and officers of the 3rd Police District; Lorenzo Chew, assistant director of Chicago Park District Security; Les Wood, director of Security at Montgomery Place, and Lauren Moltz, Board President of Friends of the Parks. We were especially pleased that so many residents of nearby buildings including Montgomery Place Retirement Community and members of other PACs and of media and the press could attend.

The primary agenda item was concerns and strategies for security in the park, particularly what was being done and should be done following the fatal shooting of Ovadiyah Chandler in the Iowa building on June 22, called by police an isolated incident and the subject of an ongoing investigation. The 3rd District city police has the primary responsibility in this park, southward from 56th St. Resources for the park, recently increased, include one dedicated car for the park (with backups), bike and foot patrols, and special assignment teams, as explained by 3rd District Capt. Sean Loughran. Strategies include knowing and dealing with known offenders (and others seen in the act or reported) including by issuing citations for which recipients must show up in court, focused attention to “quality of life” violations, prompt or early closings (by 9 p.m. in the Iowa building area), shutting down large or loud-music groups as they emerge, checking “hiding places,” and return visits.

Chicago Park District has a roving car, uses “ticketing” to clear problem parking lots, and concentrates on the 63rd beach area and on evening closing of the park. Park District staff trims vegetation. CPD Security asst. chief Lorenzo Chew said closing earlier would not be helpful.

The public’s help is needed—to report problems to 911- and agreeing to stay near the scene available to be called back for updates or more details and to report large gatherings as they start so they can be checked for permits. President McCurry asked that people especially monitor playgrounds, and take care against theft from cars. Attendees pointed out specific problems, places, and times for police to watch. For the Iowa building, lights were malfunctioning again despite ongoing repairs, and trash showed activity continuing after closure and police leave. Esther Schechter, a diligent JPAC safety committee member and park walker, said that she feels safe walking in the park. Alderman Hairston endorsed requests for more fix up and an active program at the Iowa building beyond the exercise groups that are starting to use the area. She also noted a multi-ward Fire Department water safety demonstration was planned for youth and residents, at the 57th St. Beach July 24 3-4 p.m.

President’s report. Recent repairs include to benches and holes in pavement and paths and completion of a list of work order requests, surveyed and reported by council members and parks staff. Emerging issues were reported. Certain paths and basketball courts are being addressed ahead of the upcoming Nike tournament in the park.
She expressed gratitude for volunteers, especially the busloads that come in to work in areas of the park such as the LaRabida area and Wooded I.--World Jewish Federation, schools, and a church group from Ohio. (Esther asked for a workday for Marquette Dr., Richards to the Drive and not to wait for the ACE or another project to do the job.)
Louise called attention to the large number of activities in the park this summer as shown on a list by Gary Ossewaarde (updated and attached to these minutes). She asked all promote Shakespeare in the Parks 5 p.m. August 2.
Provided: a fine interactive nature tour brochure prepared by Frances Vandervoort, and other informational material from police, JPAC and the 5th Ward.
The WITS program for volunteers reading to kids in day camp got off to a great start with about 15 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. And the first White City tours got off to a fine start—a dozen folks on one. The Army Corps has completed plans and will proceed; will be invited to next meeting.

JPAC, specifically Dwight Powell, JPAC treasurer, has worked for some time to implement a youth swimming program for the South Side. He found that funds are available for the South Side. Ability to swim is a highly important skill and is required for youth to learn boating and for certain career paths. Powell reported swim lessons are available at Montrose Beach and at long last supposed to be at 63rd, but were not. [See follow up below*.]

Gary Ossewaarde was given a the Golden Lady Annual Award and plaque “for decades of tireless service to JPAC and its many related community organizations, preserving our JPAC history, representing JPAC at meetings throughout Chicago, and providing hands on support to our JPAC projects.”

The June minutes were approved with corrections. Dwight Powell reported $3,803.82 in the treasury.

The next meeting will be at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island, 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 11.
Invited: Army Corps Habitat Restoration planners, participants in some programs in the park.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

*Swim programs- CPD did respond to inquiries. JPAC learned that CPD no longer offers swimming classes at beaches, although some non-government entities (NGOs) do. CPD classes are at pools—and the CPD website says there are often wait lists. JPAC is concerned about no or poor lessons here, vs. at Montrose Beach. JPAC will vigorously work for lessons for our south side kids starting this summer.

Minutes of the June 9 2014 JPAC Advisory Council monthly meeting

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse.

Guest speaker Brenda McKinney, Program Coordinator with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban Fishing Program, described outreach in schools and parks connecting youth with ecology, fish, food chains and environmental problems of our freshwater streams and lakes and with hands-on catch-and-release. Many social skills are developed in the program. The program has both staff and volunteers. IDNR stocks native catfish and bluegills in Jackson Park. Members asked for a program with youth here.

Guest speaker sculptor Margot McMahon presented the Chicago Sculpture International program (with CPD and the city) in which many volunteer artists are repurposing (for a year) dead trees in our parks and street parkways/boulevards. The artists express in varied ways their thoughts and questions about our interconnected environment and how humans affect it. She showed her project in which she has hung oversized, stylized bird forms in a large dead tree on the west side of Lake Shore Drive south of 57th Street. It’s worth a visit; in fact one can make a fairly easy circuit of the sites on the South Side including Bessemer Park, down the Midway and Garfield Blvd., Western to Bridgeport near Halsted, McGuane Park and more. McMahon talked about the many kinds of losses that come from the disappearance of trees, but also that dead trees and limbs have many uses for wildlife and for soil renewal—and in human reflection, art and imagination.

May minutes were approved. Dwight Powell reported the treasury has $3,953—there is much we could do with more contributions. JPAC underwrote half the food for a memorial for a employee of the park who passed away from illness.

Jerry Levy reported on several workdays with sizable groups of volunteers, as did Norm Bell for Bobolink. Accomplishments for the latter included cleaning invasives at the Golf Driving Range fence. Both thanked volunteers and reminded of workdays for June and July.

Powell asked about progress on starting boating training for youths in Jackson Park. Those contacted had other commitments for this year and the program for this year is at Northerly Island. However, a member of the board of Jackson Park Yacht Club was exploring more possibilities.

McCurry and Ray Johnson described our first White City Tour for this year June 7—tours will be given each Saturday at 11 a.m. through October covering different parts of the World’s Fair footprint, and nature encountered in passing. (Nature trail tours are being organized.)

Our reorganized website is up and being filled in; suggested was producing a fundraising video with testimonials of one can do and what needs to be done in the park.

Planning and outreach are proceeding for the August 2 Jackson Park Fest with Shakespeare in the Park.

The 2 new playground fences came down today and kids rushed in to make themselves at home. A ribbon cutting was planned for the Chrysalis lot at 56th and Cornell the next Monday at 3:15 p.m.

JPAC will have a table at the 57th St. Art Fair and march/share management of a game at 4th on 53rd St.

PAC is in touch with officials on fixing the Darrow Bridge.

Commended were a WTTW program on Olmsted to be aired June 20 9 p.m. and a new book by Linda Swift on Kenwood Academy’s photography, video and mural project.

Meeting adjourned. Next meeting-and picnic- July 14, 6:30 pm at the Iowa Building.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Minutes of the May 12 2014 JPAC Advisory Council monthly meeting

(MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING USACE PROJECT CONTEXT AND REPORTS ON MAY 7 AND 12 USACE PUBLIC MEETINGS IN THE JUNE 2014 NEWSLETTER.)

The meeting was convened at 7 pm. Gary Ossewaarde introduced President McCurry, who briefly talked about JPAC.

Brenda Palm of WITS reading program introduced this program in which community volunteers read to kids at park day camps and in schools. Jackson Park fieldhouse afterschool will a site this starting in fall. Several volunteered. If interested, visit http://www.witschicago.org or call Gary Ossewaarde 773 947-9541.

Robert Karr described his long-term history with Jackson Park, Japanese culture, and the Garden. His Project 120 is considering the park as a whole. Most recently he and others recognized that an Olmsted park expert needed to brought into the Army Corps project and offered to cover the cost. He introduced Patricia O’Donnell.

Patricia O’Donnell is Principal in Vermont-based Heritage Landscapes and has overseen restorations of a large number of Olmsted-designed parks and spaces. She was hired with broad agreement as oversight consultant on the USACE/Jackson Park habitat project. Ms. O’Donnell gave an extensive presentation and answered many questions. She was thanked for sharing. A separate report is provided appended.

Regular meeting business: April 17 minutes. Moved by Fran Vandervoort, 2nd Dwight Powell, approved as corrected. Clarification by Dwight Powell: There are funds available for a boating program for youth. Participation in the boating training requires first passing a strict swimming test, which many youth cannot, so that needs to exist in the area). A fund is available for use on the South Side; he said it should be so used here rather than sit idle or be redirected.

Financial. Powell reported $3,953.82 in the treasury including deposit of $170 and expenditures of $300 for membership in Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and for AV equipment. (Noted by McCurry that back to school backpacks will be provided for summer camp kids through the Chamber.) Moved and 2nd to approve the expenditures. Powell noted the bylaws require pre-approval of major expenditures. Ossewaarde moved $100 membership in Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, recognizing services. 2nd and approved. $50 was moved 2nd and approved to assist Mrs. Wright, employee at the field house, who is ill.

McCurry reported groups coming regularly to work and for Earth Day projects. Workday: by the Animal Bridge Saturday. Security patrols have returned to Wooded Island. The park district was asked to pick up in the Hayes-Cornell lot more often—buses drop off groups there. Tours are numerous, including for students at Bret Harte and Carnegie schools and prospectively for Montgomery Place residents. August 2- Shakespeare in the Park/Family Day slated for the Music Court.
Staff reports volunteer tutors are welcome for camps- call the field house at 773 256-0903.

Distributed and moved by Gary Ossewaarde and the board and unanimously approved: pre-announced bylaws amendment inserting in Article Four: Meetings, Section 1: new: (d) For notices required in these bylaws and for the Newsletter, timely electronic send shall be considered sufficient for members for whom JPAC has valid email addresses.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting June 9, 7:30 p.m. at the field house.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

______________________________________

Correction: a Newsletter early in the year reflected incorrect information that CDOT had inspected all bridges in Jackson Park. The only inspection (other than that done on a schedule is the Darrow Bridge, which had to be closed.

APRIL 14 2014 JPAC MINUTES

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m., a quorum being present. A rep. of Cong. Kelly attended.

Mary Ellen Guest of the Chicago Historic Bungalow Association discussed help available to owners of small homes, which often lack adequate insulation and otherwise could be more energy efficient and green. Members noted that many parks and other public buildings and facilities, could benefit from creative retrofit. Our thanks to CHBA and to Sylvia Jones of W. Chatham PAC for facilitating this talk.

Minutes were approved as circulated. The treasury balance is $4,083.82 after expenses of $600. Moved by Dwight Powell and approved: $100 membership in HP Chamber of Commerce, $588 purchase of projector.

Election: Frances S. Vandervoort was unanimously elected Vice President to fill out the remaining term.

Park progress. McCurry reported on kids from Apostolic Church and other groups working and learning in the park—teens can be engaged. JPAC is networking with the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and members.
Dwight Powell reminded of our interest in a swimming and sailing learning program—Anne Marie Miles offered to discuss this with the Jackson Yacht Club.
Progress on website advancement is underway with Gerald Miller. JPAC created a beautifully illustrated PowerPoint presentation and a poster for the March 29 PAC Conference promoting JP as a “Great Outdoors” for kids and families.

Project 120 nature and cultural visitors’ center proposal. Several JPAC members reported on a meeting where input was given on what was and was not wanted in such a center. PAC members discussed theirs and costs. Jerry Levy moved endorsement and recommendation that it be the Jackson Park Nature & Cultural Ctr. Approved.

Vandervoort reported that the Park District and Army Corps has asked JPAC and Hyde Park Historical Society to help convene a small meeting of history and Olmsted-interested ahead of a community meeting, to be announced on a major Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration project being considered and tweaked but on fast track.

The Darrow Bridge petition drive will be completed and officials notified of need and public support for rebuilding and access.

The parking lot drains at the 59th tennis courts are being fixed and stairs near LaRabida will be repaired.

Jackson Park will host several Earth Day projects April 22 (tree planting) and April 26 including beach sweep.

Ray Johnson reported on planning and needs for a “Run Like the Devil through the White City” run, fall 2015.


Adjournment. Next meeting May 12 at time and place then tba.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

March 10, 2014 JPAC Council Minutes
and announcements for the April meeting

Jackson Park Advisory Council Newsletter – April 2014 (to Front page alone, printable)

JPAC’s next meeting and talk is on Monday, April 14, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.
Sylvia Jones will present the restoration and programs of Garfield Park Conservatory and her work with the Chicago Historic Bungalow Initiative.
April 14 Business includes 1) ELECTION- the vacant vice president position (Frances Vandervoort accepted nomination; other nominations will be taken from the floor). 2) Introduction of a proposed BYLAWS AMENDMENT - for purposes of members’ notices, electronic notice is sufficient for those who give e-addresses.
May 12- watch for presentation by Project 120 on visions and proposals for the park. Place tba.

Saturday Workdays: April 12: Bobolink Meadow. 9-12. Contact parrybell@ameritech.com, visit http://bluestem.info/bobolink/. Generally meets in the Golf Driving Range parking lot off Hayes (63rd St.).

April 26: 9-12. Earth Day tree planting and Wooded Island. Plant trees (and learn how to do it right). Tent. east of Cornell Drive at c. 5800/5900 S. Signup http://earthdaychicago.org, or FOTP Mary Eileen Sullivan, 312 857-2757. Or for this or other projects on Wooded Island sign up with Jerry Levy, sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. Jerry’s projects generally start at 10 from the Darrow Bridge.

Mission accomplished: On March 15 JPAC’ers and others gathered on the north bridge to Wooded Island to dedicate its naming as Nancy C. Hays Memorial Bridge. Read more and about Nancy Hays at http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/NancyCHaysMemorial.htm.

March 29 Park Advocacy Conference included a lively presentation by Louise McCurry on kids and Jackson Pk.

JPAC’s completely revamped modern website goes live within the next few weeks. It will be filled with easy-to-find stories of the park and what people are doing to vitalize the park, backed with lots of new photographs. There’s already plenty in the current website. And we promise to keep it updated. Much thanks to Gerald Miller, IT intern at the Hyde Park Herald for work and training. Much material is researched and furnished by Gary Ossewaarde, Louise and Robert McCurry, Fran Vandervoort, and the stewards. The address remains http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org.

Expenses for park, day camp, and JPAC are coming up-we could use your contributions. Send check to JPAC c/o Dwight Powell, 7206 S. Luella, Chicago, IL 60649. Our fiscal agent is Friends of the Parks (501c3).

March 10, 2014 meeting

The meeting at Montgomery Place Retirement Community opened with two fascinating PowerPoint presentations. Lorraine Straw of Friends of the Viking Ship gave the story of the unique replica vessel that was sailed across the Atlantic for the Columbian Exposition, its amazing career since, and stabilization work in a park in the western suburbs. The group is raising funds for restoration and display. Visit, including re: visiting the ship/ museum, http://www.vikingship.us. The repainted dragon’s head (prow) and tail are in MSI storage.

Raymond Johnson, lead of Friends of the White City (http://www.FriendsoftheWhiteCity.org) presented the interesting and tragic story of the Ice-making building and skating rink at the Exposition, and its fire with heavy loss of firemen. (The large, painted wooden statue of Columbus that stood in front of the ice house is now in the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago, 5218 S. Western Avenue- open house 4th Saturdays- http://www.firemuseumofgreaterchicago.org.
Thank you, Montgomery Place and residents’ committee. JPAC/ Friends of the White City docents give tours of the Columbian Exposition in the summer; signup was taken for a bus tour for Montgomery Place residents.

In the regular business meeting, JPAC presented Olmsted Awards to Stewards Norm Bell, Gail Parry, and Jerry Levy. Upon due motion, JPAC declared that the vice presidency is vacant and nominations open. Fran Vandervoort volunteered to serve; additional nominations will be taken and election held on April 14.

Ray Johnson will represent JPAC on Ald. Hairston’s committee on historic markings.
Marissa Miles introduced an idea for children’s theater in the ‘Iowa’ building.

Announcements, adjournment.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

February 10, 2014 JPAC Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. Minutes were moved by Kenny Newman and approved. The treasurer was excused. Bank balance was $4,349.67.

President’s report. The Darrow Bridge is the main matter now, and it’s urgent. The bridge needs both repair consistent with its being an historic, pre-Fair structure and to restore (if necessary before major work begins) the access it affords (including for workdays) from parking east of the bridge to Wooded Island and the Japanese Garden and access between east and west parts of the park. McCurry reviewed discussions and help from government agencies and elected officials, a petition being circulated (and which would soon also be online in Change.org), and requests to organizations for letters of support. Urged was that our members help circulate petitions. We received communication from Project 120 emphasizing that the restoration be historic.
JPAC members attended a fine dedication for the LaRabida outpatient facility February 10, with large attendance from officials, who indicated their support and help on the Darrow Bridge.

Changes to the Golf Driving Range are under consideration by the Park District and Billy Casper management. We need to be ready with input if there are changes to boundaries or land use.

Friends of the Parks informed us that Exelon will again sponsor an (April?) workday replacing trees lost over the years; recommended was the area between Cornell Drive and the north end of the west lagoon.

Jackson Park is at the head of the list for playground replacement this spring- the Chrysalis lot on 56th St. and the playlot at the fieldhouse. Thanks to Chicago Plays! and to support and input from community and officials.

JPAC commended the Park District on plowing the roads and paths during this heavy-snowfall winter.

Park and Fieldhouse. Pierre Nealon, recreational leader, reported on a large and increasing spectrum of sports and increasing sign up. In several of these, Jackson Park teams or individuals consistently win the regions and go on to compete or win city-wide. Spring is the busiest time. Sports include wrestling, inner city basketball and Windy City Hoops (tournament is March 28), tumbling, track, baseball, softball, volleyball, 1-on-7 football, cheerleading. Recruiting and keeping girls remains a problem. We lack equipment to provide gymnastics. More adults are participating in the fitness center, but new and replacement equipment is needed. The most serious need is for replenishment of the gym floor surface. The Take the Field needs work including the surface, and a new sand pit board. A storage locker there is said to be coming. JPAC will look into the status of WI-FI –the company is reported to claim they came but the fieldhouse was closed.
JPAC applauded the entire staff, including Supervisor Bobbie Beckam.

The re-named Nancy Hays bridge (at north end of Wooded Island) will be dedicated Sat. March 15 2 p.m.
Army Corps of Engineers lagoon and other conservation work first phase is expected to start this summer. First work includes the fishing beach on the west side of the inner harbor by Richards Drive. (JPAC will again be doing some cleanup around the inner harbor this spring.) Project 120/Phoenix Garden will pay for independent third-party review (including experts in Olmsted park landscaping) of the plans and project. All expect frequent meetings and transparency.

Membership- building and services. Members were encouraged to contribute (2014 “dues). Ray Johnson and others are working on updating an expanding our web and social media presence including a blog and sending our newsletter and bulletins mostly electronically.
JPAC will apply for Friends of the Parks seed grant money to help fund a run through the park, using stations corresponding to the main buildings and sites of the Columbian Exposition. For the Friends’ Park Advocacy Conference March 29 at South Shore Cultural Center (all urged to attend), JPAC will prepare posters about the park and Darrow Bridge and be involved in workshops.
Activities and talks are being planned for nearly every month, at regular meetings or specials. Topics under consideration are the Fair (March 10), gardening/planting, native wildlife including coyotes—problem or not? Bobolink- it’s plantings and grasses, story of the Viking Ship, harvesting and preserving foods for winter.

Louise summarized actions and tasks: Darrow Bridge including petitions, FOTP seed grant and run in the park, poster work for March 29 conference, March 15 Hays bridge dedication, and April tree workday.

Adjournment. Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council Minutes, January 13, 2014

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

November minutes were distributed electronically and no corrections were noted. The December meeting was cancelled. Secretary Gary Ossewaarde noted that he has not been able to produce and mail newsletters the past couple of months due to illness and weather and will send electronic notices while pending a plan for the future of the mailed Newsletter and upgrade to an interactive website.

President’s report. In the news are proposals to provide “hydrological separation” between the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins, because of the threat of invasives such as Asian carp. Louise will bring to the Park District questions about whether such would have any effects on Jackson Park waters and ecologies or require changes here, and will express the council’s opinion that good circulation must be maintained in the harbors and lagoons.

The departments of transportation condemned and closed the Darrow Bridge to all uses. In light of impact of even a short closure on access to Wooded Island and Osaka Garden from the parking lot, which is east of the bridge, the role of the bridge as park connector, and the historic character of the bridge, JPAC has been working with the Park District and our elected officials, which are seeking funding for repair. The council endorsed seeking community support via letters and petitions for prompt funding and start to repairs.

Signage, and possibly a map in the park noting the Columbian Exposition and its footprint, is under discussion with the Park District.
The council supported our having a photo contest for youth and others, themed on the Columbian Exposition. Prizes were set at $50 and $25.

Naming of the north bridge to Wooded Island for Nancy Hays was on target for approval by the Park District, probably at the January board meeting [this did occur even though that meeting was moved]. A community dedication and celebration will be scheduled for spring, or as possible in light of closure of Darrow Bridge.

LaRabida Children’s Hospital dedicates its new outpatient facility with public officials Monday, February 10, 8 am. JPAC members were encouraged to attend.
Friends of the Park- Annual Luncheon February 6 features Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle on the Forest Preserves in the 21st Century, and honors councils, individuals, businesses and nonprofits who have helped advance the parks over the years.

Save the Date – March 29, morning- FOTP and CPkD annual parks and PACs Conference at South Shore Cultural Center. Reserve at 312 857-2757. JPAC members were encouraged to attend, and we will have posters.

Hyde Park Historical Society annual dinner is on February 22, 6:30 at Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St. Main speaker is Susan O’Connor Davis, whose book on Historic Hyde Park and its architecture has much on the Park. Community awards will also be given. Go to http://www.hydeparkhistory.org for information and reservation.

Adjournment. Next meeting February 10, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

(No meeting in December due to weather.)

Minutes from the JPAC meeting of November 11, 2013

The meeting was called to order shortly after 7:30pm by JPAC President, Louise McCurry. The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted as written.

Louise presented her President’s report. Lots is happening in Jackson Park. The Park District is working on the lights at the Iowa Building in an attempt to discourage homeless men from staying there. The Police Department is also patrolling the area. There is a problem around the Iowa Building and other parts of the park created by trucks straying off the paved roads and driving on the grass. This creates ruts which fill with water. Posts with orange tops are being installed to prevent this problem by keeping vehicles off the grass. Broken park benches are being repaired and graffiti is being removed timely. A new strategy involves taking pictures of the problems and forwarding them to the Park District. Trash was picked up at the Music Court on November 2nd and invasives were removed near the soccer fields on November 9th. Wood chips were delivered to mulch trees near the soccer fields. There will a ribbon cutting on Friday at Dickerson Park on November 15th and the plan is to install the play equipment at Chrysalis Park and the park south of the Fieldhouse this winter.

Jerry Levy reported that Pizzo planted 8000 native plants in the cleared area south of the Japanese Garden on the Wooded Island. He will host a workday on November 16th to continue identifying and fencing young oaks, the bulk of which are native bur oaks.
Norman Bell reported that the Bobolink Meadow won an award from Chicago Wilderness for Conservation and Native Landscaping. He had a successful workday November 9th removing debris and preparing for seeding.
There is new signage at the Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow announcing that both areas close at dusk.
Louise McCurry announced a workday on 12/7 at 9 am at the water fountain at east end of 67th Street to remove invasives that grew back around a leaky water fountain. There will also be a workday on November 16th to clear undergrowth near the southern boundary of the driving range fence.

The number of nature and historic tours was reported to have grown exponentially including 3 areal tours with Friends of the White City. JPAC has new brochures.

The Treasurer was not present so we did not have a Treasurer’s report. A notice was distributed about the need to pay annual dues.
There was a discussion about fundraising and JPAC will look into the possibility of selling Groupons for tours of the park.

The Park District is preparing a request for funding for repair of the Darrow Bridge.

There will be a meeting on Monday November 18th at the Friends of the Parks office downtown to meet with the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss their proposal to restore several aspects of Olmsted’s original plan for Jackson Park. Maps of the area were distributed and discussed. Members were invited to attend. Gary Ossewaarde was designated as the point person for comments on the proposal and a JPAC review committee was appointed.

JPAC members who have not done so will need to complete a Park District PAC membership form, found online at chicagoparkdistrict.org.

Upon motion from Fran Vandervoort, all existing officers were unanimously re-elected: President -Louise McCurry, Vice President- Aaron Stephens, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer- Dwight Powell.

Louise reported about Fieldhouse events. The Halloween Party was a big success, including the treats we supplied. A Thanksgiving Turkey Trot is planned for Thursday November 21st, and a writing and speech contest is proposed for Black History Month. The topic will be the 1893 World’s Fair. Gymnastics enrollment has greatly expanded. New mats with PD logo and Jackson Park have been approved for the entry. Kenny Newman reported the possibility of a cross-country tournament.

The Park District located the paperwork and support for naming the bridge north of the Wooded Island for Nancy Hays. It is on the agenda of the Park District Recreation and Programs Committee meeting on November 13th 10:30 a.m. for a vote to recommend and to open a 45-day public comment period . Louise and Gary will testify.

Louise attended a fine Friends of the Parks volunteer awards reception at Ridge park.

The newly landscaped turnaround area southwest of the MSI is open. It should eliminate bus congestion around the museum.

There was a proposal that JPAC get involved in distributing whistle stop whistles in the park, branded to show that JPAC donated the whistles.
The December meeting will be held at the Fieldhouse. We will host our annual holiday potluck. Please bring a dish and join us.

Gail Parry for and with Gary Ossewaarde

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council October 14, 2013 Meeting Minutes


Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at LaRabida Children’s Hospital. A pre-meeting toast was held at the roundabout at the end of the Promontory Circle Drive and the Harbor entrance, to the 120th anniversary and Chicago Day at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

The meeting was convened and agenda introduced by McCurry in the hospital’s library, with 13 in attendance including two prospective new members (welcomed). The council expressed its appreciation for the Hospital’s hosting JPAC, the fieldhouse being closed for the Columbus holiday.
President McCurry introduced and welcomed Jackson Park’s new Supervisor, Bobbie Beckam, who has served the Park District in supervisory and other capacities for at least two decades. Congratulations!

The September minutes were accepted with correction that Dr. Anne Ridgeway’s name was given incorrectly. McCurry showed a plaque that was to given to Dr. Ridgeway of Walgreen’s at 71st and Jeffery (who could not attend) in appreciation of her generous donation of filled back-to-school backpacks for the children of the park’s summer camp.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported the latest statement showed our treasury increased from $4,156.14 to $4,176.14. Dues payments for 2014 would be helpful at this time and can be sent JPAC care of him at 7206 S. Luella, Chicago, IL 60649. The Secretary will add a reminder to members in the next mailing or e-newsletter.

Wooded Island. Jerry Levy reported on a very successful workday with about 80 volunteers from University of Chicago, Roosevelt, and Loyola who enthusiastically embraced the work of giving nature a helping hand. The main task was to ID and put protection around 120 or so volunteer oak saplings (self-started from acorns) that have come up since toxic invasives were cleared and the sun now reaches the ground. There has been a notable decline in oak reproduction nationally, Levy noted. It will be a long time before the surviving saplings are mature trees—so this is work done for the future. Levy hopes to complete the work for this season on October 26 10 a.m.-1 p.m. A workday is also expected in November (conditions permitting), November 23.

Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell and Gail Perry reported an exciting Conservation and Native Landscaping award to Bobolink from the Chicago Wilderness Consortium. The Bobolink group also received positive comments on the archive it posted in August, and is preparing a 3-fold brochure to put onsite in an enclosed box like that for Wooded Island. Oak saplings were also ID’d and given protection in Bobolink Woods. In September, and October, honor students from Kennedy-King College and other schools worked removing invasives—and really seemed to enjoy the work. November 9 workday will include the new trail below.

The trail connector around the south end of the East Lagoon, connecting the Wooded Island trails from the south end of the south bridge with the Bobolink trails, was approved by the Park District. There will be a workday November 9 morning to spread wood chips on the trail. (E-announcement will be sent.)

Noted: workdays scheduled for November for other spots Include November 2-- the Music Court and November 16-- 59th tennis courts/golf driving range fence. (2 tennis groups and the pickleball players use the courts but the area feels cut off and unsafe; the work should alleviate that).

McCurry announced a JPAC delegation including Ray Johnson (who could not attend tonight) of Friends of the White City was shown prints of the Columbian Exposition from photographs taken by the renowned William Henry Jackson and that would be suitable for display in the fieldhouse cases (in Nancy Hays Gallery?) and used to show the public, especially children, the heritage of the park. McCurry moved, Powell seconded, and the council approved $220 for purchase of the most instructive and revealing of these. We were told that Mr. Johnson expects to publish an article on La Rabida at the Fair and in the park. Also, Field Museum (Roosevelt Rd. at Lake Shore Drive), opens to the public on October 25 an exhibit from its archives on the Fair.

The ChicagoPlays! Dickerson Playlot replacement at 56th and Stony Island hosted a community workday spreading the “fibar” surface, and was since opened to the public--it is a busy place! It has a variety of features that encourage children 5 to 12 to develop their motor skills. Community groups, Alderman Hairston, and JPAC applied and competed for the playgrounds available this year, and selected equipment. The contractor was praised as excellent. A public dedication will be announced. An adjacent playground, Chrysalis, for tots, and the larger playground at the fieldhouse are next. The lots we selected were the most used and in need.

Park fieldhouse, fields, and park. Moved, 2nded and approved to spend up to $50 for candy and buy 4 k trophy turkeys for the Halloween and Thanksgiving Turkey Trot events.
Powell brought up the need to activate a program for sailboat and swimming training for youth—money is available and we want it used here.
Park Kids is back for the winter. Programs include a DJ teen club. Desired by the district and JPAC are an increase in “life sports” out in the park itself-- such as tennis and golf for youth as well as adults. Creation and enforcement of a schedule for fields and courts is high priority, made cooperatively by the teams that should be pre-scheduling and paying fees. Expected is that some of the income would be used in and for the park. JPAC will help in ramping up a sports committee of the various stakeholders.
Another objective suggested for the park and JPAC is bringing in more education for schools, especially 7th and 8th graders. A family nature walk—Mom, Dad, and Me—was scheduled for October 26 at 1 p.m.
Noted was that break-ins frequently occur at structures and facilities in the winter—how can this be anticipated and prevented? Discussion of the value of “people in the park” led to a consensus to have contests for families and youth take winter photos and to hang the pictures in the Hays Photo Gallery.

Barry Rapoport announced that a DVD of the 2009 dedication of the Frederick Douglass-Haiti exhibit monument is available. Contact the secretary if interested.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council September 9 2013 council meeting minutes

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at the fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m. with 17 in attendance. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Louise showed a plaque honoring Dr. Anne [Ridgeway] of Walgreen’s 71st Jeffery store for providing backpacks and supplies for the summer campers. It is hoped Ms. Hathaway can attend the October meeting to receive her award.

President McCurry reported on repairs made near LaRabida Hospital and to 63rd St. beach house. Lori Michal reported that repairs were made at the bowling green/croquet clubhouse. Work is needed on the west green and more members would be a help. And it’s a long walk from parking.

Fran Vandervoort reported on the first JPAC/Friends of the White City tour- part of the 1893 Fair footprint, this including the Midway (Another was planned for Sept.) and on splendid the Beekeeping workshop Sept. 7 by Michael Thompson. Realization of the nature trail between the south ends of Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow appears closer.

Willows were blown down in that area and a number of trees or branches in various parts of the park by yet another windstorm. On Wooded Island, removal of ground invasives continues along with protecting volunteer oak sprouts that have grown up due to more sunlight after removal of invasives (thanks to many volunteer groups). Work was done in the lagoons reducing algae and aerating the waters and more improvements may be done at the Japanese Garden.

Naming of the north bridge to Wooded Island for Nancy Hays- the PD committee appears to be backlogged.

The play equipment at Dickerson Playlot was removed and was awaiting foundation and installation work by the contractor and setting a community workday to spread the fibar. Police seemed to be getting control of issues in that sector and north of the park.

Lighting timers seemed to be reversed at the Iowa building.

Fieldhouse. Fall programs started early this year, along with school. Every effort is made to give the kids experience in a wide variety of sports. The revised summer program was successful, but the cost, including of transportation, remains a barrier for some families.. Jackson Park teams won several trophies this year. Apostolic Church helped supply individual trophies. University of Chicago bike police and stationed guards are in place along a considerable stretch of Stony Island with the opening of the Lab School’s Early Learning Center. A modern “safe” intersection has been installed at 58th St. It appears hard to get seniors to come into the fieldhouse for programs. Members encouraged starting green programs with partners.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m. NEXT MEETING AT LA RABIDA HOSPITAL OCT. 14 (Columbus Day),
7:30- starting at the circle at the end of the Drive for a salute to the Columbian Expo – 120 years ago.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

August 12 2013 JPAC meeting and picnic

Jackson Park Advisory Council held a grand potluck picnic at the “Iowa” building in the northeast corner of Jackson Park. Several members we had not seen for awhile came, as well as special guests including Erma Tranter, President of Friends of the Parks and other staff who were thanked for the many services of FOTP to Jackson and the other parks. Member Madiem Kawa of the Washington Park Conservancy also attended.

Louise McCurry presided at the meeting, which included re-acquaintance introductions. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported no transactions but that with more contributions we can do more for kids and the park. Powell and McCurry reported that, thanks to Ms. Ridgeway at the 71st and Jeffrey Walgreens, back-to-school backpacks will be furnished to the many kids who completed this summer’s day camp at Jackson Park. The council also approved a $55 honorarium for the upcoming September 7 beekeeping workshop at the fieldhouse (1:30-3:30 p.m.).

Erma Tranter supplied details on a collaborative study and brainstorming by four focus groups (including among others Chicago Park District, Lurie Children’s Hospital and FOTP) about ways to encourage participation in parks, especially by teens, to combat violence, grow activity and learning in safe places, and combat obesity. One of the outcomes is the Chicago Park District’s Park Points program (to be announced publicly the following day). Every time one participates in a park program, camp, volunteer day, movie or other Night Out in the Parks program one earns points that can include for example one-on-ones with celebrities and heroes. (visit http://www.chiparkpoints.com. “Engage. Earn. Redeem.”) We were encouraged to check the park district website or call the fieldhouse 773 256-0903 for programs and activities in Jackson or nearby parks.

Norm Bell reported that more groups have worked in Bobolink Meadow, which is in wonderful shape and beauty. JPAC conducted nature walks on two weekends and Friends of the White City has been conducting tours. Other groups conduct tours, including at least 3 on a recent weekend day. The park district has been diligent cleaning up after the major storm damage to trees this summer.

President McCurry and Secretary Ossewaarde met with Alderman Leslie Hairston, park district manager for community affairs Kim DuBuclet and Michael Brazell of park district police and security on park issues. The parties agreed to park district proposals to close “at dusk” the road to the golf driving range/Bobolink and Wooded Island (from the south end of the north bridge). The park district agreed to check or activate (if not already complete) the security camera southeast of the Museum paid for by Ald. Hairston’s budget. Several attendees gave suggestions for park improvements including for the Iowa building.

The highlight of the evening was the award of JPAC’s First Golden Lady Award to Frances S. Vandervoort. Among Fran’s current JPAC responsibilities are the Nature and Nature Trail committee and tour brochures. Testimonials and a plaque were presented. Madiem Kawa read a bio and encomium to Fran’s many works over the years as a teacher (who showed many students the wonder of Jackson and other parks and of Lake
Michigan) and community and park volunteer. Here is an excerpt:

In the 1970s, Fran was a key advocate to preserve the portion of the Bobolink Meadow that is now known as the
golf driving range; she helped organize the first bird walks in Jackson Park's Wooded Island and Washington
Park. Her expertise and passion for the natural world and historic preservation will be felt by many future
generations. Her historic park involvement inspires program development and participation in nature and historic
walks, biodiversity restoration and connecting kids to stewardship. Fran's kind, generous and supportive nature is
what made her one of my dearest friends and mentor. She taught me to trust in the good work of inspiring
children into stewardship.

The meeting was adjourned c.8:30 p.m. Next meeting Monday, September 9, 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

AfterNote: JPAC responded with a letter of support to a CDOT inquiry proposing seeking funding for restoration of the Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge. Restoration has been a standing priority of JPAC and a matter of concern to Chicago Park District.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council July 2013 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m.; a quorum was present.

President: It’s been a busy month for work done in the park and activities and more is coming. Air conditioning is planned in the fieldhouse. Planning continues for our new playgrounds. Repair to vandalism were underway at 63rd beach house.

Park and program. Physical Instructor Pierre Nealon reported success with the various sports programs incuding baseball (the team may be going to championships at Hershey Pa), victories at the state track meet, tumbling - in which several girls participate. Football conditioning was also starting.
Newly-hired day camp director Erika Robinson was welcomed. She shared and explained a letter to JPAC describing the new program, "Kidventure: More Than Conquerors." Ms. Robinson comes from a highly-successful program in Minnesota. The program running July 1-August 9 has schedule with day-of-the-week specific fitness, special events, and challenges. These are co-educational, organized by ages and into teams. It culminates in a showcase and International Day July 25 in which parents, advisory council members and others will participate and increase kid’s awareness and experience of different cultures and continents-- including food-dish preparation. This will be on July 25. Various JPAC members signed on represent and help prepare food from the various continents. New banners and outreach promote the camps and other programs. Jackson will participate in the Park District float in the Bud Billiken Parade. JPAC participated in 4th on 53rd parade—several participants praised Jackson Park’s condition.

Guest, William Towns. JPAC officers met with William Towns of the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement about various mutual interests and ideas for healthy parks and meeting community needs, including good signage (including historic, nature, and way finding) for visitors and community. Mr. Towns attended tonight to continue the conversation. He said that the University recognizes parks as an important community component and meets regularly with the Park District and park stakeholders. Suggested were possibilities for a joint approach to funders and a more coordinated approach to volunteer help in the park, and attention to the approaches and parks adjacent to Jackson. The process continues and Towns was thanked.
Workshops and Tours. Announced or approved were tours by Friends of the White City in July and possibly August, JPAC Nature Trail tours on July 20 and 27th, and a Workshop on Bee Keeping September 7 (1 p.m. at the fieldhouse.) The council decided that the August meeting will be a POTLUCK AT THE IOWA BLDG. (56th across from Montgomery Place) 6 pm.

Minutes of the June meeting were moved and approved. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported $4,176.14 as of June 28. Report accepted. Moved and approved to provide our usual backpacks for summer camp kids.

Nature and park. About 150 trees in JP were damaged in a storm. Debris was being removed starting with limbs etc. posing danger. McCurry noted that a fair proportion were dead or dying ash trees. Ashes dead or in poor condition are being counted and reported. Workday: much work was done in bobolink. A large group was coming to work by LaRabida. Work sprucing up the Wooded Island trail and removing garlic mustard was expected on July 27. August workdays are expected to be on the 10th (Bobolink) and 24th (WI). In response to an article in the Tribune, JPAC submitted a letter supporting the park district’s balanced program for natural areas and for the landscaped and recreational-use areas of the park. It was not published. Problems keeping up with graffiti, vandalism, and security were noted and sometimes with group activities (with permits and not).
The meeting was adjourned about 9 pm. Next meeting August 12, 6 p.m., Iowa building.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Alert: Reconstruction is underway to MSI’s southwest lot. (This has been vetted and supported by JPAC and will result in environmental and group-management improvements.) The Cornell Dr. east walk there is closed.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council June 10, 2013 Advisory Council meeting

Louise McCurry called to order, 19 present including Area Mgr. Cordell Hopkins, JP instructor Pierre Nealon.

Park improvement potential planning/project. Mitchell Murdock, Park District Natural Areas Manager, and Julia Bachrach, Park District Planner and historian gave an update and sought more input on a potential Park District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project under Federal designation 506. It is still in exploration as to whether there is a project (a federal interest or FID); work would not begin for 3-5 years. Any work includes 5 years of warranty/maintenance. The parties want to ensure public input from the onset about the park and particularly any restorations or enhancements to habitat (the ACE interest) and or landscape and historic views and features. If the project lacks public support, it would disappear, and no ACE funding would mean no project by the Park District. Large areas of the park are under consideration, but anything recreational, institutional, or along the lakeshore is excluded. The parties are concerned that any other projects such as cherry tree plantings mesh with this and be park-suitable. They are especially interested in where shrubbery could be expanded or replaced, the presence and health of particular kinds of habitat where called for, and with the lagoons, including maybe recreating islands that used to be there. Presenters will meet next with fishers.

Attendees gave insights and concerns on particular places and changes that might be sound or avoided. They gathered around and wrote ideas on a large map-- noting sections of the park they thought degraded or unattended, or that they especially liked and wanted to make sure are preserved. Examples:

-Improve landscaping and maintenance between the outer and inner harbors north of Marquette Drive;
-Improve along Marquette Drive Coast Guard to Cornell drives and north on Cornell (excepting the already kept up Growing Power garden)- including fixing or providing trails/walks and plant more trees;
-Between Cornell Dive and the West Lagoon—have more shrubbery etc. to reduce noise and roadway/city views; improve vistas and habitat without creating unwanted hiding places;
-Improve around the north bridge to Wooded Island (some were leery of too much work here);
-Be careful about large areas of monocultures especially of ornamental trees;
-Maybe create a few small openings to the Island lagoon edge to create optimal vista points (some opposed this-said people have vistas at the Japanese Garden);
-Ensure any reconstructed islands in the lagoon can be sustained and provide optimal habitat for frogs, turtles and other amphibians and that netting for plant establishment not damage birds; ditto lagoon shore plantings;
-Consider the needs of birds and other wildlife and lean towards more vegetation rather than less.

Park programs. Instructor Pierre Nealon reported on successes of Windy City Hoops and varied spring camp sports. JP Teams are winning at regional games, and it’s hoped at the citywide and beyond. Upon query from Dwight Powell, Area Manager Hopkins agreed to look into application of the proper number of coatings that last longer on the gym floor.

Treasurer. Powell reported $4,183.37, some transactions in process. Dues payments from more would help.
May minutes were moved by Powell, 2nd by Jerome Levy and approved.

Safety-security. Copper was stripped from the 63rd pavilion. Park District police have been very proactive, 3rd District less so in getting out of cars to patrol. Broken benches are repaired promptly but re-vandalized—when people report problems (directly or in the PD website) please make sure location and description are exact. A (cleaning crew?) boat in the lagoon was reported as potentially disturbing birds and should be suspended during migration.

Nature and more. Workday progress continues and organizations such as Jewish Community Center continue tasks in the park. On Wooded Island many oak samplings have been ID’d and will have protection. Some were planted and survive, others are natural volunteers. They do better because choking weedy plants and understory are gone.

A walk through was held at La Rabida peninsula east shore with Supt. Kelly and other staff: accomplishments by CPD and volunteers were praised and further needs here and elsewhere in the park were noted.

JPAC sponsored a bike clinic at 57th beach including with Blackstone Bicycle Works.

Playgrounds. JPAC was successful in its requests for playground replacements in the northwest corner of the park and at the fieldhouse. Input into design was taken at this meeting. Work will start in a few months. Thanks to all!

Park District budget hearings are expected to start in July.

Adjournment. Next meeting July 8.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde.

Workdays: 2nd Saturdays- Bobolink 9-noon, La Rabida 1-3 or so. parrybell@ameritech.net, Louise 773 844-2225.
4th Saturdays 10-1 Wooded Island. Contact sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council May 13, 2013 council meeting minutes


Following a toast in--and inaugurating—the new Jackson Park- Nancy Hays Gallery, Louise McCurry opened the meeting. After introductions, minutes of the April meeting were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nd Fran Vandervoort and approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported an increase in funds from $4,047.87
to $4,282.85. McCurry invited all to take or renew memberships. She also encouraged members and friends to take photos of the park for the new gallery.

President’s report. The 3rd Police District has been doing a fine, proactive job. JPAC photos of unsafe physical conditions have been submitted and most already addressed. Harbor dredging is in progress.

JPAC continues to meet with stakeholders about their needs and ideas—for example DuSable Fishing group and Friends of the Phoenix Garden Foundation.
A park walkthrough is being planned with Chicago Park District leadership.

A fine Tool Workshop was held May 11 in the fieldhouse. A comprehensive Bike Clinic with several participating organizations was announced for May 18, 1-3 pm at the 57th St. Bathing Pavilion. In light of successful family nature tours, a public one may be held- stay tuned .

Physical instructor Pierre Neelon reported for Park Supervisory Wm. Tillis. Windy City Hoops (basketball for teens Friday and Saturday nights) is growing and our track and field teams consistently win at regional meets!

Jerry Levy reported on the beauty and upkeep of Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow (which has been expanded northward with a new rail fence)—plants and birds were a little late this year, but now in glory and have rain. Fran Vandervoort noted over 500 plants put in last Saturday. A key access road to the area has had holes filled. Nature trail brochures are progressing, as are templates for interpretive signage.

Sonia Cooke, president of the Phoenix Garden Foundation (was Friends of the [Osaka] Japanese Garden) reported on this year’s carefully planned planting of about 125 cherry and other trees, underway and replacing invasive thickets at the Columbia Basin and toward the Japanese Garden outside the designated natural area. She hopes this will draw people to walk through the Museum’s back yard and over to the Garden and then discover the rest of Wooded Island. McCurry discussed ideas for cultural uses of the geometric Music Court north of the lagoons and Bobolink.

Douglas Washington of AYSO soccer presented a need for new mobile soccer nets for the 63rd fields.

Ray Johnson of Friends of the White City discussed the need for and types of historic signage (including views) for which they intend to raise funds. (Johnson also arranged funding a trophy case for the fieldhouse.)

Beth Herring stressed the need for replacement of play equipment in the northwest corner of the park by Bret Harte School- for which JPAC has submitted a proposal to the CPD-Friends of the Parks play equipment replacement initiative.

CeCe Edwards of Grand Crossing Park described a Black Star Project tutoring program in their park that JPAC could tap into. She also noted that CPD announced a decision to not treat for emerald borer ash trees in parks but to replace the trees that die with other species.

Presentation: Mitchell Murdock of Chicago Park District Natural Resources, Julia Bachrach of CPD planning/history, and a representative of the US Army Corps of Engineering presented and sought input on the early stages of planning of historic, landscape, and sound ecological and habitat planning and restoration improvements in the park, designated Section 506 Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration (GLFER). The CPD and ACE have partially-overlapping but somewhat different mandates, and they are evaluating, with public input, whether there will be a partnered set of projects for the park that could cost up to $10 million. (Note any Lakeshore work is excluded as that is controlled by a separate federally-designated ongoing program for the entire lakeshore.) Principles were set forth, with the park district stressing the historic integrity of the park including Olmsted's vision of vistas, elegant but concealed design, stress on relaxation and enjoyment of the sublime and beautiful—the genius of the place, subordination of details to the whole, avoidance of mere novelty, grouping of plants including an abundant understory and layering, tempered by good habitat in the appropriate/ designated parts of the park. Noted was that Olmsted’s park designs were quite open. The Army Corp stresses ecology including sound lagoon management and habitat. The review of the history and changes in the park over the decades and the distinct types of habitat and landscape in the park was especially helpful. The Olmsted Center has expressed an interest in providing technical advice.

The next opportunity for public input will be at the next meeting, including a mapping exercise and discussion of specific areas or vistas people would like to see restored or enhanced. This will still be ahead of the start of official feasibility and project-discovery exploration. Ongoing public input is promised early and during the entire development and implementation of the project, should one be approved.
Dwight Powell moved, 2nd Esther Schechter and approved for the Park District and Army Corps to continue exploration and planning toward a Section 506 project.

The meeting was adjourned a little after 9 pm. Next meeting June 10.
Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council April 13, 2013 Council Minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., 10 present.

Minutes of the March meeting were moved by Dwight Powell, 2nded and approved as pre-corrected.

Treasurer’s. Powell noted $4,470.85 in the treasury as of last statement, with more in hand.

JPAC is designated an Earth Day site April 20 afternoon. This day will concentrate on the beaches and stretches between, starting at 57th.
Playgrounds: JPAC is applying for replacement play equipment at specific playgrounds under an accelerated program of the park district, Friends of the Parks, and the safe playgrounds coalition. We will apply regarding northwest corner playlots and possibly by the fieldhouse. Thanks to those who signed the petitions and to Ald. Hairston for her letter of support.

Fran Vandervoort is lead organizer for workshops, starting with May 11, 1-3 Tool Sharpening. Being planned are a Bike Clinic and a Composting workshop. Information will be sent out to those for whom we have emails- and check the council website, http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. We were encouraged to check Friends of the Parks website concerning an energy-saving workshop in July.

Bob Basset gave an update on the Jackson Park Yacht Club and its initiatives. Mr. Basset, a new JPAC member, has a commercial sailing license with 43 years sailing. The most urgent need now is for dredging the harbors so this group of active actual sailors can continue to use these beautiful human-scale harbors. Zebra mussels are another problem, threatening fishing. Safety ladders are needed on the docks, but nothing is happening with “litigation pending.” The club members and the sea scouts have a regular program cleaning in and around the harbors (next workday April 27) and want to partner with JPAC in creating a friendly environment as well as in establishing boating safety training—JPAC offered to help recruit students—a drawback is finding youth who know how to swim or their parents do not know how important that knowledge is. The clubhouse galley is open to the public Sunday mornings in season. Visit: jacksonparkyachtclub.org.

Mr. Basset said he and the club are planning a possible hydroponic community garden in South Shore and would be interested in working with a community garden in Jackson Park, such as is being considered by JPAC between Bobolink and 59th tennis. Noted was that such a garden and Bobolink need a city water source.

Norm Bell reported that extension and improvements are being proposed for Bobolink Meadow (come to the next meeting). Meanwhile 1500 plants are coming, and so are volunteer groups to plant them.

Pictures of the park are going up in JPAC’s room in the fieldhouse.

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Tuesday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse. (Mitchell Murdock reports on Ch Pk Distr. initiatives on restoration, historical recognition, and nature. Japanese Garden update.)
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

________________________________________________________________________________________
April 27, Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wooded Island Workday. Meet at Darrow Bridge. Contact sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.
April 30-May 2 early voting (at 5th Ward Office); May 4 vote- 5TH WARD PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING.
Vote at Gary Comer College Prep, 7131 S. Chicago Ave. 10 am-2 pm.
May 11, Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon. Bobolink Workday. Meet in the Meadow. Contact parrybell@ameritech.net.
May 11, Saturday, 1:30-3:30 p.m. SMALL TOOL SHARPENING WORKSHOP at the fieldhouse. Bring your tools- please, nothing like lawn mowers.
This is hands on, but door prizes! Fran Vandervoort, 773 752-8374.
May 25, Saturday, 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Wooded Island Workday. Darrow Brige. sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.
Bird walks Weds 7 a.m., Sats. 8 a.m. from the Darrow Bridge so of the Museum. With Chicago Audubon.


Jackson Park Advisory Council March 11, 2013 AC Meeting

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. in the fieldhouse, a quorum being present. The agenda was distributed and introductions made. The minutes of the March meeting were approved at the end of the meeting, moved by Fran Vandervoort and 2nd by Esther Schechter. There was no treasurer’s report.

A new organization, Friends of the White City introduced their plans and hopes and gave a video presentation on the Columbian Exposition. Lead presenter was Ray Johnson, with Susan Sherman and Stephanie Malcom. Planned activities include raising the profile and understanding of the World’s Columbian Exposition through activities and teaching in schools and in the park; stewardship actions; collection of stories, and expansion of website, map, documentary and other presentation media. They are developing partnerships and will meet with a JPAC committee on future coordination. Visit http://www.FriendsOfTheWhiteCity.org or write to Mr. Johnson at FriendsOfTheWhiteCity@gmail.com.

William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported that Jackson Park has been chosen as one of the sites for year-round Windy City Basketball league for 13-17 year-olds Fridays 7-10, Saturdays 5-10. (Starts in April—get forms at parks or ward offices.) Lots of money has been raised for this. They will have their own staff. Sign up for all spring programs here starts April 19 and includes track, baseball, and cheerleading.

The Park District has a new chief of Park Security, Thomas Byrne. Kim DuBuclet has been hired to manage Community and Intergovernmental Affairs. Welcome!

JPAC is exploring possibilities for a community garden overlooking the lagoon near Bobolink Meadow and for a youth sailing program.

Louise and other attendees reported from Friends of the Parks’ March 9 Park Advocacy Conference at South Shore Cultural Center. Highlights included progress and specifics on a new Strategic Plan for the District, getting the kinks out of permitting and management of events in the parks, and ways for councils to find funds for their activities and parks. (Park District insistence on substantial funding of projects by other divisions of government was controversial.) A crime and security summit followed—serious efforts and adjustments are being made, new suggestions and strategies were offered, but the both park advocates and experts made it clear the challenge is enormous. McCurry added that there is and will be more PkD security presence in the parks, but there appeared to be confusion about park security powers and whether legislative change is needed. Councils were urged to be involved in CAPS and keep reporting and following up on activity. McCurry at this point tonight detailed the ups and downs of illegal and related activities in various parts of Jackson Park.

JPAC workshops for the 2013 season are starting up- the most definite so far was a Small Tool Sharpening class May 11 1:30-3:30 in the fieldhouse (free, bring tools). A composting workshop is likely in June.
Workdays are in progress- 2nd Saturdays 9-12 in Bobolink, 4th Saturdays 10-1 in Wooded Island. For information and signup contact Norm Bell- parrybell@ameritech.net for Bobolink, Jerry Levy- sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com for Wooded Island, Louise McCurry for LaRabida and other sectors- 773 844-2225.
At least 8 groups are already signed to help on regular or special days this spring and summer- is yours?
The signage committee has completed work and is ready to discuss recommendations with the Park District.

The meeting was adjourned about 9 pm. Next meeting April 8 7:30 in the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Don’t forget- Birdwalks Saturdays at 8, Wednesdays at 7- meet at the Darrow Bridge south of the Museum.
Workdays: see above for contacts for these and other workdays including Earth Day April 20. April 13 Bobolink, April 27 Wooded Island.
Park classes and programs signup- best through chicagoparkdistrict.com- browse and set up account.
Museum of Science and Industry- “Animal Inside Out” through Sept. 2; Omnimax: “Space Junk.”

 

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes February 11, 2013


Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. with eight in attendance.

January minutes were moved by Joe Kelly, 2nd Esther Schechter and approved. No financial report.

President’s report. Shown was Louise McCurry’s plaque and other materials from her award for her work largely at JPAC, at Friends of the Parks luncheon Feb. 7. She spoke there of park successes, value, priorities.

She reported that an updated list of safety items was given to the CPkD. Many have being fixed by CPkD. Members gave items to be added, including need for re-setting bollards and stanchions at the parking lot by the 59th tennis courts (Area Manager Cordell Hopkins will inspect the site).
McCurry gave details of security problem areas and significant progress (due to city police and park security diligence and citizen reporting). Large groups that hang out and or sellers drugs etc. were reported coming across Stony Island into the southwest corner of the park from time to time. The Darrow bridge has been further damaged and defaced by a large fire set by party-makers. Set fires are an ongoing problem there and at the Iowa building. Lots of repair, cleanup and patrolling has been done at the Iowa building.

Wooded Island and Bobolink are kept cleaned. McCurry is starting workdays targeting messed up areas such as the fence line at the golf course along 67th and near Cornell Dr. and has been recruiting volunteer groups for cleanups and to gather up deadwood in sections of the park such as the LaRabida and 56th sectors. Mt. Carmel is among those who have offered to provide groups for regular cleanup through the summer.
Nature trails. Fran Vandervoort showed an impressive informational folding map of the Indiana Dunes. Members said we need such a folding map, preferably an update of that from 1986 under Victoria Ranney, as well as brochures and signage. Assembling funding is the big hang-up now. Ad hoc interactive brochures are used for mini-tours with families and school groups. (An example about LaRabida’s Fossil Beach was distributed.) Pictures of Wooded Island and Bobolink have been assembled for display at the Hyde Park Historical Society Dinner February 23 that includes awards to JPAC and Washington Park Conservancy.

Hopkins described the painting, brightening up and fix-up done in the fieldhouse. The park did well in wrestling and is gearing up for spring track and field and soccer and is planning for summer- from camps to movies. JPAC will consider partial sponsorship of a second movie in the park (in addition to the one the CPkD provides). Movies although costly provide free, secure reasons for families to gather in and enjoy the park.

Members gave input into the new JPAC Members and Community room/Gallery in the fieldhouse, a major focus of which is hoped to be 1) rotating topical photo and art exhibits perhaps with contests and 2) photography classes that would be gradually phased into the advertized programs at the fieldhouse. Thanks to Spencer Bibs for leadership. The council will ask the Park District to name the room after Nancy Hays. (Naming of the Wooded Island North Bridge for Nancy is now before the CPkD committee. resp. for naming.) McCurry distributed a list of proposed exhibit themes for the room and also a suite of educational workshops and events through the summer. Members volunteered to take charge of various of these programs and recommended outside educational partners for them. The programs will be organized and publicized soon.

JPAC is in conversation with REI sports equipment regarding best exercise equipment locale- priority consensus was for first equipment to be by the bike trail south of LaRabida.

Members and those with whom we share information were encouraged to attend the Friends of the Park’s PAC Advocacy Conference March 9 at South Shore Cultural Center, gathering at 8:45; plenaries and breakouts; a Park Security and Safety Summit at 1 pm. Register with Maria Stone, stonem@fotp.org or 312 857-2757x17.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m. Next mtgs. Mar 11, April 8, 7:30 at the fieldhouse. Gary M. Ossewaarde,


Workdays resume March. Bobolink’s this MARCH is on the 16th. See bluestem.info/bobolink. Wooded I March 23- sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. Save the date Earth Day project(s) April 20. Birdwalks Sat 8, Wed 7 from Darrow Bridge. March 13 10 am annual Clarence Darrow convening at the bridge and lecture in MSI.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council January 14 2013 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse. Attendees today included Ald. Leslie Hairston with staff Lynnette Hill and CPkD Area Manager Cordell Hopkins.

Minutes of the December meeting were moved and approved. The November minutes original distribution was corrected to show that Dr. Ridgeway, who provided holiday turkeys for families at the fieldhouse, is sited at the Walgreens that is at 7109 S. Jeffery.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported that the November balance was $4,232.80 and the December $4,679.94. He thanked those who have paid dues or contribution; 2013 dues are now timely- see front. McCurry will contact more members.

President McCurry reported that JPAC will be honored with two major upcoming awards, on top of that for our stewards in fall 2012 by Friends of the Parks. February 7 Friends of the Parks will give the Individual Volunteer award to Louise McCurry at its annual luncheon in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center. February 23, JPAC will receive a Paul Cornell Award from the Hyde Park Historical Society at the Quadrangle Club. Cost-sharing for JPAC tables at these events was moved by Powell, 2nded by Vandervoort, approved.

Schools participated in workdays, clearing paths and playgrounds and exploring things of historic interest. Engaging schools in the park is a JPAC priority, McCurry said.

There is reduced beaver activity at present. Treated ash trees appear to have fended off infestation.

JPAC will be participating in breakouts and poster sessions at Friends of the Parks/CPkD PAC Advocacy Conference March 9 9:30-2 at South Shore Cultural Center. All are encouraged to register and attend.

Kenneth Newman asked investigation of having appropriate benches for teams at fields including the Track.

Park Supervisor William Tillis described the fitness programs and equipment. Members asked looking into brightening up the weight areas and other ways to increase participation in the programs and determine what we want by way of facilities.
Alderman Hairston supported a survey and looking into general upgrades to and eventual replacement of the fieldhouse. She also sought help finding best ways to mark the historic places in the park and other ways to make the park help people stay in or come to live in the communities.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be on February 11, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary.

Jackson Park Advisory Council Minutes December 10, 2012

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse. November minutes were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nd by Fran Vandervoort and approved. No Treasurer’s report. Gary Ossewaarde noted that we often contribute for holiday treats for the afterschool kids; park staff has informed us that anything for that cause is most welcome. Moved and seconded to spend up to $50 for candy for said- approved.

McCurry said the Park District proposed 2013 operating budget has been vetted and is online and in field houses and would be voted on December 12. It mostly holds the line on staffing, line-items and fees and leverages partnerships inter alia to bring more and new sports (including lacrosse and more boxing and Junior Bears) and activities into the parks- at least two in Jackson. She noted a real need for benches at the sports fields. Vandervoort will attend the CPD board capital committee meeting in the morning of December 12.

McCurry and others reviewed the large amount of cleanup and other work done in the park this year and particularly in the past month or so. Without both regular and occasional individual and group volunteers and our stewards, little progress could have been made. Staff and contractors do what they can but are stretched. Their work with safety (physical and security) and enhancing the natural areas is appreciated.

Lots remaining to be cleaned or fixed (or that has grown back after being controlled), was listed and prioritized, particularly for volunteer groups that can be recruited over the next few months. Also noted (and being inventoried) were dead or fallen trees and limbs (some to be left for wildlife and some presenting hazards or otherwise needing to be removed), beavers and their ongoing damage, lighting, and lots of garbage on beaches and lagoons washed in or exposed because of low water levels.

McCurry will inquire about apparent closure of the shoreline trail below LaRabida, which we were told was to stay open during construction.
Nature and trails. Vandervoort showed a hand-held book identifying invasive plants. She said she is looking into ideas for teaching tours for children and others and a new suite of workshops for next year. Topics were suggested.

Vandervoort announced that JPAC will receive a Paul Cornell Award from Hyde Park Historical Society at the Society’s Annual Awards Dinner February 23 5:30 p.m. at the Quadrangle Club. Details will be included with the next JPAC newsletter. Members were thrilled to learn of the award, and that Washington Park Conservancy will also be honored. On a different note, Mt. Carmel High School was cheered for winning state championship in football, beating schools many times larger.
Invitation to join or renew JPAC membership for 2013 were distributed and will be sent to others. Basic dues (voluntary contribution) are $35 for individuals and can be made out to JPAC and mailed to Dwight Powell, 7206 S. Luella, Chicago, IL 60649.

The meeting was adjourned to a nice holiday spread donated by members. Next meeting (onward into our 30th year)- January 14, 7:30 at the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Jackson Park has a wide variety of park programs- visit http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com for information and how to sign up, or pick up the flyer at the fieldhouse and talk to the wonderful staff.

JPAC was saddened to learn of the closing of the City of Osaka Chicago Office. We are very appreciative of their help and the funding from Osaka of many trees and improvements in and near the Japanese Garden. The Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities will continue.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council November 12 2012 Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. at La Rabida Hospital Library (the fieldhouse being closed for Veterans Day). 10 were in attendance including Friends of the Parks intern Andrew Moon, and a photographer from the Hyde Park Herald. LaRabida will be thanked for coming to the rescue with a venue.

Minutes of the October meeting. Jerry Levy moved, Kenny Newman 2nd, and approved to accept the minutes.
The Treasurer being excused, McCurry reported $4,421.31 in the treasury. She instructed notification of members that dues for 2013 are timely, and sending letters and thanks to Annie Ridgeway, pharmacist at the 71st/Jeffery Walgreens for providing turkeys for the winners of the upcoming park kid’s family Turkey Trot.

President’s report. Stewards Norm Bell, Gail Parry, and Jerry Levy were the recipients of the Stewardship Award and Frances S. Vandervoort of a 2012 Drought Buster award by Friends of the Parks at a fine, well-attended program and reception at historic but up-to-date Fuller Park fieldhouse.

60 or so students of Gage Park High School learned about history, nature and stewardship in Jackson Park and performed workday tasks at LaRabida. Many of these were unfamiliar with woods and plants. Service hours and certificates were given.

GreenCorps did work on the beach by LaRabida. Cleanup was done at Chrysalis playground. Fishermen did pickup at the 64th pier and feel safe to fish in more and more areas. Louise and others have been clearing invasives on the outer harbor fences. Pizzo (the contractor) has planted more trees in the Bobolink.

Bench repair is appreciated, but vigilance is needed as benches are a prime target of vandals.

People are still talking about the wonderful celebration of the life of Gerda Schild, at Osaka Garden. Friends of the Parks published in its Advocate fall issue the memorial address by their president, Erma Tranter.

Fran Vandervoort called attention to a beautifully-illustrated book by the State of Illinois on Chicagoland geological history and pointed out parts that illustrate Jackson Park features including a 3800 year old sand ridge at the park’s north edge. She also recommended the clear, rare photos in Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, newly published by Arcadia Press.

Andrew Moon, intern at Friends of the Parks, explained changes in expectations for those like JPAC whose fiscal agent is FOTP, now emphasizing documentation of fundraising and projects, to leverage more funding for parks. Different needs and resources were discussed for different kinds, sizes, and locations of parks. McCurry noted that JPAC seeks to be proactive in preserving and upgrading the unique nature and recreational opportunities of Jackson Park- more and more people are using the park. Gary Ossewaarde thanked FOTP for the recognition and description of many aspects of the park in FOTP’s quarterly Advocate. Features in this fall’s issue include the extensive survey and recommendations (being finalized) for the Lakefront Trail by several organizations, the Viking Ship, pickleball, the awards, plantings, and more.

In nature notes: beavers are back; work will continue Saturday afternoons along the outer harbor side of the peninsula; there will be a last workday of the year on Wooded Island on November 24 with a group, and possibly a final Bobolink workday in December.
Ideas and prospects for parks needs re: 5th Ward Participatory Budgeting were discussed.

Nomination and election of Officers. Fran Vandervoort reported that the present officers said they are willing to continue and presented the slate. There being no additional nominations, the following were elected: President- V. Louise McCurry, VP- Aaron Stephens, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer-Dwight Powell. Motion was made by Levy to elect by acclamation, 2nd by Vandervoort and approved.

The meeting was adjourned at about 9 p.m. The next meeting scheduled for December 10, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Jackson Park Advisory Council Advisory Council Meeting - October 8, 2012

Louise McCurry convened a commemorative moment at the Circle on the north end of the Promontory peninsula. We commemorated the Columbian Exposition and its role in so many aspects of Chicago and local history and in building connections worldwide. October 1892 saw dedication of the Fair (70,000 attended) and October 9 1893 was Chicago Day with 900,000 visitors. (In the 22nd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire.

McCurry then reconvened the meeting in LaRabida Hospital, 10 being present. Zion Banks of LaRabida welcomed JPAC and said drilling for pillars would start soon for the new outpatient building. She noted a book on the hospital’s history.
McCurry distributed many pictures from her research on the Columbian Exposition and changes to parts of the park over time. She suggested developing brochures, signage and tours to spread the history that few know. Jerry Levy showed his new flyer on the history and transformations to Wooded Island- that it was lightly vegetated (except for burr oaks that predated the Fair) in early years but is now a forest, and how the Rose Garden was very differently shaped originally and hung on for several decades despite little tending.
Gary Ossewaarde read a brief report from the stewards about Bobolink Meadow work and beauties.
Barry Rapoport reported on the Haitian Pavilion (including that African Americans could eat there- and with white people) and its association with Frederick Douglass and his work. Fran Vandervoort gave the geological history of the park and South Side—a story of fossil reefs and beaches and of ridges and water-filled swales.

The Safety Committee has walked most of the park and prepared a repairs list for the park district. Repairs are being made to areas damaged by a cross-country bike race. A new sign with rules at the north entry to Wooded Island was reported needed.
Carolyn Marsh rolled out a beautiful birding brochure and checklist funded by Audubon. It’s been distributed to bird tour guides. Members greatly admired the brochure.
The Signage Committee is ready to do a final check of informational signs the Park District is proposing.
Mr. Lopez of Mt. Carmel High School offered to engage student groups for community service days projects. The Sports Committee seeks to meet monthly to, among other tasks, get the schools and others on the same page of scheduling and to make sure sign-up and rules are followed for the track and other fields.

Minutes of the September meeting were approved as corrected.
Nominating- Fran Vandervoort agreed to serve as chair. Nominations for the four offices can be given to her at 773 752-8374 or from the floor at the November meeting when elections will be held.
The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting NOVEMBER 12, 7:30 (rev. fldhse closed) MOVED TO LA RABIDA
______Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary_____________________________________

Bobolink report- (Norm Bell and Gail Perry, from out of state). It was a busy month in Bobolink. We had three different groups come for workdays. We planted 13 new Oak Trees, seeded bare areas with native plant seed, collected lots of native plant seed from the thriving prairie areas, and removed many destructive invasive plants. There are pictures and reports on our website, http://bluestem.info/bobolink/. (Check with parrybell@ameritech.net or sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com with any questions about or activities in the natural areas during the rest of the year- dependent of course on weather.)

We were thrilled to learn that…
Our site stewards, Norman Bell, Jerome Levy, and Gail Parry, were selected by Friends of the Parks to receive Stewardship Awards and Frances S. Vandervoort was selected as a 2012 Drought Buster.
The awards will be conferred Sunday, November 4, 2-4 p.m. at the historic Fuller Park Fieldhouse, 433 W. 45th St. RSVP to sullivanme@fotp.org.

And the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago held a bird walk in the park October 21 in conjunction its special exhibit, “Between Heaven and Earth: Birds of Ancient Egypt.” 1155 E. 58th St. (a half mile west of the park), Museum open Tues. through Sun.
You can see live birds in the park- take a walk led by Audubon experts every Wednesday 7 a.m. (a little later in winter), 8 a.m. Saturdays. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of Museum of Science and Industry basin.
Or just go to the Island (and Osaka Garden) and the Meadow—pick up a brochure in the box just north of the north bridge to the Island, and if one of our stewards is working there, they will gladly suggest what to look for.

 

Minutes of the September 10, 2012 Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum being present.

Minutes of the September meeting were moved by Jerry Levy, 2nded by Esther Schechter and approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported on program expenditures and that there remains nearly $5,000 in the treasury.

Athletic director Andrea Frink thanked JPAC for many things it has done including for day camp and fieldhouse.

New business. The president appointed with council consent Jerry Levy as parliamentarian for keeping meetings on topic and businesslike.

President’s update. McCurry said a meeting would be held Sept. 11 with Osaka Garden and park landscape managers concerning inter alia cherry trees. Attention was called to Barbara Brotman’s fine article about the park in September 5’s Tribune. Pickleball is drawing large numbers. Midwest National Finals in croquet were held at the Bowling Green. Jewish Federation youth and other groups did much work in the park, esp. LaRabida.
Cross country biking was moved this year to lessen damage, but damage was done and had not yet been repaired by the organizers—communications on this matter were underway to include a letter acting for sanction and repair and citing other tournaments that “do it right” was moved by Levy, 2nded Dwight Powell and approved.

Powell will also send a letter to schools supporting that they following rules, permitting, scheduling and communication with PD staff re using fields and avoiding conflict over their use. Problems caused by washroom closures after Labor Day were noted.

At the region park budget hearing, McCurry noted improvements and opportunities but also safety hazards on the LaRabida peninsula—this area could be a real focus for youth, who need more opportunities in the park. Members here set some ideas for more variety of activities were suggested for winter and the fieldhouse.

Signage, esp. for natural areas. Levy reported on continuing focus meetings with the PD. Varied brochures are also in development. Some good-sized trees were planted in Bobolink, and ash-borer treatment applied in the park. Levy gave appreciation for Open Lands, which does much in Jackson and other parks, including through the tree survey. Open Lands will be consulted / enlisted concerning very low branches in parts of the park esp. south.

Safety and upkeep. Several volunteers agreed to walk parts of the park and take pictures of and write down and report things broken or otherwise posing hazard. Gang gathering was reported at 57th beach 8-10 pm’s. Police response has been good especially along 63rd including the beach and for underpasses. Barry Rapoport reported on facilitating removal of graffiti from the Douglass monument.

Sports and fields- Aaron Stephens reported some problems with baseball fields and backstops near Golden Lady and on successes of Apostolic Church teams and youth programs that include in the park.

New business. Levy proposed and moved guidelines for park business: 1) none is to say they are speaking for (as opposed to being a member of) JPAC or expressing its positions without prior JPAC approval. 2) Money or grants are not to be raised for or in the name of JPAC without specific approval; when such is raised there must be a means of reporting the activity of the fund. 2nded by Powell and approved.

Adjournment: 8:45 p.m. NEXT MEETING OCTOBER 8 (WILL BE AT LARABIDA HOSPITAL).

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Communications: Drainage from LaRabida’s planned outpatient roof. Suggestions and approval is being coordinated with Friends of the Park. (The project in generality was approved by JPAC in previous months.)

Continuing: Bobolink Meadow workday October 23 parrybell@ameritech.net.
Wooded Island workday October 27 sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. Meet at Darrow bridge
Bird Walks Weds. at 7 a.m., Sats. at 8 a.m. from Darrow Bridge.
Go to www.chicagoparkdistrict.com for Halloween programs, activities and classes in the parks
.

Jackson Park Advisory Council August 13, 2012 Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 pm in the fieldhouse. A quorum was present; attendance 14. A round of introductions was done about mid meeting.
McCurry described some mid-summer activities in the park or participated in by JPAC and on conditions. These included various games and tournaments including soccer, lacrosse, croquet, lawn bowling, July 21 youth baseball, August 4 tennis, closing celebration for day camp (JPAC contributed back to school packs and walking kits (contributed by a South Shore Walgreens) and the grill we gave helped feed the group).

In light of the beautiful re-mulching a set of soft trails on Wooded Island, we invited Hyde Parker Rochelle Lodder to lead a dragonfly tour of the Island and Bobolink, a soft-launch of our nature education programming – nearly 20 attended. Both areas, and especially the replanted prairie garden in the south part of the Island, were really blooming, and the large numbers and variety of dragon- and damselflies was evidence of a healthy habitat on land and of the lagoons. (Hal Cohen called attention to his blog with a log and lots of pictures of birds and insects in the park—http://www.woodedisland.blogspot.com/.) A circuit of the main paths on the Island measure 1.6 miles. Around the south lagoon and Bobolink to near the north end of Wooded Island is another 1.9. Fran Vandervoort and the stewards continue to develop self-guided tour materials working with the park district. They reported encouraging meeting with park district nature programming staff. Vandervoort showed examples of the visuals featuring at least 10 activities along the trails. (More below on educational materials in progress by others and planning for signage.) 3 or 4 bird watching groups plus other tours occur weekly in the natural areas. The park district was planning a small family overnight camping excursion.

The park district, contractor, and volunteers have been keeping vulnerable plants watered. Water in the lagoons has been low due to the drought, and there was extensive storm damage, including downed limbs in the park—it’s being cleaned up, but will take a while here and citywide. McCurry asked that members visiting the park note down problems and report them. Concern was expressed about people parking on the grass for picnics.

Ashes were scattered and stories shared in a fine remembrance of long-time member Gerda Schild, and planning was underway for a celebration of life September 16 2 pm in Osaka Garden.

Hal and Kathy Cohen invited all to an inaugural outdoor game of “pickleball” (a modified tennis-like game friendly to seniors) for that Sunday at the 59th tennis courts.

At the harbors, dredging of channels and creation of artificial protective sandbars was continuing, and swimming lessons might be held for children.
Barry Rapoport shared a report of recommendations for cost-assessment from Gast Monuments for placing anti-settling material under the Frederick Douglass monument.

Work continued of junk removal on the LaRabida peninsula including stuff thrown over the walls, in the ornamental garden, and weeding and planting including around the harbor and Animal Bridge.

Members volunteered for the safety and security committee, which will meet at 6:45 p.m. ahead of the September 10 meeting. Various hot spots were and evidence of gangs (direct and tagging) including times were pinpointed including on Wooded Island (eyes were said needed on the south end) and 57th St. Beach. Presence of bike patrols was noted. A member asked support for acceleration of plans for a camera at the Take the Field. Third District police are committed to come to an upcoming meeting. Meantime there would be Take Back the Night/Night Out large program and hearing, including one at the Midway and Stony Island August 7.

Budget asks for the park would be submitted as part of the 2013 budget process now in progress. Consensus was to invite new South Region Manager Daphne Johnson on a park walkthrough. Members attended the park district board meetings. There we made acquaintance with a not for profit group led by Norwegians that 2 was concluding negotiations for transfer to it from the park district of the Viking ship sailed across the Atlantic to the Columbian Exposition and start of fundraising for restoration and a permanent home. The ship will need strengthening before moving, and a very large storage space with very high ceiling.

Large groups including youth from the Jewish World Federation continue to come to volunteer in the park. At LaRabida, The JWF youth did much enhancement of the beach area and the now heavily used wheelchair path at the north end; they are expected back. More groups including University of Chicago students are expected in September.

The stewards described projects in the natural areas including planting grass and forb plugs and more in Bobolink and the Wooded Island prairie garden. Replacement of lost trees and care for ailing trees was noted as important. (Jerry Levy described an injection system called Tree-Age that is effective in green ash 2-3 years before needing another application. Under consideration is application to some ash trees on the Island. Purple Martins were reported to have done well this season. The great fall bird migration would soon be in swing.

Carolyn Marsh described a National Audubon project for a brochure on birding in Jackson Park, including bird history (the park has had 317 recorded species). A box is needed, similar to that at the north end of Wooded Island for JPAC’s Wooded Island nature trail materials. JPAC offered to help supply online links. Best signage for the natural areas was discussed—those in Bobolink are quite expensive--perhaps we could start simply, Vandervoort advised, and make sure through our input that the signage is appropriate for the park. Members volunteered for a signage committee. When things are more in place, schools could be invited on tours.

Marsh also announced a press conference that week about the proposed Burnham Prairie (between the Drive and Metra from c. McCormick Place through the nature sanctuary north of 47th. His would add much more bird and wildlife friendly habitat to that in Jackson Park and present and potential in the Lake Calumet area and the greater Millennium Reserve. Also about to be announced were plans for Northerly Island.

Damage at the Take the Field was reported mostly repaired.

Minutes of the July meeting were moved by Esther Schechter, seconded by Kenny Newman and approved.

The treasurer was excused, no report.

The meeting was adjourned about 9:15 p.m. Next meeting September 10, 7:30 fieldhouse. (Safety committee meets at 6:45).

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council July 9, 2012 Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Jackson Park Cecil Partee Golf Clubhouse, per public notice. A quorum was present and a total of 24 attendees plus Alexander Puzas and Adrienne Carney from golf course management.

Golf course management thanked JPAC for coming and JPAC gave its thanks for the generous invitation. The course is the only 18-hole golf course in Chicago that is in a natural setting, with many native plant alcoves. It is presently managed by Billy Casper Golf Chicago, Inc. Many programs have been expanded or introduced—including for ladies and youth, and tournaments, such as the city-wide Amateur this July. President McCurry thanked staff for the many improvements to the course and good upkeep and asked, what are the challenges and how can JPAC work on them with the golf course? Some:

Keeping balls from going over low fences onto cars, residences or people—under consideration is netting especially along Marquette Dr. and 67th St.
Non-golfers walking across the course and golfers entering the course without going through registration and paying fees.
Invasive species and overgrowth (despite efforts of crews). Much grape ivy and garlic mustard was recently removed at the Driving Range. More will be done, possibly with JPAC members at times the course is closed for maintenance.
Parking is minimal, the lot is sand and rock and riddled with potholes, and parking on roads can be hazardous. Management would like a solidly paved lot. Could other lots be used-- if available and fees could still be enforced?
Some very large permitted events make it necessary to close the Driving Range and interfere with course access. This results in lost revenue and disgruntled patrons.
Could opportunities be found for golfers to “give back” via volunteering in the course and park?

Park and programs. Park supervisor William Tillis said that day camp and programs here and in other parks have increased enrollment this year, helped by reorganizations and attendee subsidies by the Park District. Summer focus is on ball games. In light of doubled enrollment, moved by Fran Vandervoort, seconded and approved to increase the number of back-to-school backpacks we are supplying and increase the limit on expenditure should we not find a donor. Tillis thanked JPAC for the barbeque grills. Family recreation day at the fieldhouse will be on July 21, 3-8 p.m.

Tillis reported damage to the new artificial soccer surface by persons who used it to launch fireworks July 4th. Schools and others are not going through pd scheduling and making much wear and tear. Graffiti and damage are being done to the nearby washrooms. A hole made for a sign thanking the Chicago Bears remains.

The lakefront comfort stations also have to be closed at 6 pm because people are wrecking them evening and night. Noted by members: there are few cameras and often little lighting in vulnerable areas. The district was thanked for quickly addressing or repairing many problems, including pruning-- general, for special events, and due to storm damage. Also, the Chosen Few party produced no special problems and clean up was swift.

Noted as needing attention (via work orders or in the next budget) were items said to be posing public danger including Darrow bridge, steps and other access to the lakefront at LaRabida. Barry Rapoport reported that the Frederick Douglass memorial boulder is sinking into the ground- he will report though the Park District website “contact us” section. The harbor channel by the lake is to be dredged, providing relief to yachtsmen, boaters.

Sports committee. Preparations were going well for the upcoming youth tournaments—baseball July 21 and tennis August 4 10 to 2 at the 59th courts. These events are organized to include and grow parental and community involvement and responsibility in the lives of youth. The committee hopes to raise funds for court and field lines and amenities such as benches. The public is encouraged to come watch and consider giving. Apostolic Church Youth Ministry and the CPD were thanked for their commitment. Companies providing supplies (and thanked) for the tournaments and backpacks for kids: Walgreens 75th-Stony Island and CVS.

Gerda Schild. Long-time member, birder, and supporter of good parks Gerda Schild passed away at 97 in June. A small ceremony will be held August 4 10 a.m. at the garden Oasis in the 4800 block of Cornell, and a larger celebration of life September 16 [2 p.m.] in Osaka Garden (details will be in the September Newsletter).

Minutes: Minutes of the June meeting were corrected to note that the Highlands Fling event is private, not open and to correct Judith Hill’s name.

Financial: Treasurer Dwight Powell noted $5,150.81 in the treasury with two checks not yet cleared as of the end of June.

Wooded Island proposed trail improvement. Mitchell Murdock, CPD Natural Areas Manager described the proposal to enhance an existing mulch (wood chip) trail of about 1,800 feet length through the Island north to south between the loops of the paved road. This would include timbers placed along the sides. Purpose is to provide the visitor with an additional and different nature experience on the Island and an opportunity to renew some vegetation along the trail edge.
Several members, including from Chicago Audubon, led detailed and extended discussion and Q and A about the project—some preferring it not be done, or that it be modified, others favoring it. (Vandervoort noted the ongoing commitment and request of JPAC for a virtual interactive nature trail for the Island, south lagoon, and Bobolink consisting of distributed materials and signage.) Major themes or viewpoints that came out:

--need for great caution re: disturbance of wildlife and the delicate root-and-fungus system of oaks etc.
--while Wooded Island should be a welcoming place for nature enjoyment and education and visitors encouraged to explore more than Osaka Garden, the Island is also the Paul H. Douglas Nature sanctuary, so we should not over-encourage heavy presence, especially deep in the sanctuary.
--need to improve identification and descriptive signage, including for the Douglas Nature Sanctuary, wildlife, and the Great Lakes Migratory Flyway, and
--the Wooded Island Working Group was not consulted in planning (including via walk through): it should be about any such significant changes on the Island or to the 5-year plan.

The president, with general agreement asked that the project be deferred during ongoing consideration and a convening of the WIWG be requested, and stated that JPAC will examine current signage and need for new.

The meeting was adjourned at about 9:15 p.m. Next meeting will be August 13 at the fieldhouse, 6401 Stony.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council June 11 2012 council meeting minutes

[Corrections: The "Highlands Fling" is not open to the public. Judith Hill's name is given incorrectly.]

The meeting was initially convened by Gary Ossewaarde; Louise McCurry assumed the chair shortly thereafter, with 15 in attendance and a quorum present. The meeting was held at the Jackson Park Yacht Club, gracious hosts being Dennis Hampton, Commodore, and three others from the Club- Steve Pittman, John Paylor, and Edmund Guerringer (apologies for spellings).

Minutes of the June meeting were approved later in the meeting.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported subtractions of $156.44, and deposit of $70 for an end-of-May balance of $5,064.43.

Sports. The committee, Aaron Stephens, Chair, announced that they have collaboratively arranged for two sports tournaments this summer- July 21 for baseball and August 4 for tennis. [Details appear in this Newsletter’s announcements.] The tennis program involves Apostolic Church of God’s team and league. To facilitate the tournament, CPD will install new nets in the 59th courts. Funds have been donated for painting lines, and some equipment has been donated. The tournaments should generate funds for field hardware including benches for the baseball field- all are encouraged to come cheer the teams- donation opportunity.

Separately, the committee is pursuing a retail vendor donation of back-to-school backpacks for the Park District summer camp Jackson Park kids (expenditure approved last month) [note: secured].

A soccer tournament opportunity for disabled persons was created by trimming low limbs along the LaRabida shore- thanks to Adam Schwerner, Director of CPD Natural Resources and staff for this and for a large set of other improvements. A letter of thanks was later approved.

Dennis Hansen, Jackson Park Yacht Club Commodore, and assistants welcomed JPAC, and talked about the Club and its priorities including for the harbors. Mr. Guerringer explained that a 40-foot ketch is available for expanded sailing and boating youth programs but that kids must first have passed swimming requirements- which few have. Water is too deep at the appropriate dock here to teach swimming. There are boating with swimming programs at couple of other PD facilities, and funding if swimming-ready students ID’d.

The club is concerned about silting of the entrances to the harbor. Major dredging has not been done for a while now. McCurry distributed a plan developed by the park district with many organizations and agencies a few years ago for new Jackson Harbor entrance breakwaters and for additional docks in the Outer Harbor. The upgrades would, among other things greatly reduce need for dredging. Environmentally-friendly changes would be included. JPAC will remind CPD of the plan and inquire about prospects and thoughts. Also, consensus was to proceed with drafting a request in which JPAC will lend its support for emergency dredging. [The aforementioned harbor plan is not to be confused with a proposal for an additional, outer-outer harbor, about which JPAC expressed reservations and which is withdrawn or set aside for various reasons.]

Among amenities discussed that could benefit both the park as a whole and boaters would be at least one place to eat and relax overlooking the harbor views. The former harbor station was used as such for a while, but seems unable to serve such a use sustainably, partly for lack of close parking. Opening the yacht clubs for more public participation in their activities such as brunches presents problems, but the Jackson Park club said it would explore what options may be possible for its facility. Southern Shore Yacht Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a public open house June 16 and 17 and advertizes it is open for dinner 2nd Tuesday evenings this summer.

Police protection is being arranged for Museum Shores club, which has suffered break ins this summer, as has the Bowling Green clubhouse.

From JPAC’s side, McCurry described the major work this year by the Park District and JPAC to clean up and make attractive the whole LaRabida peninsula including east Outer Harbor shore—new spaces families and the public are enjoying. She distributed a letter of thanks to the CPD President, Supt., and Natl. Resources Director of the Chicago Park District—unanimously approved and to be sent on letterhead.

Park conditions and policing. Extra, visible police presence and prompt graffiti removal have helped at the beaches and elsewhere. The attention of Ald. Hairston to police needs was appreciated and she will be thanked. Some of her suggestions in a press release invite detailed ideas for safety improvements. Additional public meetings on policing are promised. Concern was expressed about safety and park upkeep re: very large parties that might be permitted in the park this summer. McCurry said she would also seek a meeting with 3rd District Commander Lynette Helm and staff. There continues to be large amounts of glass and liquor bottles “deposited” in the parking lots on weekends—JPAC appreciates the diligence of park district/contractor crews for prompt cleanup. McCurry also distributed and JPAC approved (moved by Powell, also to be send on letterhead) a thank you to Alonzo Williams of CPD, police and others for keeping roads and emergency access opened and not clogged with cars during this year’s 13.1 mile Marathon June 9, which coincided with large soccer games and big public demand for park and beach use on a hot day as well as Bobolink workday.

McCurry showed a printout of the Park District website form for submitting work requests (in “Contact Us”.) Encouraged was to use it, informing also the park supervisor. Suggested was listing the broken benches.
There was consensus to submit a new ask for work on bridges. A contract for Music Court bridge work is out.

Wooded Island. Jerry Levy distributed an initial summary breakdown from the Inventory. 1,138 trees (excluding Osaka Garden and the lawn in front of it) were divided into 24 genus. Openlands will further divide these into species. Genus represented by at least 100 trees were Mulberries, Box Elders, Hackberries, and Maples, with Oaks at 82. Among the most rare: Gingko and Ohio Buckeye (1 each), Serviceberries (2 each), and Ironwoods and Sycamores (3 each)- a good reason to read up on trees and try to locate ours.

Jerry showed a map of a mulch trail for Wooded Island (bounded on each side by timbers) proposed to us by the Park District (via new Natural Resources staff member Mitch Murdock), to be installed this summer by the contractor, Pizzo. The trail would amble down the spine of the Island from just south of the lawn in front of Osaka Garden to the south bridge, with a couple of side branches. It would run near, but not in the former Rose Garden (proposed to be called the “Prairie”). There would be identifying stations at the ends and other prominence to encourage people and possibly some tours to view more of the island than just Osaka Garden. This physical trail would be part of JPAC’s Interactive Nature Trail, like that already in Bobolink Meadow, and JPAC would develop and propose informational materials. Moved by Powell and 2nd by Fran Vandervoort to support. Unanimously approved. Trail chair Vandervoort reminded us that the next section we need is a connector around the south end of the east lagoon between the Island and emergent wetland/Bobolink trails. Signage showing the entire set of trails, with dotted lines where missing, would also be desirable she said. Noted: an increasing number of tours that include the island, including tours about the Columbian Exposition. McCurry suggested also a short similar trail for people to get down to newly fixed up meadow and shore areas near LaRabdia. [Contact Jerry for a map of the trail- sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.]

Levy said volunteers need be recruited to plant a large number of plant plugs in the Prairie Saturday, June 16. Pizzo will later plant a much larger number.
Old and New Business. Proposed and endorsed was to invite PD President Traubert and others on a walk through of improvements made, new public use made of, and needs of the park.

Ossewaarde read initial draft of thanks to the organizations surveying needs for the Lakefront bike and hike trail and stating we want a plan to include ways to encourage following rules, mutual respect, separation of bike and walking paths, and main and 2ndary paths well designed, connected, lit, and maintained. Approved.

Moved by Levy and approved to make our annual website payment. Moved and approved to seek or buy and give to the fieldhouse two barbecue grills for park programs at c$100 value.

McCurry discussed communication from a group seeking permission to put bags etc. for collecting pet excrement in parks. JPAC would be interested in that or our own placement (preferably with JPAC information). Asked was to find out what permissions and endorsements might be needed. Locations suggested were by the beaches, La Rabida, and the 59th tennis area and others where dog walking is done.

Ossewaarde reported that Judith Green [Hill] has resigned as vice president to pursue other volunteer commitments. JPAC expressed gratitude for her quality work and ideas, including with the workshops and long-range planning. The floor was opened to fill the vacancy. Aaron Stephens was nominated, accepted, and was unanimously elected. Stephens brings great experience with youth sports and community outreach.

Approved to explore with the Yacht Club how we can be mutual members or otherwise related.

Gail Bell said there will not be a Bobolink Workday in July. Wooded Island workdays will be June 16 and 23 and July 28th, starting at 10 am.

McCurry will attend the Park District Board Meeting June 13 when there will be a resolution thanking retiring South Region Manager Liz Millan. There will also be a retirement party July 21, 6-9 pm at the Living Room Lounge, 1100 W. Cermak.

Julia Bachrach would talk on history and splendors of Chicago Parks at the Chicago Cultural Center June 14.

Esther Schechter invited all to attend the Highland Fling in the 6700 block of Euclid July 28 (charge for food for those from outside the area.) The meeting was adjourned. Next at the Partee Golf fieldhouse 6400 S. Richards Dr. (so. of Golden Lady Republic statue) Monday July 9, 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council May 14, 2012 Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse. 11 were present. Minutes of March and April were moved by Fran Vandervoort with 2nd by Elizabeth Wyman and approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported end-of-April balance of $5,150.87.

Activities and needs Report (McCurry and others). At the Composting workshop May 5, Ken Dunn described different best practices for backyards all the way to urban farms, tying composting to the carbon and water cycles and a self-sustaining soil. Soil is a very thin, fragile, and easily lost living resource of the planet. Life and food supplies depend on healthy soils, which in turn depend on the actions of tiny to giant organisms. Usable carbon, water and nitrogen are vital to life and to usable soil. Dunn’s raised bed farms have a symbiotic business relationship with some of Chicago’s finest restaurants.

Vandervoort moved, 2nded by Ken Newman a $150 honorarium to Dunn. Approved. Park Supervisor Bill Tillis was thanked for providing tables etc.
The program, held at the ‘Iowa’ building, is part of a suite of programs and stewardship intended to ensure positive usage of this building and park part and to encourage enough low-key usage to ensure police are watching. Discussed was further improvement to the building and need to consult with nearby residents on what they might and might not want there. One idea was a seniors wellness activities path. Another was as a center for nature talks and hikes—another such center being the Music Court behind the Museum.

April 26, over 80 volunteers recruited by Chicago’s tourism bureau and hospitality industry were trolleyed to the park and divided into teams that picked up trash, planted trees and plant plugs, and mulched in several parts of the park. Some of the hardest work was on the LaRabida peninsula removing roots from walls and rocks and moving dead trees (including beaver-killed) and beach glass and garbage, to be picked up by trucks.

We received a communication from Park District staff regarding having kayaks brought in that volunteer clean-up teams would use. Consensus was to decline over concerns about liability and that there are already persons contracted to remove debris from the lagoons.

A Lakefront Trail meeting was hosted at the fieldhouse, organized by Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago Area Runners Association and Friends of the Parks. Attendees described and marked on maps what works and doesn’t, from standards to conflicts between bikers, hikers/runners and autos, to maintenance. The council will submit a position letter on bike courtesy, having sufficient and separated walking paths, and repair of poor trails. McCurry noted progress on ticketing those who illegally fill free lots by LaRabida.

The Friends of the Parks Earth Day cleanup along beaches and harbors was very successful.

Sports: JPAC’s sports fields use and conditions committee has a new chair, Aaron Stephens. Meetings will start out on 3rd Mondays (May 21 at the house of Dwight Powell). Other members include Powell and Gerald Morgan, a new member studying at Moraine Valley who will do his community service with us. Stephens showed pictures showing other parks, such as Portage that have fields with better conditions and amenities. The council by consensus affirmed that we will seek to keep or acquire fields that are first class and where kids are safe. Team and volunteer cleanup patrols were suggested for actively used fields. Newman relayed that coaches are asking for bleachers for the west side of the Take the Field track and field; petitions were suggested. The soccer part of Take the Field has very high demand for usage- especially for exclusive-use times. Some groups are not submitting schedules and then notifying the fieldhouse when they are there (and who), or following posted schedules or applicable rules including for fees and permits (required for major events). Consensus was for JPAC to send user groups and teams a reminder letter that they should inform the fieldhouse of use requests and comply with rules. Other problems: parents parking on the grass for games; soccer area was undersized; washrooms—not open until late spring, and opening
them on a case by case basis leads to having to arrange maintenance as many are very careless; lights- objections to policy of on only on for paid events; there is not yet a fluff-up machine for the turf surface.

Work around LaRabida and the Promontory Circle will continue on Sunday afternoons.
Cleanup and repairs are needed at and around the Bowling Green clubhouse.
Possibility of scout activities and help in the park continue to be explored with commanders.
Stated was need for more volunteer teams to help patrol and clean “back areas” of the park.
Powell will get to Ossewaarde a form (with thanks) that workday and other committees can give to volunteers noting their volunteer/community hours. Teams should keep a record of hours.

Park and Program- Bill Tillis, Supervisor. Sign up for sports has picked up well. The summer camp fee of $235 is half waived for those who qualify for the school free lunch. Moved by Ossewaarde with 2nd by Powell to again this year get or buy 200 back-to-school backpacks to the day campers.
A guest from Grand Crossing Park shared information and strategies for good parks.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm. Next meeting [addendum- at Jackson Park Yacht Club.]
Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council April 9, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. 17, a quorum, were in attendance, including Lynette Hill from Alderman Hairston’s office.

Louise illustrated with pictures places and activities in which JPAC has made a difference over the past few months: ‘Iowa’ building. Wooded Island (including the tree survey and former rose garden rehab). Bobolink Meadow (both involving many large and small groups, teams, and organizations including over 300 from classes of the UC Laboratory Schools and groups from Hyde Park High. In and around the 59th interior tennis courts. 63rd St. beach house cleanup and police patrols. The beaches and 63rd St. fishing area. Three major tree plantings and more coming. Darrow bridge area cleanup. LaRabida/Promontory Circle including recovery of former beaches and one of Chicago’s few bedrock outcropping, now being used by the public. Several public workshops. Many talks to groups in the natural areas.

A walk-through by LaRabida is planned with the Park District.

Attention was requested to some problems at the ‘Iowa’ building- undesired occupancy, and lights out on the north face.

Lynette Hill, 5th Ward Office, answered or would get back on request for non-ticketing of cars (having windshield notices) for a large group coming to clean up the park April 26 under the Tourism Bureau; support for the naming process of the north bridge to Wooded Island for Nancy Hays (the review group having changed), and a walk-through of parts of the park. Lynette was also asked for advice and help on moving, at minimal cost, LaRabida play equipment that has been offered for general park use.

Preparations are underway for the Composting workshop with Ken Dunn on May 5 afternoon. We are working on having bins and other supplies. We are also looking at getting green means to be able to water plants should a drought materialize. Fran Vandervoort circulated draft of a brochure on the park and JPAC. A weekly “box” that would include events and information from JPAC is expected in the Hyde Park Herald (thanks to Fran). JPAC outreach included many contacts made at the Black Star Project Fair at St. Sabina Church.

Bobolink work April 14th will concentrate on garlic mustard in the north meadow, and a group from Apostolic Church will pick up golf balls in the general area and clean along fences. There will be an extra workday with OpenLands in the Bobolink on April 28 planting c15 oaks. Both workdays are 9 a.m.-noon. The prescribed burn was a huge success: grasses, flowers et al bloomed fast afterward. Butterflies are back, including buckeye butterflies that had been absent a while.

The tree survey continues on Wooded Island April 14 and 21 10 am-1 or 2 pm. Jerry Levy was very grateful for the groups of students from universities (Loyola, Northwestern, U of C) and the loyal set of adults who walk the 48 sections and measured and entered the data. One of the survey’s purposes is to create a database, another is as a tool to plan for the expected die-off of ash trees (due to the ash borer epidemic), replacing them gradually with a shift back toward the oaks which historically predominated. Present oaks are mostly either a limited number large mature, vulnerable trees or iffy saplings. Sustainability is sought.
About 33,000 plug-plantings from a large species list are expected this spring for the former rose garden.
The birds are in abundance, partially because of the early warmth.
Earth Day workday will be Saturday, May 21, 2-4 pm. Beach cleanup is planned. Meet at 63rd beach house.

Park, fields and program. Eric Hammond, Recreational leader. Numbers are up for track and field. The new artificial turf draws—and will even more for football later, and more schools were visited. Summer signup is underway. There is an increase in cheerleaders, but it is hard to entice the girls for tennis and other sports. Fitness classes and the weight room are popular. Use of a banner to advertize programs was suggested, and the aldermanic office will promote.
Aaron Stephens from Apostolic Church’s large sports program encouraged JPAC to survey good-condition and superior ball fields for the various kinds of baseball and softball in other parks and advocate for them here. Some to photograph were suggested to Aaron.
Louise said that funds are needed to paint the lines and re-net the 59th tennis courts. She said a bid was put re improvements of the roadway to the courts.
A member reminded that we need to seek bleachers for the Take the Field.
Esther Schechter noted problems with and along paths and bike trails (including along Cornell including by the Take the Field) and the area next to the community garden east of Cornell Drive. Louise noted that individuals can report problems directly by going to the Park District website and going into Contact Us.

Louise said she will be gathering a group to survey benches and fountains as the season advances.

A visioning workshop for the Lakefront Trail will take place April 18, 6:30 p.m.at the fieldhouse.

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Monday, May 14, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council Minutes of March 12, 2012

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. A quorum was present; attendance 12.

Jerry Levy moved approval of the February minutes, Norm Bell seconded; approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell was absent due to illness. By written communication, February 29 bank balance was $5,305.60 including $155 in additions (dues) and $111.23 in subtractions including $11.23 in bank fees.

President’s report. Serious damage was done by a cross-country bike group in bird habitat, lawns, and sports areas. The Park District is holding them to account. (See more in News and Announcements.)

Louise asked for volunteers to staff a park and JPAC promotional table at Black Star's community fair at St. Sabina’s.

AYSO soccer opens April 7 and includes participation that day in a cleanup on Wooded Island at 9 a.m. All welcome.

Cleaning continues near LaRabida. Graffiti was removed. The shore is open and most dead trees and invasive vegetation are gone, thanks in large part to CPD and contractor Pizzo, But considerable accumulated garbage and some vines remain—volunteer help is asked—Louise will be there most Sunday afternoons in April- May Saturdays. Recovered sandy beach sections are being used by families. Possible need for bike racks will be considered by JPAC.

Questions have been asked about a couple of dead trees at 56th and the Drive and in the ‘Iowa’ building, but there seem to be people who like the trees, so we shall see.

The workshop on small tools [February] 18 was amazing—people brought in a variety of tools and learned (hands on!) how to use them and keep them in year-round repair. The speaker gave lots of tips and may be asked to return next year. We hope to have a composting and gardening class in late April.

Fran Vandervoort reported on the February 25 PAC convention on best practices and advocacy. Fran handled the poster session. She distributed some of the sample materials from the Park District’s Nature Oasis program that PACs can use . These included a Passport to Nature that kids and adults can stamp by doing activities or visiting stations. Fran has plenty of our bookmarks. There are the flyers in a box at the entrance to Wooded Island. A brochure to the natural areas is in design-- that can also be online.

Jerry Levy described the Wooded Island tree survey underway in March and 2 April Saturdays--14 and 21--in Wooded Island (that for Bobolink is finished). Many persons new to us are involved, including a group recruited by Alderman Hairston’s 5th Ward organization. More of course are welcome! Since the survey is in GSI and will be digitalized, it will be useful to regional databases as well as to the Park District for planning.
One of the next activities for the Island is 22,000 plugs for the tallgrass meadow (former Rose Garden). The management plan continues to evolve—under consideration is designation of the Island as a wooded oak natural area.
Possible activity options for the Earth Day and the last weekend of April were discussed.
The natural areas are being monitored to see if all the beavers have been removed. A severely damaged poplar will be removed.

Norm Bell reported that Bobolink has been surveyed and mapped; the map will be on the JPAC website and promoted. The woods section has been seeded with diverse grasses and sedges. Sedges grow long roots that work up the soil providing aeration and water retention. The Driving range fence is being cleared on the Bobolink side-- repair to the fence is needed. Members suggested an informational sign about the Nike base. More volunteers are needed for Bobolink upkeep and that we need fundraising for nature/info signs.

Park and Program. Supervisor William Tillis has two additional groups who want to help with park cleaning.
A partner and soccer foundation will offer soccer clinics at the new Take the Field.
Spring classes are in session.

Louise inquired about some of the bike trails that have not yet been refurbished, including main west from the Drive and that by the Inner Harbor boat dock (Richards Drive west side)- falling into the harbor.
A sign thanking Chicago Bears at the Take the Field is dangling and destroyed-- kids could get hurt.

There is a new park district partnership to refurbish a large number of basketball courts in parks. Mr. Tillis will let us know when he knows whether and which may be here. One was refurbished last year.

Concern was expressed that comfort stations are opened quite late—a general inconvenience in this warm year, but especially for that by Take the Field—could this be opened when field use is heavy?

Louise asked targeting this spring and summer (starting with JPAC) cleaning up forgotten “back” parts of the park. Scouts, teens, groups could be recruited for this. Also, one or two persons could do light pickup at visible places a couple times a week, for example at the ‘Iowa’ building and along Richards Drive.

Playground survey. JPAC offered to provide sweat equity and materials to fix/perk up that by the fieldhouse. This would include removal of ground cover plants in the soft surface that could trip. One problem here is teen use of the playground (it’s an easy place for them to use, being next to the fieldhouse and across the street from a high school, compounded by teens’ size, natural rambunctiousness, need to hang out etc.) Alternatives?- including other things for teens to do.

Outreach. A recommendation of the parks task force of a multi-organization collaboration, convened by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, is starting in media an ongoing feature or box on parks activities and needs. The Hyde Park Herald has agreed to cooperate. Fran and Elm PAC are coordinating implementation. JPAC will need to see its information gets in. Another concern of the parks task force is the complex issue of dog parks. JPAC has some cost estimates and potential locations, but a preferred one presents difficulties. General improvements to candidate areas was considered to come first.
Suggested also was having seasonal activities for families, first being a drawing contest. This could involve the birding groups—who were suggested to be invited to the next meeting to participate, report on how birds are doing, and help brainstorm on family activities.

Announcements (visit April 2012 Newsletter), then motion to adjourn. Next meeting Monday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully yours, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting of February 13, 2012

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at LaRabida Children’s Hospital; 15 present (11 members).

LaRabida staff led a tour that included the current outpatient building, and graphics and memorabilia of the site and its use as a medical center since the end of the Columbian Exposition. Mission, patient profile, and facilities have changed over the years. The Hospital works to make all patients and their families feel at home and be readied for home care. Facilities are made to not seem a “hospital” but a resort with a nautical theme and views from inside in keeping with its location on the harbors and Lake Michigan shoreline. It was apparent to all that the present outpatient building, the oldest on the campus, needs to be repurposed and a new outpatient facility built to meet 21st century needs and codes. Staff was thanked.

LaRabida and VOA Architects held a presentation and Q and A on the Project. The new building will be low, one story, and enhance rather than obstruct views and lakefront access. Outside will be a new healing garden. The project will be green (LEED-certified). There will be a balance between security needs and aesthetics, using shrubbery where possible rather than fences—a landscape architect is on board from U of I Extension. A few trees, almost all dead or invasives, will be removed. The current playground, unserviceable to the kinds of patients served by the hospital, will be made available and relocated in the park. After meeting with the boaters et al, they expect start in the summer and finish the new building in May 2013, with the old inpatient building work finished in fall of 2014. There will not be additional patient load or parking. The team was asked to give an update in a few months. No disagreement was expressed with the project or the recommendation of the president that JPAC send the city, park district, and alderman a letter expressing JPAC’s approval. LaRabida staff offered its welcome to host JPAC meetings as desired.

Minutes of the January meeting were approved at the end of the meeting, with caveat that the mentioned destroyed bushes were near LaRabida but not destroyed “by” LaRabida.

In the treasurer’s absence, no report was available.

Logistics were discussed for the February 18 Small Tool Workshop. Fran Vandervoort moved and Norm Bell seconded $100 in reimbursements for the instructor and for supplies. Approved. Vandervoort distributed some of our new JPAC bookmarks and put in a plea for attending the Hyde Park Historical Society dinner which would honor, among others, Victoria Ranney, who did much to honor the history and ecological importance of Jackson Park in the 1970s and ‘80s, to protect Olmsted parks, and authored Olmsted in Chicago. Members were encouraged to attend the February 25 PAC Advocacy and Best Practices Conference at South Shore Cultural Center. Fran is in charge of the poster sessions.

President McCurry reported that a safety and aesthetics tour of the park was conducted; corrections were made, including removal of most graffiti.

Jerry Levy reported on a fundraising soiree held by Friends of the Japanese Garden. Jerry Levy and Gary Ossewaarde attended. Robert Karr gave a fine illustrated talk, with many little-known details on and pictures of the history of Jackson Park and its Japanese gardens, temples, and tea houses at and since the Columbian Exposition, and connections with Japan and especially Osaka. The Japanese Counsel-General of Chicago also gave a fine talk. (Visit http://www.friendsofthejapanesegarden.org.) This year is a special anniversary of the planting of Japanese cherry trees in Washington D.C., which will be honored with a postage stamp. The group intends to revive the Japanese Festivals held in the park in past years, hopefully starting this year. The event raised money to plant a second set of cherry trees in a part of the lawn outside the Osaka Garden. Jerry Levy received consent from the JPAC president between meetings to register, with half to be reimbursed as a JPAC contribution toward trees. Moved, seconded and approved to so contribute and reimburse Levy $62.50.

Levy and McCurry reported extensive continued tree and shrub damage from beavers, including in the Garden. Better tree guards have been and will be emplaced. Replacement plants will not include serviceberry for now. Efforts relocating beavers from the park continue.

Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell and Gail Perry reported that contractor Pizzo has been very busy, including with woody debris and along the lagoon edge. Paths were raised/rebuilt prior to new topsoil and plantings expected there. A new informational sign was installed-- the nature committee recommended this as the model for the natural areas (costs are being tracked down). Grasses were seeded, and 10,000 plus wildflower plugs are coming after an expected burn. Ossewaarde noted a compliment about work in the meadow, made by a member who is a highly respected site steward in a nearby park. Bell and Levy reported that a comprehensive plan with timetable for both Bobolink and Wooded Island continues to evolve and be implemented.

Nature committee members noted that a new steward is needed for the lakeshore area from south of 63rd up to the 57th St. beach. Norm Bell will discuss the matter with CPD Natural Resources. Also, at least parts of the Promontory Circle sector are taking on characteristics of natural areas and improved with more than normal park landscaping. McCurry is coordinating there.

Workday schedules were discussed including modifications from last year’s. Work should start in March.

McCurry said she will be coordinating some park activities for Montgomery Place residents.

Playground assessment: Judith Hill and Dick Dervin reported they not only surveyed the equipment and compared with standards but compared to other playgrounds in the surrounding neighborhoods and will issue a full report. Main problems with safety and appearance were rotted wood, rough and de-painted surfaces, some rickety ramps, jagged and sharp edges and points, graffiti, and lack of posted regulations. While none is in disastrous condition, that at 64th and Stony Island is recommended for first attention.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 pm. The March meeting returns to the fieldhouse, 6401 Stony I, March 12.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council January 9, 2012 Council Meeting

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m., 14 in attendance and park staff person Eric Hammond.

December minutes were accepted as presented.

Treasurer’s report- Dwight Powell. December 30 balance was $4,854.57 reflecting December additions of $170.00 and subtractions of $161.27 including $9.18 monthly maintenance fee. Total expenditures for 2011 were $1,161.46. This was considerably smaller than in 2009 and 2010 when we undertook major expenditures for work by Care of Trees but represents an increased commitment to programs and workshops. 2011 started with a balance c.$3,300; 2011 contributions to JPAC totaled $3,195.00, considerably higher than in previous years and providing a considerable surplus over expenditures. However, there is work planned that will draw funds down. The annual solicitation was instructed to be sent, and fundraising/gathering of sponsors for major projects will begin.

Natural areas. Jerry Levy reported on beaver damage. Authorities were not sure all beavers were relocated out of the park or that new may not have come in. Larger, higher metal armor has been placed around many vulnerable trees. The newly planted cherry trees were not damaged. Another burn may be coming in the Island interior. Our Wooded Island Trail brochure is quite popular. Fran Vandervoort proposed we develop a brochure for Bobolink and for a circle walk including the Island, south lagoon edge, and Bobolink. A walkthrough of such trail will be held. Noted was contractor and CPD work done on the edge of the south and east lagoons improving trail-like accessibility and planting trees and brush. Need to press against unsuitable activities there was stressed. Stewards and the president were asked to inquire who is removing netting from and around the lagoon islands and why.
Vandervoort said bookmarks are nearly ready to go to press and a general brochure is being prepared. Various uses were discussed including as thank-you’s and incentive. Moved by Powell, 2nd by McCurry and approved to spend up to $500 to complete these printing projects.
Bobolink Meadow. Ossewaarde read from report submitted by Norm Bell and Gail Perry: “Woody invasives and debris have been remove from areas in the ‘woods’, along the lagoon, ad along the eastern fence, opening them up for seeding and planting with native grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees in the spring” after a burn (if held).” The path has also been altered,” using timbers (as in several other parks) to discourage trampling and allow adding soil in low spots and planting diverse native plants close to the path.

Cleanup rounds. These will be regularized for spring. The area around Jackson Inner Harbor needs a major effort in addition to present pickup. Some bushes destroyed by LaRabida are on the capital list. The ‘Iowa’ building has had lights replaced; there is still some graffiti and a problem with accumulating cigarette butts. Someone has taken up residence under the Darrow Bridge, setting fires—patrol response has been marginal.

Park and Program. Eric Hammond, Recreational Leader announced an Adult Aerobic Fitness programs, evenings ten weeks to March 25 under Erica Robinson. A new youth class is DJ’ing for Beginners Wednesday evenings. The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest will be judged January 12 mid afternoon. JPAC provides judges.

Old and new business. Member experts on fields stressed the need to make the baseball diamond north of Hayes/Stony an attractive draw and park showpiece. Kenny Newman asked about the possibility of a shot put on the north side of the new track and field.

Esther Schechter asked we explore improvements and activities for the 63rd beach house and placement of the promised plaque honoring deceased JPAC president Eric Hatchett who worked for beach house restoration. Also, that we ask about any plans for the vicinity including the fishing pier and other staged projects.

Workshops. Next is Small Tool Sharpening, February 18 1:30-3:30 p.m., fieldhouse. Planning for more continues.
Ossewaarde distributed a bullet-sheet of JPAC accomplishments of 2011 and goals for 2012 (attached).
Members are asked to make a special attempt to attend the February 8, 4 pm meeting of the Chicago Park District Board at Kennicott Park, 4434 S. Lake Park.
Council leaders will attend a PAC networking meeting January 23 5;30 at Friends of the Parks featuring CPD’s new Programs Director Vaughn Bryant. The park’s Alderman, Leslie Hairston (5th) will be among those honored at Friends of the Parks Annual Awards Luncheon February 2. There will be a learning conference for all and any PAC members February 25 morning at South Shore Cultural Center. Friends of the Parks: fotp.org or 773 857-2757.

McCurry announced that the February meeting will be at LaRabida, 65th and the Lake to see plans and site of proposed expansion. A tour is included.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council Minutes of the December 14, 2011 Meeting

President Louse McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. 18 members were present plus guests from Museum of Science and industry and Chicago Department of Transportation. Treasurer Dwight Powell was excused. Minutes of the November minutes were approved later in the meeting, noting that all Nov. Newsletter minutes should have given Charles Marks, Jr. (d. 2006) as the person in whose name memorial trees were planted. Gary Ossewaarde reported a bank balance of c. $4,900 (several authorized checks had cleared and two recently processed dues/contributions for 2011 deposited.) Richard Dervin joined at the meeting, our first 2012 contribution.

Guests from the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI),and Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) presented revised plans to update the group entry, parking and receiving area between the west end of the Museum and Cornell Drive. MSI’s Mary Krinock, VP for Strategic Initiatives; Ed McDonald, Dir. of Facilities, and Dick Klarich, Mgr. Cap. Construction led presentation and discussion. Original plans shown at the Dec. 2008 meeting remain in their essence as then, with main changes at the south side of the site and with traffic and pedestrian movement. Purposes are to upgrade management of buses and better phase entry for over 25,000 group visitors to the museum each year, improve receiving and disposal, manage storm drainage, and do these in a way that is safe, green, attractively landscaped, and meshes better with traffic flow to and around the museum. The improvements will be facilitated by better scheduling of groups, management of groups and buses via cell phone, and well-laid out, clear-to-children pathways. The site will hold up to 18 buses, reducing disorganized bus parking offsite. Other components are permeable pavers, storm water management, landscape. The team agreed to let Jerry Levy and Fran Vandervoort review landscape plans* (which include native and non-native plants picked for hardiness and sufficient soil and gravel to support). Drive entries, curb cuts were carefully evaluated and modified per CDOT. Asked was consideration of any ways to discourage shortcutting across Cornell Drive. No start date has yet been set, but should be summer or a bit later 2012. [*Ed.: The Museum promptly shared plant list.]
Rebecca Graff, Ph.D., archeologist, instructor in Anthropology at the University of Chicago, director of recent archeological reconnaissance and digs south of the project site and on Wooded Island, and JPAC member, raised strong concerns about impact of the project on as-yet incompletely surveyed historical resources in the project footprint, especially but not limited to south of the current parking pavement, site of the Ohio Pavilion and the most productive/
promising infrastructure and material culture deposits from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Projects with governmental funding must make certain accommodations for historical/archeological resources. The site is also in several historic districts under various government levels, and MSI has city landmarking. Graff and the project team agreed to meet to resolve and accommodate historic resources management.
Jerry Levy moved, 2nd, and approved that JPAC supports the group entry-parking/receiving area project of MSI and CDOT as a material improvement to the park, subject to resolution of the historic-archeological resources and any other material concerns and assuming detail plans being substantially as described. The presenters were heartily thanked.

President McCurry reported on a presentation she, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, and member Robert McCurry-Davis attended at LaRabida Children’s Hospital, convened by Alderman Leslie Hairston, Chicago Park District Area Manager Cordell Hopkins, LaRabida CEO Brenda Wolf, and LaRabida CFO Mark D. Renfree. McCurry distributed at tonight’s meeting a report on the LaRabida meeting and Project. The plan by VOA Architects, lead Mr. Kahana is to build a 1-story, state-of-the-art outpatient clinic and therapy garden behind the present Pick (1960s) outpatient building and to update, make more attractive and partially repurpose the latter, all within the present, c.1930 lease line. Reasons: problems with accessibility, low ceilings, and accommodating state of the art medical equipment and supports, and to provide ample, attractive, and green-certified space for the modern practice of medicine and therapy—including allowing patients to see and be able to be wheeled into a roof and garden close to the lake and landscape. It is 70 percent funded. The plan, McCurry said, seems to serve a public interest and fit in with the historic and landscape character of the Promontory Circle part of the park, including keeping- and making more attractive- access (walking and bike path) along the lake shore. There will be a slightly increased diminishment of lake view from above over a short distance where vista is restricted already. The Hospital agreed to work with the Alderman and JPAC to give the playground occupying the proposed site (currently having very limited availability to the public and mostly unused by patients) for suitable relocation in the park for public use. The Hospital also showed ways it and the specially-chosen contractor will keep most of the staging and construction parking outside the park. The Alderman and Hospital will hold a meeting for the boaters and other harbor stakeholders in the spring to make sure there is ample parking and access. The JPAC representatives appreciated the Alderman’s asking JPAC to consider the plan before she granted approval and agreed to bring the project to the next JPAC meeting for a vote. When plans are further along, JPAC will expect presentation at a JPAC meeting or another open opportunity which may occur at LaRabida in February along with an offered opportunity for members to tour the facility. Construction, providing approvals are granted, would start as early as summer 2012 and take about a year. Moved by Gary Ossewaarde, 2nd Jerry Levy and approved to grant approval assuming the project remains substantially as presented including promised resolution of concerns and holding follow up meetings.

Outreach: Louise McCurry discussed Jackson Park and JPAC initiatives at a Montgomery Place residents’ program attended by about 75 enthusiastic residents. Many stories and memories of Jackson Park were shared. Several residents and their canine companions now regularly patrol and (the humans) do cleanup at the ‘Iowa’ building across the street. Requested was one or a series of tours in Jackson Park. A follow up meeting will be held with those who wish to help with JPAC membership and fundraising. Many signed our petition for naming the Wooded Island north bridge for Nancy Campbell Hays. JPAC thanks Emily Vogel of Montgomery Place management for her part in arranging the program.
Weatherization clinic. All volunteers, organizations who took part in the well attended November 12 Weatherization Clinic at the fieldhouse were appreciated. Chief organizer was Toshia Booker. Next workshop: February 18.

Trail map, Nature. Our attractive two-sided, 8x14 flyer/brochure was distributed. Flyers are now stocked in a display box on the camera-pole north of the north bridge to Wooded Island. Featured are the history of, and what to look for on the Island, including what trees and shrubs to find where, with a key of leaf shapes. The species-names correspond to discrete tags on trees and shrubs. The flyer was prepared by Jerry Levy and Fran Vandervoort and proofed and approved by the Chicago Park District. At various stages, staff of several divisions were consulted, including Matthew Freer, Jason Steger, Jason Scott, Peggy Stewart, and Zhanna Yermikov. Natural Resources Director is Adam Schwerner. All are thanked. Small groups are already enthusiastically using the flyer. Commendation for the project and authorization for checks for costs was moved by the nature committee’s Jerry Levy, 2nd Fran Vandervoort and approved.
The committee noted that wayfinding signs to and about natural areas and other park features or history (like in Washington Park) would be desirable but are very expensive. The committee also would like to have advance knowledge of other tours in the park and offer their sponsors information and materials to share with their groups.
The Bobolink contractor, Pizzo, continued cleaning and clearing excess brush.
A prescribed burn was held in a part of Wooded Island. Its effectiveness was limited by our wet fall.

Park and Program, Supervisor’s Report. William Tillis and Andrea Frink thanked JPAC for 25 donated turkeys for thanksgiving/Turkey Trot. With 30 turkeys from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, about 60 families were fed. AKA with The Healing Experience also gave for the autumn-end Holiday family program on December 17. Esther Schechter moved, 2nd Vandervoort and approved $50 towards the Holiday Party. Pictures of the Turkey Trot and party will be placed on the jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org website.

Park condition and fixes. The area of Richards/Marquette drives by the Inner Harbor and its boat dock were extensively cleaned up under Park District and are added to JPAC’s list of cleanup rounds. Agreed: to have a end-of-the-year cleanup there December 17 11 am, especially to remove fishing twine that strangles ducks.
Beavers have shown up and plans are to live-trap and release them before they do more damage to trees.
A GreenCorps class led by CPD Forester Jerome Scott has nearly finished cleaning/clearing by the LaRabida lake shore. JPAC applauded—the site and its views are now beautiful and visited by many families.
Graffiti have largely been removed from the park. Keeping up with that in the 57th Dr. underpass is difficult. Many sports court lights are back on. Four tennis courts have been cleaned; to be considered is care of--and possible need for new-- nets. A request was made, in light of people using metal detectors to remind all that Jackson is a historic park and unauthorized digging, disturbance or removal of historic artifacts is not allowed.
JPAC agreed to, and some volunteered to form, a committee to assemble safety information on playgrounds and do a safety and state survey of the seven or so in Jackson Park this winter.
A concern was expressed about insufficient lighting on parts of the Take the Field track and field.

JPAC directed parties to draw up a list/book of 2011 accomplishments including by each committee, with before and after pictures, and for each committee to tally volunteer hours. This will be shared with the park district, Friends of the Parks and maybe media. Esther Schechter offered a commendation of JPAC members and President McCurry for an extraordinarily productive year. The Park District staff and contractors were also commended.
The meeting adjourned to a very nice holiday spread, also applauded. Next meeting January 9, 7:30, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council- November 14, 2011 council mtg. minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse. 16 including all officers were present. New attendee Dick Klarich, Manager of Capital Construction at the Museum of Science and Industry told of recent façade repairs made possible by the Save America’s Treasures fund of the National Park Service and said that the Museum does its part for green (including with solar panels that produce 50 KW power) and pursues community engagement. MSI will update plans for the southwest lot area at the December meeting.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reminded us of the upcoming Turkey Trot race. JPAC exhausted its efforts to have turkeys donated by stores. So, moved by Fran Vandervoort, 2nd by Jerry Levy and approved to buy 25 turkeys for about $250. The next event will be the Christmas Party December 16.--donation for that by JPAC was placed on the December agenda.

In answer to questions, Tillis reported that various changes with schools and neighborhoods have reduced the number of kids, especially from the immediate area who enroll in Jackson Park programs, especially after the free and low-cost track, football, and soccer programs end.

Soccer nets are taken down each year, but the tennis nets are not because they are old and fragile. There are new chairs in the South Room-- which JPAC very much appreciated.

On November 12, The South Room was filled with over 40 participants in JPAC and Chicago Conservation Corp’s Weatherization Workshop. WECAN (Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors, Mattie Butler, Director) many brought supplies, kits and informational brochures and gave hands-on demonstrations. Energy Results and others also supplied many prizes. The Secretary was asked to feature in announcements a $40 discount at Home Depot on weatherization kits that will be furnished through aldermen.

On October 15, our first clinic-- on bikes and bike safety, was held at the ‘Iowa building’ south of Montgomery Place. Our huge sail-banner flew high. Many bike groups and experts participated, including Blackstone Bicycle Works, which teaches youth skills through which they earn repaired bikes. The pre-event cleanup crew and our pruner Jerry Levy were thanked. More work is needed there--painting, the patio, and a gate.


The minutes of the October meeting were moved by Esther Schechter, 2nd by Dwight Powell, and approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported a October 31 balance of $5,130.24. Contributions for 2011, less expenses have left us with a balance about $1,500 higher than at this time last year. Appropriated but not yet spent current expenses include $150 and $283.98. Members requested an accounting at the next meeting of expenses paid out this year. Our reports to our fiscal agent Friends of the Parks are up to date. Barry Rapoport reported an old honorarium cost that fell through the cracks related to the Frederick Douglass Monument dedication (not our project) —referral to sponsors was suggested.

The Fundraising and Development Committee submitted a new contributions schedule for 2012 and are completing a solicitation letter that will include a listing of JPAC’s many activities and accomplishments for the year. The committee will be recommending JPAC help with park needs and start new programs for the public and park users. (Those reviewed at this meeting will be referred to the committee). The committee proposed a higher basic level of giving and several opportunity levels. It was repeated that neither making a financial contribution nor the level of giving have any relationship to one’s being a member, participation or voting. The levels are Friend $35, Guardian $100, Conservator $250, Patron $500, and Founder $1,000.

Suggested: joining and actively working with community organizations, asking certain businesses and organizations to give for particular projects, and asking their leaders to come and say a few words. Our brochure and bookmarks are nearly ready. We continue to review our survey returns.

Rapoport gave an update on materials about the Frederick Douglass monument and its dedication, including that the chronicle of the project will be distributed at the upcoming convention of Teachers of English. For materials contact Barry at barryrapoport7@gmail.com. Find the descriptive monument on the bike path west of and leading to the 59th St. Lake Shore Drive underpass (south of the Bowling Green). (2)


Nature/Natural Areas and park-at-large. Ten trees were planted west of Darrow bridge and the lagoons with Friends of the Parks. These are in memory of Charles Marks, Jr., a Hyde Park resident killed in Jackson Park in 2006.
Trees, shrubs and ground cover were planted at Osaka Garden.
In the LaRabida section, most of the overcrowding and invasive trees (including some growing sideways from shore rocks) have been removed and a huge garbage pit cleared. Criminal activity has been replaced with people strolling and visiting the shores and their beautiful views. One can see many fossils in the rocks. There were two workdays including with Loyola University at LaRabida. More needs to be cleaned north of the inner harbor along Richards Drive, and along Marquette and under the Animal bridge.
In response to a concern, it was reported that trees in Bobolink and Wooded Island are monitored regularly to make sure beaver protection does not girdle or choke the trees.

Paths were reported to be very bad on the west side of the golf course and at 67th/Marquette—in the latter sector, golf course chain link fence continues to be stolen, presumably to be sold for scrap—non-metal material was suggested. The path east of the new track and field was also reportedly bad. Several paths have been rebuilt in the last couple of years.

Jerry Levy and Fran Vandervoort passed around a draft template for a brochure that would include a list and locator map of tree species on Wooded Island and an introduction to the Island. They would be made available in a simple box at the north end of the island, and to school groups etc. Discrete small identifier tags for certain trees is being considered. Nature tours are already being given to groups.
Bookmarks with a collage of park pictures are in preparation, for use in outreach and fundraising.

Birds. Migration is done and ducks are settling in. The bird walks now go year round, with the Wednesday walks starting a bit later, at 7:15 a.m., during winter.


Sports and recreation. Discussion was held with Aaron Stephens of Apostolic Church, Ziff Sistrunk, Kenny Newman, and others concerning which baseball/softball field(s) should be refurbished and improved, what would be needed, and possible costs. Conclusion was that a committee will meet and come up with a plan. JPAC should then put in a request during the next budget season and major funders be contacted.


Old and new business. 59th tennis and dog-designated area: drug dealers are back in the afternoon- 3rd District is being notified. This area is a target for JPAC fundraising.

Suggested and agreed: that the December meeting will be at least as much a party as a meeting—a food etc. list will be drawn up and attendees encouraged to bring goodies. (PS. council meetings have refreshments.)

Election of Officers. Jerry Levy assumed the chair. He read the slate nominated at the last meeting:
President- Louise McCurry, Vice President (new)- Judith Hill, Treasurer- Dwight Powell, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde. There being no other nominations, Esther Schechter moved and Levy seconded that the slate be elected by acclamation. So done.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:01 p.m. Next meeting and party December 12, Monday, at the field house. Principal agenda item: Presentation by Museum of Science and Industry.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council October 10, 2011 meeting minutes

The meeting was convened by Louise McCurry at LaRabida Children’s Hospital, 16 present. The meeting expressed its gratitude to Brenda Wolf, Director of the Hospital. Welcomed were, CPD Area Manager Cordell Hopkins, guests, and (we hope) new members: Richard Dervin and Elizabeth Wyman.

Alicia Feldman of American National Red Cross in Chicago discussed Red Cross safety, first aid, and disaster workshops in schools and low income areas. JPAC approved general support for such workshops or classes in Jackson Park. Area Manager Dwight Hopkins will follow up on conditions etc.

Minutes of the September meeting were approved with correction that the natural areas contractor’s name is Pizzo. Moved by Jerry Levy, 2nd Norm Bell.

Financial. Dwight Powell reported $5,571 and one deposit of $25. A letter was sent to Rosebud Farms regarding furnishing of turkeys for this year’s Turkey Trot. General consensus was to prepare membership and contributions letter as start of fundraising.

Natural areas and work. Jerry Levy, Gail and Norm Bell, and the McCurry’s were among those who cleaned and pruned in around the ‘Iowa’ building in preparation for the Bike Clinic. Nighttime drugs, activity continue. Proposed was inviting the 3rd District.
More work, including with over 200 volunteers has been done at LaRabida. Walk throughs were held and scheduled with the Park District including re major tree work and other quick fixes. Public enjoyment is up.
Tree planting west of Darrow Bridge, coordinated by Friends of the Parks was planned for October 14- volunteers were asked.
Bobolink Meadow was abloom with golden asters was and heavily used by birds. Lab School 7th graders are scheduled to work on invasives and collect seeds October 28.
Wooded Island work included a large project planned for Sunday, October 23 with a group from Loyola.

Park programs. The fieldhouse is up to full staff and working to attract girls as well as boys.

Details of the October 15 bike clinic were discussed. JPAC was thankful for the many organizations involved, especially the chief presenter, Chicago Conservation Corps of the City of Chicago.

Motto- a vote was held, after which it was changed some more. Preference was for variants of JPAC- “sharing nature, recreation, and history.” Moved by McCurry, seconded, and approved.

Nominations. Discussed was having two vice presidents- one to focus on development and fundraising, the other on programming. Also suggested was a director of nature education (Fran Vandervoort volunteered) and a designated historian and archivist. Toshia Booker asked to be excused from serving as an officer for personal reasons. Nominated were:
President- Louise McCurry, Vice President- Judith Hill, Treasurer- Dwight Powell, and Secretary Gary Ossewaarde. Election will be at the November 14 meeting at the fieldhouse.

The Finance and Development Committee was scheduled to meet November 2 at the fieldhouse.

New business. Barry Rapoport announced that the final video and repot on the 2009 Frederick Douglass Memorial (on the path west of the 59th Lake Shore Drive underpass) is available- search Frederick Douglass Dedication or contact Barry at barryrapoport7@gmail.com.
Members were reminded of the Bike Clinic Oct. 15 2-5 and the ribbon cutting for the track and field at 62nd and Stony Island Oct. 15 about 3:30 pm.

The meeting was adjourned after 8:30 pm. Next Nov. 14, 7:30, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.

Jackson Park Advisory Council September 12 2011 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 pm, a quorum, 12 attendees present. The minutes of the August meeting were approved as presented. However, members wanted it clear that the celebration of the end of summer day camp was quite a gala event and included distribution of school supplies made possible by Walgreens 71st and Jeffery, particularly the manager Mr. Schelley and head of pharmacy Dr. Ann Ridgeway.

Louise polled the meeting concerning the October meeting day/location as the fieldhouse closes early on Columbus Day. Consensus was to keep it on the same day (Monday the 10th) and seek another location (subsequently arranged for La Rabida Hospital library).

Finance. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported an August 31 balance of $5,562.55, with checks having come in since. Fran Vandervoort noted that the cost of our park photomontage for flyer background and other uses will be $200. Moved, seconded to approve the expenditure with Fran to submit the bill to the treasurer. Approved.

More ideas for our motto were suggested and will be further narrowed via email.

Park District region budget hearing will be held September 27 at South Shore Cultural Center. Suggestions for comments and budget asks were requested. These could be sent to officers, who would narrow and present them at the meeting. All were urged to attend and lend support.

Louise reported on a meeting for PACs focused on park security, held that afternoon by Friends of the Parks, with Chicago Park District security personnel as guests. Much was learned about the role of park as distinct from city police and the difficulties ahead with major budget cuts expected. Louise will consult with the 3rd District CAPS coordinator, Sgt. Chapman, about more steps we or police can take in the park, and perhaps invite him to attend a future JPAC meeting.

Natural areas work. Pictures including of wildflowers were passed around. Park flower, bird, and insect life are flourishing. Families are visiting many areas of the park. Numbers stop to talk and sign up to work. Large amounts of trash and invasives continue to be removed in Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow, LaRabida area and more, thanks in part to large groups including from Northwestern University and University of Chicago. More are expected in September, much arranged by Friends of the Parks. Some did raking, seeding and planting in the natural areas. The soccer groups held a large cleanup day. Lots of mulch made from pruning in the LaRabida area was used to create wheelchair paths down to three mini-beaches. The pruning was part of PD forestry training. One of the main projects on Wooded Island, Jerry Levy reported, has been removal of goldenrod by volunteers and by the contractor (Pisso) (especially in the prairie/former Rose Garden, to open up for valuable plants to do better.) Another has been planting of small ground cover and seeds- notes will be posted for people to be careful. In Bobolink a main project was thinning a deadwood thicket. A walk through was done there with the Park District, contractor and stakeholders, including on an evolving plan to make a transition ecotone this winter between the meadow and the woods, using grasses and forbs.
October 14 Friends of the Parks has arranged another tree planting, c. 9 am, between Darrow Bridge, Cornell.

Fran described planning by herself and others to invite school groups come in and learn nature and ecology—a curriculum is being developed for a general tour and “how to use a park” workshop. Moved, seconded, approved to pursue.
Fran reported on a scouting trip to other parks to narrow down what nature signage might be best in Jackson.
She commended a major article in the New York Times on Frederick Olmsted and the South Side parks.

Some repairs, for safety at the water’s edge at LaRabida is being contemplated by the PD, Louise reported. Members expressed some concern about what kind, and whether shore-up with rocks is needed for LaRabida.

Birds. Jennie Strable reported that we were in the midst of fall bird migration. Cormorants were among the prize sightings, south of Osaka Garden on high perches.

Louise reported that a series of events converging on the park did damage and that there has been a considerable increase in people and groups formally or casually using the South Lakefront. Problems include massive parking on lawns, displacement of or danger to kids playing sports, traffic congestion, and sets of insensitive bicyclists, particularly “cross country”. Members suggested that larger events should be scheduled later in the year (including bypassing bird migration time in the park and Wooded Island for running events period—the latter promised not to happen but it did). Also that the council be informed and be provided schedules of large events in advance and so be in a position advise, to monitor, and call for police/managing. Moved, seconded, and approved to meet with park officers, write letters, and invite parties to the council.

JPAC Workshops. Toshia Booker reported that the first JPAC Workshops have been set up; most will be in conjunction with the city’s Chicago Conservation Corps, whose courses Toshia recently completed. 3C provides support, materials, and publicity. C3 requires that programs it sponsors have a measurable environmental impact.. Other organizations will be recruited to participate depending on the particular program. Volunteers are of course needed for all programs. The first two are:
Bike Workshop, Saturday October 15, 2-5 pm at the ‘Iowa” building, northeast corner of the park just south of 56th across the street from Montgomery Place. (Cleanup days will precede.)
Home weatherization, Saturday November 12 2-5 at the fieldhouse.
Please contact Toshia at jpacattack@gmail.com to be on the message list or volunteer.

Fundraising and development. Judith Hill submitted a draft being reviewed by the committee, of a three-year strategic plan and preliminary plans to fundraising and of membership and contribution levels. The committee meets again on October 5, 6:30 at the fieldhouse.

Sports. Coach Stephens of Apostolic Church of God described the church’s sports and mentorship programs (youth and adult) as a sample of a well rounded program, and advised on how to assign time slots. The church uses the park for some of its programs. Louise urged that all groups or teams who want to use fields in the park sign up and get into the mix. It appears that the park’s supervisor will make final assignments for the new track and artificial field, although there is a preview/review committee made up of Jackson Park sport teams. The field and track is expected to be finished by mid-November. Louise also announced that a new baseball diamond will be built in the vicinity in spring.

Concern was voiced about the impact of a lengthening school day on signup for and viability of park afterschool programs.

There being no other business: moved, seconded and approved to adjourn until October 10, 7:30 pm. (This meeting will be at La Rabida Hospital library.
Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary


JPAC PLANS A BUSY OCTOBER 15
Saturday starts with a Bobolink Meadow workday, moved this month from the 2nd to the 3rd Saturday, 9-noon. Meet at the south meadow. For details and a lively page of pictures and information, visit
http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm. Or email Norm Bell, parrybell@comcast.net, 773 288-1260.

2-5 pm. Our first JPAC workshop: BIKE CLINIC WORKSHOP. At the ‘Iowa” building, northeast corner of Jackson Park south side of 56th Street across from Montgomery Place. The community members and Advisory Council members will host a Bike Clinic. The purpose is to educate the public on the benefits of using alternative forms of transportation and of living a green lifestyle and to provide tips on safe riding and bike maintenance. This is a C3 project for the purpose of providing communities with educational resources and workshops as a team to make a measurable environmental impact. Others participants include the Active Transportation Alliance and the city’s Bike Ambassadors. There will also be material on the ‘Iowa’ building. Volunteers needed. For information or sign up, contact Toshia Booker-Blakeley at jpacattack@gmail.com.

Save the date for our next workshop on HOME WEATHERIZATION November 12. Normal dates will be 3rd Saturdays.

OTHER EVENTS
October 14, Friday, c 9 am. Join Friends of the Parks and recruited corporate volunteers, with JPAC in planting 9 or more trees in Jackson Park, between Wooded Island/ north end of the lagoons and Cornell Drive. For more information, sullivanme@fotp.org.

October 22, Saturday, 2-5 pm. WOODED ISLAND WORKDAY. Meet at the Darrow Bridge south of the MSI pond. For more information and sign up, contact Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. [THIS WORKDAY WILL BE MOVED- TBA.]

For any additional workday activities (and they pop up on the spur), call Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225.

JPAC IS THRILLED TO ACCEPT THE KIND INVITATION BY LA RABIDA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TO HOLD OUR OCTOBER 10 MEETING IN THEIR LIBRARY. 65th and the Lake. From Marquette Drive in the park, turn at the sign for the hospital and follow Promontory Circle Dr. to parking. Check in at the main entrance an proceed left (north).
NOMINATION OF OFFICERS WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE FLOOR.
When entering be sure to admire the wonderful mosaic of Columbus’s ships (Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria)—and discover the re-freshened beauties of the Promontory Circle and the harbors.

KEEP UP TO DATE- jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org,
hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html. And any wishing to receive the newsletter by email only, contact garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council August 8 2011 Advisory Council mtg.

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m., a quorum being present.

President’s report included pictures of the cleaned up and pruned areas near LaRabida and on Promontory Circle.
She, Dwight Powell, and Robert McCurry-Davis distributed surveys and interacted with many at the South Shore Jazz Festival and Louise and Gary Ossewaarde at the Highlands Fling in South Shore.

Louise suggested that consideration be given to using the Music Court south of the MSI south parking lot for nature and history talks and activities, storytelling, theater/performance and concerts. “Let’s get to know the park” tours could start from there. Members expressed support for making this a “preferred JPAC project” including for fundraising.

Louise also reported on a visit to Humboldt Park, whose fieldhouse has a nice art exhibit and exhibit space. Members thought having a small space for kid’s and members’ art, and a room with Wi-Fi for kids to do computer homework would help bring the fieldhouse up to date and make it more attractive and usable, and so these should also be on a projects list. Members noted some of the foundation and other sources that might fund such programs and facilities.

In order to enhance our support of the kid’s camp program, JPAC voted last month to explore getting/paying for backpacks and school supply kits for the campers. Louise reported these were donated and were distributed at day camp graduation. At the graduation, kids also received plaques with their pictures. Members expressed enthusiastic thanks for this donation by the Walgreen’s 71st and Jeffery store. Attendees signed a thank you letter to the manager.

Louise reported that Jackson Park hosted the Area 3 South Region budget hearings. Most of the PACs from area parks spoke. Louise spoke about unsafe bad walks and stairs such as at the LaRabida area, the deteriorating historic Darrow Bridge, a vintage bathroom station near LaRabida that had been restored and was functioning a few years ago, but doesn’t now and instead is an unsanitary dumping ground for park users who doesn’t have functioning facilities nearby. (This facility was subsequently being inspected by CPD.)

Louise reported that half the soccer fields have been taken up for rehabilitation (soccer teams will be relocating play elsewhere) and that the new and reconstructed artificial track and field was underway and would be completed sometime in the fall. The funder of the field, Traubert-Pritzker Foundation/Take the Field and park district invited the PAC to a walk through and discussion and offered several dates, Louise reported. Today’s meeting chose August 30 6 p.m., at the track (rain date 31st).

Financial. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported little activity, with a balance of c.$5,569.

July Minutes. Gary Ossewaarde. A question was raised on the appropriation voted in July for quick needs for ongoing projects. This will be adjusted. On motion of Jerry Levy, the minutes were accepted as corrected.

Volunteer workdays. Jerry Levy reported that the Bells will hold the regular Bobolink workday August 13 9-noon and that when finished volunteers were welcome after 10 to join a team of Loyola and Rush radiologists on Wooded Island to rake and plant seeds on a part of the WI west trail. Jerry thanked park district and contractor for replacement plantings- 5 large resistant elms, 9 burr oaks, and 16 shrubs including viburnum. They will be under warrantee. He also reported that work was done clearing invasives including goldenrod along 400 feet south of Osaka Garden. There will be some herbicide applied, in preparation for planting. August 27 was scheduled for Wooded Island workday 2-5 p.m. (A.m. by LaRabida was later dropped.) Some signs for use day-of-work will call attention to where to find the volunteer work in progress.

Louise described more progress opening up and clearing at LaRabida. Two large student groups helped out. There are large stretches where one can now sit by the water, and musicians have started to perform various spots and times of day. Further opening will have to be deferred as a lot of redwing blackbirds have moved in. A policeman now sits by an area which had been frequented by drug dealers and prostitutes, who have now moved out of the Promontory and golf east edge sector.

Louise asked for help continuing edging along the 60th tennis courts, to keep mud from washing over the courts and clogging the drains. The dirt is used to fill potholes. Scheduled: Sunday afternoon Aug. 14, 2 p.m.

Natural areas/birds. Pat Durkin said that lots of people come on the walks. This is shore bird migration season, and three green herons and a family of wood ducks, were among sited on the Island, and sandpipers are at 63rd.

Gary Ossewaarde reported the Park District website says the Army Corps project at 63rd is completed. Members noted expressed concerns about loss of beach and picnic area and impassible trails to the drumming circle, east beach, and pier on east side.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Supervisor, and Eric Hammond, rec. leader reported.
Day camp had 175 children enrolled and parent participation.
August 19 a 2 week sports camp would commence. Louise said a surprise would be coming from JPAC.
Junior Bears are underway and will play Wells Park August 20. About 85 aged 8-12 participate.
September 19-December 4 fall afterschool camp for ages 6-12, cost $80 per. Call about remaining slots.
The Turkey Trot (games and races on November 18) needs about 50 turkeys to give to the families. Members of the council agreed to pursue vendor donation.

Problems in the park: Esther Schechter furnished description/directions to some long-standing graffiti on the Hayes Bridge, hard to see from the road but all too visible from the walk. This would be reported.
Pat Durkin reported trash Saturday mornings in/by Osaka indicating nighttime “bacchanals” continue or resume. This will be called to attention of police, who have been very vigilant the past several months.
The council brainstormed about whom to engage regarding prioritizing Darrow bridge safety and repair.

Fundraising, Planning and Programming. Committee meeting is scheduled for August 24 6:30. A draft 1-, 2-, and 3-year action plan drawn up by Judith Hill was circulated.
Members noted that a key goal is a dog park. Louise said most work at the proposed site is done, but the quote for a dog friendly fountain with hose is very high. Various park needs were discussed for work orders or budget request (hearing date not then known).

The meeting was adjourned about 9 p.m. Next meeting Monday, September 12. That meeting will decide re: October meeting due to Columbus holiday- TUESDAY OCT. 11 or normal Monday at a different location.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Jackson Park Advisory Council July 11, 2011 Council Meeting Mins.

President McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse, a quorum present, 14 in attendance. Introductions revealed one new) attendee, one guest presenter, and one who is only able to attend occasionally due to Jackson Park-related sports duties.
Minutes of the June meeting were accepted as presented later in the meeting.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell presented reports and bank statements for May and June. Balance June 30: $5,553.64. Expenditures included $175 for JPAC t-shirts and caps (approved in April) and a bank charge.

Nature report: Jerry Levy reported on work done in Wooded Island and on several tours on the island’s ecology. Members would like to encourage tours they know about that include Osaka Garden to explore more of the Island. Groups are calling to do service projects, Jerry said. Jerry would hold a special workday on the 17th a.m., and the regular Wooded Island workday on the 23rd 2-5 p.m. In August a group from U of C is booked, and proposed was linking with the September 24 UC Service Center Day of Service. Proposed and by consensus agreed to try setting dates/times for tours and for community service hours in the fall and inviting school and maybe other groups to come, thus jump-starting both volunteer and nature trail programming. Target audiences could also be approached through organizations’ online services.

President McCurry reported on success with an information table and distribution of surveys at the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic in Hyde Park and the Highlands Fling in South Shore. Next would be at the Jazz Unites Festival at South Shore Cultural Center.

Birds. Pat Durkin said that in addition to the Wooded Island group on Wednesdays and Saturdays, groups come from the North Shore and from Indiana. Woodpeckers are nesting. Fall planting is coming-- agreed was to ask the Department of Natural Resources for a Wooded Island Working Group walk though.

Jazz Unites. Donna Hodges gave the history and cultural heritage of the Jazz Festival held next door at South Shore Cultural Center each first weekend of August. One of many featured artists this year will be Curtis Robinson Trio (guitar). One cannot bring food or water, but there will be plenty of vendors. Noted: there used to be jazz concerts on La Rabida-Promontory Circle and the south portico of the Museum.

Long-time member Robert Nelson, at one time manager of the harbors, described the history of drainage, infrastructure, washrooms, and amenities along Jackson Park’s lakefront and offered to help learn the possibility of restoring to service the Columbian Exposition vintage comfort station near La Rabida and the east end of the golf course-- it was in service the 1990s. He also recalled the restoration of the Harbor Station and the 63rd St. Bathing Pavilion 1988-1999. Persons recalled that a public toilets, sitting areas and active spaces disappeared when the harbors were privatized. They asked the council to look into what could be brought back, especially the restaurant in the harbor station.

The council was also asked to redouble collaboration with the yacht and boating clubs in cleanup and community events, and to contact kayak classes. Proposed for exploration was membership swap with the yacht and boating clubs.

Also asked was looking into what can be done to enforce the low-wake channel rules for fishermen safety. Mr. Nelson reminded that harbor maintenance is paid by the federal government, not harbor fees.

President McCurry reported further great progress by volunteers and CPD cleaning and opening up around LaRabida and Promontory Circle, which was continued with a large number of Jesuit student body presidents from around the country (who offered many ideas!) and would continue with another large group from Northwestern University. These are coordinated by CPD staff (who also cleared and removed a great deal) and Friends of the Parks. Some historic lighting poles were discovered. Members were encouraged to come do a follow up on Saturday the 16th 8 a.m. to noon.
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Nature trails. Fran Vandervoort said drafts of self-guided activity and learning tours for various age groups and teacher kits are being vetted with professionals and Park District. Collages of photos are being created. Some of this will require appropriation and fundraising. Moved by Jerry Levy, seconded and approved to appropriate an initial $200 as needed.

Vandervoort said that discretionary expenditures needed for ongoing projects need to be allowable, but with strict guidelines and accounting, as mandated in the bylaws. Jerry Levy moved, Vandervoort seconded, approved that Resolved: Designated persons pursuing JPAC-approved projects may spend, with knowledge of the treasurer, and be reimbursed up to $100 without prior appropriation. Receipts must be shown.

McCurry relayed an inquiry from park staff concerning providing book bags for school for day camp students. In lieu, suggested was investigating pro bono for this or a set of supplies. Moved, seconded, approved to seek such pro bono and that JPAC explore contributing up to $3 per pupil for supplies. Approved.

Sports and Fields/Friends of the Fields. Ram Nair. The committee is working to develop a fair usage schedule to ensure equity among stakeholder users and especially to make sure that neither the community nor the stakeholder soccer and football teams are squeezed out, including by non-permit “leagues.” The area has been fenced off for start of construction.

Dog park planning and work at the prospective site was described.

Jackson Park officers would attend the July 13 Park District Board of Commissioner meetings. All were asked to attend the Park District budget hearings [Area 3 round done, region-level tba.]

The meeting was adjourned c. 9 p.m. Next meeting Monday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

_______________________

Sad and Glad: An old snag at the Wooded Island (WI) Rose Garden, with nesting woodpeckers, was blown down by high winds. Trees and shrubs from last year on WI that didn’t make it have been replaced by oaks and others. Check the array of wildflowers and birds in the Rose Garden (the fenced part of southern WI).

Louise McCurry gave a report at the July 18 CPD budget hearing for Area 3 South parks. She stressed dangerous concrete stairs at LaRabida/Promontory and need for repairs to a promenade with standing pools breeding mosquitoes, and for some plantings. People there have no bathroom facilities—one that was working a few years ago could be reopened. Nature area signage and id was requested. A roadway to an active tennis area should be repaired. A fountain with a bowl for dogs and hose attachment is needed near a tennis facility. Clarence Darrow bridge deck needs repair and the north bridge to Wooded Island/Osaka garden repaired.

JPAC has learned that some playgrounds failed a safety survey; at least one is visibly in poor shape.

Volunteer workdays: Bobolink Meadow 2nd Saturdays 9-12. For information call parrybell@comcast.net.
La Rabida/Promontory Circle: gen. 3rd Saturdays 8-12. For information call Louise at 773 844-2225.
Wooded Island: 4th Saturdays 2-5. From Darrow bridge so. of MSI. sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

BEACH CLEAN WITH TOURS, ACTIVITIES being planned...contact Toshia at jpacattack@gmail.com.
We will contact those for whom we have email addresses.

Bird Walks: Weds at 7, Sats at 8 from Darrow Bridge. Special CAPS Aug. 3 at 7, 1818 E. 71st St.
Lawn Bowling and croquet at the green se of MSI. Tom Michael for schedule- 708-366-8228.

Committees/ events calendar is in the new website http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org.
TAKE OUR SURVEY ON LINE AT THAT NEW WEBSITE Thanks to all who have taken the paper version. Your comments have made redesign possible. You are welcome to retake the revision online.
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Jackson Park Advisory Council - June 13 2011 Council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m., a quorum being present, 13 in attendance. Minutes of the May meeting were accepted upon review later in the meeting.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT. Louise reported on meetings with Liz Millan (CPD South Region Manager) resulting in progress on the dog park and discussion of repairs and improvements for that part of the park and the LaRabida area. The dog park will be progressive with lots of healthy activities for people and dogs.

A hot Memorial Day. Serious problems including shootings occurred in a greatly overcrowded Jackson Park on Memorial Day. Louise cited loud music and alcohol (arrests made), presence of many from out of town unfamiliar with the park and traffic, a late start to turning away—and at a prudent distance-- people who could not be accommodated in the already overcrowded park, and difficulty clearing the park. Police have since indicated they are modifying procedures, and JPAC relayed to the 3rd District our appreciation for this and for general serious policing done regularly throughout the park. JPAC does have members who monitor conditions and talk to police in various parts of the park daily.

Cleanups continue around LaRabida Children’s Hospital, with cooperation and thanks from hospital administrators. Patient families and other park users are now able to enjoy new sections, and there is a meadow with plenty of birds. More needs to be done, including cleanups, repairs, plant removals and planting, and a stop to prostitution. JPAC has been working with the Park District and police on what is to be done and where.

LaRabida/Promontory Circle is an example of people using more of the park, which means that anything in disrepair where people can get hurt, like stairs and parts of the shore promenade at LaRabida-Promontory Circle, need to be addressed. Louise also suggested that it’s time to think about a memorial to the Columbian Exposition and the replicas of Columbus’ three ships on the Promontory Circle where it can be seen also from the water.


Underpasses at 59th and at Marquette recently had considerable graffiti and trash, which are being addressed. Some paths are overgrown, especially that to the Inner Harbor by Marquette Drive. Meanwhile, the bike and walking trail across the width of the park along Marquette Drive is now complete and open.

Large sets of volunteers from two universities are expected to come to Jackson Park in July to help, likely at LaRabida. Seventh-graders from the UC Lab School pulled a large amount of weeds and woody debris from Bobolink Meadow and Wooded Island. Psst, parents—they enjoyed it!

The next Wooded Island workday, June 25 2-5 would be held if necessary—so much has been done by contractors and volunteers. A consensus was reached to concentrate June 25 on a cleanup at LaRabida shore that morning 8-noon. The July 9 Bobolink workday will be dropped or moved –the stewards will be on vacation.

JPAC thanked Washington Park Conservancy leader Madiem Kawa for a flat of Little Blue Stem prairie grass that will be planted in Bobolink Meadow. A new natural-areas contractor h is developing a plan for Bobolink Meadow. Louise noted that the Friends of the Japanese Garden and Clauss Bros. have planted much and cleaned in the garden.

63rd. JPAC leaders, Alderman Hairston (5th) and Friends of the Parks met on site with Park District officers in May concerning a Corps of Engineers ecological reconstruction and sand stabilization project phase 2, on the 63rd St. Beach and Peninsula. The scope as presented last year was poorly recollected or misunderstood, included work and areas thought by the observers to be inappropriate (especially a picnic area), and the timing and fencing created an enormous public inconvenience on a busy beach day. The park district representative agreed to propose changes to the Army Corps. It appears the work was modified, and the fences came down. A major problem continues to be an access path and its drainage to the east beach and drumming circle. Persons from the Corps agreed to come tonight but did not.

Apostolic Church of God has generously shown interest in resurfacing the tennis courts southeast of Hayes and Cornell.
The hoped-for seniors/community garden near the proposed dog park will likely be built next year. Meanwhile, the raised garden of Growing Power, half being community plots, is full and cannot be expanded. Members cited programs that work for more garden and urban farm plots for neighborhoods and the needy. 2

Our website, jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org, is now populated- including with pictures, information, and the committee and events calendar. The email is jpacmail@jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org may be up soon. A committee that includes Fran Vandervoort, Esther Schechter, Toshia Booker, Judith Hill, Louise McCurry and Gary Ossewaarde has worked on our online presence, a Survey that will soon be distributed, and future outreach including an audio tour and fundraising. Many visited our table and signed petitions at the 57th St. Art Fair. Petitions and letters for the naming of the North Bridge to Wooded Island are nearly ready for submission. A few letters from organizations and officials are still outstanding. (Note- this is NOT the Darrow Bridge.) Any others interested were asked to contact Louise or Gary.

INTRODUCTIONS AND CHECK-IN ROUND. New people continue to come to our meetings to offer skills and share observations and experience. Some offered to work with staff to start programs, including for at-risk youth.

Vice- president Toshia Booker, expects to bring to bear her training with the Chicago Conservation Corps, which brings stewardship projects that engage citizens in actions that build our parks and promote year-round healthy living. Esther Schechter encouraged a children’s committee that would include focus on youth from South Shore. Pat Durkin and Jean Strable encouraged people to come on the bird walks and visit bird counts in chicagoaudubon.org—They said the Island had the third highest record number of species this May. They asked that large volunteer group projects including in Osaka Garden be scheduled outside peak bird migrations and that huge running races etc. should not go through Wooded Island.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE US FORESTRY SERVICE, Cherie Fisher and Andrew Dribin, described an environmental stewardship inventory and regional mapping project and asked JPAC stewardship groups to register and take their survey—indeed any such group can and should join go to http://www.StewMap.org or contact Cherie at clfisher@fs.fed.us or Cindy Copp at cindy@cnt.org,. When the map is up end of July, it and its calendar will be sent to corporate and other providers of volunteers.

FIELD. Louise led an update on the artificial turf field and track to be installed this summer between 61st and 62nd, Stony and Cornell. This is now confirmed as a gift, in Jackson Park funded mostly by the Traubert-Pritzker Foundation and Bears Care (Chicago Bears). JPAC expressed its appreciation. Need assessments were done, coaches consulted, and public meetings held. Planning, including for safety, appears to be good, and persons expert in these matters have submitted numerous suggestions. Thorough oversight and education and controlled and fair scheduling will be needed because of high demand and that not all who show up there are going to be fair or good stewards. A vigorous committee is in place and meets at the fieldhouse 4th Mondays at 6 p.m. Those who want to see an example of a good new field largely for the public (and how much work is involved) should visit that in the south part of Lincoln Park. Some amenities that are desired are not covered in the grant. Maintenance cost may equal or exceed that for the present grass.

ACTIONS. JPAC will participate or have informational tables at a number of community activities this summer and fall including 4TH ON 53RD PARADE AND PICNIC (march with AYSO; table in park) JULY 10 JACKSON PARK HIGHLANDS PARTY afternoon in the 67th block of Bennett, and JULY 30 , 31 HYDE PARK SUMMERFEST on 53rd St.

Moved, seconded, and approved- JPAC will set up a PayPal account on its website for donations and dues.

Moved, seconded, and approved- JPAC approves a separate dedicated bank account for Jackson Bark, the dog park management group. The officers will facilitate the necessary procedures for this.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS (ANYONE WELCOME): The DOG PARK Committee will meet with Hyde Bark on site (weather permitting) otherwise 3rd Mondays of each month- June 20, A SPECIAL CLEANUP-JULY 10 AT 11 AM.

The SPORTS AND FIELDS Committee will meet in the fieldhouse 4th Mondays of each month (June 27, July 25….)

The kickoff meeting for the FUNDRAISING, PROGRAMS AND PLANNING Committee will be (was to be June 15, moved to June 29). Regular meeting date will be announced.

Meeting adjourned. Next meeting Monday, July 11, 7:30, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary 3

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council May 9 2011 Council Meeting Minutes

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. in the fieldhouse. Minutes of the April meeting were moved by Fran Vandervoort, 2nd by Jerry Levy and approved. The 18 present introduced themselves, including two new to the council who are involved with the dog park committee. The agenda was adjusted.

Supervisor William Tillis reported and took questions on the park and program. He thanked the council for several donations for programs and the fieldhouse in recent months. The track team was proceeding to city wide completion as defending champions four years running. Spring and summer programs were filling up as they generally do, but there were still some spaces open that youth and families should investigate. Moved by Dwight Powell and seconded by Fran Vandervoort to purchase a trophy display case at reasonable cost. Approved.

Progress has been made on security, but work and vigilance are still needed. He credited cameras including behind the Museum, combined Police and park police patrol—cumulatively 24-hour by now two cars, bikes, and more, and council members’ and public eyes and ears. McCurry noted continuing problems including steps at La Rabida Hospital and nearby Promontory Circle as presenting a safety hazard to patients with their families.

Several excursion and camping programs that teach many skills are coming to the park this summer (see announcements after these minutes- there is room for more area families). Three movies will be shown at the 63rd beach house. Seniors should take advantage of the June 13 1 pm Jackson Park concert by jazz great Ken Chaney and his group from Kennicott Park. Another opportunity is a dog vaccination day coming to Jackson.
McCurry noted that much information about the park and its programs and facilities are online on the park’s section in http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com- look for family programs and search for Jackson, and on our websites. Vandervoort recommended formation of a program committee to establish programs by the council as well as monitor/evaluate/grow park district programs.

Financial. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported membership renewals including a major gift from La Rabida Children’s Hospital. At least one check was turned in at the meeting. The most recent bank balance was $5,724.66. Bank signatures were renewed for this term.

Nature Committee and reports. Norman Bell reported that a section of Bobolink Meadow was seeded. Much has been accomplished on the volunteer workdays (2nd Saturdays 9 am-a little after noon, but Norm and others are on hand nearly every day). Now that it’s spring, garlic mustard has begun to overtake the meadow and has to be pulled before it goes to seed. Some native plants from Michigan are being added to the mix, particularly in the Woods section. Members praised the condition of the meadow.

Fran Vandervoort reported that the nature trail is currently in the idea stage, with low-cost, easily implemented preparatory elements (including virtual) being readied. Members asked when the bike trails, under installation for a year along 63rd St., will be finished and the detour signs removed.

Jerry Levy reported that good-sized volunteer crews have been clearing out trash on Wooded Island. Shrubs and ground cover planted over the past two years are now visible again. Especially fine this year: viburnum, scilla, violets of all colors, and trillium. The next workday was moved to May 21 due to Memorial Day. The park district is working on moving from the park the beaver(s) that destroyed a fine crab among other trees.
A team of volunteers from Friends of the Japanese Garden and contractor Claus Bros. recently planted much including ground cover in Osaka Garden during a festive workday, and new shrubs are blooming. Jerry led an Arbor Day tree species ID and list-making tour April 30—well advertized but sparsely attended.

McCurry reported that much additional garbage was removed around La Rabida. Patients and families are now visiting the wildflower garden, the shore, and the lookout—but the steps at these places are dangerous. Cleaning the west beach (harbor side) is next.

Birds. Jennie Strable reported that crews (unidentified) had been seen pruning hedges after heavy bird migration through the Island had started. (It was suggested that the crew observed was that removing burlap left around the balls of trees planted without removing burlap last December—removal had to be done asap this spring.) 2

Strable offered on behalf of Chicago Audubon a memo with three proposals to avoid or direct operations and disturbances on Wooded Island during bird migration. Most of the migrating species are insect eaters; the insects congregate in sunny, calmer areas, and the birds follow. As a consequence, if work must be done:
(1) work in the west side in the morning, east in the afternoon,
(2) work in windy areas first on a windy day,
(3) in the spring, when strong southwest winds bring in the birds, keep work to a minimum and in the northwest sector only. And use no heavy equipment during the migratory seasons. By consensus, the memo was accepted into the record with appreciation for review and to pass on to the park district.

Strable reported that 96 species were recently counted on just the Island one day. A special walk and count was planned by National Audubon for the next Sunday. Bird walks continue Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Dog park. After a well-attended site visit, supporters agreed on the site and are circulating petitions and seeking letters. The site has been tested with pets and has approval of nearby tennis players. The plan is written including commitment of the volunteer organizations. Dog permits are in progress. Private funds are available for supplies and needs such as an inner gate and corner rounding, and some fence work is being arranged. The path to the site needs improvement.

Security. McCurry reported that patrols mentioned above are in place, and the 3rd District responds well. Experience this spring seems to verify the hunch that sectors where trash and overgrowth are cleared stay nice and have reduced problems. Some areas are difficult—south of Osaka garden trash can be removed, but it’s a natural area with regulated brush policy. Miscreants there are extremely brazen, even during a well attended workday or festival in the garden.

Sports and recreation. McCurry has made a concerted effort to meet with sports and recreation stakeholders and get them involved with the committee (chair Ram Nair- rnair@naircoinc.com). Committee meeting day and time are being adjusted to fit the full play schedule. Speaking of promotion, JPAC volunteers will staff a table at the 57th St. Art Fair and subsequent community events. Teams’ and others’ material will be sought for the table.

McCurry consulted with the lawn bowling and croquet leaders to learn needs, successes at the green and clubhouse. She noted an opportunity to jointly promote these activities and bring more seniors and younger people into the park.

She also consulted with the yacht/boating club commodores and Sea Scouts. Condition of the sea walls is a major concern. McCurry wants to see a coordinated effort including by the clubs etc. to clear accumulating harbor edge garbage and discourage throwing garbage from the boats. For trash in general, the football teams will help with larger objects, and 63rd St. basketball club will keep up its area.

Baseball. Ziff Sistrunk said the teams are very busy playing and also patrol the Stony Island edge of the park for trash from 61st to 64th on weekends and learn stewardship. Four high schools participate- Hyde Park, Corliss, Phillips, and Brooks. Players get certificates. Storage room is needed. One objective is to ensure lots of people will be using and taking care of the track and the Into the Field artificial surface as well as the whole sector around them.

Barry Rapoport offered to bring juggling into the mix. He will coordinate participation in World Juggling Day June 18 at the Frederick Douglass memorial on the path west of the 59th underpass. Still to be met with are adult soccer, tennis, and golf.

Old and new business. Gary Ossewaarde continues to collect support for naming for Nancy Hays.
Vice President Toshia Booker-Blakeley described the Chicago Conservation Corps (C3, associated with the city’s GreenCorps program), with which she is taking training, including from Chicago Park District staff. A particular program that could jump start and dovetail into JPAC’s Nature Trail Initiative includes youth and other volunteers measuring environmental benefits, threats, or impacts in parks—for example of invasive species, or to do asset and community resource mapping. Tentative preference of members was to theme invasives. Toshia was directed (motion Norm Bell, 2nd and approved) to work with Norm Bell to develop a plan and prepare to apply for C3 sponsorship.

The council selected by straw vote an icon design from among several submitted. Fran Vandervoort and Jerry Levy also agreed to work on ordering tee-shirts with the new logo. These would be used by trail guides and possibly workday volunteers. Agreed by consensus. Fran Vandervoort asked for a committee for development, design, and fundraising. The committee will be convened before or arranged at the next meeting. 3

Fran also reported that Park District Historian Julia Bachrach is hosting “What’s Out There” park tours including of Osaka Garden and Wooded Island, June 11-12 weekend. Anyone willing to volunteer as a greeter should contact her at julia.bachrach@chicagoparkdistrict.com. Jerry Levy was among volunteers.

Fran secured gloves for the workdays from Washington Park Conservancy. She was asked to convey thanks.
Questions were raised about the state of the Viking Ship that was sailed to the Columbian Exposition and is now in a park near Geneva, IL, and whether repaired. Also whether Devil in the White City might be filmed partially in the park.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 


Jackson Park Advisory Council April 11, 2011 council meeting


President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. a quorum being present (attendance 14).

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported a balance of 5,609.88 plus some dues/contribution checks still to be deposited. Members requested total memberships and dues and contributions so far for this year, which will be supplied. Per March meeting, JPAC purchased a microwave for the fieldhouse, being presented to staff. JPAC was informed of park’s need of a replacement fax machine. Consensus was for JPAC offer to buy; staff will be consulted. Minutes of the March meeting were distributed-accepted later in the meeting. The April newsletters, which had the minutes, were reported gone astray in mailing. (They arrived in mail boxes the next week.)

Jerome Scott, Chicago Park District Forester, described and answered questions about removal last winter of part of the dead trees on Wooded Island. This work was done by Park District crews and its regular contractor with a part done by Care of Trees (the latter donating two days of labor worth c.$10,000 with $2,400 in supplies funded by JPAC.) Scott explained what more is needed, particularly in Bobolink Woods (which is east of the East Lagoon), which has been untouched for some time. He explained that the Care of Trees did excellent work beyond what’s funded by CPD and that such limited removals fit the mission of habitat rehabilitation. Some members were concerned about the amount of removal done in parts of Wooded Island and said care should be taken to leave plenty of places and nooks for birds to use, from the ground upward. They preferred that such removal work be done other than on Wooded Island for now. Bobolink steward Norm Bell noted that the Bobolink wooded area has solid masses of material including bird-inimical honeysuckle that should go, so that a successful woodland habitat can grow. There was general agreement that Wooded Island Working Group needs to look first at what should/shouldn’t be removed on Wooded Island, that there should be a similar careful walkthough in Bobolink, and that Bobolink is the best next candidate for such work. Fran Vandervoort moved, seconded by Norm Bell that JPAC approves appropriating $2,400 toward an agreement with Care of Trees for future work, in accord with above and preview by stakeholders. Approved by majority. CPD was thanked for repairs to the Wooded Island “Rose Garden” fence.

Workdays have commenced. Work April 3 included removal of 27 bags of trash including around and under the Darrow bridge, over to the north bridge to Wooded Island and also in Osaka Garden. There was some progress making spots uninviting as home sites and for illicit activity. Bobolink Meadow cleanup was undertaken on April 9—7 big containers of trash were removed and a quarter acre prepared for native seeding. “Living” sites were remediated to the extent possible. Problems with large puddles in the path and a broken drainage pipe were reported. Security patrols there were said to be working. Much garbage has also been removed around La Rabida, but much remains and paths and concrete there are in very bad shape. There will be an informal workday to do more there the next Sunday afternoon, with a crew from the little league baseball teams (who won a youth of the year award and were on TV.) Ziff Sistrunk took extensive photos of cleanup work and remaining problem areas. Needs, costs for workday gloves and supplies will be presented next mtg.

Security. Michael Taqee, Safety chairman, reported that the 3rd District and Park District police are keeping a close round-the-clock watch on most of the trouble spots, particularly the Island, Bobolink/driving range, and parking lots. The beach house is being taken back, but La Rabida area remains a problem. Police appreciate being kept up to date with where the troublemakers move by hour and as flushed out. Several JPAC individuals or pairs make regular circuits in different parts of the park and report damage, graffiti, and indicators of suspicious activity. The chief liaison with the 3rd District is Sgt. Chapman 312 747-8201. For park district police call Mike Brazell and his staff. Park Supervisor Tillis should be informed of problems- 773 256-0903. 311 and the ward office at 773 324-5555 provide tracking. Use 911 for emergencies or any threatening situation.

Website and e-contact are nearing rollout. McCurry asked $78.00 reimbursement for startup. Moved, 2 seconded by Vandervoort and approved. Online now: Norm Bell’s Bobolink Meadow Volunteer Website, http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm--interesting material and links, means of volunteer sign up. Available also: our traditional website and JP sections in the Park District site.

Sports and Fields, Dogs and related. The Dog-friendly and Exercise Area committee has posted invitations for interested residents to visit a candidate location and facility, at an unused court area near 59th Marina west of the Drive, Monday, April 18, 6:30 p.m. Petitions would be available. This committee meets 3rd Mondays- check the regular JPAC website for location of subsequent meetings.

The Sports and Fields Committee, Ram Nair Chairman, will meet monthly, 3rd Sundays at 2 in the fieldhouse starting April 16. They will be inviting all teams, facilities (including golf) and their stakeholders, and yacht clubs, etc. to a general committee meeting to gather wishes and concerns. They also reported they are developing rules and procedures for the to-be-refurbished track and artificial surface field including: parking planned ahead of time, captains each day including for clean up and bottle patrol, no charge for kids. It (and the other fields) must be a good place that all including kids are proud of-- as good as private fields. A major goal is to have kids take ownership and have a stewardship/service role in the park.

Petitions for naming the north bridge to Wooded Island for Nancy Hays continue to gather signatures, and letters or support are being collected. Contact garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

Condition of birds. Birders said there seem to be a lot of species- 74 on a long circuit April 10, 38 in a short circuit in the Island, including the little blue heron, rare here. (The ever-sited list is 265, 229 on the Island.)

April 30, Saturday, 2-4 p.m. Arbor Day will be celebrated with a Chicago Park District program on Wooded Island. All can learn to identify the trees and fascinating facts, and receive a sapling. Register at 312 747-4914.

Members suggested JPAC hold a festival in the summer, which could include fundraising, also for wellness programs in the park and (more of them?) in the fieldhouse. The program committee will be organized and convened. Work has starting on a survey for park users and friends and a new logo, we were told.

Vandervoort reported on the PAC Conference in March—lots of inspiration, ideas, and questions.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m. Next meetings May 9 and June 13.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting minutes March 14, 2011

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. Welcomed were Sgt. Jeffrey Chapman, 3rd District Police CAPS, Joe Kelly of Harold Washington Park, and several members of Chicago Audubon, who were saluted. Continuing success of the Purple Martin houses south of Columbia Basin was noted.

Minutes of the February meeting were accepted as corrected: The recommended book is “Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louv.

McCurry and others commended those including site stewards Jerome Levy and Gail Parry and Norman Bell who cleaned up much trash around the lagoons and natural area- planned to continue with two clean up days, March 26 morning on the Island and April 9 in Bobolink Meadow. Noted was the birthday today of Minnesota Twins baseball star Kirby Puckett, who grew up in Chicago and for whom is named the boys and girls club that has organized teams under Chicago Metro Baseball. The teams led by Ziff Sistrunk will start playing in Jackson Park April 15. (Visit http://www.eteamz.com.)

Park Safety and Security. Sgt. Jeffrey Chapman, director of District 003 CAPS (Community Alternative Policing Strategy). The discussion was positive. He, Rosalind Moore of 5th Ward Office, and the audience discussed strategies, achievements and challenges in the park and specific problem areas. At work: cameras (some new), cars, lakefront teams, night patrol, police on bikes, plainclothes, and helicopters (summer). Cameras unless with blue lights are park district. Police were commended for improvement in specific areas. Sometimes prioritization prevents the quickest possible response. The various parties will work on coordination. Closing the park timely remains a priority.

Among problem locations for which the council asked increased attention: Wooded Island including by the old rose garden (numerous arrests were made), 63rd St. Beach house (where gang damage has been severe to the pavilion and the new playground), the Driving Range, Promontory Circle near La Rabida, and the lagoon west edge. Recurrence of homeless under the Darrow Bridge and the damage wrought was noted—this is also an important roosting spot for swallows. 3rd District can increase patrols with plain clothes and regular patrols, night shift and will pay close attention to these areas,

Whom to call: 911 or 311 (depending on the circumstances i.e. for graffiti), Sgt. Chapman/3rd District at 312 747-8201 or 312 747-7004, Supervisor William Tillis 773 256-0903, 5th Ward Office at 773 324-5555. Call promptly, use redundancy.

Park and Program. Park Supervisor Tillis discussed the variety of sports opportunities- gymnastics, tumbling, lifting and fitness, basketball, medley, cheerleading, soccer, volleyball, track, baseball and softball, piano, and seniors aerobics/dancing. The latter will include jazz by Ken Chaney 2nd Mondays early afternoon April-June.

Soccer fields will be shut down in rotation to give the grass a chance to re-grow. Exact dates, fields will be announced.
A sports and fields committee has been formed to make decisions on the upgrades and artificial surface at the 62nd track to avoid having competing donated projects cancel each other and waste money and to bring in all concerns including that lights might shine into residential. buildings. Anyone who wants to contribute should contact Mr. Tillis. Coach Ram Nair will chair. An ongoing problem is that players will not take off their cleat shoes before crossing the track. See more on the committee near end of these minutes.

Financial. An additional $2,210 ($1,610 net) came in bringing the balance to $5,410.63. Total 2011 gifts c. $2,800. Donations included a $250 restricted gift from Hyde Park Bank for the Trail project. The University of Chicago Civic Engagement gave $1,500 and $100. La Rabida Children’s Hospital gave $100. JPAC thanks all!

Wooded Island, Nature. A walk through was held in response to an opportunity and concerns regarding the fence around the tallgrass prairie (former Rose Garden) and to have a look around and answer other questions. Present were reps. of the Park District, JPAC (including site stewards), and some of the birding groups. The main recommendation of the body reported to JPAC was to do only necessary repairs to the fence. Moved, seconded and approved that JPAC accept the recommendation and the offer of Michael Taqee, should the Park District agree, to make the repairs including removal of a leaning tree.* Pat Durkin of Chicago Audubon’s committee thanked JPAC for leaving the fence. JPAC accepted into the record a fine paper by Paul Clyne on how fences serve birds. Jerry Levy reported on plantings on and near the Island including large caliper trees, the need for a beautiful welcoming sign for the Douglas Nature Sanctuary, and a work day for Saturday 3/26. There was general desire that we start calling the “Rose Garden” by a new and more descriptive name. It is one of the most productive parts of the Paul Douglas Nature Sanctuary on Wooded Island. Noted also with appreciation: other generously sized new trees in JP.
[* Fence repairs were made by CPD in-house.]

Gail Perry and Norman Bell reported on the TreeKeepers program and need to work with the park district to ensure good tree management, and a Work Day for April 9th at 9 am with TreeKeeper volunteers invited.

Fran Vandervoort reported on planning and grant application for the interactive Nature Trail. A part of this includes a dynamic-type website being prepared by Eric Annafi and Robert McCurry.

A new baseball league is coming to Jackson Park starting April 15, under Chicago Metro Baseball and sponsored by Kirby Puckett Boys and Girls Club. Ages are 8-12 and 16 and up, girls as well as boys. Games are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. They are raising funds on CAN TV, a 12 week program which would highlight the baseball program for kids in the park, and would include JPAC and the need for volunteers to help in the park. Leader Ziff Sistrunk asked that JPAC sponsor. Moved-seconded-approved $100 appropriation including membership in the Club.

It was noted that there are no lighted baseball fields in South Side parks. The council wants a comprehensive look at all the diamonds and fields in the park. Partly to do that and to look into the artificial surface and track questions,
The Sports and Fields Committee will meet on Sunday March 20 at 2 pm at the field house Members are Sreeram Nair (chair), Louise McCurry, Ziff Sistrunk, Ernest Radcliff, Billy Bean, Tommy Lockett, Jamal Ashley, and Jenny Strable (representing residents who live near the fields.) Think you need to be on this committee? Call Mr. Tillis 773 256-0930.

Fran Vandervoort reported on the upcoming March 19 Friends of the Parks PAC conference at the South Shore Cultural Center. Fran was to present a workshop. Other members would go and attend the varied breakout sessions.
Fran will add a copy of Last Child into The Woods to Our JPAC Library and Mr. Tillis agreed to give us space in the basement for our Library and files.
March 19 would also see the start of Washington Park’s 3rd Saturday workdays to be followed on following weeks by a naturalist and gardening lecture series. Their workdays are third Saturday mornings.

Arrangements were made for the new microwave for the fieldhouse. Additional quick needs are being tallied.

A Woodlawn Summit was announced for March 26 9-11:30 at Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th (reg. required).

Seniors fitness program Mondays at 1 pm includes on 2nd Mondays Ken Chaney jazz April-June. [June Willie White blues?]


The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m. Next meetings April 11, May 9.
Respectfully submitted- Gary M. Ossewaarde
_____________________________________
WE APOLOGIZE TO THOSE WHO SHOWED UP FOR A WORKDAY THAT WAS CANCELLED. The fence repair that was the main purpose was on short notice scheduled to be done in house by the park district for the next week. We are most grateful to the District for doing this work. JPAC will make sure that someone comes in case of cancelled workdays. We and CPD ask that volunteers check in with the site steward a day or so ahead.

JACKSON PARK VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS ARE IN FULL SWING! Those who provide email will be notified of extra days or cancellations.

4/9. BOBOLINK MEADOW work is on 2ND SATURDAY MORNINGS, 9-12 a.m. The next is on APRIL 9. Please be sure to check in ahead of time with site stewards Norman Bell and Gail Perry at parrybell@comcast.net or 773 288-1260. Meet in the south meadow near the Golf Driving Range, accessed off Hayes Drive.

4/23. WOODED ISLAND work is on 4TH SATURDAY AFTERNOONS, 2-5 p.m. The next is on APRIL 23. Please be sure to check in ahead of time with site steward Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com or 312 832-1616 12-5 pm weekdays or 773 955-6384 evenings and weekends. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of the Museum of Science and Industry pond. Parking is available in the lot east of Darrow Bridge ($1 per hour) accessed from Lake Shore Drive at 5800- veer left at the Museum lot.
_________________

April 16 Earth Day. Visit http://www.earthdaychicago.com. Reg. by April 11. Clean and Green call 311 or ward off.
April 30, May 8 (and April 16?) Adopt-a-Beach™ for 63rd Beach. Info http://www.greatlakes.org All. for the Gt. Lkes.

April 30, Saturday, 12-2 pm. ARBOR DAY on Wooded Island. Learn to ID the variety of trees, get a sapling. REG. REQ. and details 312 747-4914.
Gather with the birders Saturdays at 8, for a walk around Wooded Island. Gather at Darrow Bridge.
Save the date May 7 9 am. TreeKeeper master class, mulching at Nichols Park with CPD. All skills. JPACers invited.


Trail. JPAC was not awarded the two grants for which it applied for the Interactive Nature Trail. We are grateful for consideration of our requests- and for work expended! We will forge ahead thanks to planned generous habitat work by Chicago Park District, other funds including from The University of Chicago and Hyde Park Bank, and sweat equity.
Any are welcome to make an earmarked contribution for the Trail or a general contribution. You can get a form from garyossewaarde@yahoo.com and or send your check to JPAC c/o Dwight Powell, 7206 S. Luella, Chicago, IL 60649. For information about the Trail (plans being updated) contact Frances S. Vandervoort, 773 752-8374.

A new mosaic by Montgomery Place residents under artist Mirtes Zwyerzynski and derived from displays at the Museum of Science and Industry is being readied for the underpass of 57th Drive. Thanks to Chicago Public Art Group and Harper Court Arts Council. Visit the mural by school children, previously installed under the Lake Shore Dr. viaduct.

Member Charlotte Newfeld of the Lakeview Citizens’ Council commends our effort to have the north bridge to Wooded Island named on behalf of Nancy Hays. Letters of support are being collected. Contact Gary Ossewaarde.


The March 9, 2011 Wooded Island walkthrough

By Gary M. Ossewaarde, Jackson Park Advisory Council Secretary

A walk through was held March 9, 2011 10 a.m. on Wooded Island (Paul Douglas Nature Sanctuary) that included Zhanna Yermakov and Jason Steger of CPD, reps. of Jackson Park Advisory Council and its committees, members from Wooded Island Working Group, and several representing birding groups that/who may or may not be part of WIWG. Zhanna designated this is not a WIWG walk through but a special walk through about the Rose Garden fence, called by JPAC.

Most agreed that the primary use of most of Wooded Island is as one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Midwest, although some insisted this is not the an exclusive purpose. Studies were cited showing that the most ecologically significant and productive part of Wooded Island is the former Rose Garden- surrounded by the fence at issue.

Although some continued to express questions about policy or the effects of past and planned habitat work--all of which will be visited and addressed on an ongoing basis, the issue addressed today was the fence around the former Rose Garden.

Points of either consensus or continued review appeared to be the following:


• The fence serves the primary purpose of Wooded Island, as a bird and wildlife sanctuary, by
1) providing birds with protection and a preferred perching and congregating space and
2) discouraging or limiting uses by and presence of people and dogs.
3) No one said that this particular fence is of other paramount value such as historic or aesthetic.

• Little purpose was seen served by discontinuing the fence. Its removal would be expensive, or if gratis would involve much labor and time, disruption of habitat, and concerns about contracting process. The same for removal with replacement.
• The Park District has already identified parts of the fence as severely damaged and posing safety and appearance problems, seen by CPD as its duty to rectify. These sections are already on Park District Work Order lists, although likely quite far down in priority. There was widespread agreement that highly damaged parts of the fence, including by the east gate, should or can be addressed, preferably by repair and replacement. There was disagreement or no decision on the immediate need for such attention and whether the gate should be fixed, replaced, or removed.
• Funds are not presently identified for the up to $20,000 in money or kind needed for repairs. An offer by a skilled member of the Advisory Council to do work gratis or for cost of material only (with no material to be removed and resold) was discussed, but many preferred there be open bidding. There was not agreement or commitment (including by JPAC or birder groups) regarding any plan for immediate fundraising.
• Suggested consensus was that the fence should remain as serving the primary purpose of Wooded Island but that repairs may be undertaken, possibly supplemented with vegetation or other means of serving bird needs and discouraging frequent entry to the Rose Garden.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting of February 14, 2011

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Minutes of the January meeting were approved as presented.

Matthew Freer, Chicago Park District Senior Program Specialist in Nature and Cultural Programs, presented. Offerings in outdoor education for ascending ages include Toddlers, Tunes and Turtles; Urban Campers (ages 9-12, have camped at Osaka Garden); Day Camp Field Trips (ages 10-13), Family Overnighters, and field trips including for 2,500 in Jackson and several other parks.

Matthew’s illustrated talk showed ways to cope with a well-researched changed landscape for children, who are in many ways separated from direct experiences with nature and experiences that enhance fitness and wellness including emotional. Many misconceptions and excuses contribute to this, starting with a perception that the outdoors is especially dangerous. Materials prepared with Chicago Wilderness and available to parents describe some strategies to overcome such problems, under the rubrics “Leave No Child Inside,” “Passport to Nature,” and “Outdoor Bill of Rights-What Every Child Should Be Able to Do.” One resource is Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods.”

Freer described specific ways trails grow learning abilities as well as fitness in children and adults, giving as a example improvements (including reduced crime through people presence) when neighbors of a Milwaukee park in a neighborhood like those around Jackson Park built a nature trail and center. Friends of the Chicago River “leave no trace” canoe training could be brought to the basin, fishing programs such as could be enhanced or brought in, and trail exercise station programs such as Inter-recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) could be set up in appropriate parts of a park. Mr. Freer was much thanked for his presentation. JPAC will call upon the resources of his department.

Introductions were made, showing, McCurry pointed out, that all have skills, experiences, and interests to bring to the park and to JPACs’ committees to make a difference. She said it is important to build relationships with the park supervisor and staff as they know who we need to talk to about the many aspects and issues of the park. New attendees included Jerry Levy, who has entered the process to become Wooded Island steward, and Carolyn? Morris, who works with a mentoring and anti-violence program for young women.

Park. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, talked about program, noting that spring with its sports programs brings in the most kids. Staff is visiting area schools. The essay contest program was two-thirds complete; he showed the trophies that JPAC funded. Andrea Frink revealed her “shopping list” for the fieldhouse. Fran Vandervoort moved, with second, that JPAC appropriate $200 for a microwave oven for the fieldhouse. Unanimously approved.

Jackson Park Nature Trail planning was described and discussed. Fran Vandervoort said components (some near term and some later) include way finding and descriptive signage, trail and habitat enhancement in Wooded Island, Bob-o-link and linking the two and means to maintain these, educational materials and programs, and a dedicated, interactive website. Explained and discussed were a prepared grant proposal to be soon submitted to a local organization, a “seed grant” proposal to Friends of the Parks, a generous Chicago Park District match, and potential other partnerships, all covering different or overlapping components. Motion was made by Michael Taqee and seconded by Norman Bell to approve the nature trail concept and the grant applications. Unanimously approved.

Ziff Sistrunk discussed formation of a sports committee that would coordinate the fields and bring into the discussion the needs and issues of the varied recreational facilities teams and user groups in Jackson Park (including golf and boating). He has photos, and would take more, of the various facilities. His observation was that much is falling apart.

Announcements included awards received by Gary Ossewaarde and Tim Black from Friends of the Parks (Ossewaarde showed his very nice plaque); annual dinner HP Historical Society which has a great interest in the park.

Walk throughs of the natural and related areas of the parks will be held by the Wooded Island Working Group as plans develop or concerns arise.

The council continues to explore conditions, best practices, and appropriate locations for dog parks—the committee was scheduled to meet February 21 at 7 pm at the fieldhouse.

The fundraising committee is developing a plan. Those interested should contact Judith Hill via Gary Ossewaarde.

Chicago Park District and Friends of the Parks hosts its annual resource Conference for park council members Saturday, March 19, 9-2 at South Shore Cultural Center. Register with stonem@fotp.org or dana.andrews@chicagoparkdistrict.com. (Included: illustrated talk on Jackson and Washington Parks by Fran Vandervoort).

Adjourned 8:50 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council January 13 2011 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. 14 were present, 3 new. Introductions were made. Two new attendees reflected important interests in the parks including sports, pets, and natural habitat. Two 5th Ward aldermanic candidates were in attendance.

The minutes were accepted as corrected: spelling of Toshia Booker-Blakeley, inclusion of a resolution passed in December that JPAC will seek naming and identification of the North Bridge to Wooded Island for Nancy Hays, who among so much else was president of the advisory council, and to seek a notice in the park of the work of former president Ross Petersen and the other nature volunteers for Wooded Island.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported that c. $570 in dues and contributions were deposited, with more coming in. The most recent balance was $3,640.20. Powell reported that some responding said that new announced dues levels are too high for them. Members here wanted all to know that all dues and their levels are “suggested” and also are not related to participation in the council-- but that higher levels (those voted in December) need to be suggested to those who can afford it. The secretary noted that the bylaws require that dues increases be proposed at one meeting and then voted on at a subsequent meeting.

Following up on dues increases proposed in December, moved and seconded that the suggested dues levels be now set at $25 for individuals and $35 for organizations. Approved.

Recreational Leader Andrea Frink reported on the park and program in lieu of Supervisor William Tillis. Ms. Frink will be the spokesperson at JPAC meetings. She has a long history on the staff of Jackson Park and is very appreciative of the work and support of the council. She said the greatest concern for the fieldhouse and field programs is weak signup for programs, even for those that are free, despite aggressive recruitment. The park competes with schools’ free afterschool programs and with the Y, which takes Child Care Initiative vouchers that parks do not and includes swimming, and that transportation to the fieldhouse is not provided (CPS formerly did). (Conversations have been had with principals and the Y.) Also Harris and Don Nash have pools and some facilities the fieldhouse does not—but we do have outdoor fields. Many seniors won’t come to the fieldhouse for programs, asking instead that park staff come to their buildings.

Jackson Park programs include senior exercise programs with 2nd Mondays 1 p.m. free jazz performance (starting this spring).
Elementary kids have programs from 2 to 6 p.m.-- homework then sports rotating through the seasons.
Teen and adult programs are for after 6 p.m. Basketball is a key gym program.
Cheerleading and more are taught Mondays, wrestling Tuesdays, Soccer Wednesdays, and Friday is devoted to seasonal sports competition with other parks.

Staff strives to have tailored activities kids will come for and that give memorable experiences, in many cases improvising and getting non CPD funds. The activities rotate through the months. Suggestions that members made- and in some cases offered on the spot to come in and provide included languages, juggling, projects and tours with plants, trees and wildlife or birds, learning social skills, and a Valentine’s project. Volunteers offered to do other things that would make it easier for families to use the fieldhouse or would free up staff. Many in and outside the council already have their qualifications and have had background checks and registration, and the park district has streamlined procedures for volunteers on a single day basis.

The annual essay contest is coming up for youth—one based on Presidents Day and the other Black History Month. In “Who Am I?” Kids both write an essay and dress up and speak as a personage. Trophies are distributed. Moved by Vandervoort, seconded Powell to provide $50 for trophies. Approved.
Mr. Sistrunck described Chicago Metro Baseball-Kirby Puckett which is raising the funds to play in the park. Info- www.eteawiz.com/dickallen. (Separate note: Field rent fees have gone up; insurance required.) 2

A newly formed bulletin board committee reported a monthly schedule of topics for features to serve as teaching tools in JPAC’s bulletin board in the south hallway. Topics ranged from persons (currently Nancy Hays) to nature (such as the oaks and birds on Wooded Island) and sports. More topics were suggested. (The bulletin board also is to include notices of meetings/actions and the Newsletter.)

Discussed was an idea for a self-guided nature tour using trails including in Wooded Island. There might be identification signage, brochures that could be picked up or distributed, and disposable cameras for kids. Fran Vandervoort and others are exploring grants and park district receptiveness to the nature trail idea.
McCurry, Vandervoort and others met with Rosalind Moore of the 5th Ward Office (and Ms. Moore consulted with Park District officers including the region manager) on matters including the process for naming the Wooded Island bridge for Nancy Hays, pursuant to a JPAC resolution passed in December. They are proceeding with paperwork and the gathering of community and stakeholder support. This will include a letter of support from the council with details of the request and why the nominee deserves such recognition. Members were assigned to contact specific groups and stakeholders.

Vandervoort gave a heads up that the Friends of the Japanese Garden is considering one or more festivals or activities for Osaka Garden this year, in which JPAC might participate.

Also per JPAC resolution, potential for a dog-friendly area is being explored, perhaps near the 59th tennis court/inlet harbor sector. The procedure is known and who might have a concern or objection. Those exploring understand the many requirements for approval, the need for caretaking agreements, the costs, and suitability for dogs of different kinds of facilities. Someone would have to start a study and seek grants if interested in such a facility.
Natural areas. Questions were asked about the extent of plant removals in Wooded Island planned this year and beyond, effects of past phased habitat reconstruction, and about relationships between ongoing needs of bird and wildlife the plan’s species for replanting. [Plans can be seen in the JPAC website at http://www.hydepark.org/birds/Woodedsum.htm.] Attention was called to an interesting site called Natural History Chicago (http://www.naturalhistorychicago.com) by Jane Masterson. It has wildlife pictures.

The secretary was asked to inquire of the park district and Care of Trees concerning cost sharing for work this year or next.

Time was directed to be set aside at a later meeting to discuss feasibility and desirability of new facilities in the park, for example a presidential library.

Friends of the Parks will present achievement awards to community and park activist, teacher and historian Timuel D. Black and to JPAC Secretary Gary Ossewaarde February 3 at its annual luncheon at the Chicago Cultural Center. (This event has a cost and deadline – call 312 857-2757 or visit http://www.fotp.org.)

The next issue of the 5th Ward Newsletter will include a feature on Jackson Park and JPAC.

One or more JPAC committees may meet before or after regular meetings in various months.

Being planned – a major community meeting on Jackson Park security. The 5th Ward office will help with invitation to police, stakeholders, and community. All are encouraged to come and bring friends. Date and details will be announced in the next newsletter.

The meeting was adjourned about 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council December 13 2010 meeting minutes

Interim president Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 pm, a quorum being present. Excused absence: Treasurer Dwight Powell. Minutes of the November meeting were presented by Gary Ossewaarde and approved as distributed. There was no financial report. Members and attendees introduced themselves and their park interests and several submitted their membership applications at the meeting.

Election of Officers. Procedures were explained and ballots were distributed to qualified voters. Elected to a one-year term: Louise McCurry, President; Toshia Booker-Blakeley, Vice President; Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary; Dwight Powell, Treasurer. Ballots were counted by Kevin Quinn and Ram Nair and results announced later in the meeting.

Announcements on trees and natural areas. McCurry announced that lost and at-end-of-their-lifetime willows along the lagoon will be replaced, thus following Frederick Law Olmsted’s template and vision of vista along the lagoons.
Trees near Cornell/57th Drive (Museum curve) that were removed because of poor condition will be replaced with trees removed for construction in another park or otherwise having generous diameters.

A homeless person has returned, who has been observed setting fires under the Darrow Bridge in trash cans taken from elsewhere in the park. The situation has been reported to proper authorities and such will receive regular council monitoring. Bridge condition was examined by an ironwork expert and shown to CPD.

Ample birds have been reported on Wooded Island, particularly in underbrush. The potential for more tours including for school youth was discussed.

Bylaws. Ossewaarde introduced the finalized draft and reviewed the background and changes made. Moved, seconded and passed to remove and hold back for inquiry a clause in Article six Section 2 referring to holding office in more than one council, with consensus opposing that provision. Moved by Fran Vandervoort, seconded by Judith Hill and unanimously approved to adopt the revised bylaws draft 8(a) as amended above. Vandervoort praised the assistance the committee (she and Ossewaarde) received pro bono from Attorney Roger M. Huff. Instruction was given to the Secretary to write him a letter of acknowledgement and thanks. [Former and new bylaws and changes (including clean copy of new—to be prepared) can be seen at the fieldhouse or downloaded at http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/bylawsnew.htm [since: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/JPAC_Bylaws_Final_Dec_2010.pdf.] Or for hard copy call Gary Ossewaarde at [773 947-9541].

Report and action on the Wooded Island Walkthrough. A walkthrough of JPAC members with Chicago Park District staff, particularly Adam Schwerner, Director of Natural Resources) and stakeholders was arranged by JPAC so we could see conditions and what work has been and is to be done where, and why. Also, concerns were being brought to JPAC about work in at the west side of the “Rose Garden”. At the walkthrough, the diverse group that braved a cold day asked and had answered many questions. An updated plan for phased removals and plantings was in progress (sent later- see in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/birds/Woodedsum.htm). All acknowledged that habitat establishment and maintenance is a long-range commitment. Work that The Care of Trees did removing select downed tree material and growth choking out oaks was also reviewed with the park forester Jerome Scott. Encouraging was that oak saplings are coming back in thinned areas. By the “Rose Garden” White Mulberry trees had been removed, contributing to a stark look due largely to seasonal plant dieback---the mulberries will be replaced with suitable species. Observed: need for attention and planning for tree stands outside the natural areas proper and potential for aquatic and lagoon edge plantings.

Recommendation from the c. 8 JPAC members from the walkthrough was that the Wooded Island Working Group is a good vehicle for ongoing oversight in which JPAC should participate and that the updated management plan is good. Vandervoort moved and McCurry seconded: JPAC will participate in the Wooded Island Working Group; we expect the Park District to come to JPAC when it wants to make major plan revisions, and JPAC endorses the updated plan. Noted was need to recruit a permanent site steward or stewards. McCurry will serve as interim planner and recruiter of volunteers; Gail Parry and Norman Bell will do the same for Bob-o-link Meadow. The nature committee was asked to meet and among other tasks develop work, skills and priorities lists and volunteer candidates.

Consensus-- defer contracting with Care of Trees this winter because our balance would become too low.

Committees. The following expressed interest in specific committees. Safety/security: Michael Taqee, Coach Foster Williams, Ossewaarde and a couple of others. Youth and Programs. Amy Dworsky, Williams (track and football, mentoring), Ram Nair (soccer), McCurry (soccer). Outreach, Membership, Fundraising. Booker-Blakeley, Judith Hill, Ossewaarde and others. Nature etc. McCurry, Bell, Parry, Kevin Quinn (trees), Booker-Blakeley, Hill, Vandervoort. Esther Schechter and Zelia Stevens will continue to do observation and walks through the park.
2
Artificial surface field. A report (avail. on request) was distributed by Ossewaarde on a community meeting. One of the coaches present (Foster Williams?) described and endorsed the proposal as beneficial. Ossewaarde also passed around a letter of provisional support the officers agreed to supply, this being needed last week. Endorsement was conditional on action by this meeting. There was discussion of locations in or near the running track; consensus was in favor of the public and team endorsed location inside the track unless the proposal is changed. The park district has recommended Jackson Park and is seeking a grant (the field will be privately funded), expecting work to start quickly. Extensive upgrade is already underway at the track. Moved, seconded and passed to endorse the proposal. [details and referenced report in artificial field page.]

Park District budget. McCurry and Ossewaarde attended a workshop and question session with CPD budget head Stephen Hughes, convened by Friends of the Parks. Cuts are being made across the system. Maintaining program to the extent possible and deploying it according to demand and the needs and income of various neighborhoods was laid out as priority, but challenged by attendees there. Concern was expressed that some programs including in Jackson may not be filled because of high fees or inability to hire enough staff. McCurry cautioned against park district intent to sell advertising in parks around certain facilities.

Park conditions. The coaches and other observers said field conditions are “lousy”. The immediate cause was said to be that unregistered groups with a “don’t care” attitude come and use the fields and not enough security is present to get them out. Consensus was to go to various authorities and insist on enforcement. On the other hand, sophisticated police action had reduced illegal activities in some parts of the park, though whether sustainably remains to be seen. Various persons were assigned various contacts on safety; coordination would be sought through the 5th Ward office.

Dog friendly area? A location was suggested by McCurry, far from natural areas or other facilities for which such an area would create a nuisance. Moved by McCurry, seconded by Quinn to investigate feasibility and interest.

Dues. Moved by McCurry, seconded and approved that dues be $25 individual, $35 organization. JPAC funds too low and we have a new mission; nec. for fundraising campaign [Bylaws req. rec. only; vote at a future mtg.]

Confirmed: meeting date continues to be 2nd Mondays until annual review next November (per new bylaws).
Next meeting January 10.
Meeting adjourned 9:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes of the November 8, 2010 meeting (with announcements)

Coming events – community meeting, Wooded Island walkthrough…
November 23, Tuesday, 6 p.m. Artificial surface field proposal community mtg.- 6401 S. Stony Island
November 26, Friday, 10 a.m. A walkthrough of Wooded Island and nearby re safety/security and natural areas care. Meet in the parking lot south of the Museum and east of Darrow Bridge. Q? 773 288-8343.
December 13 council meeting- See provisional agenda on the front page.

Jackson Park Advisory Council November 8 2010 meeting minutes

Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. with Treasurer Dwight Powell. A quorum was present.

Minutes of the October meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s report. Dwight Powell reported two deposits, one expenditure (park kids). Fiscal agent pay’t was made.

Election to fill two vacant offices for the next month only was held due to requir’t for timely notice for an annual election. Elected by secret ballot were Louise McCurry, interim president and Toshia Booker-Blakeley, interim vp. Agreed that the general election will be held December 13. Nominees remain as from the October meeting:

President- Louise McCurry, Dwight Powell
Vice President- Toshia Booker-Blakeley, Judith Hill
Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde
Treasurer- Dwight Powell
Additional nominations will be taken from the floor.

Bylaws. Revised bylaws draft 7 was distributed with a key/finding aid. Five additional changes were read, moved and unanimously approved. An additional change regarding procedure for vacancies without a formal resignation and regarding officer non-attendance at two consecutive meetings was outlined and approved. Moved, seconded approved to provisionally approve draft 7 and all proposed additional changes, and for the committee (Gary Ossewaarde and Fran Vandervoort) to confer with the attorney and prepare and consolidate all approved changes into a draft for final vote December 13. That draft, current bylaws, and approved changes can be accessed from []and posted in the fieldhouse. Those who want it mailed were advised to contact the secretary at garyossewaarde@yahoo.com or leave a message at 773 288-8343.

Communications. A letter from Zhanna Yermakov, Chicago Park District Natural Resources, was read. It countered a statement in the October Newsletter citing former JPAC President Ross Petersen that many planted saplings on Wooded Island were not watered and had died. The letter states that “all the new trees were watered regularly, and out of more than 100 trees, 5 did not survive. These trees are under warranty and will be replaced next spring. We also had tremendous success with our planting over 300+ native shrubs” and notes that seeds of invasive plants will continue to germinate from the soil and will be removed as they sprout.

Jerome Scott, Park District Forester, relayed that the council needs to quickly decide and communicate its level of priority and commitment to natural areas care, in terms of committee, regular volunteers and groups that can be recruited to help, and site steward(s). In addition, he reported that he has been in discussion with Care of Trees, which would like to again do tree clearance on the Island. The council agreed that the nature committee will make a recommendation to the next meeting. Members noted that the anticipated council contribution (c. $2,400) would leave only a few hundred dollars in our bank balance. However, our annual fundraising mailing is imminent.

Park safety and security. The committee and officers were instructed to gather information on what the problems are in what parts of the park and a possible agenda, hold a walk through including in Wooded Island, and work with the 5th Ward Office to convene a meeting of responsible stakeholders and police agencies on park security.

Announcements and information included that we should expect to find work in progress by CDOT on park paths and trails especially along Marquette Road. Noted: JPAC vetted and approved the plans several years ago.

It is park budget time and officers are to take a close look to make sure staffing and standards are maintained.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. Next meeting December 13, 7:30 p.m. 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes of the October 13, 2010 meeting


The meeting was held on a special day due to Columbus Day and officer availability. The meeting was convened by Secretary Gary Ossewaarde with assistance of Dwight Powell, the other officer present. There were 19 attendees and a quorum of those qualified to vote under attendance provisions of the present bylaws. The meeting agreed to suspend previous-attendance requirement due to the special circumstances of the meeting. It was explained that two officers, Vice President Fran Vandervoort and President Ross Petersen had recently resigned. Fran had formerly submitted her resignation, accepted at the September meeting. Although Ross had not submitted a letter, he left a clear message and also gave his resignation and the reasons therefore clearly in the media, with no word to the contrary. The exemplary work of both, especially of Ross was described. Members suggested a formal resignation be asked but is not required and determined that the offices are vacant and that according to bylaws they should proceed to fill the positions.

Following introductions of attendees (from all the neighborhoods surrounding the park), the September minutes by Gary Ossewaarde were approved as presented and summarized.

The financial report was presented by Treasurer Dwight Powell. As of September 30, balance was $3,206.67. Powell was asked to review major expenses to date. These included last fall $2,400 to Care of Trees for removals in Wooded Island, a spring lecture by mycologist Greg Mueller (cost a few hundred) and various for Park Kids activities. $1,000 had been budgeted for Park Kids scholarships. Operational costs were recited and noted as unsustainable without help of Museum of Science and Industry and others pro bono. Need to start the 2011 dues/fundraising was stressed.

Eric Hammond, Jackson Park fieldhouse recreation leader, gave the park and program report in the absence of Supervisor William Tillis. The Junior Bears are in the playoffs. Upon suggestion that help would be nice for the Halloween party for 50-60 kids, Louise McCurry moved with second that $200 be appropriated. Unanimously approved.

Moved, seconded, approved to proceed to nominations. Officers and other experienced members reviewed the responsibilities of park councils and recent JPAC accomplishments, such as the Frederick Douglass monument project. This was followed by distribution of PAC membership applications and sign up sheets for four identified committees: Membership, Natural Areas/Upkeep, Program, and Security. Nominees for office (alphabetic):

President: Louise McCurry, Dwight Powell
Vice President: Judith Hill, Toshia Booker-Blakeley
Secretary: Gary Ossewaarde
Treasurer: Dwight Powell.
Offices will be filled from top office down. Additional nominations will be open from the floor. Bios can be distributed.

Ossewaarde distributed the latest annotated draft of revised bylaws, by committee of Fran Vandervoort and Gary Ossewaarde with assistance of experienced attorney Roger Huff, consulting Chicago Park District Guidelines. Some areas for further visitation were identified with expectation that language will be brought to the next meeting.

Natural areas and plans were discussed. Some of the concerns and critiques by Ross Petersen were set forth and two members of the volunteer workday team discussed them. Jerome Scott, CPD Park Forester explained the natural areas protocol and the template that was developed with much community and expert consultation and distinguished between removals and plantings. He said the PD is serious about implementing plans—properly--and needs volunteers and a site steward to work and oversee. He explained how one qualifies and becomes a site steward and urged people to apply (two persons or more sharing the post is acceptable.) There is a new Natural Areas Coordinator, to whom one applies. Scott said the dune project by the 63rd pavilion is going very well.

Members described inconveniences and impracticalities for park users from the paid parking and opined that the lakefront should be a free-use resource.
Concerns were expressed that recent changes in police deployment would lead to return of bad conditions the police had begun seriously addressing.

Rosalind Moore of the 5th Ward Office offered to facilitate a small meeting with the police and others with responsibility for public safety. Rosalind also said that the Alderman relies on JPAC to support a strong park, evaluate proposals, and serve as early warning.

The meeting was adjourned to November 8.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

October 13, 2010

Jackson Park needs you now

This summer Jackson Park Advisory Council Vice president Fran Vandervoort and this month President Ross Petersen resigned and laid down their considerable responsibilities as officers of JPAC. We want the community to know that they left responsibly and with good will. We are concerned when persons decide to leave, whether out of frustration over park matters or council weaknesses.

The membership will greatly miss both Ross and Fran and greatly appreciates their work on behalf of JPAC and the park. Over 15 years Ross shared or held leadership and twice-monthly gathered volunteers and organizations--despite inevitable and all frustrations--to maintain the natural areas and implement a widely agreed upon plan for healthy habitat in the Wooded Island. This volunteer assistance to the park district and its contractors is necessary to this park. Ways must be found to reconstitute it for the next year.

Our officers past and continuing worked very hard with park’s supervisor, district officers, generous private parties, Friends of the Parks, and elected officials including our alderman-- in the face of numerous increasing challenges and declining budgets in our parks. We believe we can count more successes than disappointments, but now is the time to raise rather than lower the bar.

We thank the many who have joined or contributed to JPAC and/or worked in the park, including the Friends of the Japanese Garden
Jackson Park Advisory Council needs more members, new officers, adoption of new bylaws, and new community input so it can continue to monitor, plan and advise for the park and sponsor needs and projects in the park. This is the path to strengthening the park as an asset to its three neighborhoods and people throughout the South Side. We have been assured by park and elected officials of their concern at this time. But if we expect them to serve our parks in informed and serious ways, we have to bring neighbor involvement and set complacency aside.

We are asking neighbors, block clubs, and organizations to attend and bring their ideas-- and willingness to go to work-- to our next council meeting, which will not be on the usual 2nd Monday but on Wednesday, October 13, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island. Let’s get started.

Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary, Dwight Powell, Treasurer

Jackson Park Advisory Council Minutes of the September 13, 2010 JPAC meeting

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm.

The minutes of the June meeting were approved as revised in the August Newsletter.

Vice president Fran Vandervoort submitted her letter of resignation in June, effective in July, and duly removed her name as a financial signatory at our bank. Filling the vacancy was placed on the October agenda. Moved and approved by consensus were the following officers as fiscal signatories: Dwight Powell, Ross Petersen, Gary Ossewaarde, who were instructed to tend to registration with the bank and with our fiscal agent Friends of the Parks.

Discussed was difficulty finding a low-cost off-site place for special council meetings and lectures and to have such in order to increase membership. Also discussed was ways to encourage more frequent attendance from Park District staff above the park level.

Ossewaarde reported on a visit he and Friends of the Parks staff including Maria D. Stone to a number of places in the park, including the new playground east of the 63rd St. Bathing Pavilion and the dune and swale habitat reconstruction, the former being diligently constructed and the latter looking good and with someone working on it.

Petersen reported that many of the saplings planted in Wooded Island this year were not watered and have died.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Published in lieu of the June minutes (next) in the August 2010 Newsletter: (there was no meeting in July)

Copies of the June minutes will be available at the August 9 meeting, online [here] or by email request via garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

The Secretary regrets an omission from the previously published June 2010 (July Newsletter) draft minutes and amends them as follows: “Fran Vandervoort circulated her letter of resignation as vice president and nature committee co-chair, effective July 11.” The council is always sad to see an officer leave, but we are especially thankful and grateful for Fran’s dedicated and important service to Jackson Park and the council, and we look forward to her continued participation.

News.

From the preliminary budget hearing: Work is expected to commence shortly on repairs and reconstruction to several park paths.

Lots of plants have gone into the natural areas. Thanks to the large crews including from Chicago Cares for the volunteer workdays.

63rd St. Beach parking lot: 100 spaces are available for free parking early morning - early evening. First come.

Safety in the park is everyone’s business- If you see something, call 911! Thanks to police, Alderman Hairston’s office, Chicago Park District Natural Resources and Aramark crews, and city departments for their efforts related to safety. Also related to safety, expect work on park paths.

Events in and about the park and nearby

August 7-8, Saturday and Sunday. South Shore Annual JazzFest. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive. Bring chairs only. 773 734-2000, http://www.jazzunitesinc.org.

August 19, Thursday, 11 am. 5th Ward Seniors at the Jackson Park Harbor. Call 773 324-5555- there is a bus from the ward office.

August 28, Saturday, 2-5 pm. Volunteer Activity, Japanese gardening class, Taiko and other drumming- Wooded Island Osaka Garden. Friends of the Japanese Garden. Their website is https://sites.google.com/site/friendsofthejapanesegarden/home.

August 29, Sunday, 11 am-4 pm. 5th Ward Back to School Picnic. With entertainment. At 63rd St. beach house.

SEPTEMBER 7, Tuesday, 6 pm. South Region Chicago PARK DISTRICT BUDGET HEARING. Bring your ideas and concerns. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive.

September 12, Sunday. Chicago Half Marathon and 5K. From the South Shore Cultural Center and including Jackson Park. Call the ward office for info. 773 324-5555.

Ongoing:
Volunteer Workdays- Habitat maintenance in the Natural Areas 2nd and 4th Saturdays 10-1 to late fall. Meet at the Darrow Bridge south of Museum of Science and Industry (parking east of the bridge). Call Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505. Help one of the largest nature areas in the city!

Join fellow bird and nature watchers in a walk though Wooded Island Saturdays, 8 am. Meet at the Darrow Bridge. Through New Years!

Check out lawn bowling or croquet at the bowling green, weekends and Tuesday nights. Southwest of the Museum at Lake Shore Drive.

[Item removed- Farmers market is not being held at the Museum this year.]

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting minutes June 14 2010 (published in the July newsletter)

Appended note for August 2010 Newsletter.

Notice. The Secretary regrets an omission from the previously published [July Newsletter] June 2010 draft minutes and amends them as follows: “Fran Vandervoort circulated her letter of resignation as vice president and nature committee co-chair, effective July 11.” The council is always sad to see an officer leave, but we are especially thankful and grateful for Fran’s dedicated and important service to Jackson Park and the council, and we look forward to her continued participation.

Fran Vandervoort opened the meeting at 7:40 p.m., President Ross Petersen being unable to attend.

A quorum was present. BIG Baseball communicated they will come and report as soon as their plan is ready.

Paul Grabowski, site steward for the 63rd Street Beach dune and seasonal swale construction gave a PowerPoint presentation and took questions. Paul is a graduate student in ecology at University of Chicago who has done extensive field work in the Indiana Dunes, known for tremendous variability of climate and of microclimates within a few feet and for its variety of plant life that is both very hardy and adaptable, holding up well to frequent shifting of sand and landforms.

The project funded and begun last year on the 63rd Street peninsula by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Park District included two areas of interest to the study and reconstruction of dune land habitats. Also built: a habitat for fish at the pier and other improvements such as a picnic area to the south.
The relevant dune sectors were a thicket on the east side of the peninsula--overgrown with invasives and full of garbage, and a dune on the west side that notoriously sheds sand down the underpass of Lake Shore Drive.

In the project, part of the dune was lowered near the beach to create a seasonally water-filled swale that would be planted with emergent wetland species that would gradually create a stable habitat. Its succession and success is being studied in comparison with similar configurations in the Indiana Dunes. The interior side of the dune closer to the Drive and underpass were planted with 9,000 “tillers” of marram grass last fall. This “pioneer” grass is a hardy stabilizer that spreads via huge rhizomes through the sand. 90 percent of the plantings survived, appear to be reducing sand drift, and are sheltering other plant type arrivals.
The water level rises and falls in the swale, which was planted this spring with plants from within 300 miles by the Army Corps. At some point cottonwood seedlings will have to be thinned out—natural controls have disappeared. Invasive species will be pruned. Changing water levels and disturbance will also be watched.

A next stage will include introduction of switch grass, a succession plant with good anti-erosion qualities that will replace marram grass, which dies or thins out of its own success as the sand stops blowing. Switch grass is found also in the Dunes (and is widespread throughout the States and holds potential as a bio-fuel).
In the east thicket, cottonwoods are being taken out and replaced with dune-specific grasses and wildflowers, most of which are thriving.

Considerable worry was expressed about protecting the new plantings during, for example, the 4th of July fireworks off 59th/63rd where large crowds are expected. There will be 6 ft chain-link fencing (some noted that access could be gained into the east thicket via a concrete wall.) Additional security will be provided. JPAC also had suggested more signage. Also re the fireworks: access via 67th St. and Jeffery will be closed. Parking will not be allowed at 63rd beach. Shuttle buses will be provided.

In other nature area news, Fran Vandervoort reported a June 9 planning walk-through hosted by the park district on Wooded Island. Phased and staged removal of invasives has been done by Aramark, Care of Trees, and volunteers. Shrubs were planted. She commended the ecology and bird viewing opportunities in both Wooded Island and Washington Park.

Park and Program. Park Supervisor William Tillis said he expects 100 kids for football and cheerleading. Day camp expects over 200. Jackson Park has one of the more active and sought out programs. Ken Chaney performed jazz to increasing audiences at the seniors’ exercise program. The jazz will resume in the fall.

Moved by Esther Schechter and seconded by Dwight Powell to skip the July meeting. Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes May 10, 2010

Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. The agenda was accepted; the May minutes were accepted as presented.

Zhanna Yermakov, Chicago Park District Department of Natural Resources, distributed and discussed the Wooded Island Habitat Restoration Plan for 2009-10 and announced a planning walk-through on the Island June 9, noon-2 p.m., meeting on the Darrow Bridge. Restoration work and plantings are staggered by section over several years. The first go around of the Island, including the most intensive work, is drawing to a close this year. There is still reworking to do near Osaka garden (in fall 2010) and various small areas. 31 species are on the planting list, intended to promote diversity and a three-dimensional habitat consisting of ground, mid and canopy layers. Healthy forests and savannas have many plants at the ground level tapering to a small number of canopy trees; it’s been found to be better for birds and other animals if the ground shrubs are in clusters. In addition, growth is planned to be heavier around the perimeter of the Island, more sparse in the center.

The best way of growing shrubs for planting, Ms. Yermakov said, is in what’s called “grow bags,” which have peat and keep most of the roots with the plant. Also, the best size for planting trees is 1½ to 2½ inches in diameter. Aside from the Wooded Island replanting, 22 trees from Possibility Place are being planted north of the Wooded Island north bridge, thanks to Exelon Corp. Mr. Petersen said there should be an examination of the shore plantings to see what may be needed there.

Security issues and need for patrol were discussed, including between Cornell Drive and the west lagoon—work orders have been submitted for overgrowth reduction and opening—and on the Island and Osaka Garden at night. 3rd District Chicago Police distributed material and announcements of seminars and a Resource Fair.

Keronn Walker from B.I.G. Baseball Academy returned with concepts for baseball field renovation, discussed April 19 with Chicago Park District staff. Ages served are expected to be 6-16. A proposal will be prepared. Suggested by members was to start incrementally with what is cost beneficial, shown by experience to be needed as the field comes into use, and least involves invasive accessories needing care and security. Coordination with all users of the field and adjacent sports fields was also stressed. (Parks staff says it has to be a shared facility.) Consensus was favorable to such a program and improvement pending the proposal.

Parking lots- Petersen said he has discussed with parks staff the need for logs or other barriers at one lot to keep cars from parking on grass to avoid the meters.

Akari Rokumoto, who works for the Osaka City Chicago Office, reviewed a highly successful Osaka Garden cleanup and shore protection April 17 project done by volunteers and contractors under the Park District and the Friends of the Japanese Garden Chicago Foundation. Volunteers included members of the University of Chicago football team. Ms. Akari and the council agreed that security is a top priority—the Garden is not sustainable without it. One idea is gates at the two Island bridges that would be locked nightly after police patrol.

Park Supervisor William Tillis reported that spring and summer programs are off to a good start. Under motion by Petersen and second by Esther Schechter, the council approved setting aside $1,000 in the event financial aid is determined by the park supervisor to be needed by families for child participation in the summer program. This will be administered by Treasurer Dwight Powell. The senior’s fitness classes are growing, aided by performance on 2nd Mondays at 1 p.m. by Ken Chaney Experience jazz ensemble. A Resource Career Fair for youth and above, including ex offenders was announced for May 22, field house.

Fran Vandervoort circulated her letter of resignation as vice president and nature committee co-chair, effective July 11.

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting June 14, 7:30 pm at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting, April 12, 2010

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. Adjustments were made to the agenda. 63rd beach site steward’s Paul Grabowski’s presentation on the 63rd St. natural area reconstruction and update from the Friends of Osaka Garden will be rescheduled. The minutes of the March meeting were accepted.

Nature Committee. Ross Petersen reported that a large contingent of volunteers, including from University of Chicago who worked on cleanup of Osaka Garden and placement of protective rocks on its shoreline. A group under prospective Bob-o-link Meadow site steward Sam Betcher stayed until 5 p.m. As an expansion of our volunteer effort, work will regularly be done in the Meadow on the regular 2nd and 4th Saturday workdays from 1-5 p.m. Contact for details Mr. Betcher at [] or Ross Petersen at []. JPAC expressed its appreciation of groups and volunteers from the University of Chicago, who were also scheduled for service days in Jackson Park April 17 and 22 (actual Earth Day).

Petersen reported that two trees were removed and one damage in Music Court parking lot islands during placement by the contractor of parking meter devices. This was reported. Petersen noted that no direct communication or discussion was held with JPAC on charged parking placement of machines in the lots throughout the park, such consultation and consideration being essential on major changes in the park.

Members stated regret and concern over the parking policy including park effects by drivers avoiding meters, but no action was voted. Rosalind Moore of Ald. Hairston’s office encouraged all to attend a public hearing on the matter with Park District representatives on April 15, 6:30 at Montgomery Place, 5550 S. South Shore Drive. She cited lack of consultation and public hearings on changing plans. She said that none of the money goes to particular parks.

Petersen reported his concern about continuation of Wooded Island Working Group, an entity separate from JPAC, that vets plans and templates for natural area habitat reconstruction and maintenance, set up in response to concerns about plans a couple years ago. While walkthroughs of the Island are welcome as needed, Petersen said, JPAC is the recognized agency for review, and also the needs that led to formation of an ongoing WIWG have passed. Petersen said he informed the Park District of his intent to withdraw and now moved that JPAC ask dissolution WIWG and that JPAC halt participation in favor of Park District discussion of Wooded Island plans at regular JPAC meetings, commencing May 10, and at open walkthroughs scheduled on an as needed basis. Seconded by Kevin Quinn. Passed 8-0 with one abstention.

A new set of trees is expected north of the Wooded Island north bridge. Schedule will be sought on the MSI west lot project

Financial. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported on balance and dues and contributions. Noted was a generous gift from Elston ACE Hardware. Moved by Petersen, seconded by Esther Schechter to appropriate a not-to-exceed $300 for rental and $150 for honorarium for the April 17 science lecture organized by JPAC, with the understanding that co-sponsors will reimburse part of the cost to JPAC.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, said track and field is getting into full gear. The fieldhouse easily fills its programs without scholarships, but now has to reach out to youth away from the immediate neighborhood to the west to do so, cost and the economy being cited. Go Girls Go led by Selma Sims is very popular and provides much needed mentoring and recreation specifically for girls.

Plans for a new playground southeast of the 63rd Pavilion were discussed by Rosalind Moore of Ald. Hairston’s office. She regretted any oversight and scheduling problems in consulting with JPAC. Plan approved by consensus.

New Business. Baseball program. Keronn Walker and Mr. Christianson of B.I.G. Baseball Academy described hopes and concepts for expanding their program into Jackson Park via improvements to the field near the tennis court, including scoreboard, artificial turf in the infield, dugouts, and bleachers. Cautions were expressed about permanent standing structures and any interference with existing activities or teams. Information was generously shared. They will return after discussions with the Park District and with more detailed plans, possibly in May.

Rebecca Graff said the extensive material from her previous archeological survey in parts of the park is being analyzed. She noted that any digging projects in parks requires archeological mitigation via Illinois State Museum.

Adjournment. Next meeting June 14.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


Since the meeting…and announcements

A walkthrough of Wooded Island is scheduled to consider prospective planting and more. June 9, Wednesday 12-2 Darrow Bridge. Interested parties are welcome.

Volunteer workdays May 8, 22 10-1 pm (may continue to 5 p.m. in Bob-o-link)- Darrow Bridge. Information Ross Petersen 773 486-0505.

Join the birders on Wooded Island- led by Doug Anderson or another experienced. Saturdays 8 a.m. from Darrow Bridge so of MSI.

A nice crowd heard Dr. Greg Mueller explain the role of mushrooms and underground micorhyzal networks to a good crowd on Saturday afternoon April 17. JPAC's thanks to Dr. Mueller, Hyde Park Historical Society, UC Civic Knowledge, volunteers, attendees, and U of C Multicultural Center (which provided the venue).

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting minutes, March 8, 2010

Fran Vandervoort convened the meeting. A quorum was not present, precluding elections. Agenda and minutes of the December meeting were received. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported on the fund balance and that annual dues and gifts were received (thanks to all). Major expenditures have been $2,400 to Care of Trees and $200 to Friends of the Parks, our fiscal agent.

Fran Vandervoort said there will be three volunteer workdays in April- the 10th, 17th (also Earth Day), and 24th, meeting at the Darrow Bridge at 10 am. They are normally 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Call Ross at 773 486-0505.

Bird walks are resuming informally on Saturdays, but Doug Anderson is unable to lead them due to health issues.

Care of Trees has carried out its contracted cutting and removal work in Wooded Island (to which JPAC contributed) and the Park District expects to do more work this spring including fill-in plantings for a strong ecosystem.

Members were encouraged to attend the March 27 care of parks conference at South Shore Cultural Center, 9:30-12. Requested was RSVP to 312 742-4762 or 312 857-2757 x 17, including for exemption from the parking fee.

Members were also encouraged to invite their friends to a special lecture April 17 that JPAC and others have arranged by Greg Mueller, University of Chicago on what grows underfoot and why it matters to parks and people- see at top.

We are waiting to see what plantings survived the winter on the 63rd Street beach dune restoration area. More planting is expected, with a workday, this spring. Vandervoort said we are waiting to hear what steps will be taken to protect the new area from crowds, such as at July 3 fireworks, and how the wetland swale will work.

Bill Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported that a new state of the art “kid safe” playground will be installed this spring southeast of 63rd St. Bathing Pavilion. It will have a nautical theme. Vandervoort said JPAC needs to see the plans and have a copy. Track and field, the most popular park program, serving 100 or more kids, starts. It is free. Day camp sign up lags, but an increased number of partial scholarships will be available (and promoted in the schools) thanks to the Parkways Foundation. Mr. Tillis said he is confident that no child need be turned away for lack of funds.

Eastern Star organization is funding an Easter Egg Hunt for camp kids and families in the park. JPAC is grateful.

Parking meters are installed in most parts of the park. Members expressed concern and JPAC will seek updates.

All are encouraged to view the spectacular murals/mosaics installed in Lake Shore Drive underpasses at 57th.

JPAC will ask about status of the Museum of Science and Industry plans for remake of its west parking lot and drainage configuration and Park District plans for subsequent upgrades to walks.

Dates coming up: March 13 annual Darrow convening and symposium, March 27 conference (see above), workdays, April 17 lecture (see above), Friends of the Parks Ball April 9 at South Shore Cultural Center. [Friends Of Osaka Garden since announced a workday Saturday April 17 at 10 am to include lagoon-edge protective stones installation.]

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting April 12, 7:30, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council December 14, 2009 minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm; a quorum was present.
The November minutes were accepted.

President’s report: Ross Petersen noted the JPAC letter published December 2 in the Hyde Park Herald. The letter acknowledged Care of Tree’s gift of work to be done on Wooded Island (to which JPAC also contributed) and described the project in more detail. The letter also asked that those who wish to help low income families attend kids and youth programs in parks contribute to the Parkways Foundation’s Kids Camp fund.

President and Treasurer: Petersen described a note of appreciation from Park Supervisor Bill Tillis for JPAC’s purchase of turkeys for Thanksgiving time distribution to families of park kids and noting there are no further needs of help from the Council for programs at this time. It was reported that there has been some fall off in registration for youth park programs, to which a modest increase in fees possibly contributed. The Park District budget has been approved, including an agreement with unions that forestalls additional staff layoff for the present. Jackson Park has suffered staff attrition.

Treasurer Dwight Powell noted Friends of the Park’s gracious letter acknowledging JPAC’s gift to them.

The Secretary and Treasurer were asked to expedite a letter to members soliciting an annual financial contribution to the work of JPAC.

Jill Heise, Friends of the Parks Community Parks coordinator, spoke and asked and answered questions. She thanked those who returned questionnaires on FOTP services and resources for councils. In response, a half-day conference is being planned with the Park District for March 27 at South Shore Cultural Center for councils on fundraising and grants, navigating CPD, council best practices, and working with your elected officials.

February 17 FOTP will hold its next council leadership networking convocation.

February 4 is FOTP’s annual awards luncheon and meeting. The council asked that despite our tardiness FOTP take our nomination of Care of Trees and Washington Park Conservancy leader Madiem Kawa. Friends can be reached at 312 527-2757 or http://www.fotp.org.

Heise invited JPAC to send representatives to a first meeting in January by an initiative on tree need identification, planting, upkeep, and replacement, from the Mayor’s Office, CPD, and FOTP (lead Mary Eileen Sullivan). Gary Ossewaarde and Fran Vandervoort volunteered. Petersen said we need clear and sufficient contractor follow up performance guarantees for all contractors to make sure newly planted trees survive. Also, stress should be on having a variety of native, wildlife-friendly and hardy trees. JPAC has worked on lists of preferred species.

Heise participated in general discussion of kids and adult program sufficiency, quality, participation recruitment and pricing in Jackson and in the other parks, and the fieldhouse being empty in the morning. Suggested were focusing on determining whether and ensuring that kids programs really nurture, on creating outside partnerships to make sure the ensemble is one of enrichment, and maybe finding partnerships or other ways to return the training internship programs for high school-aged. FOTP has programs for vetting or addressing these and such other issues of neighborhood parks as playground safety and upkeep. (Noted: the printed and online quarterly program schedules only list programs given by park district staff—councils and neighbors should ask park staff if there are other programs!) JPAC and Friends of the Parks will explore new environmental programming on Wooded Island.

General problems: it’s often hard to reach personnel-- the right, park-knowledgeable person, with authority, whether downtown, in the regions, or in the trades and to get work orders done. Members brought up some ongoing, issues, unaddressed despite work orders, some posing safety hazards. Also discussed: Ongoing crime and people living in the park--difficulty getting authorities and agencies to respond, also off-road bmx bike riders putting up “tracks” when the grass is wet, tearing up the latter.

Spring lecture program planning is being led by Fran Vandervoort. The council voted unanimously to not meet in January and February and so to hold elections in March. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

November 9, 2009

Jackson Park Advisory Council November 09 2009 Meeting Minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Minutes of the October meeting were accepted.

Nature Committee report, Care of Trees project. Ross Petersen introduced a major offer of equipment and labor, valued at about $10,000 from Care of Trees for work in conjunction with the Chicago Park District on Wooded Island and areas south of the Island and lagoons. The project entails clearing selected downed trees and growth from around oaks and desired oak saplings to preserve the oak savanna character. (The persistence of oak sapling growth was noted as an indicator of healthy environment for the oaks.) Most of the living material to be removed is ailanthus (“Tree of Heaven”). Full scope of work and contract was furnished in advance to the park district and the council by Shawn Kingzette of Care of Trees. The project was subsequently approved by the Chicago Park District and a walk through on specifics scheduled. Contributing to the discussion was Chicago Park District Forester Jerome Scott.

Pursuant to discussion, Petersen moved and Fran Vandervoort seconded the following resolution:
“Whereas, specific clearing is needed on and near Wooded Island to preserve the historic oak savanna character, and whereas, Care of Trees has offered to furnish equipment and labor for work this winter (weather permitting) in its sector of the project area, with the park district working in the other,
“Therefore, be it resolved that Jackson Park advisory Council supports the proposed project and expresses its thanks and appreciation to Care of Trees for its generous gift and to the Chicago Park District.
Furthermore, JPAC appropriates $2,400 to cover specified costs beyond that covered by Care of Trees and authorizes signing of necessary contracts.” Following discussion, the resolution was unanimously approved.

Petersen also announced that as part of the 63rd beach peninsula reconstruction project funded by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Park District, the CPD Department of Natural Resources recruited a large volunteer brigade to plant marram grass on beach fore-dune November 14. A large part of the brigade was secured by the University of Chicago Community Service Center. Petersen announced that Paul Grabowski, a U of C student, will serve as nature area steward for the 63rd Street Beach.

Petersen reported that Wooded Island Volunteer Workdays are done for the season.

Financial report and business. Dwight Powell, Treasurer, gave a financial report, which was accepted. Among gifts gratefully acknowledged is one from State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie in memory of her husband, and another from her in memory of Brian Ossewaarde, brother of Gary Ossewaarde. Consensus was that JPAC will ask that memorial trees be sought and planted in the park next year in honor of these and other such remembrances.

Petersen moved, 2nd by Powell, that JPAC appropriate a total of $300 to Friends of the Parks to cover the fee for the latter’s fiscal agent services to JPAC and to renew JPAC’s membership in FOTP, with the remainder in appreciation.

Letters seeking renewals and contributions will be sent this year so JPAC will be ready to support needed projects.

Other business: A committee led by Fran Vandervoort continues to plan a nature topics public lecture series.

The council will look into reports of serious criminal incidents and of “camp sites” in the park and what might be done.

The Chicago Park District holds its final budget hearing Wednesday, December 2, 4 pm, at 541 N. Fairbanks Ct., 8th floor. JPAC concerns: rising prices and falling enrollment in park programs and unfilled fieldhouse positions.

Ossewaarde distributed to interested parties were a survey from Friends of the Parks on ways they could help councils (also online at http://www.fotp.org) and their report on an assembly of councils they held in November (attended by JPAC officers) with the CPD budget director and addressing other subjects.

Desire was expressed that the council not convene in January or February, so the consensus was to open nominations and elect officers at the December meeting, to ensure continuity until March.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Monday, December 14, 7:30 pm, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

OF INTEREST: Landmarks Illinois’ Cornerstone reports that the replica Viking ship Gokstad that was sailed to the Columbian Exposition has been re-sheltered, re-supported and given repair stabilization in Geneva, IL’s Good Templar Park by Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley . The ship placed 2nd in a 2007 public voting grant challenge by Chicagoland Partners in Preservation/National Trust/American Express and the restoration won a Driehaus Award in 2009 from Landmarks Illinois. For more information visit http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/jphistoryandfair.htm.

[Clarifying letter sent to Herald in late November:

The Jackson Park Advisory Council (JPAC) is pleased to announce that we have received a very generous gift of a service contract worth $10,000 from the firm, The Care of Trees. The work they are donating involves three projects on the Wooded Island. They are: 1. removing some, but not all, storm felled trees, most just north of Tallgrass Prairie, formerly the Rose Garden; 2. removing the tree of heaven ( Ailanthus altissima ) thicket at the south end of the island; and 3.removing invasive plants north and west of Tallgrass Prairie. At present, conditions in these areas prevent adequate light from reaching the ground to allow the oak saplings to survive. These areas contain a pre-settlement, old growth oak savannah ecosystem, a rarity within the city limits. The Care of Trees has been helping our Advisory Council for many years, and employs not only knowledgeable arborists but also biologists, forest ecologists, and other experts. They have never hesitated to lend a hand and expertise when asked. We are very grateful for their generosity.

Also, JPAC is very concerned that enrollment in after-school Chicago Park District programs has fallen due both to the current economy and an increase in registration fees. We are asking those who are able to send tax deductible contributions to the Camp Kids Fund, c/o The Parkways Foundation, 541 N. Fairbanks, Chicago, Il, 60611. There must be park programs and opportunities for as many kids as possible. ]

October 13 2009

Jackson Park Advisory Council October 13 2009 Minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm. The minutes of the September meeting were accepted.

Nature Committee report. Ross Petersen described purpose and parameters of a walkthrough of Wooded Island planned for the following day with the park district and Wooded Island Working Group. This had been publicly announced.

Highly successful workdays were held in Wooded Island since the last meeting, also the University of Chicago Community Service Center coordinated one of its student service days projects September 28 at 63rd St. Beach. Appreciation was expressed. Among work underway on Wooded Island is planting of shrubs by Sanchez Co. in accord with the approved management plan. The nature committee seeks to ensure in general that plantings are balanced in species and look natural rather than like a row garden. The map of planned phasing by years, and where we are in restoration were reviewed, also where work by volunteers ends and that of professional companies takes over in terms of size or thickness of plants. The next volunteer service day is October 24 focusing on the “Rose Garden” in Wooded Island, then November 14.

November 14 there will be an extra PD project at 63rd St. Beach planting dune marram grass. All interested must preregister now for the 14th (and for training/orientation) so the right amount of grass can be ordered, with Becky Schillo, Natural Areas Volunteer Coordinator, 773 742-4072. We appreciate involvement by University of Chicago.

Fran Vandervoort and Ross Petersen announced exploratory planning for a nature expert and scientists speakers program for the general and naturalist-interest communities, starting in the new year. Consensus was to proceed.

Aldermanic interest. Rosalind Moore, aide to Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) presented community consensus streetscape plans for 71st Street in the next two years, starting with South Shore to Jeffery, and noted that volunteers may be needed for garden/landscape upkeep in addition to any firm hired. 71st is a project already committed to despite Olympic bid loss. The alderman is interested in keeping as many projects as possible going and as much energy as possible focused on improvements in the neighborhood and parks. It’s important to keep expanding things for people to do and giving visitors reasons and destinations to visit in neighborhoods. Petersen noted that some sports surface improvements had been under consideration as part of Olympic planning; this should remain a possibility, as well as expanded fieldhouse space.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, thanked JPAC for turkeys for the upcoming Turkey Trot race. Football and cheerleading programs are full with over 120. He noted that different sports and programs are being emphasized at different fieldhouses. Haunted House will be at the 63rd St. Beach Pavilion October 22, 23, 24 and 29 and 30, from 6:30 pm. At a modest fee, this is an area-wide fundraiser.

Old and New Business. There was extensive pruning done this year throughout the park including Osaka Garden and the areas around Hayes Drive, for which the council was appreciative. Members brought up damage caused by bicyclists speeding in the park and riding in inappropriate places like inside Osaka Garden. Frances Vandervoort and Gary Ossewaarde reported they attended a Friends of Osaka Garden walkthrough of ideas for repairs, restoration and upkeep. More information and possibly a presentation will come later.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Nov. 9, Monday, 7:30 pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Appended notice on important meeting November 9

The Advisory Council has received a very generous funding offer from Care of Trees, approved by the Chicago Park District Dept. of Natural Resources, for this winter to clear dead and storm-downed material and plants choking damaged oaks on Wooded Island, particularly at the south end. Action, including a significant appropriation is needed from the Council at the Nov. 9 meeting to realize this special opportunity. The project will be presented and an approval-in-general and appropriation vote taken, and a public scope of work advisory walk through will be announced. Please attend.

 

September 14 2009

Jackson Park Advisory Council September 14 2009 Council Meeting

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm. Minutes of the August meeting were accepted.

Jackson Park Community Supported Agriculture Garden. Jane Schenck, from the Chicago Park District Gardening Program, reported on successes of Growing Power-managed teaching garden near Hayes and Cornell Drives. About 30 families have participated. Schenck explained and asked support for installation this fall of a cedar shade structure to harvest rain water via sheeting and a 600-gallon tank for the garden from Roder Organics Co. Among other advantages, rainwater would cycled to provide regular water for the garden rather than add to runoff to lagoons and ultimately into Lake Michigan. After review of the plans and agreement that there will be a warning sign (“Not drinkable water”), Fran Vandervoort moved and Dwight Powell seconded that “Whereas a shade and rain-collector has been proposed for the community agriculture garden that will provide advantages for the gardeners and the environment, Resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council approves this project.” Approved unanimously.

63rd St. Beach and Dune reconstruction project. Becky Schillo, Chicago Park district Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Coordinator, presented plans for the improvement project, funded 65 percent by a Great Lakes Restoration and Ecosystem grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the remainder (in-kind and capital) by Chicago Park District. The large project includes creation of new fish habitat along the pier, creation of a panne (these are unique to the Great Lakes and rare there) and dunes, stabilized by marram grass (which spreads via underground rhizomes), and other restorations and improvements throughout the 63rd peninsula east of Lake Shore Drive. Work will take about a year. At most 3.5 percent of the beach will be lost and people will still be able to stroll between the shore and the new features (which will be fenced during the establishment period at least). People may have to take a dogleg around the new dune land between the underpass and the beach pavilion. Preliminary work was already done on the beach area near the underpass (some rectifications to this were necessary, and Schillo promised there will not be areas of standing water). “Weed trees” are being removed in various areas. One objective is to stop sand blowing onto the bike and walking paths. A volunteer grass planting event is scheduled for November 14 10-1- rsvp Becky Schillo at 312 742-4072.

After thorough vetting and expectations were clarified, Fran Vandervoort moved and Kevin Quinn seconded that “Whereas funding is available for a substantial improvement to the 63rd St. Beach and peninsula that includes ecosystem and fish habitat restoration, Resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council approves the 63rd St. Nature Area Dune and Beach plan.” The resolution was unanimously approved.

Beach cleanups were announced for 57th St. Beach (Alliance for the Great Lakes) and 63rd beach and Wooded Island (University of Chicago Service Center student community service day). Members appreciated organizers and volunteers.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported there are financial cutbacks and virtually no programs next year will be free, but all three vacant sports instructor positions will be filled because Jackson is a regional center. Recruiting in the schools and neighborhoods is key to filling programs. Fran Vandervoort moved, with second, expenditure of $300 for turkeys for a Thanksgiving turkey trot for families this year. Movie night will be the week before.

JPAC appropriated $150 for costs and services-rendered and “thank you” to Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference.

Adjourned at 8:43 p.m. Next meeting special day Tuesday October 13, 7:30 pm, in the field house.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


Wooded Island Management Plan. From the editor, Gary Ossewaarde:
Several letters have recently appeared in media concerning Wooded Island natural area restoration activities. Phased selective removals and replacements are under way over several years in accord with a plan approved by the Chicago Park District, scientific experts and stakeholders in the Wooded Island Working Group. Proposed templates and work was vetted in walkthroughs and at Jackson Park Advisory Council meetings. The park district and carefully instructed volunteers have carried out the work, intended to remove specific plants that discourage other plants and a diverse, hence resilient, habitat for a diverse fauna, or threaten historic oak savanna, and to selectively plant diverse, habitat-specific native plants. This natural area is gradually being restored and enhanced, as evidenced in areas improved in earlier phases including the “Rose Garden” in the center-south of the Island. The next walkthrough is Oct. 14 10-12 from Darrow Bridge. JPAC praises and thanks the many volunteers and organizations who lend time, hands and support.

 

August 10, 2009

Jackson Park Advisory Council August 10 2009 Meeting Minutes

Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. A quorum was present late in the meeting.

Nature Committee. Petersen reviewed proposed changes in the Wooded Island Working Group, with more people to be consulted before being considered at the next council meeting for proposal vote. Basically, the group and any others who wished would be convened in site visits at standing announced and convenient dates and times.

Bylaw change options were discussed. Our committee will incorporate specific changes into the draft revision and these and the whole will be presented for discussion at the September 14 council meeting. Items discussed tonight included quorum, circumstances requiring fingerprinting and background check, and term limits. Also, there was a sense that we should not be locked into 12 meetings a year, especially in hard winter and summer, but should be able to announce a month or two hiatus as desirable.

Park and Program. Jackson Park Supervisor William Tillis distributed a flyer for the September 10 South Region 2010 budget hearing at South Shore Cultural Center (sign in starts at 6 p.m., the hearing at 7 p.m.) Noted is that Jackson is a core park, which should be reason to keep the program vigorous. The successful summer program had 238 in day camp, 120 in football, and 40 in cheerleading. Fall registration online and in person was about to start. Prices are higher, which makes parents hesitate. Mr. Tillis and others noted that police presence in the park has been of much help in keeping good order. A path/drive on the Wooded Island was paved.

Members commented on park matters. Some signs which were pulled out by the public. The drummers’ circle and its walk accumulate blown sand. Members were concerned that nothing has happened or seed did not take at the trench created near the 63rd beach for a nature area, wondering what plans are for the funded improvement. Suggested was asking that someone come and explain the project this fall. Problems were identified near the Golf Driving Range including holes/ruts from heavy equipment tire damage related to a very large private event staged in the area. The ruts were covered with plywood.

With no other business, the meeting was adjourned about 8:30 p.m. Next meeting Sept.14. Discussion, possible votes on bylaws. View current draft in fieldhouse or in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/bylawsnew.htm. Reminder- October mtg. Tues. 13th.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde,
Secretary
___________________
Volunteer Workdays, natural areas 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 10 a.m. Darrow Bridge south of the Museum. Sept. 12, 26, Oct. 10, 24, Nov.? 14. Ross Petersen 773 486-0505.

Wooded Island Bird Walks Saturdays 8 am. Darrow Bridge.

PD Budget hearing Thursday September 10 South Shore Cultural Center. 7059 So. Shore Dr. Sign up starts 6 p.m., hrg. 7 p.m.

July 13, 2009

The meeting was opened at 7:35 p.m. by Ross Petersen, a quorum being present. The June minutes were approved.

Nature Committee report. Ross Petersen described the work of the Wooded Island Working Group. Coordinated by Friends of the Parks and including Chicago Park District Department of Natural Resources, JPAC, stakeholder groups and experts, WIWG has considered and planned the plantings and removal template for the Island and dealt with any disagreement over the same. Petersen expressed gratitude for the work of WIWG. Its main work being done, the parties are now considering return of the subject to the advisory council, with there being two open walk through meetings, to include experts, at a weekday date in June and September to be mutually determined. The council placed the proposed change on the August agenda for a vote.

Administration and bylaws. Petersen moved, with second and approved, to place on the August agenda a vote to change bylaws to allow a quorum of 4 rather than 7. (See announcement below.)

Olympics. Guest Tom Tresser of No Games Chicago presented on past and prospective Olympics. (Chicago 2016 has held several presentations and open discussions at our meetings.) Among problems he saw are that Olympics draw funds from general upkeep, services, and improvements for parks and neighborhoods, that the Olympics and city, as with several other Olympics, could suffer revenue shortfall putting taxpayers at risk during a prolonged downturn, displacement of park users, threats to natural areas, illusory benefits, and abridgement of process and rights. He believes these are substantial enough that people should take a stand.

The council discussed what it should or can say about concerns over about the Olympics, especially outside Jackson Park. Summaries were distributed by the Secretary of past resolutions and correspondence and copies of press coverage of the July 2007 meeting, when JPAC opposed venues in Jackson Park. It was noted that venues were since removed from near sensitive nature areas and playing fields to a location across from Hyde Park Career Academy. The Secretary also shared correspondence and reply with 2016, viewing keeping or rebuilding the running track presently at the venue. The council took no actions, but the Secretary would take questions or proposed resolutions in written form at garyossewaarde@yahoo.com or via 773 947-9541. Members were encouraged to attend the many meetings being held for Olympic input.

Park budget hearings. The preliminary round was announced for July 15; the second if possible would announced in the Newsletter. Also announced: a family “Sandtastic” event at 63rd St. Beach July 25, 11 a.m-3 p.m.

Park and Program. Area manager Cordell Hopkins and Park Supervisor William Tillis. Programs are near capacity at 120 for Junior Bears and 238 in day camp. Cheerleading goes strong. No scholarship aid was needed due to adequate funding for partners. Mr. Tillis was asked to prepare a list of park capital or other needs for JPAC to consider for the budget hearings.

Members were appalled about a huge permitted party that inconvenienced park users and traffic and left damage and a long cleanup task around 63rd and Cornell.

The meeting was adjourned at 8;45 p.m. Next meeting August 10, Monday, 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde , Secretary********************


##### Notice: Bylaws changes are proposed for vote and new can be proposed at the August 10 and September 14 mtgs. Those proposed include (1) a change in quorum from 7 to 4 and (2) complete revision, previously distributed except for (1) and proposed for final vote in September and can be viewed online in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/bylawsnew.htm or at the fieldhouse in the JPAC binder starting early August.

******Park District South Region 2010 budget hearing. September 10, Thursday, 6 pm. South Shore Cultural Center.

Wooded Island Volunteer Workdays. 2nd and 4th Saturdays 10-1. Darrow Bridge south of MSI. Ross 773 486-0505. August 8, 22; September 12, 26; October 10, 24, November ? 14, ?

Bird Walks. Saturdays at 8 a.m. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of MSI.

Lawn Bowling and Croquet on the Bowling Green se of MSI. Bowling Tu 7 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 1-3 p.m.

5th Ward: Harbor Day for Seniors Aug. 20, Back to School Picnic Aug. 30, Ward mtgs. CAPS 331. Call 773 324-5555.


June 2009

June 8, 2009 JPAC meeting
Ross Petersen called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.. A quorum was not present. No problem was found with the May minutes.

Some native plants have been put in Wooded Island. The amount expended was $10, as plants ordered did not materialize from the grower. Successful workdays were held on the Island, including an extra one with University of Chicago students. Noted was that neither the Park District nor its contractors have sufficient staff to keep up with growth in the natural areas and that problems with lagoon water level controls kills shore-emergent plants. There are no longer environmental internships or youth crews for the park. So increased volunteers for the workdays are essential.
Preparation work started on a new beachland feature and natural area at 63rd Street; plans have been shared with the council. Hope was expressed that once done it will be maintained.

Concern was expressed about reduced beach hours and lifeguard protection. Hours were about 8:30 am-8 pm but are now 11 am to 6 pm. A fast method to predict need for a swim ban is in use, but frequency of traditional testing has been cut back.

Lack of security resulting in undesired behaviors were reported for Wooded Island, the 63rd Cornell lot, and Darrow Bridge areas of the park. The bridge has been damaged by fires repeatedly set under the bridge.

Members were disappointed that park district presence above the supervisor level at our meetings has all but disappeared and the frequency of park walk-throughs with council members is reduced. The council has made many accommodations to new Park District procedures, it was noted, but seems not to get the attention needed for this historic park in a time of severe cutbacks.

Good articles appeared in the Tribune and Hyde Park Herald reporting on the Frederick Douglass memorial marker dedication. The marker is on the path south of the bowling green, just west of the bike path that parallels Lake Shore Drive on the west side of the drive. There is parking off Lake Shore Drive at 58th Street or the Museum east lot.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. Next meeting Monday, July 13. 7:30 p.m., field house.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Volunteer Workdays. 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Work with the Park District to clear non-native invasives and otherwise maintain a healthy, wildlife-friendly habitat and oak savannah in Wooded Island and Bob-o-link Meadow. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of the Museum at 10 a.m. Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505.
Bird walks continue on Wooded Island Saturdays at 8 a.m. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of the Museum. 773 403-7058.

Lawn Bowling and Croquet at the Bowling Green. Lawn bowling days are Tuesdays at 7, Saturdays and Sundays 1-3. Please wear flat shoes. All else provided. Tom Michael, 708 366-8228. For croquet club, call Tom O’Laughlin at 773 631-1422.

 

May 2009

Dedication of the Frederick Douglass Marker and Minutes of the May 11 meeting

May 15 noon, under a weeping sky but with great anticipation about 50 participants and guests gathered to dedicate a marker and pay homage to Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the country of Haiti and Haitians in Chicago, and Chicago's African-American heritage. These had converged at World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Frederick Douglass, noted escaped slave, abolitionist and African-American leader, author, editor, suffragist, social reformer and statesman came to Chicago during planning and construction of the Fair and in particular the Haitian Pavilion southeast of the present bowling green (by Lake Shore Drive and the 59th Marina) and spoke at the dedication of the pavilion on Haitian Independence Day January 2, 1893- the first national building completed on the grounds. From the opening of the Fair on May 15, 1893 through its duration he served as Haitian minster to the Fair and talked with the many visitors of all backgrounds at the pavilion and also around Chicago. He helped African Americans feel a part of the city and Fair.

Four years ago, Barry Rapoport, then a teacher at South Shore high school's School of Leadership, learned from Christopher Reed's All the World Is Here: Black Presence at the White City of Douglass' role at the Fair and developed a project in which students would mark the outline of the Haiti pavilion and explain its significance to visitors. From this came the proposal for a permanent marker, ultimately a granite boulder with an embedded brass plaque. Barry tirelessly worked to raise funds, working with the advisory council, Alderman Hairston's (5th) office, The Park District, Parkways foundation and many others to raise the funds and ensure everything was right. The marker was prepared by Gast Monuments Inc. Rapoport and JPAC express their thanks to the many donors and volunteers.

The program, emceed by Rapoport, featured the JROTC Honor Guard of the School of Leadership/South Shore Campus; Father Carl Markelz, Principal, Mt. Carmel High School; Jean Martin for the Haitian, Caribbean communities; Jackson Park Supervisor William Tillis; Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th); Dr. Christopher R. Reed, Prof. Emer. of History, Roosevelt University; Frances S. Vandervoort, Vice President, Jackson Park Advisory Council; Monica Vela, M.D., Univ. of Chicago Medical Center Assoc. V.P. for Diversity, and violinist John Tredon (who played Haiti's National Anthem and Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, a favorite of Douglass, a violinist). Hairston read an inspiring Resolution passed by City Council April 22, dedicating May 15, the day the Fair opened, as Frederick Douglass Day. We learned much about Douglass, Chicago and history from all the speakers. Despite the pouring rain, Ald. Hairston with panache unveiled the monument. You can visit it along the bike path on the west side of Lake Shore Drive. The plaque reads:

The plaque reads:

FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1818-1895), AN EX-SLAVE,
WAS AN IMPORTANT AUTHOR, EDITOR, ORATOR, STATESMAN
AND ONE OF THE FOREMOST LEADERS
OF THE ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT IN AMERICAN CELEBRATION OF HAITIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
AND THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST PAVILION
FOR THE WORLD’S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION,
DOUGLASS DEDICATED THE HAITIAN PAVILION
JACKSON PARK, JANUARY 2, 1893.
DEDICATED BY CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS,
TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS
MAY 15, 2009

JPAC Meeting, May 11, 2009

In absence of a quorum before very late, President Petersen and members discussed ways to reach out, grow council activities and collaborations, and grow participation. The conversation is on the agenda for upcoming meetings. We also discussed final preparations for the May 15 marker dedication and the resolution introduced by Alderman Hairston and passed by City Council April 22 honoring May 15 as Frederick Douglass Day. Barry was given a round of applause. Noted also were recent successful volunteer workdays and a children’s program in the park.

Upon the appearance of a quorum, the April minutes were approved, funds for approved plants for the natural areas (assuming available) were approved. The meeting was adjourned, next set for June 8.

Respectfully, Gary Ossewaarde, secretary

Volunteer workdays every 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10 am-1 pm. Meet at Darrow Bridge 10 am. Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505. Next May 30, June 13 and 27, July 11 and 25, Aug. 8 and 22, Sep. 12 and 26, into/thru Nov.

Bird walks continue in Jackson Park Wed. 7 am, Sat. 8 am. Meet at Darrow Bridge.

Respectfully submittted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Minutes of the April 13 2009 council meeting

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm, a quorum being present.

Minutes of the March meeting were approved with correction that the referenced Wooded Island plantings were done the previous autumn.
Nature Committee. Petersen reported a great workday April 11 with 22 volunteers. Improved announcement signage is in process. (Fran Vandervoort and Madiem Kawa offered to create a brochure describing and promoting workdays for the natural areas.) Fran announced an April 25 lecture by Chicago region naturalist and author Joel Greenberg, at the Hyde Park Historical Society. Rosalind Moore of the 5th Ward Office showed a packet from the Corps of Engineers on a proposed shoreline dune restoration and natural area project for near the 63rd Street Beach. Concepts may be examined at the next meeting. Petersen described experience with aggressive and off-leash dogs on Wooded Island and concern that there may be insufficient policing.

Arnold Randall, Chicago 2016 Neighborhood Legacies director. Arnold gave an overview of current Olympic plans and timelines. The park will host field hockey across from Hyde Park Academy. There at present are the NFL funded running track and a ball field, between about 61st and 63rd and between Stony Island and Cornell Dr. Olympics would host two artificial-surface playing fields with stands. One of the fields may remain as a permanent legacy should the neighborhood prefer, and the track fields would be restored as neighbors wish. The historic comfort station between the proposed hockey fields would be fixed up and restored. Work would begin at the end of 2014 and include extensive testing. Streets and arterials including Stony, Cornell, and Lake Shore Drive would be affected only during the time of the games. The Drive may well have lane closures as athletes, staff etc. would enter the playing area from there via 63rd/Hayes Dr. Spectators will enter via Cornell Dr. Reconstruction will be completed in 2017. (Visit details, bid etc. via http://www.Chicago2016.org.)

Randall insisted all would come in by shuttle—no autos allowed, and permit parking will be used for residents in surrounding neighborhoods. At most there will be c22,000 athletes, spectators and support in the area at any one time. The traffic plan will be refined once the bid is won. Further improvements such as to transit were suggested to be responsibility possibly of the neighborhood enhancements foundation using the Olympics as a catalyst. Randall said the communities outreach committee, with 5 subcommittees, has been greatly expanded and will hold a large number of meetings including a series of c. approximately monthly meetings examining Washington Park’s future and legacies. Randall answered a great many questions and was thanked by the council, including for move of the venue to a location with reduced impact, especially on sensitive natural areas.

Park and Program, new and old business. Mr. Hammond, one of the instructors described the wide variety of sports programs this spring and coming this summer (registration in late April), able to work with small groups, have teams in playoffs, and have open gym. He reported that instructor Ken Cheney’s wife passed away. Kevin York expressed his desire to see a little league facility in the area.

Barry Rapoport said his monument group was meeting with the contractor in preparation for installation and the May 15 dedication program.
It was decided to continue to address bylaws at the May 11 meeting. This meeting was then adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde
Secretary


VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS- Maintain a healthy habitat and oak savanna on Wooded Island: remove non-native, invasive plants and tend recent plantings. 10-1 on 2nd and 4th Saturdays through November. Meet at 10 am at the Darrow Bridge south of the Museum. Ross-773 486-0505, CPD at 312 742-4072.

BIRD WALKS. Doug Anderson is not able to lead walks at present, but they continue with experienced birders, Weds. at 7, Sats. at 8 from the Darrow Bridge.

 

Minutes of the March 9, 2009 meeting

Jackson Park Advisory Council Minutes March 9, 2009

The meeting was convened at 7:40 p.m. by Gary Ossewaarde at request of the vice president. A quorum was not present, so reports were received but no actions taken. Guests included Lorne Green, 20th Ward Office of Ald. Willie Cochran (Woodlawn and beyond).

Barry Rapoport reported that the program and announcement for the dedication of the Frederick Douglass monument were under final review by the Park District. All were urged to recruit a large attendance for this gala event May 15 south of the Bowling Green. Many gave or helped to ensure this commemoration of Douglass, the Columbian Exposition opening, and Haitian participation therein.

Ossewaarde and Frances Vandervoort reported on their meeting with Museum of Science and Industry officers about two new exhibits opening soon: Harry Potter, in a tent on the northeast lawn, and an updated and refurbished Smart Home-Green and Wired (which will include a wind turbine, more green and sustainable materials and facilities including in the garden, and a summer farmers’ market on select Fridays). No concerns were reported with these projects. Planning continues on the southwest lot reconstruction, and construction continues inside on new exhibits. Attendance and finances continue to be healthy.

The Olympic final bid was reported to be submitted since our last meeting, with a changed location for the Jackson Park soccer to the ball field and track across from Hyde Park High School rather than near the lagoons. Details and questions were discussed.

Park Volunteer Saturday Workdays are resuming, 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Phase I Wooded Island plantings are expected to start under the Park District. Many gave their input into the new planting template.

A new conservancy, Osaka Garden Foundation, is forming and has held preliminary meetings, with a broad base of experts and interested persons and organizations. Leader William Florida is invited to our meetings. For details, contact wflorid@yahoo.com.

Noted was an interesting program held at U of C by the DuSable Society, Chicago’s Haitian community, Friends of the Parks and others. This included Roosevelt University Professor Christopher Reed on little-known aspects of African-American and Haitian presence at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

Some interesting happenings to our south were the refurbishing of South Shore Cultural Center and holding of hugely successful performances there by the Civic Orchestra and the new South Shore Opera Company of Chicago (call Gary for contacts on the latter), and also concern about plans to turn parts of Rainbow Beach/Arthur Ashe and Rosenblum parks over to CPS for schools.

William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported on three successful student essay contests held at the field house in January and February. Spring programs were gearing up. These are the most successful Jackson Programs, as the kids are roaring to get outside. Increasing winter program attendance will require thought and even more work with the schools. Tillis noted that the number of teens enrolling in programs has increased enormously lately, and the teens feel comfortable at Jackson. The park has tennis programs in preparation. Private instructors teach tennis to small children in the summer. Football is free and very popular. Due to the park district budget issue, program fees will have to be raised and how everything is done reevaluated. The staff is able to handle the numbers and programs have no immediate financial assistance needs.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm. The next meeting will be on April 13, 7:30 p.m., Field House, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

WE NEED YOUR ATTENDANCE AT THE APRIL 13 MEETING TO CONDUCT MAJOR BUSINESS AND TO GATHER YOUR INPUT.
A VOTE ON BYLAW REVISIONS WILL BE TAKEN. ON VIEW AT THE FIELD HOUSE OR CALL GARY FOR APPT. 773 947-9541 OR garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS HAVE RESUMED 2ND, 4TH SATURDAYS, 10-1. Meet at Darrow Bridge so. Of MSI. 773 486-0505.

BIRD WALKS- CHECK WITH DOUG ANDERSON 773 493-7058. WED. 7 AM, SAT. 8. Darrow Bridge.

SAVE THE DATE – MAY 15, FRIDAY, NOON. DEDICATION OF THE FREDERICK DOUGLASS MONUMENT, with lots of activities and entertainment including from schools. Between the Bowling Green and Marina. Flyer with details in the next Newsletter.

 

Minutes of the January 12, 2009 meeting

Jackson Park Advisory Council January 12, 2000 meeting minutes

The meeting was convened by Ross Petersen, a quorum being present.

Minutes: There being no objections, the minutes of the December minutes were approved as presented.

ACE sports training facility
Responses to council written questions submitted in December were distributed. Concerns, considerations and questions were discussed carefully and at length. Petersen introduced, Fran Vandervoort seconded a resolution, passed unanimously after discussion: JPAC would welcome the program as part of the park district’s programming facility (but not as a non CPD, free-standing structure), and asked ACE to join JPAC in seeking a new or expanded Park District field house to include the facility. Final wording was assigned to the Vice President and Secretary.

Museum of Science and Industry West Lot Renovation
Upon discussion followed by motion of Petersen second by Vandervoort, JPAC resolved its support in principal of the project, including the force-main, providing installation of the proposed pollution monitoring device(s) and assuming minimal discharge of water into Columbia Basin.

Election of Officers
The floor was opened to nominations. With only one nomination for each office, the following were elected unanimously: President: Ross Petersen, Vice President: Frances S. Vandervoort, Secretary: Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer: Dwight E. Powell. Continuing as spokespersons: Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, and Louise McCurry.

Financial report- submitted by Dwight Powell and accepted. All contributors were and are thanked.

Park and Program
Park Supervisory William Tillis thanked JPAC for contribution to the Christmas party. New motion detectors are installed. The three essay contests for high school kids were confirmed for 4 pm January 15 and February 15 and 28. Judges and participants are encouraged. About 60 kids are expected, to be grouped by age. Separately, members asked inquiry into why staff seems much larger at similarly-sized Washington Park field house.

Frederick Douglass Monument
Barry Rapoport distributed the draft program for the May 15 public dedication. Members were impressed. The program will be at noon south of the Bowling Green.

Other business
Members are studying, with Friends of the Parks, CPD proposed apparent removal from the CPD Code of reference to commitment to equitable distribution of resources and facilities. CPD Board vote is scheduled for January 28.

Rosalind Moore of the 5th Ward Office urged attendance at 5th Ward Olympic Task Force update meeting, Thursday February 26, 6:30 pm at field house, 6401 S. Stony Island. Confirmation recommended- 773 324-5555.

Final draft of JPAC bylaws revisions is in progress and will be introduced at the next meeting.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting: March 9, 2009, 7:30 pm, field house.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde

 

Notice and Minutes, December 8, 2008

 

NOTICES


Our annual meeting and election is planned for Monday, January 12, 7:30 pm, field house, 6401 S. Stony Island. Nominations are now open and can be made from the floor. At the December 8 meeting, nominated for re-election were: Officers: President, Ross Petersen. Vice President, Frances S. Vandervoort. Secretary, Gary M. Ossewaarde. Treasurer, Dwight E. Powell. At-large spokespersons: Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, Louise McCurry.

We will also discuss proposed revised bylaws. Copies of proposed, current JPAC and the Park District’s suggested bylaws are in the field house binder and have been distributed to persons eligible to vote January 12. Online link: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/jpacbylaws.htm. To discuss bylaws before January 12, contact the Secretary (see next). Wording ideas should be in writing. (Currently voters must be attending 4th meeting in the past 12.)

OUR 2009 FUND DRIVE IS UNDERWAY. CALL GARY, 773 947-9541, garyossewaarde@yahoo.com TO PARTICIPATE.

News: The Olympic hockey venue is now moved from north of Hayes Dr. near lagoons to the Hyde Park High area.


Minutes of the December 8, 2008 JPAC Council Meeting

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:35 pm, a quorum being present. There being no objection, the agenda was adjusted for presentations, and the November minutes were approved as presented.

Our new account being active, upon motion from Petersen and second from Esther Schechter, the council approved reimbursement of Frances Vandervoort for our $100 annual membership with our fiscal agent, Friends of the Parks.

Presentation by Museum of Science and Industry: the southwest quadrant reconfiguration. Presenters included Mary Krinock, A. Elizabeth Miller and Jennifer Christakes of MSI; Bernard Jacobs, chief designer, Jacobs and Ryan; Dan Rest of Lible Engineering; and Ellen Sargent , CPD project manager with Natural Resources.

The project involves a complete redesign of the area southwest of the museum to address—in a pioneering green, sustainable and attractive way—problems with drainage, the group entrance, bus staging (drop off and pick up), lot, deliveries and trash pickup. The site would also become a teaching venue. Devices to handle excessive rains and snow from that sector and also from the north side parking garage would include new piping, porous pavement, bio swales and rain gardens, gravel beds, separators, and cisterns. We were assured that great engineering care is taken, in consultation with the Park District, that last-resort discharge into the Columbia Basin will be clean and not enough to disturb shore plantings. The team was urged to do its best to eliminate past problems with trash handling and facilities. Project funding includes federal SAFETEA transportation grants and is slated to start in 2010. The team will return regularly with updates, and the council agreed to render its position on the project as soon as practicable.

ACE sports teaching facility, proposed for the tennis court area southeast of Hayes and Cornell Drives. Council members presented and discussed prepared questions with the program’s leader Tyrone Mason. Discussion centered on ensuring breadth and demand for the program, strong and sustainable financial setup, and use of the park. Mason will return with detailed answers in January, and JPAC will take its position then or as soon thereafter as possible.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor. Tillis announced a six million parks repair program. Submitted for Jackson Park include the Darrow Bridge deck and fence and several walks and lots in poor condition. Tillis announced Junior Bears team took second in city championships. 75 turkeys were given for Thanksgiving. JPAC approved $200 for kids’ Christmas gifts (motion-Petersen, 2nd Vandervoort) and ~$350 set aside for the high school essay contests Jan. 15, Feb. 15, Feb. 28 (motion-Petersen, 2nd Zelia Stevens); members will help judge the latter.

Adjournment. Next meeting January 12.


Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes November 10, 2008


Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:35 pm, a quorum being present, including the President Ross Petersen, Vice President Fran Vandervoort, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, and Treasurer Dwight Powell.

The October minutes were approved with correction that the number of plants to go into the natural area is “a substantial number, over the next few seasons”.

Resolutions and Business. Three sets of proposed resolutions were distributed and explained by Roger Huff, Attorney. The resolutions (1) authorized and instructed the Treasurer to close the JPAC account at Palos Bank, (2) authorized Friends of the Parks to serve as JPAC’s fiscal agent (fee/ membership $100 per year), and (3) authorized the officers to open a new account at Hyde Park Bank. After discussion, each resolution was approved unanimously. Copies of the formal resolutions are on file in the JPAC binder.

Mr. Huff recommended review of the JPAC by-laws for conformity to current Park District guidelines for Park Advisory Councils. JPAC agreed and a committee for such will be appointed aiming toward coordination with the next election of officers. Nominations will open at the December meeting and elections will be duly announced, to be held the next meeting after. Also, the council will give the park supervisor a schedule of JPAC’S 2009 meetings to post in a secure bulletin board and supply a binder of appropriate JPAC records which will be available for public review at the field house.

Nature Committee. Friends of the Parks volunteer recognition ceremony: November 16 at Forest Preserves hq.

Natural Resources Manager Zhanna Yermakov communicated there may be controlled burns this fall in Bob-o-link Meadow. Shrubs, saplings and other plantings have started going in, to be continued over the next four seasons. JPAC expressed its thanks and appreciation.

Inquiry and concerns have been voiced about handling of hazardous waste at the Museum of Science and Industry’s west lot. Also, the Museum may come to a future meeting about plans for the south side of the Museum.

Beavers have grown in numbers and are causing some damage in the park.

The last Volunteer workday this year will be on November 22.

Flooding was reported at Richards Drive near the inner harbor. This will be referred to authorities to determine what agency(s) is responsible for investigation and remedy.

Gary Ossewaarde reported that request was sent to the Olympic Bid Committee, cc to Ald. Hairston, asking that the proposed Olympic venue be moved sufficiently away from the natural areas and that no enlarged roads be installed.

Petersen reported continued concerns over contaminants in some kinds of artificial turf. Two artificial turf soccer fields had been proposed as Olympic legacies.

Park and field house. Cordell Hopkins has assumed area manager responsibility for Jackson Park.
Jackson Park has championship teams—football city wide; track came in second last spring.
Tillis confirmed that coach/instructor positions have been eliminated or reduced to part-time hourly and significant budget cuts made, but staff works hard to keep programs from suffering. They are still able to have the Turkey Trot and the Thanksgiving games and meals this year.

Old business. Concerns were discussed about the proposed ACE youth sports facility: lack of details about business plan and budget, use and financial sustainability, at least one similar program within three miles, and status re park district control.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm. Next meeting Monday, December 8, with nomination of officers.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council October 14 2009 council meeting minutes

Ross Petersen called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. As the meeting was short of a quorum, no actions were taken but information and discussion were shared.

Review of September 8 special community meeting on proposed ACE domed sports facility.
Members said they were disappointed that placement was limited to one place, and in this historic public park, and that the meeting seemed controlled. Members were concerned about financial sustainability and perpetuity, that demographics to support it may be overestimated, that the project may be underwritten by unspecified bonds, and that too little is known about the size and structure of the board and underwriters. Members were pleased about free-use opportunities but wondered if the facility is sufficiently distinctive and more accommodating to the general public than existing South Side facilities including Bally’s XS Tennis and Golf and the Y’s. Unknown: the state of negotiations between ACE and CPD or CPD’s position. Further discussion was tabled pending more information.

Park and Field house. William Tillis, Park Supervisor, described fall programs, including football with upwards of 100 participants, cheerleading with 30. Jackson fields teams in competition. Haunted House occurs late October at the field house, although now with charges, and there will be Halloween and Thanksgiving programs, including a Turkey Trot and scrimmage games. It has not been necessary to turn anyone away for lack of means. In coming years programs may be curtailed (for example no football uniforms this year), and it is increasingly difficult to staff even after school programs due to severe budget shortfalls and merging of regions. Well-qualified volunteers have helped staff programs this year.
Separately, report received from Barry Rapoport : Douglass Memorial should be installed later this year.

Nature Areas. Ross Petersen reported that a planners and stakeholders walk-through was held and a specific list of plantings and work approved. 20,000 shrubs will be going in; a nice burr oak has been installed at Osaka Garden. Signage has been installed in the areas. Some persons violating dog restrictions have been ticketed. JPAC members will attend a Chicago Wilderness Conference November 13 at UIC. Petersen noted toxic concerns and law suits over certain kinds of artificial playing surfaces. Also, there is periodic investigation of lagoon contamination. Also Nike site. Fran Vandervoort reported that Doug Anderson has been ill and unable to conduct tours. JPAC wished him speedy recovery.

Park District Budget. Public release date: October 17; it can be accessed online at http://www. chicagoparkdistirct.com or viewed at select park field houses. Final hearing is November 5, 4 pm, 541 N. Fairbanks. Friends of the Parks generally has a review discussion [November 10, 17 N. State #1450, call John Paul Jones to reserve and for time- 773 857-2757.]

Olympics. Petersen reported that the 2016 Committee is informed of JPAC concerns about the field hockey venue being located near the lagoons and adjacent spoil deposits and Nike base, even if nothing is put underground. 2016 has not apparently yet made decision nor given response. Members were concerned that transportation and other impacts, needs or opportunities may not yet be well thought out, with the “bid book” due out by February. Members were urged to attend Alderman Hairston’s 4th Thursdays Olympic Task Force meetings, 6:30 pm at the field house. [Confirm mtgs. at 773 324-5555.]

The meeting was adjourned. The Next JPAC meeting: Monday, November 10, 7:30 pm at the field house.

Respectfully submitted,


Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

The regular September 8 council meeting was suspended in favor of a community meeting on the proposed year round sports education and training structure for tennis courts near Hayes and Cornell Drives. Here is a provisional report on that meeting.

Community Meeting in lieu of JPAC meeting, September 8, 2008

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) with JPAC convened a well-attended meeting at South Shore Cultural Center. An extended presentation was followed by ample audience questions and comments. The proposal is sponsored by Athletes Committed to Education, backed by financing firms, and endorsed by many officials and stakeholders. Contact: ACE at 7527 S. Dobson 60619, 312 671-4172.

The presentation included objectives, overview, design, and programs. The air-supported, transparent dome would sit 50 foot high on a platform and at 57,000 sq. ft. not exceed the footprint of the present nine tennis courts (shown to be in very bad shape). The facility will include a more traditional wing for education and support. Included are many facilities for batting or simulating tennis, golf, and baseball year round, plus three good tennis courts. Four mature trees would be removed and soft landscaping substituted. The complex will seek “silver LEEDS” certification with many innovative green features. Construction cost: c. $3 million with a yearly budget of c. a million.

The facility would be free for kids after school for the hours 4-6 pm. Youth under 18 would pay the cost of a card. Those over 18 would pay up to $300 a year on a sliding scale. However, during the summer adults could play tennis for free.

Strong support was expressed for a program that could provide a safe haven for kids and possibly turn lives around, including through learning for living programs as well as sports, while providing a place for youth and others to train for competitive or career sports in a facility now lacking on the South Side.

Main concerns were about giving to a private program and facility, land in a public park, or the need to first complete terms negotiations with and get approval of the park district. Alderman Hairston said the project and discussion is only for this site and park, no other, but agreed that terms must leave the District in ownership and control. ACE said the proposal is that its own staff conduct the program.

Other expressed concerns were about not over-using that section of the park or hurting open vistas or general-public use, and for preserving historic character and template. There was general agreement there should be more community usage of this park, and several testified as to the need for the facility. It was expected there will be another meeting, assuming ACE and the Park District complete negotiations and submit a recommended proposal.

Prepared by Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary


_____________________________________________

The October meeting will be on Tuesday, October 14 rather than Monday, due to Columbus holiday. There is important business and planning to conduct. 7:30 pm at the field house, 6401 S. Stony Island.

4th Thursdays 5th Ward Olympic planning and benefits mtgs. 6:30 pm, Jackson Park field house.

Volunteer Workdays in the Natural Areas continue 9/27, 10/11 and 25, and into November. 10 am-1 pm, meet at Darrow Bridge south of MSI basin. Contact Ross Petersen at 773 486-0505.

Wooded Island Bird Walks with Doug Anderson Weds. 7 am, Sats. 8 am. Darrow Bridge 773 493-7058.

December 7 Explore the White City Simulation Tour returns with a new section celebrating Osaka Garden and the Chicago-Osaka Sister City connection, with program participation by JPAC/park-connected experts. Visit for tickets Museum of Science and Industry website, www.msichicago.org, or Hyde Park Historical Society website, www.hydeparkhistory.org well before November. Space from either is limited. There is a charge.

Jackson Park Advisory Council, August 11, 2008 meeting minutes

Ross Petersen called the August meeting to order at 7:35 pm.
No business was conducted or minutes kept July 14. New attendees included Madiem Kawa, steward at Washington Park, and Joe Kelly.

President’s remarks. Ross Petersen said Area Manager A.J. Jackson is our liaison and hoped Jackson can regularly attend our meetings as consultation, continuity, and commitment are needed for upkeep and program in the park. Terry Jones, a key instructor is leaving and Andrea Frink has had her hours cut: Programs including summer camp appear short on staff and organization this summer, with few(er?) volunteers.

Nature Committee. Petersen said unhistorical plantings were done at Osaka Garden. Trees lost to storms or otherwise have yet to be replaced, including a 400+ year-old oak on Wooded Island.
Ability to have training in application of an appropriate herbicide has been enabled by a streamlining of categories facilitated by State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (25th).

Petersen said the natural areas stewards city wide have been meeting with each other and the park district on natural areas issues including coordination with natural areas contractor, Aramark. He noted that invasive ground plants and lagoon milfoil have been gaining. A walk-through with park district leadership was under discussion.

Petersen reported that the Army Corps has again carried out investigations at the former Nike missile site, including of aromatic hydrocarbon-type seepage. JPAC has no new information.

Petersen reported that City Council held a hearing on artificial turf playing fields in parks. Comments there were reportedly mixed. The issue was referred to an intergovernmental task force.

Financial. Vice President Fran Vandervoort and Treasurer Dwight Powell reported on plans to move our account. Having a fiscal agent or status was discussed. Our next needed expenditure will be for the fall Turkey Trot race.

Projects. Barry Rapoport reported that all the non Park District funding required for the Frederick Douglass Monument has been secured, and the Park District will, upon requisite board and or other action, commission and install the boulder with plaque near the 59th Harbor, at the site of the first address of the 1893 exposition, by Douglass at the Haitian pavilion, the first completed for the fair. Rapoport and JPAC expressed their appreciation to the Parkways Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, members of JPAC, and many others who gave to realize this important historical and social recognition, and to Park District project manager Adrian Guerrero.

Discussion was held on the proposed domed sports facility, which will be the subject of a community meeting at South Shore Cultural Center, replacing the regular JPAC meeting September 8. Members made clear that having this broader special meeting has council approval, but not at present the evolving project.

Adjournment.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

IMPORTANT MEETINGS, ACTIVITIES

The next meeting - a special community meeting Sept. 8, 70 pm [changed]. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 So Sh. Dr. All are encouraged to attend. Due to holiday, the next regular meeting is Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 pm, field house.


July 14 2008

JPAC assembled July 14, but took no actions due to lack of quorum. We have important business to conduct. Since the September meeting will be devoted a general community discussion of one item, it is important that we have a good turnout of members and friends August 11. Matters include:
• Scholarships and assistance for park programs and other matters of council finance
• Preparation for park budget hearings
• Progress on stewardship and improvement in the natural areas
• Update on the community garden and the Douglass monument
• Exciting mix of park programs
• Developments, planning, use changes that might impact the park
• Possible new council initiatives
• Application of new council guidelines

Advanced notice: On September 8, Monday, in place of the regular council meeting there will be a community public meeting convened by Alderman Leslie A. Hairston (5th) and JPAC at SOUTH SHORE CULTURAL CENTER, 7059 South Shore Drive, at 7:30 pm. Free parking is available at the Center, which is also served by Metra Electric and buses 6, 26 (southbound early) and 71.
The topic of this meeting is public consideration of a proposed sports activity and teaching facility to be built and run by Athletes for Excellence in a structure at and over the tennis courts southeast of the intersection of Cornell and Hayes (63rd) Drives.

News: A new predictive-modeling approach to swim bans is in testing at 63rd St. beach.

Natural Areas Workdays, 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10 am-1 pm. Meet at Darrow bridge so. of MSI. Call Ross Petersen at 773 486-0505. August 9, 23, Sept. 13, 27, Oct. 11, 25, Nov. ?

Bird Walks with Doug Anderson in Jackson Park Wooded Island. Weds. 7 am, Sats. 8 am. Meet at Darrow bridge south of MSI. 773 493-7058.

Autumn program registration in progress- visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com, 773 256-0903.

August 28. Thursday 5th Ward monthly Olympic Task Force meeting- 6:30 pm. Will include a full discussion, including on successful minority and community participation, park and community benefits or negative impacts to be avoided, transportation, parking, ways to promote history and amenities.

September 6, Saturday, 10 am. The Chicago Park District holds its annual council and volunteers recognition day at Northerly Island Charter One Pavilion. Regulars should let us know if they will attend so we can give an estimate to the Park District. Gary at 773 947-9541 or
garyossewaarde@yahoo.

Save the date September 20, Saturday, 9-noon. Beach Sweep and Clean at Jackson Park. Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach TM as part of Ocean Conservancy Int’l Cleanup. Volunteers and team leaders will be needed. Look in www.greatlakes.org or contact Julia at jkelso@greatlakes.org, 312.939.0838 x229.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council June 9, 2008 minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at the field house, 7:40pm. A quorum was present. The April minutes were approved. The May minutes were approved with attention to its note that a quorum was not present.

General: Youth submitted applications for positions open in the park. Some problems with the citywide application and acceptance program were suggested by attendees.
Discussion was held with Alderman Hairston re: key elements of park district guidelines for park councils, with general consensus in case some matters in the revision may still need clarification.

The principal discussion item was presentation and query on the proposed added tennis-golf-baseball-fitness programming and teaching facility for the tennis court area northeast of Hayes and Cornell Drives. Presenter was Tyrone Mason of Athletes Committed to Education (ACE). A large book was available to be examined and Mr. Mason patiently answered many questions. Alderman Hairston agreed to convene an advertised community meeting in September to hear a Power Point presentation and discuss the project. Meanwhile, ACE would look with its architect at having the facility as low to the ground and non-intrusive, including to vistas, and as “green” as possible, and perhaps 2 or 3 options.

Key elements: The 40-feet high flexible material bubble and attached clubhouse, would be entirely paid for and endowed by ACE at 3.1 million, have a staff of 30 and a budget of $1.1 million a year from gate and not for profit organizations. They said their business model and research is fully done. It would be a new, permanent and attractive structure with normal expectancy 25 years. A contractual arrangement would be signed with the Park District (which had not yet committed to signing). This would require ACE to operate the facility and pay the Park District. This is not the same as sequestering of part of the park for private, non-park uses. There will be fees, but some free hours, training. It would be a draw for and unique to the whole south side. The area is visible, with current ample parking, and will be policed 24-7. A similar facility can be viewed at 87th and Harlem.

ACE said they had explored all other possible sites in the Fifth Ward and this site is at an ideal juncture of park facilities and schools and would provide what is needed short of a major new or addition to the field house to bring back these key sports as part of the experience of South Side youth. They noted that there is demand for the sports but not acceptable facilities in our parks.

Members said JPAC has to be judicious about adding new features to an historic and open space park, avoiding disrupting the vistas that were so important to park designer Frederick Law Olmsted, or having something that calls attention to itself as “non park.”

A community meeting will be convened in a suitable venue, as per above. The meeting was adjourned, next meeting July 14.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Barry Rapoport contacted us about a misleading reference in the May minutes re: the Frederick Douglass project. The memorial does have to be installed by the end of 2008. (Time is therefore of the essence for any who may want to contribute. Contact and make payment to Parkways Foundation, memoed for Douglass Memorial.)

Remember- 2nd and 4th Saturdays Volunteer Workdays on Wooded Island- creating a sustainable and friendly habitat. Meet at Darrow Bridge so. of MSI, 10 am. Goes to 1. 07: 12, 26. 08: 9, 23. 09: 13, 27. 10: 11, 25…. Ross Petersen 773 486-0505.

Doug Anderson’s bird tours Weds 7, Sats 8. Darrow Bridge. 773 493-7058.

Save th Date September 20, Saturday morning. Alliance for the Great Lakes wil conduct a beach sweep and clean tha includes Jackson Park. Volunteers and team leaders are needed. Until the registration site is up, contact Julia at jkelso@greatlakes.org.

July 7, Monday, dusk: Movie "The Great Debaters: PG132. 773 256-0903 for location, rain date.


Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes, May 12, 2008


Lacking a quorum, an official meeting could not be held. President Ross Petersen and Vice President Fran Vandervoort presided over an informal discussion of the following topics:

Frederick Douglass Monument. Mr. Rapoport’s proposal for a monument commemorating Frederick Douglass’s speech at the Haitian Pavilion of the Columbian Exposition of 1893. More money is needed to assure the preparation of the commemorative monument by the company selected for the project. Several options were discussed, including approaching the Donors’ Forum. The official deadline for funding and other arrangements for the monument is January 31, 2008.

Summer Day Camp Fee. Terry Jones of the Jackson Park Sorts program corrected the statement in the last minutes that the registration fee for Summer Day Camp participation is $55. The fee is $60.

Archeology Project. The Columbian Exposition archeology project, led by Rebecca Graff, will hold an open house Saturday afternoon, May 17, on the west side of the Columbian Basin. A number of artifacts have been unearthed and will be exhibited. Local and city press will provide coverage for the project.

Submitted by Frances S. Vandervoort, Vice President

Next meeting Monday, June 9, 7:30 pm. Main topic: Proposed new sports facility at tennis courts.

Archaeological dig sheds new light on Columbian Exposition
At an open house on May 17, Rebecca Graff, anthropology graduate student at the University of Chicago, teaching assistants and students, showed 6 ½ square by three feet deep plots and demonstrated techniques by which they extract meaning from the smallest clues. They seek understanding of how people used the grounds of the 1893 Columbian Exposition—building foundations, service piping, remains of foods or other things bought a or brought onto the grounds. Especially intriguing is where the trenches and material were actually lain for foundations and the otherwise undocumented piping to the buildings. They also hope to connect bits of glass and pottery, buttons, et al to styles and manufacturers. The plots are only about 3 feet deep except where trenches and piping lead the excavators deeper, as that is the usual depth of soil, slag, gravel etc laid for support and to keep the water table at bay, or re laid on the fair, on top the pre-settlement sand dunes. The fair used the grounds intensively only during construction, the 6 months of the fair, and during demolition or perhaps in some cases burn-down. But objects dropped since have also been found. The plots excavated during this phase of the work are west of the Columbia Basin by Cornell Drive c. 5800. Drop by during work on Fridays and Saturdays.

Also of interest… Museum of Science and industry special exhibits
Smart Home- Green + Wired. This home of possibilities was fabricated, bought to Chicago and assembled southeast of the Museum. Tours give lots of hints on how to be green and same money. Through January 4.
The Glass Experience. Modern glass in great variety shows up in the park. See here an exhibit on the full history of and art of glass and glass-making and uses. Dale Chihuly, whose work graced Garfield Conservatory, will be one of many artists and experts on hand.

Parents and high school students—find out about the many summer youth job and program opportunities available. City website has a comprehensive listing- http://www.cityofchicago.org. See also http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Remember our volunteer workdays, 2nd and 4th Sats- see front. Next June 14. 28/

Doug Anderson’s acclaimed bird and history walks- over 30 years-see front.

5th Ward Olympic dialogue continues with the city June 26 (4th Thursdays.)
Jackson Park Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island, 6:30 pm. 773 324-5555.



Jackson Park Advisory Council April 14, 2008 meeting minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:34 pm, a quorum being present. Noted was that the front page should now list “Officers” rather than “Interim.” Fran Vandervoort moved approval of the minutes; second, adoption.

President’s report. Ross Petersen reported on a meeting of representatives of several councils (Fran Vandervoort and Petersen representing Jackson) with Chicago Park District concerning council guidelines. Controversial items were removed or will receive another look, and the 2000 Guidelines will be the foundation for new guidelines to be reviewed by a joint committee. Petersen noted general agreement that certain processes need tighter controls, such as involvement with programs for children, fundraising and financial reporting. He suggested JPAC consider working with a recognized fiscal agent, perhaps Friends of the Parks. Petersen praised JPAC’s written response and suggested revisions to the earlier proposal, prepared by officers Gary Ossewaarde, Petersen, and Vandervoort.

Nature Committee. Petersen reported successful controlled burns in the natural areas. Beaver activity is up but so far does not pose a problem for the natural areas. Growing Power is developing the Jackson Park community teaching garden. There will be both personal and communal plots. Information on how to sign up will be posted in the fieldhouse. Those who will read these minutes are encouraged to call the fieldhouse, 773 256-0903 for same.

Park and Program. Terry Jones, Physical Instructor, described spring and summer programs, designed to involve participants in every major sport as well as teach life skills. Our teams were second in basketball citywide in both 8-12 and 7-10 divisions. Table tennis is being considered as an addition. Go Girls Go includes posture, nutrition, and keeping daily journals. Jones noted that the summer program (now on line at the park district website) costs $55 for 10 weeks, a real bargain. If programs are overfilled, staff is moved from parks or programs less filled. Noted also is that the park district website lists job opportunities, including summer, with their qualifications and a form for downloading.

Organizational change. Alonzo Williams, who has been Lakefront region director and is now citywide Deputy Director of sports and recreation program services, announced that for budgetary and operational needs the lakefront has been consolidated into the other three regions, bounded at 51st Street and North Avenue. Jackson Park is now in the South Region, Liz Millan Region Manager and A. J. Jackson Area Manager. Williams introduced Millan, who was warmly received. Millan works from Tarkington Park, with a satellite office at South Shore Cultural Center. Mr. Jackson will be the direct manager and contact and liaison to JPAC. Milan provided the region office number, 312 747-7661, her direct line 312 747-6880, and cell 773 398-6880.

Other business. Petersen noted an important 5th Ward community meeting on Olympics impacts, input and planning April 24, 6:30 pm at the fieldhouse. Alderman Hairston, represented in lieu of Rosalind Moore by Charisse Linder, requested an ongoing JPAC liaison to ward Olympic planning. By general consent Geneva Calloway and Gary Ossewaarde were selected.

Progress on items on the park walkthrough/observers punchlist was reviewed: Agreed: areas at underpasses and embankments with blowing sand need plant establishment. Wallach Fountain repairs are a capital budget issue. Markers along bike paths have been adjusted. The boardwalk will have sand removed once per week. Balisters at the Marina bridge are issues for Chicago Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, all stated needs and requests re drummers circle have been met including the inside circle, signage and lighting.

Details and alternatives of the planned Frederick Douglass Memorial were discussed with Barry Rapoport. The fund was nearly at the level needed for park district commitment, but a goodly sum is needed for the entire project. Contributions should be sent to the Parkways Foundation, noting on the check “For Frederick Douglass Memorial.”

The meeting was adjourned c. 9 pm. Next meeting Monday, May 12, 2008, 7 pm, 6401 S. Stony Island (fieldhouse).
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

_____________________________________

We regret any miscommunication (March NL) regarding marking of invasive trees proposed for consideration for phased removal over three years. Questions? Zhanna Yermakov 312 742-4122, Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505.

Please attend 5th Ward Olympic meetings on 4th Thursdays 6:30 pm at the fieldhouse. Next, on transportation issues will be on May 22. CTA, Metra, and more are being invited, in addition to reps. from Chicago2016.

Natural areas volunteer work Saturdays May 10, 24, June 14, 28… Sometimes extras. Meet at the Darrow Bridge south of the Museum 10 am. Lasts to 1 pm. Call Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505.

Jackson Park Advisory Council March 10, 2008 meeting minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:35 pm, a quorum being present. There being no objection, the minutes of the February meeting were approved.

Nature Committee. Petersen reported on recognition of the Wooded Island Working Group collaboration at Friends of the Parks annual lunch. He praised Doug Stotz’s technical guidance and other work in the success of the Group.
Aramark’s contract to work in the park and on natural area restoration has been renewed by the park district. There may be at least one burn in natural areas this spring. The importance of burns to a sustainable habitat was explained. A walk through of natural areas was planned for Wednesday, led by Yhanna Yermakov, CPD Natural Areas Manager, and Becky Schillo, CPD Volunteer Coordinator. They plan to mark every one in three trees to be removed in each of the next three years so interested parties can view at convenience and comment. Staff and volunteers will share the work. A herbicide stump application license is being refined and sought.
Petersen reported beaver activity is on the rise, a vagrants shack reappeared, and dog control signs were marked up again. Tire ruts have appeared in Bob-o-link meadow. An additional report on status of any hazardous material at the former Nike missile base is being reviewed, and more reconnaissance is expected.

CPD’s proposed advisory council guidelines and by-laws. Jackson Park was among a few council asked to review and comment upon the draft of new guidelines. As only limited review was possible at tonight’s meeting and many concerns were raised, Petersen moved and Dwight Powell seconded a resolution that the secretary ask the park district grant an extension for careful review and comment. Unanimously approved.

Council elections. The floor was opened for nominations for president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and at-large positions. Upon motion of Petersen seconded by Esther Schechter, the previously announced slate was read and proposed for nomination. There being no other nominations, the slate was unanimously approved:
President Ross Petersen, Vice President Fran Vandervoort, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer Dwight Powell, At Large Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, and Louise McCurry.

Old and New Business. Barry Rapoport announced progress raising funds for the Douglass monument and said more is needed along with some reimbursements. The editor offered to run the announcement again, and on motion from Powell, the council agreed to pay up to $100 of mailing.

Sports bubble in courts near the fieldhouse. Gary Glinsey, long a sports teacher with the park and Apostolic Church, raised questions about the project and whether all t's had been crossed on details, approvals, stakeholders’ concerns, and for adequate access by the public. It was agreed that Tyrone Mason of Athletes Committed to Education will be asked to review this with a future council meeting.

Park programs. Bill Tillis, Park Supervisor, and Daphne Johnson, Area Manager reported on three successful essay contests, with local winners competing in regionals. More schools are being recruited for our after school and camp programs—especially girls (programs led by Andrea Frink. Help is offered to kids in social agencies such as St. Martin de Porres. Spring programs will be outside and feature track and softball. The park staff and JPAC expressed appreciation for repair of the gym floor, in progress. The teen program advances. Mr. Glinsey moved praise for Bill Tillis and Terry “TJ” Jones who lead the sports program.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting April 14, Fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary


Jackson Park Advisory Council - Meeting Minutes February 11, 2008

Gary Ossewaarde convened the meeting at 7:40 pm. President Ross Petersen sent his apologies. Introductions were made, including of new South Lakefront Manager Daphne Johnson (773 256-6117). With no objections, the December minutes were approved as circulated. (There was no January meeting.). With no objections, due to weather and limited attendance, elections and Nature Committee report were postponed to March.

Guests and report-givers. Growing Power. Laurell Sims reported on progress with the community garden. That in Jackson Park focuses on a community garden with outdoor classroom including on composting. Park program kids involvement is being coordinated. The plots will be contracted with individuals who must maintain and harvest. 5th Ward offered to help recruit. Potential problems are being addressed.

Athletes Committed to Education. Tyrone Mason reported rapid advance of plans presented to and approved at a previous council meeting for an advanced all-year enclosure over a set of current tennis courts. This would greatly expand the activities and teaching of the fieldhouse. ACE will bear the entire cost and upkeep. Daytime free open periods would be available for persons and groups of all ages. Evenings would have members sports with a charge and would hold or travel to tournaments. The council was reassured that all needs and potential drawbacks are being addressed, including being green, attractive, low-intensity. Drawings for the project, projected for Autumn 2008, were requested to be shown to the council when ready. Enthusiastic support was indicated from Ald. Hairston’s office, Bishop Brazier and Park District officers who had reviewed the plan to date. Members observed that the council has to be cautious with expansion of structures at expense of open space and sports courts. The council reaffirmed support.

Rebecca Graff, graduate student at the University of Chicago, reported on the pilot class she leads and its continued archeological reconnaissance and test holes related to the Columbian Exposition, under Park District permit through July 31. Material from the late 19th century regularly shows up. The project has a grant from Bard College. Partnerships are being sought with community youth groups.

Daphne Johnson, recently appointed South Lakefront Area Manager, reported on park activities. These include a ski trip to Wilma, near Gurnee, IL. At least one movie will be shown in the park this summer. Spring programs can be viewed in http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. Online registration starts February 25 and in-person Saturday, March 1. Summer in-person registration starts April 26. Also reported is reminder that removed park dead trees and the wood chips from them will be staged in the Hayes/Cornell parking lot.

Barry Rapoport reviewed progress on the commemorative bolder and plaque honoring Frederick Douglass’ accomplishments related to the Columbian Exposition. $5,000 is needed to accomplish preparation and placement not far from the 59th Marina. He asked that JPAC consider helping with cost (to be considered at the next meeting) and planning a ceremony (he hoped by fall). Fiscal agent is the Parkways Foundation. Information can be obtained from Barry at drumjug@yahoo.com or 773 315-9269 or Cameron Lane at Parkways, clane@parkways.org or 312 742-4808. Donations can be given directly to Parkways at Frederick Douglass Monument Project, 541 North Fairbanks Court, Suite 850, Chicago, IL 60611.

Wording of the plaque:

FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1818-1895), AN EX-SLAVE,
WAS AN IMPORTANT AUTHOR, EDITOR, ORATOR, STATESMAN
AND ONE OF THE FOREMOST LEADERS
OF THE ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT IN AMERICA

IN CELEBRATION OF HAITIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
AND THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST PAVILION
FOR THE WORLD’S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION,
DOUGLASS DEDICATED THE HAITIAN PAVILION
JACKSON PARK, JANUARY 2, 1893

DEDICATED BY CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS,
TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS 2008

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting March 10, 2008, 7:30 pm in the fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island Avenue.
Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Minutes of the December 10, 2007 Jackson Park Advisory Council

Ross Petersen, interim president called the meeting to order at 7:35 pm.

The minutes of the December meeting were moved and approved with the following correction, with apologies to Ms. Yermakov and Ms. Schillo, who were not present:
“Ross Petersen summarized the draft Wooded Island management plan, prepared by Zhanna Yermakov, discussed at a meeting with representatives of many stakeholder groups, and undergoing final review. The multi-year plan calls for staged removal of invasive growth, particularly buckthorn, and replanting with native, bird-friendly plants for a balanced ecosystem.”

Next meeting: Dwight Powell moved that JPAC hold no meeting in January hold our next meeting in on the regular date February assuming no conflicts with fieldhouse holidays. (Subsequent inquiry found no conflict except in October and November.) Powell also will work to relocate our bank account so we can take dues by the February meeting. The meeting agreed that officers for 2008 will be elected then. Growing Power is expected to present on the Jackson Park Community Garden at the February meeting.

Nomination of officers. Ross Petersen proposed the current officers as slate for the February election. Other nominations can be submitted to the Secretary at 773 947-9541 or garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

There was no park and program report because the park district was celebrating Veterans Day.

Nature: Petersen noted the city has passed an ordinance banning invasive plants.

Museum of Science and Industry outdoor exhibit on efficient housing. Petersen reported on a planning meeting at the museum. The temporary exhibit, which opens tentatively in March 2008, would be approximately where the submarine had been. There will be no disturbance to the park, including the oak stand to the south. After the exhibit comes down. The area will be replanted in native plants. Archeologist Rebecca Graff will have access to the area. No objection was expressed.

Move for adjournment. Next meeting February 11.

Respectfully submitted Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary


Meeting Minutes- November 12, 2007 Jackson Park Advisory council

Ross Petersen convened the meeting. October meeting minutes were moved by Petersen, approved.
Park and fieldhouse. Alonzo Williams, Lakefront director, commended and the council thanked staff who kept the fieldhouse open this meeting, on a holiday. JPAC will be given timely notice of future holidays.
Halloween programs were very successful, serving up to 1500. The football team came very close to winning its tournament. Still coming: Turkey Trot, thanksgiving with flag football, and the football and cheerleaders banquet in December.
The park district budget is on line as of November 13 on http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Nature committee. [Corrected: Ross Petersen introduced the Wooded Island Restoration Plan, under final review by stakeholders, and including a staged removal of buckthorn.] It was noted that decisions need to be made about dead trees.
Jerome Scott, park district Forester, discussed the large number of dead trees, some hazardous to the public, outside Wooded Island. The 63rd Cornell lot will be the staging area. The shoreline revetment by La Rabida Hospital was cleaned, finding best methods that can be replicated.
Bob-o-link Meadow clearing guidelines were discussed.
Jackson Park Vegetable Garden. Peggy Stewart and Jane Schenck led discussion. Representatives from Growing Power were prevented in traffic from attending. Much shaping and clearing has been done and contacts made. JPAC volunteers participate by clearing mustard garlic. The garden is expected to go big next year and have many programs. Explanatory signage is needed, including that this garden is not for casual “harvesting.” Guidelines will be sent to the council for publication. Policing was discussed.
Athletes Committed to Education proposed facility. Tyrone Mason discussed proposal under discussion with the park district and many stakeholders to put a seasonal or year round bubble over the nine tennis courts by Hayes Drive for play and classes in many sports including golf, tennis, and baseball. This would greatly expand the fieldhouse programs. Resolution was moved, seconded, passed unanimously to conditionally favor the proposal.
Unfinished business. Moved, seconded and unanimously passed to amend the bylaws: Authorization for expenditures shall be made only in council meetings and by proper resolution. Checks must have two signatures and be issued at meetings pursuant to resolutions.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Monday, December 10, 7:30.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

 

Meeting Minutes-October 9, 2007 Jackson Park Advisory Council

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at the fieldhouse shortly after 7:30 pm.

Major business

The minutes of the September meeting were approved, with desire for more fieldhouse reportage.

Election of officers to serve to January 2008. Petersen moved an interim election (notice was provided), so that the Council can conduct financial business. He nominated the following to serve until January: President- Ross Petersen, Vice President- Fran Vandervoort, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer- Dwight Powell. Continuing to serve as board members at large: Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, Louise McCurry. With no additional nominations, the question was called and the slate was unanimously elected. Petersen and Vandervoort agreed to continue to co-chair the Nature Committee.

Financial resolutions to comply with Park District council guidelines and to universal practice:
The following are proposed to be amended to the bylaws. [Secretary: As the bylaws state that the language of amendments must be pre-published in the announcement of the meeting at which they are to be adopted, the following needs ratification at the November meeting. Proposed location: Article Seven, new section 5:]
Expenditures may be made only as directed by a resolution approved at a council meeting. There shall be no less than two signers of every check, normally the Treasurer and Secretary.
This resolution was moved, seconded and passed unanimously.
Also moved and resolved in conjunction: JPAC designates the Treasurer and Secretary as the authorized signatories of JPAC checks and financial documents. Approved with no objection. Fran Vandervoort asked that copies of the bylaws be provided at the next meeting. The Secretary agreed.

Park and fieldhouse reports

William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported that the football and cheerleader (70 girls) programs are doing well. Upcoming events included Haunted Beach House October 26-27 7-11 pm, a Haunted House bash party 2-4 pm on the 27th, and a Halloween Party for After School kids and public October 31 afternoon.
November 16, 4 pm will see the annual Turkey Trot race for three age divisions. 75 turkeys will be prizes for the 300 kids and teens expected.
Thanksgiving Day, November 22, the park will have a large football tournament from 10 to 2.
December 6, 4 pm has the 2nd annual Junior Bears and Cheerleaders banquet.
December 20 has the park kids holiday party.

Last summer the park held or participated in major events: 3 concerts, a dance, and movie(s). More are hoped for next year. (Problems with care of the beach house bathrooms by a contractor were reported.)

The football team played Rainbow Beach in a large Homecoming at Gately Stadium. The Parent Club is supporting the large number of squads.

Jackson Park has a walking club for seniors that meets at the fieldhouse Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 am and walks 3 ½ miles, with turnoffs for those preferring shorter distances.

Nature Committee

Petersen said a broadly attended meeting in September approved a phased removal and planting policy. He will share the map and discuss the plan at the next meeting due to lack of time at this meeting.

New and old business and community issues

Akim Gursel described concerns and desires of fishermen, particularly the “banksters” who fish from the lagoon banks mainly near Darrow Bridge. They patrol the trash and try to influence youngsters for the better. The principal need is for a box to store gear, etc. Concerns were expressed about fish stocking policies. Ross Petersen offered to put the fishers in touch with Lakefront Director Alonzo Williams re the box and with fish stocking authorities (Illinois Department of Natural Resources). He would also inquire whether milfoil remains under control, as it hurts fishing and lagoon health. He replied to a query, continuous portable toilets are unsuitable in the park but maybe the comfort stations could stay open longer in the fall. Petersen agreed that brush has over grown the banks and obstructed access, including along Bob-o-link Meadow.

Barry Rapoport shared language pending final discussion with the park district for the boulder memorializing Frederick Douglass’s role at the Columbian Exposition and Haitian Pavilion. He thanked the 217 who signed petitions and those—including area elected officials who sent letters in favor of the memorial. Suggestions were made for possible language refinements if not final.

The meeting adjourned. Next meeting November 12, 7:30 pm, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Minutes- Jackson Park Advisory Council September 10 2007 meeting

Ross Petersen convened the well-attended meeting at 7:35 p.m. Due to a full and special agenda, elections were postponed and the agenda adjusted. Fran Vandervoort moved approval of the August minutes; approved.

Fieldhouse and Programs. Terry Jones, Physical Instructor. Full and expanding enrollment and kinds of programs were described. All-around skill and lifestyle development are stressed. Cultural and seniors programs are on board. Teams in a wide range of sports were successful. Bishop Brazier’s tennis programs were praised.

Lakefront. Alonzo Williams, Director of Lakefront Operations. Williams thanked JPAC for its support of programs, which garnered an award at the September 8 Advisory Councils Recognition celebration on Northerly Island. The recognition and plaque, shown by Gary Ossewaarde, were greatly appreciated by members.

Nature Committee. Ross Petersen. Workdays are temporarily in Bob-o-link Meadow, where burdock and more are being removed. The plan for Wooded Island management is being readied for expert and stakeholder review.

Olympic and Paralympic presentation. Valerie Jarrett, Gyata Kimmons, Doug Arnot of Chicago2016 and Arnold Randall, Chicago Commissioner of Planning and Development. Also John Hillman, Mark Jones, Tony Romano; Alonzo Williams CPD.

Jarrett said there would be impact locally, but this is an opportunity to leave improvements and legacy with minimum disruption, if planned carefully and prudently. She said the Committee wants and needs continuing engagement in an open, fair, collaborative process. She noted that changes have already been made. A strong bid needs consensus. Concept drawings and a video on the citywide suite of venues were shown.

Arnot, who has worked on design at other Olympics, said they are working hard to avoid mistakes, including to the environment, or leaving white elephants. The park is to be returned to its condition and uses, with some compatible improvements (not asphalt but possibly including security features). Structures, lighting, stands will be temporary (although security features could remain) and will not go below ground. The two artificial surface fields and third, grass will be legacies. All facilities must be fully accessible to persons with disabilities, one of the reasons for artificial surface fields. Arnot said the latter would also allow maximum use afterwards since grass fields are and would be quickly degraded. Arnot gave the timeframe as a few months of phased work in late 2015 and again in 2016.

Questions and challenges.
· Parks, field team experts were asked experience with artificial turf playing fields. Offers advantages.
· What will be off limits or have impractical access? Hayes Drive, golf driving range, soccer fields, Hayes lots incl. for basketball there. Not Bob-o-link, Wooded Island, Golf course, Lake Shore Drive.
· Impacts on natural areas. Petersen showed what structures and activity might be too close to lagoons and the ADA boardwalk and where crowds, short-cutters, support vehicles, lighting might disturb birds and wildlife.
· Will infrastructure like sewers be affected; could improvements be made? Team: generally no to both. And any wider kinds of improvements like playlots, transit cannot come from Olympic program, funds.
· How will the athletes, people be moved? Shuttle buses; no autos (re-educate off autos). Plan will take time.
· Several feared congestion in neighborhoods, effects on mobility, harbors, golf et al.
· Will alternative places be offered teams, users? Past help in previous displacements can be a model. Sports team reps stressed management and success at such accommodation as critical.
· Several asked if more substantial legacies could be left: little result for lots of disruption. Also suggested for effect and congestion/conflict mitigation during the event was use of portable bridges for access, shiny steel. Team would consider but is cautious about redirecting the park or leaving white elephants.
· An archeologist said the law requires a full reconnaissance ahead of work; site was Columbian Expos.
· The short timeframe was generally challenged. Team cited Olympic, other experience, no work underground.
· Will there be an extensive set of public input meetings and charette? Yes. The presenters asked for input to help develop consensus on landscaping, behaviors, traffic, being green. An “Olmstedist” is on the design team. Full detail design starts in late 2009—that is the best window for input.

The Olympic Committee was thanked for discussing and answering and were urged to return often. Members reviewed concerns and alternatives. Concern was expressed about the park’s current state and needs, including major facilities, that may not be adequately addressed because the energy and funds will go to the Olympics. Petersen summarized consensus: Continue to learn and evaluate, Compile member questions at the next meeting. Adjournment.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Appended report: Monitors/board members-at-large Geneva Calloway and Vernita Jones. They met with Alonzo Williams and Natural Areas Manager Zhanna Yermakov in July. All hope that by next spring the following will be or been addressed: Sand-stabilizing plantings at east side of 63rd underpass, Driving Range path, Pedestrian paths especially on the west side, parking lots at 63rd and Cornell. The driving range road, 63rd lot are since completed.

Workdays Oct. 13, 27. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of Museum. Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505.
Halloween Haunted House fun at the 63rd Bathing Pavilion late October. Call 773 256-0903.

Jackson Park Advisory Council August 13, 2007 minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:31 pm. The July minutes were moved by Petersen, seconded by Dwight Powell, and approved.

Park and Program report, Alonzo Williams.

· Summer camp filled its 200 openings and was highly successful.
· Junior Bears for fall overfilled also; they are psyched up to win! Cheerleading was about to start.
· “No barbecue” signage on 67th was up.
· The 63rd Cornell lot and Golf Driving Range road repaving with curbs were being done.
· A survey for signage and other needs was done with police; almost all police requests have been met.
· A park walk through was held with Parks Commissioner Pickens, trades, and JPAC monitoring committee. Work orders were put in. Members noted more damaged benches and other concerns.
· At 63rd Bathing Pavilion, more benches are likely. Nonfunctioning water fountains were of concern, and bathrooms are to be addressed
· The drumming circle is in use; some signs remained to be put up. Protocol for when special events are held at the beach house and for fire lanes have been or are being established. Lighting was queried.
· Underpasses and more were heavily tagged and marked along the south lakefront; to be fixed. Petersen reported that the “no dogs” signs at Wooded Island entrances were again painted out.
· A work order went in for ‘Iowa’ building lights.
· The city budget hearing August 23 7 pm at South Shore Cultural Center would include park concerns; the 2nd round Park District south budget hearing will be September 5, Wednesday, 6:30 pm, at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd. [Erroneous and changed.]
· Mike Kelly is the new PD Chief Operating Officer under Tim Mitchell, Patrick Levar the Chief Administrative Officer, and Becky Schillo has been hired as Natural Areas Stewardship Manager (coming with high recommendation).

Nature Committee and facilities report. Ross Petersen.

· Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S.EPA and the PD under a grant will conduct a thorough study of 63rd St. Beach watershed infrastructure and outflow, learned from EPA’s Holly Wirick. Possible role of dogs or birds as vectors was discussed. The PD has hired a firm, Wild Goose Chase, to flush geese with dogs, which Petersen said were rousting all birds. Dog regulations are unchanged.
· Rebecca Graff has received permission to proceed with a small archeological survey near Osaka Garden and will report at a future meeting.
· 2016 Olympic Committee representatives presents, answers questions at the September 10 meeting; public invited! Members reviewed and had no objection to JPAC Olympics resolution language passed at the previous meeting and published in the minutes in the August JPAC Newsletter.
· A summit was held about Wooded Island natural management. Attending were the District, Friends of the Parks, scientists, JPAC and stakeholders. Petersen said the meeting was very forward-moving. The goal is to reduce damaging invasive species and introduce wildlife-friendly plants. Petersen showed a Chicago Tribune feature showing that bird sightings declined drastically in the state but increased in a natural area where invasives were removed. Jackson Park bird numbers have been recovering.
· Petersen regretted that there has been no replacement yet of trees lost in storms of 2003 and 2006.
· Petersen noted that aldermanic and police help was being sought to address increasing night time illegal activity such as on the south end of Wooded Island and in parking lots.

New business. Gary Ossewaarde reported steps necessary since the decease of treasurer Tibor Heisler.
Nominations were taken for election in September. Esther Schechter nominated Dwight Powell for treasurer.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.
Next meeting September 10, Monday, 7:30 pm, 6401 S. Stony, south room. Agenda: Elections, Olympics

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

2nd and 4th Saturday Volunteer Workdays. 10 -1. Sept 8, 22, Oct 13, 27. Ross Petersen, 773 486-0505. For the next couple months work will be in Bob-o-link Meadow while a Wooded Island plan is developed.

Memorial service for Tibor Heisler Sun. Sept. 9 1:30-3:30 So Sh Cult. Ctr. Please RSVP Gary 773 947-9541.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes of July 9, 2007

Ross Petersen convened the meeting. June minutes were approved. Petersen announced with sadness the passing of Tibor Heisler, who served as JPAC treasurer. The council agreed that nominations for all offices are open, nominations can be taken at the August meeting and the election will be held September 10.

Park and Program. Alonzo Williams, Lakefront Director announced a park walk through July 11 with members of the JPAC visitation committee and park district Natural Resources and Landscape; also a meeting the same day of the parties concerned with management and template for the park’s natural areas. Petersen suggested open site meetings before future work is done. The south lakefront first round budget hearing would be July 17. The drumming circle signage was approved and ready to go up. “No barbecuing” signs are up along 67th and the new playlot nearly ready. Members brought to his attention problems with graffiti, benches, and along paths.

Terry Jones, Physical Instructor, described a full summer camp and how well our track team members did in meets. One youth was struck crossing Cornell Drive to the fields; safe access needs attention, he said. The community garden has been weeded. Petersen said that we need to hear Growing Power’s plans.

Other business included a review of a meeting on plans to complete public access to the lakefront on the South Side. Concerning future JPAC needs, Dwight Powell offered to help with treasurer duties.
Condolences were offered to Ross Petersen, whose mother has passed away.
Olympics. Secretary Ossewaarde noted we have not had communication from officials on Olympic plans for Jackson Park. After discussion, Petersen moved, seconded by Dwight Powell the following resolution, approved:

“The Jackson Park Advisory Council opposes as ill-advised and inappropriate the siting of Olympic venues in Jackson Park.”

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Monday, August 13, 7:30, field house.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary

Minutes of the June 11, 2007 JPAC meeting


Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:35 pm. Rosalind Moore was present from Alderman Hairston’s office. Petersen moved the minutes of the May meeting; approved.

Special notice; elections. Petersen announced that President Nancy Campbell Hays passed away. This was received with great sadness and expressions of appreciation for her many years of devoted work for the council and extraordinary life of service and accomplishment. A memorial service was announced for June 23.

Petersen announced that the bylaws require a special election. By consent, nominations were opened for all offices and a slate will be discussed at the July 9 meeting, with election expected at the August 13 meeting. Voting by proxy was favorably considered. (Ed. note: The bylaws, however, provide that “a person may vote at the fourth meeting attended within a consecutive 12-month period… there shall be no voting by proxy.”)

Maintenance and repair issues. Geneva Calloway and Vernita Jones, board members at large and members of our “park visitation” committee presented a list of issues with park upkeep, several, they noted, of standing since 2005 and reflecting a growing deterioration. Amelioration strategies were discussed by members and Lakefront Director Alonzo Williams. Among facilities are underpasses and their slopes, other issues with sand blowing and its removal, overgrown foliage, water fountains, paths, and the Darrow Bridge—including handrails and bollards. Among improvements definitely planned within the next year are the drive at the golf driving range and the Hayes/Cornell lot, which will be presented at a future council meeting.

Maintenance schedule for several upkeep items including sand on the boardwalk were described. Strategies for handling parking on grass and unacceptable behaviors were discussed, including new signage and policing procedures. A walkthrough was held by police and park district staff. Kemper was criticized for slowness to address the falling fence at the golf driving range. Alderman Hairston is seeking “no barbecuing” signs along 67th Street. (Williams added that barbecuing is allowed only where red cans for hot coals are set out.) Williams said he can be reached about matters needing attention at 312 742-6241.

Park and program. Terry Jones, Instructor, with William Tillis, Park Supervisor, discussed the expanded and popular programs for youth at the park. Enrollment was running well ahead of this point last year and they urged that kids and parents not delay signing up, especially since prices this year are very low. They thanked JPAC for providing trophies for the spring awards banquet. The council has also provided a contingency appropriation for needy players. The June 1 showcase and June 8 awards banquet in the gym were highlights this spring. Track and field placed well and is going to the state tournament. Summer highlights are special camps for tennis, Junior Bears and cheerleading—all free. The public kickoff party is June 18, 4-5:30 pm. The football program continues in various forms through fall and will culminate in an open banquet in December. The fieldhouse also has an active parents club and a dance troupe. Coordination of camp with park cleanup is under consideration.

Nature Committee. A meeting of parties was again being rescheduled on a protocol for natural areas removals and replanting. The meeting may be open to interested involved persons, who can contact Williams or Petersen for details. Petersen stressed the need to resolve the issues and that the park district have a workday oversight person at volunteer activities.

Old and new business. Tributes were given for Nancy Hays, ways to honor her discussed.
Members asked about new marina plans, noting serious JPAC concerns stated last year.
Barry Rapoport described and shared views of various commemorative boulders in the park.
The meeting was adjourned at 9 pm. Next meeting July 9 in the field house.


Respectfully submitted
Gary Ossewaarde
Secretary


Minutes of the May 14, 2007 Jackson Park Advisory Council Meeting

Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:35 pm in the fieldhouse. The minutes of the April meeting were approved as circulated.

Fieldhouse Programs and the Park. Bill Tillis, Supervisor, reported that the spring program is one of the most successful in history in terms of participation and variety. Among reasons credited for the success is work with and in the schools, our male and female instructors, and publicity. While programs are centered around sports (track and football conditioning this spring), they include much more, from homework to cultural to social and life-skill learning. Climax will be a Showcase June 1, 6-8 pm and a sports awards ceremony June 8 4-6 pm. The public is urged to attend.

Tillis asked the Council to help with costs for the awards, to be obtained from Palos Sports. Upon motion from Fran Vandervoort and second by Dwight Powell, the council appropriated $400.

June 18-19: a special 2-day Lakefront Camp in football and cheerleading is set.

Summer programs were filling ahead of last year’s pace, but still had openings. (Some families wait until they know whether their kids will be going to camp.) The prices have been cut more than half to $155. (Prices at different facilities are based on cost-per-hour and a demographic sliding scale, and are regularly reviewed for appropriateness under direction of Superintendent Mitchell.) Upon motion of Dwight Powell, seconded by Esther Schechter, the council set aside $1,000 to be used as needed and called upon for scholarships for families needing help to send their kids to Jackson summer programs.

Tillis noted that the various parks and regions now work together to make sure all kids find a place in other field houses if their first choices are full and that they participate in integrated programs—for example, Jackson staff also goes to Harris Center, 6200 Drexel, which has a pool. He also reported that the South Side kids go to the same and same number or more of plays and other cultural activities and other trips as the North Side kids.

Teen programs have become especially important at Jackson Park, said Tillis and Lakefront Director Alonzo Williams. There is a citywide cultural and recreational initiative based on a survey taken by teens in schools. (Not surprisingly, girls and boys wanted a different mix—in some cases it works best to tell the kids what they are going to do—and they end up liking it). In the mix are etiquette/life lessons and help from such organizations as Hyde Park Art Center. The program includes learning-earning, fund raising, sweat-equity and volunteering: They get to do X if they do Y.

A new initiative is the summer-long tour-the-lakefront bike challenge.

The roadway by the soccer fields and Golf Driving range are being re-graveled and hopes are that it will soon be budgeted for a new paved roadway with curbs, to discourage the public from parking on the grass.

Tillis also reported that the (reconfigured) Drumming Circle is completed but frequently needs sand removal.
Public informational meetings and discussion on beach policies and protocols including swim bans were planned for May 15 at Rainbow Park and May 17 at Margate Park.

Park/Lakefront staff held a walk through of Jackson Park with 3rd District Police Commander Franklin related to policing, signage, parking lot and lot gates issues. Members mentioned as recurring trouble spots the Driving Range, Music Court, tennis court, and La Rabida lots and Wooded Island at night. Police were said to do their best to stop the public parking on the grass. JPAC will invite Cdr. Franklin to the June meeting.

Matters of concern brought up included fresh wood chips dumped by parties unknown on the community garden (to be removed) and need to consider rotating heavily used sports fields.

Eleanor Roemer, Friends of the Parks: Completing the last 4 miles of public Lakefront
Roemer shared results of public charette and meetings with stakeholders and nearby residents on ways to complete the vision of A. Montgomery Ward, Daniel Burnham and others for a publicly owned and accessible lakefront forever open, free, and clear, starting with sections in the 7000s and at USX. (2009 will be the Centennial of the Burnham Plan for Chicago.) Neighbors concerns have been assessed and “soft” ways sought by architects to have public access without interfering with either owners’ rights or the currents and freshness of the water. Efforts have also been made to mesh with other features and possible projects such marinas, parks, biodiversity/lakeshore restoration, transportation, and South Lakeshore Access.
A public symposium will be held June 20, 6:30 pm at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive. The Council consented to be one of the sponsors. Concepts can be previewed at the Bronzeville Visitors Information Center, 3501 S. King Drive, and the 7th Ward Office. Suggested was involvement of classrooms in exploring issues and design concepts.

Nature Committee. Ross Petersen. Frances Vandervoort brought a list of a small set of native plants donated and to be planted on Wooded Island May 22. A small meeting of experienced parties concerning replacements and plantings on Wooded Island has been set up with the park district and Friends of the Parks. Among needs raised tonight were continuous review of: plant templates, how much and how to replace downed trees and brush, removals policy, ways to specify follow up tending of new plantings and replacement of what dies, perhaps by moving some from “capital” to “operating”. Concerning whether the lagoon levels are regulated to prevent edge plantings from being drowned or dried out, Petersen reported that the equipment installed during the Lagoon Restoration Project has stopped working.

Old business. Barry Rapoport showed language given to the Park District’s Adam Guerrero (External Affairs) for the plaque honoring Frederick Douglass. The Council by general consent found the language fine and suggested a boulder about 1 and a half to two feet in diameter. Several alternatives for containing the text were considered fine, including aluminum, bronze, and etched into the stone. The stone erected by the Women of the American Legion east of the 59th St. tennis courts was referenced.
The text reads: “Frederick Douglass dedicated the Haitian Pavilion on January 2, 1893, celebrating the first finished pavilion for the World Columbian Exposition and Haitian Independence Day.”
The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting June 11, 7:30 pm, Field house.

Respectfully submitted
Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council
April 9, 2007 Advisory Council Minutes


Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. Minutes of the March meeting were approved as corrected.

Park news. Terry Jones described varied and growing spring and summer programs. Registration is always in the first month of the preceding quarter. The public is invited to the May 21 gym show, 4-6 p.m. to see what is offered and what the kids learn. The student/instructor ratio for the June 25th-August 3rd summer session is 10:1 for the younger kids and 20:1 for the older. Also, teens 14-16 serve as junior counselors, earning points. The camps also include significant cultural and sports field trips.

Jackson’s team took 3rd place in the Region in inner city league play. Some players were all-stars, and Terry Jones coached. Jones noted that Commander Franklin, 3rd Police District, had over 100 kids at a banquet. The District’s very active Explorers’ program works with Jackson.

The woodchip pile is now gone, with a reserve set aside for Earth Day work. The improved drumming circle has had sand removed and is ready for concrete to be poured. After that, evened stone-block seating will be set. An inaugural celebratory festival is being planned.

Nature Committee. Petersen reported that a good sized group worked in natural areas March 24 and that groups were signed up for work April 14 and 28 (regular 2nd and 4th Saturdays) and Sunday afternoon April 22 for Earth Day. The latter will include University of Chicago groups and will focus on several part of the park, including the new community garden. Petersen invited the park to have teen programs work with the volunteer workday and garden programs. Kenwood Academy students and teachers are already involved.

Olympics. Petersen reported that field hockey will be in the soccer fields rather than an enclosed area such as the Driving Range. The use will displace a solid group of established users and limit or prevent access to a large area for up to three years. Problems foreseen include lack of parking or indoor plumbing. No action was taken at the meeting.

New Orleans’ City (Center) Park. Melissa Cook gave a greatly-appreciated presentation on the history of one of the country’s great parks, very heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. This park has several interesting Chicago connections. Upon motion by Fran Vandervoort seconded by Dwight Powell, the Council approved donation of $200 to the park’s restoration fund.

Old and new business. The Park District now formally has Mr. Barry Rapoport’s proposal for a plaque commemorating Frederick Douglass and his role at the Columbian Exposition. Rapoport described new learning programs he is developing that includes large puppets.

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting May 14, Monday, 7:30 pm, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes, March 12, 2007

Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. The minutes of the previous meeting (January) were moved by Fran Vandervoort and approved.

The elections were announced. With no additional nominations, the slate as presented was moved by Esther Schechter and approved unanimously. The officers are: Nancy Hays, President; Ross Petersen, Vice President; Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary; Tibor Heisler, Treasurer; and Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, and Louise McCurry, At-Large.

Fieldhouse and park
Terry Jones, Instructor, reported on park kids and fieldhouse programs, which have been full. Park Kids had 44 after school for varied sports and dance programs. Among offerings are softball, volleyball, basketball, track and field, cheerleading. At $60 for 10 weeks it’s a great deal. The evening programs for Spring that run for 10 weeks include teen club, fitness center, African an Modern dance, piano, baseball, basketball, seasonal sports and softball. Registration opens April 16 online and April 21 in person. Prices range from free to $30, except Park Kids after school is $60. The park is promoting full, year round use of the fitness center and seeks to expand the programs for families. Parents are enthusiastic and involved. Pick up the pink schedule sheet at the field house. All are co-ed except dance and men’s bb and seasonal.

Black History Month Poetry Contest went very well; some JPAC members were judges. The park will have a Spring Break Camp April 2-6 and gym show May 25, 4-6 pm (public invited).

Jones reported that many repairs and maintenance were recently done in the park. There is large woodchip mulch pile in the lot at 63rd and Hayes; the public can take part of this.

Guest presentation: Growing Power
Erika Allen and Laurell Sims of Growing Power, introduced by Peggy Stewart, CPD director of Environmental Education Programs, presented on this urban agriculture program that already serves several cities, particularly Milwaukee and New Orleans, and Cabrini-Green in Chicago. The learning and community garden they propose for the current community garden space in the park will be their first program on Chicago’s South Side. This year the garden will be built and outreach done. Their ultimate goal is a program in which kids and adults learn garden creation and maintenance, sustainable living, and foods production and marketing—there will be employment opportunities including for youth. Community residents and groups will have growing plots, and quality commercial produce will be available to the community. Production is scientific and green- no chemicals. The goal is a sustainable community food system.

Guest: Natural Areas Manager Zhanna Yermakov
Ross Petersen introduced Zhanna Yermakov, recently hired as Natural Areas Manager. Her responsibility includes management of Wooded Island. She invited birding and natural areas interested persons to accompany her on a Saturday morning site visit. Ross Petersen, nature committee chair, will bring copies of the forest management plan template of plants. A date was not set during the meeting, but would likely happen on a Saturday in conjunction with a bird tour, late March or early April.

Yermakov said that some clearing and planting must be done this year to start restoring a balance and to remove obstructions and dangers from downed trees. She seeks input. She noted that any planting, especially of trees, has to be part of a larger, long-range plan. Further discussion was deferred to later in the meeting.

Guests: Holiday Wirick, U.S. EPA Region 5, and Justin DeWitt, Illinois Dept. Public Health Administrator for Beaches.
The U.S. Beach Act is the point of interface between Chicago and state and federal agencies. Chicago is currently in compliance with the Beach Act, the presenters said. This legislation requires that if a jurisdiction seeks eligibility for grants fund testing, surveys, etc. at beaches, then should the beach water reach a concentration of 235 cfu of indicator bacteria, that jurisdiction must take an action, which could be closure or public notification and signage.

Chicago formerly closed beaches after two days of readings of 235 or higher; it now gives notice after one day of such readings and closes the beach whenever 1,000 is exceeded. The federal standard, developed in the 1970s, has not changed—revised standards and protocols are being developed. Chicago tests much more frequently than most jurisdictions (the minimum is once a week). There is not agreement over what are the best tests or way and places to conduct them, they said—and agreed that many sources of illness are missed or not tested for. The guests said some trials such as in Lake County suggest that modeling is superior to testing. Also, the real goal is to have progress on safe beach waters and Great Lakes. As for a trend for more closures on the Great Lakes in the past decade, at least some reflects more testing, they said.

Questions were raised about adoption and public health implications of Chicago’s new standard. Director of Lakefront Operations Alonzo Williams reported that input was taken on the change and that Chicago will be applying for grants. Also, under a different grant, a thorough search will be made at two Chicago beach catchments for outfalls and point sources of pollution. Members asked that the park district choose oft-closed 63rd Street as one of the test beaches. According to Williams, the district also has an educational program to discourage actions that contribute to beach and water contamination and is rolling out the new waste containers. And changes were made to the shape of 63rd beach. Members noted that most of the storm and general runoff from park lawn panels on the south lakefront ends up untreated in the lake.

Wirick, DeWitt, Ellen Sargent of the park district, Alliance for the Great Lakes spokesperson Frances Canonizado, and members agreed on the importance of the new Great Lakes Collaboration among the states and provinces to address the pollution problems of the Great Lakes Basin. This would require states’ ratification and heavy federal funding.
Asked when and for whom the waters are safe, the guests said it depends on the state of the individual and suggested people be cautious about entering the water when the 235 standard is exceeded, or the days after a storm. Members were concerned that Chicago may have set the level for closure too high; the guests said it is a good starting point. A suggested source of more information is the Centers for Disease Control website-- go to Healthy Swimming.
Members proposed better signage, that flyers explaining the protocol and the dangers be handed out at the beach whenever 235 cfu is exceeded, and that outreach be done in the schools and field houses before summer and at summer camps, and to seniors and other vulnerable persons. Chicago Park District, with the 5th Ward Office, is working to implement most of these.

Frances Canonizado of the Alliance for the Great Lakes said:
· Everyone needs to get together for better education,
· There is a funding problem, starting at the federal level (noting that the Beach Act doesn’t fund remediation), and
· It is urgent that action be taken to fix the problems—we should start green actions such as plantings, which have been shown to be effective.

Nature Committee. Ross Petersen, Chair
Doug Anderson and Frances Vandervoort agreed to review a list of native plant material to be used under the $500 council appropriation in January for planting in Wooded Island. Final approval will rest with the park district.
April’s Volunteer Workdays will be April 14, 22, and 28. Workdays will normally be on 2nd and 4th Saturdays, with specials, such as the Earth Day special on Sunday, April 22. The latter will feature mulching and various projects in several areas of the park. Organizations have signed up to participate. Workdays will be under supervision of the Natural Areas Manager. Janis Taylor is the volunteer coordinator at the park district.

Doug Anderson, under an agenda revision, reported on changes in bird sightings this winter, which he reported as a drastic fall off. Members and park district personnel discussed a number of possible factors. Anderson said the test is, will we be back to 40 or so species stopping during the migration in June? Doug’s tours resume with a special on March 26.

Natural Areas Manager Yermakov and Ellen Sargent said the District is committed to a healthy, sustainable habitat and bird population. They envisioned that if stewardship is sustained, Wooded Island will reach its fullest potential as a bird oasis in a few years. The reality is that a few species that are not necessarily useful to birds tend to crowd out those that are, and so need to be trimmed back. Input and partnership are welcome. Petersen pointed out that a healthy wooded habitat has three healthy layers—ground, mid-story, and canopy.

Several members cautioned that birds need resources in the short run; removals and plantings should be done piecemeal and with care and sense. All agreed the park district must maintain what it plants.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 pm. Next meeting is on Monday, April 9, 7:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary

There was no meeting in February 2007. To March JPAC Newsletter.

January 8 2007 JPAC meeting minutes


Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:35 pm.
December Minutes were approved upon motion from Petersen with these corrections and clarifications:
1. JPAC supports the proposal for an archeological excavation on Wooded Island. Ms. Graff will return with specifics.
2. The Chicago Park District Natural Resources Department has created a new, in-house position of coordinator to oversee volunteer activities.

Nature committee and news

Petersen reported that beavers created a lodge and showed evidence of activity but have been inactive lately and may have left the park. The trapper hired by the park district recommended a wait-and-see approach, Petersen said.

Petersen explained need for appropriations of $500 for seed and stock purchase for plantings on Wooded Island and $150 for training and equipment for volunteers to apply fast degrading herbicide under park district direction. He said that a main use for the herbicide would be to combat garlic mustard and similar runaway invasives and that the need for appropriation is time sensitive in order to take advantage of the class at Garfield Conservatory.

Adam Schwerner, Director of Natural Resources at the park district endorsed the programs and said that without volunteer groups and judicious use of short life contact herbicides the natural area would be quickly overrun. District Forester Jerome Scott also said the need for funds and training is time sensitive and that volunteers are signed up.
Fran Vandervoort moved $150 appropriation for the herbicide program. Upon second by Dwight Powell the appropriation was approved.

Petersen moved establishment of a second monthly workday, 4th Saturday, for planting, while keeping the 2nd Saturday for combating invasives. Alonzo Williams, Director of Lakefront Operations, offered help. Upon second by Dwight Powell, JPAC approved establishment of the second workday, for planting.

Petersen noted that the February 12 holiday conflict, including unavailability of our guest from EPA on that day, necessitates move of the February meeting to Tuesday the 13th. The JPAC consented to the move and to holding elections at that meeting.

Natural area/Wooded Island discussion

Doug Anderson gave an extended history of Wooded Island and why it is important as an unparalleled Midwest bird paradise. He said that the Island has recently suffered severe loss of cover and habitat and consequently of birds and questioned policies of removal of all or most invasive plants.

During extensive discussion there differing assessments of the extensiveness of clearing, whether and how much birds have declined on the Island while remaining stable outside, and over policy for invasives including removal with herbicides. Nature committee chair Ross Petersen explained the workday objectives and methods and gave background, saying also that lots of non native plants are left and clearance was extensive in only one section. The program is intended to “help what should be there thrive.”

The two officers from Natural Resources supported going heavy on invasives, saying it was essential to prevent choke over and to restore a biodiverse, sustainable, bird friendly habitat. They added the park district has a new policy with plantings and contractors that will make sure that trees and brush survive. The district will issue, working with OpenLands, a statement on invasives policy and what volunteers will do. The district is working on new and replacement plantings.

Glenda Daniels of OpenLands called for a healthy mix of habitat, said the park district has good people to work with, and urged volunteers to stay with the program and Doug to continue the bird tours.

All parties said they agree with the planting template developed several years ago by consensus and intended for use again this spring and like balancing removals with plantings as with the second volunteer workday. Fran Vandervoort said, “Lets look ahead.” Caroline Herzenberg emphasized that the birding community needs input in what is planted. The park district said there will be more consultative meetings. Petersen also said there will be a walk through and discussion before any planting is done.
Sue Purrington of Alderman Hairston’s office said that there are enough expert and experienced people to work together and find innovative ideas. She also asked Doug not to give up on the Island.

Upon motion from Petersen seconded by Powell, JPAC appropriated $500 for purchase and growing of plant stock.

In other business, Petersen asked Gary Ossewaarde to look into getting tech help and advice for the website. Nancy Hays was reported recovering and hoping to come to the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm. The next meeting will be a special day, Tuesday, February 13, 7:30 at the fieldhouse. Officers will be elected.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary

 

Minutes of the December 11 2006 JPAC Council Meeting

Ross Peterson convened the meeting in the fieldhouse at 7:35 pm. The minutes of the November meeting were approved as distributed.

A public art project was introduced by guests Lauren Moltz, coordinator and volunteer on councils and boards of schools and numerous organizations; Jon Pounds, director of the Chicago Public Art Group, and Mirtes Zwierzynski, directing artist. The project would consist of placing mural mosaics in up to 64 niches (554 square feet) in the two underpasses under South Lake Shore Drive and 57th Drive that were built by Chicago Department of Transportation with recessed surfaces, with such public art in mind. The mosaics would be of hard-fired, close-set ceramic that would take up virtually no water and would be extremely difficult to deface and easy to clean off, as attested by the many such mosaics around the metropolitan area. The Hyde Park Art Center and Ms. Zwierzynski will oversee the production of colored tiles by students of nearly every school. To date most of the elementary schools in Hyde Park have signed on; Ms. Zwierzynski has helped several already to make and install murals in their schools. Mosaic production is curricular-imbedded and involves four teachers at each school. Opening involvement to other schools near the park was requested by JPAC, and participation by or presentation to other organizations was suggested. Ms. Moltz and Mr. Pounds will coordinate participation and fund raising, with as much as $100,000 budgeted if all the niches are to be filled over the next set of years. The theme or set of themes is under consideration but could include neighborhood and or park and other history, features, nature, people, activities or concerns. For information, Mr. Pounds suggested people visit the Chicago Public Art Group website—www.cpag.net.

Peterson moved that: Resolved, JPAC supports the 57th and Lake Shore Drive Underpass Public Art Project. Upon second by Louise McCurry, the motion was unanimously approved.

Nature Committee. Ross Petersen said that several parks and parks supporters objected to reductions to the Natural Resources budget. The Park District restored the volunteer coordinator position—essential to Jackson Park’s natural area workdays and other upkeep including controlled burns. But there is, at least currently, no natural area manager since Ms. Sturdevant left. Petersen noted that the knowledge and skills of these positions is highly specialized and site-specific.

Petersen reported that aldermen have proposed in City Council banning controlled burns, essential to the health of meadows and similar natural areas. [Ed. This is now dead.]

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will return to the site of the Nike base to drill for sources of polycyclic hydrocarbons and other possible residuals.

We will have to keep track of damage from storms for replacements.

Fran Vandervoort and Rebecca Graff showed a photo of a light-focusing glass wedge from about 1915 found by Caroline and Leo Herzenberg in late November under a storm-downed willow tree on Wooded Island. These wedges were used over ship or sidewalk holds to provide light without need for potentially hazardous lighting.

Petersen will be growing under story native plants for the natural areas (lupines, false indigo, columbine, and others) in a park greenhouse (possibly Kilbourn or Garfield) with assistance from Kirsten Akre of Garfield Conservatory and the Parkways Foundation, funding arm of the Chicago Park District. Petersen moved expenditure of $100.00 for growing under story plants for the natural area, under Parkways Foundation. Upon due second, the appropriation was unanimously approved.

Elections. Elections will be held at the February meeting, announced in the January newsletter. Petersen nominated the current slate. President- Nancy Hays, Vice President- Ross Petersen, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer- Tibor Heisler, Board members at large- Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, Louise McCurry. Fran Vandervoort agreed to continue as Nature Committee co-chair. Additional nominations can be made at the January meeting.

Fieldhouse report- Terry Jones. The football and cheerleaders program was a huge success, involving over 150 youth recruited from surrounding schools and neighborhoods. The Raiders did well. The related programs held a fine closing ceremony. (See back page of Newsletter). Especially valuable was the large participation of the Parents club.

A dance and performance “Let It Snow” was planned for December 16.

The Black History month essay writing and reading contest is returning. JPAC members will help judge.

Petersen reported that the park’s staff and programming budget were increased by 8 to 12 percent for 2007.

Old and new business.
JPAC noted that it has passed resolutions in favor of Mr. Rapoport’s proposed marker commemorating the contributions of Frederick Douglass at the time of the Columbian Exposition, to be located at or near the site of the Haitian Pavilion, between the bowling green and the 59th St. harbor. The secretary was directed to send Mr. Rapoport a “To Whom It May Concern” letter noting this support.

Rebecca Graff, an experienced archeologist and anthropologist, seeks to organize a small and sensitive excavation with students on Wooded Island, possibly the location of the original Japanese Ho-O-Den temple village in the southwest part of the Island. JPAC registered its supportive interest. Graff will return with specifics.

The meeting was adjourned about 8:45 pm. Next meeting Monday January 8, 7:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde
Secretary

 

Minutes of the November 13 2006 JPAC Meeting

JPAC President Ross Petersen opened the meeting 7:35 p.m. The minutes of the October meeting were approved with a correction offered by Mr. Rapoport for re-wording the tribute at the Frederick Douglass marker. Mr. Petersen moved that the new phrasing be accepted by the Board. Ms. Vandervoort suggested that she and Mr. Rapoport work on an acceptable format.

Report by Mr. William Tillis, Park Supervisor:
1. Mr. Tillis thanked JPAC for support given to the football team.
2. He and his colleagues are currently recruiting students in local schools for winter Chicago Park District programs. Schools and classrooms are visited and receive mailings. Also, churches and The Woodlawn Organization are contacted.
3. The Turkey Trot cross-country race will be held Friday, November 17; from 4-6 PM. Different categories of young people will compete. Approximately 35 turkeys will be given away as prizes.
4. There will be a Thanksgiving meal Tuesday, November 21, in the fieldhouse gym.
7. The Football Banquet will be help on Thursday, December 7, in the gym. All are invited.
8. Parents’ clubs exist for various sports.
9. It is more difficult to motivate girls to be involved in sports than boys. Girls need creative programs.
10. The Teen Club provides programs for kids 13-15, and is in every lakefront park.

Nature Committee Report
1. Mr. Petersen presented proposals to remove trees downed by the September storm. 54 city parks sustained tree damage. He asked that CPD forester Jerome Scott be invited to lead a park “walk-through.”
2. The mulch in the parking lot of Jackson Park at 63rd Street is available for anyone who wants it. Mr. Williams assured members that the pile of mulch will be gone by March.
3. Mr. Petersen reported on two successful workdays during which weed trees were removed.
4. Growing Power, a local gardening organization, is seeking money to put a chain link fence around a garden in Jackson Park. This organization may send a representative to a future meeting.
5. Holiday Wirick of the U. S. EPA and a colleague will report at the February meeting about efforts to manage beach water quality.
6. Esther Schechter asked about the Korean commemorative structure. Mr. Petersen said we do know that not much is happening.

Report of Mr. Alonzo Williams, Director of Lakefront Services:
1. The October 28 Halloween party took place at the fieldhouse. Attendance was good, even though past parties had been at the South Shore Cultural Center.
2. South Shore Cultural Center will celebrate its 100th birthday Saturday, December 9.
3. Mr. Williams was asked about unfilled holes in areas of Jackson Park, presumably dug for tree planting. Where are the trees?

Report by Sharonjoy Jackson about the Iowa Building.
1. Ms. Jackson seeks support to restore the Iowa Building. She has concern about its use as a concession stand. It might possibly be available to rent for receptions, weddings, etc.
2. Ms. Jackson asked JPAC to support efforts at the upcoming CPD budget hearing.
3. Mr. Petersen commented that JPAC has made efforts to have the building restored. The structure is basically good, but much of the metal has been stripped. It has never attracted much interest as a permanent facility. Its location near heavy traffic and its open structure may have hindered its acceptance as a permanent facility – it remains an orphan.

Old Business
Mr. Rapoport proposed better signage for the Park. Mr. Petersen said better signage was proposed 6 years ago, but not done.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.


Respectfully, Frances S. Vandervoort

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council October 10 2006 Minutes

Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. The minutes were approved as corrected: The section re: a proposed food distribution program by Food Not Bombs ends with “JPAC was amenable.”

Eleanor Roemer, Friends of the Parks. Completing the south lakefront: open and clear
Eleanor Roemer, Assistant Director for Policy, Friends of the Parks, presented and led discussion. Charrette have been held and small and public meetings are now in progress. a refined plan is expected to go public late in the year, ready for discussion in honor of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago. Roemer distributed a survey and also agreed to meet with the council to discuss improvements and access to the southeast part of Jackson Park shoreline and its interface with South Shore and South Shore Cultural Center.

Pamela Broom, Growing Power
Ms. Broom gave background on the organization and programs nationwide to train youth and others in sustainable food sources, gardening, and environmentally savvy lifestyles. Growing Power was asked to return with specific project proposals to begin design with the council and gardeners of the park’s Longevity Garden.

Fieldhouse and Programs
William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, thanked JPAC for supporting the Junior Bears football team and program. This program, with 120 players and up to 40 girl cheerleaders, has helped to make this fall’s among the most successful suite of programs in a long time. There is now enough staff to run large programs and do outreach including in schools. 300+ participate in all the kid and youth programs. Parents and the Parents Club have really participated, including doing the cooking.

The fieldhouse will hold its Halloween Party October 31, 6 pm, open to the neighborhood. On October 27-28 (but not 29th as reported in the previous Newsletter) Haunted House will be open for kids (teens Saturday 2-4) at 63rd Bathing Pavilion. It really will be scary, Tillis said. Charge is $5. October 28 will also see the big Pumpkin Patch program at the fieldhouse.
November 17 there will be a free Turkey Trot for 6 kids and youth age division. 40 turkeys will be given away. On Thanksgiving there will be adult touch football. December: a holiday party for the needy.

Bob Foster, Chicago Park District special programs and facilities
Foster reported that the drumming circle needs modifications. These will be done after planning meetings with the drummers. The council looked forward to a major inauguration next spring.

Adam Schwerner, Director of Natural Resources
Schwerner thanked JPAC for its contributions and participation in natural areas management. Schwerner first discussed Wooded Island. He reported on meetings that included JPAC Nature Committee and created a Wooded Island Management Plan (shown by Petersen). There will be further discussions with the park district forester and natural areas manager. All parties recognize that there are distinct needs and visions that need constantly to be reconciled, He specifically noted that needs of birds and other wildlife “is the lens” setting natural areas agenda in Chicago.

Schwerner said the park district will replace all the trees lost in the disastrous October storm, although this will take years and not be (in answer to query) on a caliper-inch basis. He noted that over 900 trees were lost in South Side parks, trees of every species. There is also much landscape damage.

Schwerner said the district is preparing a plan to improve slope and landscape design at underpasses to correct the problems that have occurred. The 57th boardwalk will have a sweeping schedule. Members suggested curbing to slow covering by sand. The district is aware of the poor paths.

Nature committee
Petersen cited the natural area plan. He also said the Army Corps will return to inspect and possibly remediate the Bob-o-link area, site of the former Nike base. A document has been received.

New business and community concerns
Sharonjoy Jackson said the Iowa building is not kept up. It’s in a community. Various options and difficulties realizing them and creating ownership in the structure were discussed. Petersen asked members to bring ideas to council meetings so JPAC can bring a plan or request to the park district.

Lakefront and Park District report. Alonzo Williams.
Mr. Williams has been promoted to the position of Director of Lakefront Services. A new South Lakefront Area Manager has not yet been selected. Williams’ office will be at downtown headquarters, phone 312 742-4641. JPAC congratulated Mr. Williams and encouraged his presence at council meetings.
Williams emphasized the holiday programs and growing service to communities.
The fencing is up for construction of the replacement playground at 67th and Chappel. The project may be finished next spring. There was much damage in the playgrounds at the north edge of the park, Williams noted; extent was not yet clear. Peterson reminded the meeting that one of the lots honors Civil Rights and African American community leader Earl B. Dickerson.

Old business
The council reviewed language presented by Barry Rapoport for a plaque or stone honoring Frederick Douglass and his role at the Columbian Exposition. Draft (below) will be further refined.

“On this spot January 2, 1893, Frederick Douglass opened the Columbian Exposition with a speech from the Haitian Pavilion.”

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting: Monday, November 11, 2006, 7:30 pm, Jackson Park fieldhouse south room, 6401 S. Stony Island Avenue. Agenda revisions may be given to Ross Petersen at 773 486-0505.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde

 

 


 

Standing Current Resolutions

July 8, 2002 — Resolution concerning tying in runoff drains into proper sewer systems: Ross Petersen introduced the following resolution at the July JPAC meeting. The resolution was unanimously approved.

JPAC calls upon the appropriate agencies to implement recommendations of the U.S. Geological Survey to see what can be done to improve water quality, including diversion of paved area runoff, including from parking lots such as northeast of Hayes and Cornell Drives and from Cornell Drive, into the city sanitary system or Lake Shore Drive vortex separator system, instead of into the lagoons.

At its August 12, 2002, meeting, Jackson Park Advisory Council resolved the following:

The Jackson Park Advisory Council approves the Lagoon Restoration Phase II Plan but disapproves the boardwalk component.

At its October 15th, 2002 meeting, Jackson Park Advisory Council resolved the following:

The Jackson Park Advisory Council opposes boardwalks in the Jackson Park lagoons.

At its December 9th meeting, JPAC voted full support for landmark status for the Republic (Golden Lady) and thanks to the Chicago Landmarks Commission for its nomination and provisional protection for the Lady.

At its February 10th, 2003 meeting, JPAC resolved to ask the following of the Park District and to request a meeting with Lakefront Director Megan McDonald concerning these:

At its March 10th meeting, JPAC resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council supports the concept of displaying the recovered Columbian Explosion fragments [of the Germania monument, recovered during Lake Shore Drive work] in the 'Iowa' building with appropriate lighting, historical signage, et al and asks to be shown options. JPAC also asks the park district to study the feasibility of restoring the 'Iowa' Building, including facilities and a concession.

JPAC also expressed its sorrow at the passing of Kevin Royt and its appreciation of his work on behalf of parks, including creation of Cornell Park.

April 14th resolutions

· JPAC supports the work of the Promontory Point Task Force to rebuild the Point with limestone and with access.
· A sum of $750 was earmarked for buying ground cover plants to infill in replanting projects in the natural areas, under auspices of the Chicago Park District Department of Natural Resources.
· JPAC supports restoring and finding a new home for the Norwegian Viking ship replica sailed to and displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition. We ask the Museum of Science and Industry to provide such a home, in keeping with its mission, holdings, and WCE heritage and to honor the Columbian Exposition.

June 9th

The Council set aside $1000 for contingency for needy kids park program tuition, to be called upon and used at the discretion of the Area Manager and Park Supervisor without further recourse to council action.

July 14th

The Council concurs with the suggestion of Park District arborist Brian Williquette that the lower trunk of the oldest oak tree be left standing as a memorial and the snapped-off main truck left in place after removal of some slices for study and a commemorative to be shown in an appropriate place in the park.

The Council insists that restoration of the basketball court at Hayes Drive to full suitability for basketball use be expedited by CDOT.

August 11th

JPAC expresses to the Department of the Environment its appreciation of the Department's program to test beach waters continually, validate a new "quick-test" approach, and model swimming ban conditions, as well as to study and identify problems. However, we think it is now time to plan and identify funds to find causes and solutions, from those peculiar to 63rd Street beach to those general and requiring collaboration throughout the Great Lakes.

JPAC lauds the collaborative work of park volunteers and organizations with the Park District in the parks. We commend such partnerships as that of the Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee in Nichols Park.

October 14th

The Council expressed its preference that the Viking Ship replica that was sailed across the Atlantic to the Columbian Exposition have a home at the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Council resolved to renew its membership in the Chicago Herpetological Society in appreciation for its help and its serving as an exemplar of the expert type group from which we recruit volunteers for our natural areas workdays.

November 11th

The Council resolved that it supports continued enforcement of Park District policy prohibiting dogs on Wooded Island, the Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary.

The Council also voted to take membership in and donate $75 to Friends of the Parks.

January 12th, 2004

The Council dedicated a $1,000 gift from Bishop Arthur M. Brazier to kids and youth programs and scholarships at the fieldhouse.

February 9th

JPAC supported and requested of Alderman Hairston naming a new city park at 70th and Stony Island for Geraldine de Haas. The Council renewed its 2003 $1,000 gift for scholarships at the fieldhouse. Here is the resolution sent to the alderman:

At its monthly meeting, February 9, 2004, the Jackson Park Advisory Council voted unanimously to support and request Alderman Leslie A. Hairston to support naming the new park at 70th Street and Stony Island Avenue for Geraldine deHaas. JPAC members’ signatures are affixed to the attached petition.

WHERAS: Geraldine deHaas has for more than thirty years promoted and produced jazz and other musical performance in the City of Chicago and particularly the South Side of Chicago and founded and headed such worthy organizations as Jazz Unites and initiated the Chicago Jazz Festival, and has thereby brought great renown and inspiration to the African American community, the South Shore Cultural Center in the 5th Ward, to the South Shore neighborhood, Chicago’s South Side, the City of Chicago, the United States, and peoples all over the world, and has brought increased recognition to uniquely African American and American music forms,

AND WHEREAS: a new park has been established by the City at the location of 70th and Stony Island, giving an opportunity to recognize a worthy contributor to society, whose name visibility can inspire our citizens, especially our youth,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: The Jackson Park Advisory Council on this 9th of February, 2004 does resolve and request that said park at 70th Street and Stony Island Avenue be named in perpetuity for GERALDINE deHAAS.

Attested, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

March 8th

JPAC voted to request of Alderman Hairston a variance from the city ordinance governing parking lots to allow flexibility with placing trees in the small peninsular projections into the Music Court parking lot.

May 10th

“JPAC recognizes and praises the significant contributions to the park and programs for our youth made by Michael Hyatt during his many years of service in the Park District and tenure as South Lakefront Area Manager.”

“JPAC supports establishment of a drummers’ circle east of the 63rd Beach House parking lot, as tentatively agreed upon, pending ascertainment of no objections from institutions in the park.”

“JPAC lends its encouragement to the ongoing community garden east of Cornell Drive and north of Marquette Drive, authorizes a JPAC grant in the amount of $60 toward purchase of plants at the Hyde Park Garden Fair, and authorizes a grant in the amount of $25 for publicity materials for the community garden committee, to be administered by Gary Ossewaarde.”

“JPAC supports Alderman Leslie A. Hairston (5th) in her position that the bus turnaround at the east end of the 63rd Street Beach House parking lot be removed. JPAC concurs that the bus turnaround was rejected by the South Lake Shore Drive Study Group and is not in compliance with the approved project plan and that the turnaround has not worked and has created numerous problems.”

By general consent, JPAC supported reestablishment of the connector path between the roadside and harbor paths south of the Coast Guard Station area, as shown in the project plans and in preference people creating a desire path, and asked that officers inquire about the schedule for the same.

June 14

JPAC appreciates the efforts of negotiating parties that led to finding an acceptable location for the drumming circle. We ask that this agreement be recognized and the circle realized.

JPAC approves and supports City of Chicago Landmark Designation for the 63rd Street Bathing Pavilion.

Petersen moved and the council approved a resolution thanking Jamie Kalven, mediator for the Working Group on Promontory Point, for his hard work, report, and recommendations.

August 9

In a sense of the meeting resolution, the proposal for a roundabout at the Statue of the Republic was unanimously rejected.

October 12

JPAC asks that: whereas traffic and safety at the Hayes and Richards intersection need improvement and whereas traffic signals were effective at that intersection in the past and work well at the similar intersection of Richards and Marquette, therefore signals be restored as in their original configuration. Furthermore, JPAC does not object to further improvements such as humped pedestrian crossings and signage but does object to a construction of a roundabout.

A walk through the park for repair items was suggested. Subscriptions to the Herpetological Society and Friends of the Parks was approved. JPAC approved a gift for the fieldhouse Halloween Party.

Whereas the 63rd Bathing Pavilion is in process for City of Chicago landmark status, and whereas Eric Hatchett, the person most responsible for the Pavilion’s restoration as a major Chicago and South Side facility, deserves recognition for his work on behalf of the Pavilion, therefore JPAC asks that the 63rd Street Bathing Pavilion be named for Eric Hatchett.

November 8

A gift was voted for the park holiday party.

January 10, 2005

Officers were elected. Wishes were resolved for full recovery by Polly Silberman.

February 14

JPAC by consensus agreed to the compromise resolution reached by its officers and park district officials concerning naming the upper balconies of the 63rd Bathing Pavilion for Eric Hatchett.

March 14

JPAC gave its approval and endorsement of the Korean Memorial Monument Association's concept for a temple structure at the south end of the lagoons.

April 11

JPAC expressed its appreciation for the reconstruction and extension of the granite paver beach (north of 63rd St. Beach) and asked that remaining granite pavers be inventoried and retained by the district and that the parties keep their commitment to an historic sign or marker.

JPAC expressed deep appreciation for all who made possible the naming at the 63rd St. Bathing Pavilion for Eric Hatchett.

JPAC asks that a stone council ring for the drummers east of the 63rd Bathing Pavilion parking lot be placed in the next capital budget.

June 13

JPAC earmarked up $1,000 for up to 5 children who otherwise could not attend the summer camp. The allocations would be requested and administered by William Tillis and Alonzo Williams.

JPAC officers will coordinate a response to the natural areas and JETS situation, particularly in the Newsletter, depending on whether there is a meeting with the Superintendent and what is learned there.

July 11

JPAC supported the project of the School for Leadership, South Shore High School for an educational project in the park, at the site of the Haiti exhibit at the Columbian Explosion, involving particularly the life and contributions of Frederick Douglass, including at the Fair.

August 8

JPAC opposes the presence of a theater prop in the Columbia Basin and will seek its removal or proper management.

JPAC does not support the most recent plan for the 54th-56th Streets Promontory Point revetment and asks that it be restored in limestone.

October 11

JPAC agreed to join the Lake Michigan Ecological Partnership.

JPAC granted $200 for kids fieldhouse holiday parties and expressed its appreciation for programming staff work.

March 13 2006

JPAC asks facilitation of repair to the road leading to the golf driving range.

May 8

JPAC granted $75 for seed and related needs for the Longevity Garden in the park.

June 13

JPAC granted $450 for a family to send kids to summer day camp.

July 10

JPAC resolved that it supports and welcomes the Viking Ship from the Columbian Exposition coming to Hyde Park and the Museum of Science and Industry.

JPAC approved the following resolution in draft form:

The Jackson Park Advisory Council believes that the system now used by the Chicago Park District to notify the public of high levels of bacteria is inadequate at best and dangerous at worst. Warning flags must be posted in accord with EPA standards (see Addendum) at access points to beaches, and brightly colored signs must be posted with the words WARNING, ADVISORY, or BEACH CLOSED with reason, visible to all. Signs must be in Spanish as well as English. The health of the public depends upon it.

JPAC commended the work of Barry Rapoport and students from South Shore High for their project commemorating Frederick Douglass and the Haitian exhibit at the Columbian Exposition

August 14

JPAC resolved that Wooded Island is getting overgrown and needs review and revision.

September 11

JPAC is amenable to the organization Food Not Bombs having food distribution in the parks.

The council is also supportive of a plaque or similar small monument commemorating Frederick Douglass' opening of the Columbian Exposition with a speech at the Haitian pavilion.

December 11

JPAC supports a public arts project in conjunction with the schools for the underpasses at 57th and the Drive.

JPAC supported an archeological project in Wooded Isle.

January 8 2007

JPAC appropriated $150 for the volunteer training and equipment for application of rapid decay applied herbicide in the natural area and $500 for purchase of plant stock and seeds for the planting days.

JPAC resolved to have two rather than one volunteer workdays this year, 2nd Saturday as usual and 4th Saturday for planting.

May

JPAC appropriated funds and backup for fieldhouse program activities and scholarships.
JPAC approved proposed language for a plaque honoring Frederick Douglass in the park and suggested appropriate bolder.

July

The Jackson Park Advisory Council opposes as ill-advised and inappropriate the siting of Olympic venues in Jackson Park.

October

Proposed to be appended to the bylaws, Article 7, Section 5- to be ratified at November meeting: Expenditures may be made only as directed by a resolution approved at a council meeting. There shall be no less than two signers for every check, normally the Treasurer and Secretary.
Also passed, ancilary resolution: JPAC designates the Treasurer and Secretary as the authorized signatories of JPAC checks an financial documents.

Elected to serve until the January election: President Ross Petersen, Vice President Fran Vandervoort, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer Dwight Powell, At Large, Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, Louise McCurry.

November

Authorization for expenditures shall be made only in council meetings and by proper resolution. Checks must have two signatures and be issued at meetings pursuant to resolutions.

JPAC conditionally favors the proposed bubble facility at the 63rd St. courts by Athletes Committed to Education.

November 2008

Three resolutions were passed at the November 10 2008 meeting to close Palos Bank account, enter agreement with Friends of the Parks for the latter to become JPAC's fiscal agent with $100 annual fee, and to open a new account at Hyde Park Bank. (Details in Minutes, resolutions will be in the field house binder.)

November 8, 2008 JPAC letter on Olympic placement suggested at the October meeting were sent and recognized at Nov. 10 2008 JPAC meeting and to be entered in record:

November 3, 2008

Gyata Kimmons, Community Liaison and
Chicago 2016 Committee
200 E. Randolph Dr. Ste. 2016
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Dear Mr. Kimmons:

Per request of Alderman Hairston’s (5th) Office, Jackson Park Advisory Council submits to you our request that Olympic Venues proposed for Jackson Park, if to be located north of Hayes Drive (soccer area) be placed at sufficient distance from the lagoons and natural areas to (1) ensure their protection and health and (2) make unnecessary widened and permanent roadways in these areas, in particular to the Golf Driving Range.

Communications and answers regarding this matter should be addressed to Ross Petersen, 1508 N. Spaulding, Chicago, IL 60751, 773 486-0505 or emailed c/o garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

Cordially yours,

/s/ Ross Petersen
President, Jackson Park Advisory Council

CC Ald. Leslie A. Hairston, Rosalind Moore

RP:go

JPAC also modified its Olympics position by recognizing letter sent to 2016 and Ald. Hairston calling for not placing the venue close to the lagoons and meadow or necessitating a large, permanent road.

December

Three disbursements were approved. Other actions were deferred.

2009- September

Moved by Vandervoort and seconded by Powell that "Whereas a shade and rain-collector has been proposed for the community agriculture garden that will provide advantages for the gardeners and the environment, Resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council approves this project." Unanimously approved.

Moved by Vandervoort and second by Kevin Quinn that "Whereas funding is available for a substantial improvement to the 63rd St. Beach and peninsula that includes ecosystem and fish habitat restoration, Resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council approves the 63rd St. Nature Area Dune and Beach plan. Unanimously approved.

Moved by Vandervoort, with second, expenditure of $300 for turkeys for the Thanksgiving turkey trot

Appropriated $150 for costs and services and thanks to Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference.

November

Pursuant to discussion, Petersen moved and Fran Vandervoort seconded the following resolution:
“Whereas, specific clearing is needed on and near Wooded Island to preserve the historic oak savanna character, and whereas, Care of Trees has offered to furnish equipment and labor for work this winter (weather permitting) in its sector of the project area, with the park district working in the other,
“Therefore, be it resolved that Jackson Park advisory Council supports the proposed project and expresses its thanks and appreciation to Care of Trees for its generous gift and to the Chicago Park District.
Furthermore, JPAC appropriates $2,400 to cover specified costs beyond that covered by Care of Trees and authorizes signing of necessary contracts.” Following discussion, the resolution was unanimously approved.

Appropriated: $300 to Friends of the Parks for fiscal agency and membership and gift.

April 2010

Whereas: The phased selective removal work on Wooded Island has been successfully completed and there is no expressed opposition to the work or template for creating a healthy habitat there, we believe planning walkthroughs and broad consultation can be held without a regular project oversight body such as a Wooded Island Working Group, and

Whereas JPAC believes that plans and templates for Wooded Island-- and other changes proposed in the park are properly brought to and discussed at Jackson Park Advisory Council meetings (reference the Jackson Park Framework Plan),

Therefore, be it resolved that JPAC withdraw from the WIWG and ask the Chicago Park District to bring its plans for removals and plantings to the Council commencing with the May 2010 meeting and hold walkthroughs simply on an as-needed basis.

Moved by Ross Petersen and seconded by Kevin Quinn. Passed 8 for, 0 opposed, 1 abstention.


Approved by consensus: Sam Betcher as Co-site Steward for the Bob-o-link Meadow.

Appropriated funds for Greg Mueller lecture-related costs. Moved Petersen, 2nd Esther Schechter. Unanimously approved.

Approved by consensus: Playground plan southeast of 63rd St. Bathing Pavilion.

Approved up to $300 for lecture room rent, up to $15 for honorarium same.

May

Support given in principal for BIG Baseball field upgrades for league use. Suggested was incremental approach.

JPAC set aside $1,000 for scholarship contingency for camps.

October

The council accepted that the offices of president and vice president have been vacated by resignation and the council will proceed to election of new officers and revision of bylaws (distributed).

$200 was appropriated for Park Kids activities.

November

Interim president and vice president were elected; slate for the new year will be elected in December.

Moved, seconded and passed to provisionally accept revised bylaws draft 7 and six other changes, to be merged into a draft 8 and placed on the agenda of the December 13 meeting for final approval, timely notice to be sent to the members.

December

Officers were elected to one year terms.

Revised bylaws were duly moved and passed (draft 8 withholding clause in 6:2 ref. to holding office in more than one council).

Resolution was duly moved and passed to rejoin the Wooded Island Working Group but that major changes to the plan (which is endorsed) need to be brought to JPAC.

(Pursuant to November 26 walkthrough of Wooded Island) Resolution was duly moved and passed that JPAC will participate in the Wooded Island Working Group, expects the Park District to come to JPAC when it wants to make major plan revisions, and that JPAC endorses the updated plan.

Consensus to defer contracting with Care of trees this winter because our balance would become too low.

Moved, seconded and passed to endorse the proposal and grant requests for an artificial surface field in the track along Stony Island.

Moved, seconded and passed to investigate feasibility and interest in a dog friendly area in an appropriate part of the park.

Moved, seconded and passed to increase dues to $25 for individuals, $35 or organizations. In accord with bylaws, this recommendation will be placed on the agenda of a subsequent meeting.

[Also moved, seconded and passed although missed in the minutes was to support through request of the Park District suitable public recognition of the service of past president Nancy Hays, such as signage at and naming of the north Wooded Island bridge and similar signed recognition of the service of Ross Petersen as President of JPAC and chair of the Nature Committee and site steward of the Wooded Island Natural Area.]

Confirmed that the meeting date will continue to be 2nd Monday until reviewed by the November 2011 annual meeting, per new bylaws.

January 2011

Moved, seconded and passed to raise suggested dues levels to individual $25, organization $35 as proposed at December meeting for January agenda.

Moved, seconded and passed to appropriate $50 for trophies for the annual youth essay contest.

The secretary was directed to initiate conversation with Care of Trees re a project on Wooded Island similar to 2010's, for either this winter or next.

Directed to set time aside at a future meeting to discuss desirabilty of new facilities in the park.

The February meeting will be devoted to a discussion of park safety and security, with police and others to be invited in coordination with the 5th Ward Office.

February

The concept and grant applications were approved for the Jackson Park Interactive Nature Trail.

Appropriated: $200 for a microwave for the fieldhouse.

March

Moved, seconded, approved repair to the Rose Garden fence.

Moved, seconded approve to appropriate $100 to Chicago Metro Baseball/Kirby Puckett Girls and Boys Club for membership and promotion on CAN-TV.

April

Moved by Vandervoort, seconded by Bell to set aside $2,400 toward anagreement with Care of Trees for future work in accord with necessary walkthroughs and previews. Approved by majority.

Moved and seconded, approved $78 reimbursement to McCurry for websiste startup.

Moved and approved, but missed in the recording and minus amount? Approval to purchase JPAC hats and tee-shirts.

May

Moved, seconded, approved to purchase a trophy case for the fieldhouse at reasonable cost.

Accepted into the record memo by Chicago Audubon and presented by Jean Stable asking minimization of work on Wooded Island during migration season and that it be kept from sunnier, calmer areas by time of day and season-- where the birds are.

JPAC will staff a table at 57th St. Art Fair and similar events.

Moved, seconded, approved for Toshia Booker-Blakely and Norm Bell to develop a plan for a project involving invasives education for C3 collaboration.

Icon design was selected.

June

JPAC will have informational tables at every appropriate area event.

JPAC can open a PayPal and place a link to it in the new website.

JPAC approves a separate bank account under our aegis for the Jackson Bark Dog and Tennis Center.

July

Moved, seconded, approved to set aside $200 (amount may be incorrect) as limit to quick-need expenditures by projects approved in advance, and with knowledge of the treasurer. Reimbursement requires presentation of receipts etc. to the treasurer.

Moved, seconded, approved to explore donation of backpacks/school supplies for the summer day camp graduates and consider up to $3 per if donation cannot be obtained.

September

Moved, seconded, approved to appropriate $200 for trail materials expenses.

Moved, seconded, approved to start trail by inviting teachers and schools to a workshop on site.

Moved, seconded, approved to send a letter to the park district and otherwise inform about poor management of major events in the park and need for better, anticipatory communication with the council.

October

Adopted as motto, "Sharing nature, recreation, and history."

Nominated a slate for November.

November

Agreed to purchase 25 turkeys at about $250 total for the Turkey Trot for families.

Approved new contribution levels of $35, $100, $250, $500, and $1000 and names for same.

Mandated the Sports Committee to come up with a recommendation/plan for renovated/reactivated ballfield(s).

December

Moved, seconded, approved th Jackson Park Advisory Council supports the group entry-parking/receiving area project of MSI and CDOT as a material improvement to the park, subjec to resolution of the historic-archeological resources and any other material concerns and assuming detail plans being substantially as described. The project team will meet with archeologist Rebecca Graff regarding resources and the planting/landscape template will be shared with Jerry Levy and Fran Vandervoort.

Moved, seconded, approved to accept McCurry's report and grant approval to the LaRabida outpatient expansion within its existing lease line as an improvement with a public interest and substantially as presented, including promising resolution of concerns about parking and access on Promontory Circle and holding of follow up meetings. JPAC is interested in relocating the playground in the park for public use.

Moved, seconded, approved to commend the Wooded Island Trail brochures prepared by Jerry Levy and Fran Vandervoort and now placed for the public north of Wooded Island and approve checks to pay/reimburse for the same.

Moved, seconded, approved to appropriate $50 for the end-of-quarter kid's holiday party.

Resolved commendation for the work of JPAC and all JPACers, especially President Louise McCurry for a resoundingly successful 2011.

January 2012

Moved, Seconded, Approved to appropriate up to $500 to complete expenditures on bookmarks and trail brochures.

February

By consensus to approve and support the LaRabida Outpatient Project and write letters of support.

Moved, Seconded, Approved to appropriate up to $100 for the February 18 Small Tool Workshop.

Moved, Seconded, Approved to support Friends of the Japanese Garden cherry tree project $62.50 and reimburse Jerry Levy $62.50 (half of registration/contribution paid by him.)

May

Moved, Seconded, Approved $150 honorarium for Ken Dunn for the composting workshop held in May.

By consensus that JPAC is not interested in having kayaks for volunteers to clean up in the lagoons, due to concerns with liability and there is already paid staff.

By consensus to prepare a letter asking for plan an improvements to the Lakefront Trail.

By consensus that it is policy of JPAC to insist upon sports fields that are first class and where kids are and feel safe.

By consensus to remind teams and user groups that there are rules and forms for use of the fields, especially Take the Field that JPAC espects to be observed and that users should be in regular communcation with the Park Supervisor.

Moved, Seconded, Approved to get donated or buy 200 back-to-school backpacks for day campers.

June

Approved to send letters of thanks for various maintenance and facilities improvements to the CPD President, Supt., and Dir. of Nat'l Resources; to Ald. Hairston on security; to Alonzo Williams (CPD Special Events) for help with parking/ managing June 9.

Moved, Seconded, Approved the mulch trail plan proposed by CPD Natural Resources for the middle of Wooded Island and to prepare for public use informational Trail material updated for the new trail.

Approved to invite CPD President Traubert and as desired for a walk through.

Approved to thank the Lakefront Trail task force and ask for a plan that would encourage following of rules and courtesy, separation of bike and walking paths, and trails (primary and secondary) that are well and consistently designed, connected, lit, and, and maintained.

Moved, Seconded and Approved to make our annual website payment.

Moved, Seconded and Approved to purchase and donate barbecue grill(s) for park programs at c$100.

Accepted with thanks for her work the resignation of Judith Hill as vice president. Opened nominations to fill the vacancy. Nominated and elected by acclamation Aaron Stephens.

Moved, Seconded and Approved to explore with the Jackson Park Yacht Club best means of mutual relationship.

July

Moved, Seconded and Approved to set aside up to $160 in conjunction with the sports tournaments??

By consensus to ask park district convening of the Wooded Island Working Group for a walk through and consultation regarding the proposed timber-lined trail in Wooded Island.

September

Moved, Seconded and Approved to send a letter to the cross-country biking group and PD seeking sanctions for and repairs of damage to grass areas.

Moved by Levy, Seconded and Approved guidelines for council business: 1) none is to say they are speaking for (as opposed to being a member of) JPAC or expressing its positions without prior JPAC approval. 2) Money or grants are not to be raised for or in the name of JPAC without specific approval; when such is raised there must be a means of reporting the activity of the fund. Also, a parliamentian will be appointed at meetings to keep the meeting on topic and agenda.

November

Election of officers was held.

May 2013

Moved by Dwight Powell, 2nd Fran Vandervoort to support CPD and ACE to continue to explore and plan a Section 506 GLFER project for Jackson Park restoration.

July

Moved and approved to seek/provide back to school backpacks for day camp kids as needed as per each summer.

August

Moved and approved honorarium for leader of the beekeeping workshop Sept. 7.

October

Moved and approved to spend $50 on Halloween candy and 4 turkeys for Turkey Trot trophies.

Moved and approved to spend up to $220 for William Henry Jackson prints of the 1893 Worlds Fair.

November

Officers were elected.

January 2014

Moved and approved to have a photo contest on the Columbian Exposition, prizes to be $50 and $25.

By consensus to seek community support via letters and petition for prompt repair and reopening of the Darrow Bridge.

February

By consensus to hold the Nancy Hays Bridge dedication March 15 and to prepare posters and participate in breakout sessions at the March 29 all-PAC advocacy conference. And to apply to Friends of the Parks for a seed grant for a foot race centered around places of the Columbian Exposition and learning about CE.

March

Moved and approved to declare the vice presidency vacant due to sequential absences without communication and open nominations and hold nominations and elections at the April 2014 PAC meeting.

By consensus for the secretary to introduce at the next meeting a bylaws change that electronic notices will be sufficient for those who have supplied email addresses.

April

Moved and approved that JPAC endorses in principle the Project 120 and recommends a name that will recognize place and purpose, such as Jackson Park Culture and Nature Center.

Elected Frances S. Vandervoort Vice President for the vacant term (til November)

Placed on the May agenda bylaws change so that electronic notification shall be sufficient for those members for whom we have email addresses.

Approved expenditures

May

Moved and approved bylaws amendment to allow electronic notification.

Approved expenditures- $450 (HP Chamber incl. backpacks; AV equipment; HPKCC membership, Fieldhouse employee need)

August

Resolved to move the start of regular JPAC meetings from 7:30 to 7 pm. (Needs confirmation at the next meeting.)

September

Confirmed 7 pm as meeting start time.

Appropriated fiscal agency fee and membership for Friends of the Parks. (Also this year 250 for annual meeting table)

Moved and approved to request of the Alderman a traffic study toward traffic/pedestrian imprpovements on Cornell Drive, spec. at 59th-60th and 6400.

(October no quorum, no actions)

November

Elected officers for 1 year terms to November 2015 meeting. President Louise McCurry, Vice President Fran Vandervoort, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer Dwight Powell.

Approved and placed on agenda for Dec. meeting final vote: Bylaws amendment allowing up to two additional (non-officer) board members.

Appropriated for up to 7 turkeys ($54 spent) for the fieldhouse Turkey Trot.

December

Approval to move to nominations next month for 2 additional board positions.

Appropriation of up to $150 for kids holiday party in the fieldhouse.

January 2015

Approval of resolution commemorating Gustavus Swift IV for his work for youth and bringing soccer to Jackson Park and the South Side.

Approval of resolution asking Park District to fix up and provide new playground equipment for Jesse "Ma" Houston Park.

February

Appropriated $50 for Park Kids needs, up to $150 for table throws.

Prizes of 50, 25, 15 were approved for the Nature Photo Contest but not actually appropriated until later.

April

Placed on the May agenda nomination and election of two additional non officer board members.

May

Elected Jake R. Young and Cherry Theard advisory members-at-large of the Board. They are charged particularly with membership and web-media development. Placed on the agenda of next meeting (as possible) to elect a VP to replace retiring Fran Vandervoort

August

Elected Anne Marie Miles Vice President to replace Fran Vandervoort.

The Park District and Chicago Parks Foundation have modified paperwork and require affected PACs to have individual nfp TINs. Moved by Margaret Schmid, seconded and approved to proceed.

Moved by Esther Schechter, 2nd Fran Vandervoort to approve and request two Buddha head sculptures for the Iowa Building area, understanding that they will remain about a year. Unanimously approved.

September

Moved to support project of Midway Advisory Council and CPD to restore 1930 Women's Bench commemorating two suffragettes who were elected to offce, facing the site of Women's Building at the Columbian Exposition. Also purchase bulbs for the area and solvent for periodic graffiti removal there and in Jackson Park.

Approval of expenditures for prizes and kid's bookbags.

October

Moved by Vandervoort and McCurry and approved to work with the MPAC to honor and advance restoration of the Women's Bench honoring two Woodlawn-Hyde Park women.

Agreement to open nominations for elections at the November meeting and awardees of the Burnham and Olmsteds adt the same.

November

Moved, 2nded and Approved expenditures for fieldhouse events.

Election of officers for 2016. Nominations were opened and received for those currently holding the offices., who were willing to serve. Fran Vandervoort moved, Kenneth Newman 2nd to re-elect the current officers for 2016. Unanimously approved. They are: President- Louise McCurry, Vice president- Anne Marie Miles, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer- Dwight Powell. In addition, Jake Young and Cherry Theard were elected to continue to serve as auxiliary board members for Membership and media.

December

Moved, 2nded and Approved that JPAC supports the concept of a visitors facility such as Project 120 has laid out.

Moved and approved to contribute goods for the fieldhouse holiday party and to the community project of hot chocolate for the security manning corners along school routes.

January, 2016

(As corrected at the March meeting:) Moved that JPAC should reconsider its vote in support of the Project 120 concept of a pavilion east of the Darrow Bridge and should provide a forum for more open discussion and community input on the pavilion concept and other aspects of Project 120 proposals.

By consensus, JPAC will hold a workday and celebration in conjunction with installation of new playground equipment at 67th and Ridgeland.

April

General support for program for May 14 International Migratory Bird Day.

General support to promote the May 1 program "In the Garden of the Phoenix: The Shoji Osato Story and walk to the Japanese Garden."

Support to explore selling bells for bikes.

May

Moved, seconded and approved to appoint Frances S. Vandervoort Nature Trail Steward and in charge of the Interactive Nature Trail project.

Moved, seconded and approved to place on the June agenda for possible vote, an amendment to the Bylaws, Article III Sections 2 and 3 to change the minimum attendance for member voting at meetings from attending the second meeting in the past 12 months including that meeting to fourth.

Modest financial approvals.

June

Bylaws amendment re voting will be brought for vote- amendment modifying at the July meeting

Moved, seconded and approved that JPAC approve to spend up to $300 for summer day camp supplies, backpacks.

Moved, seconded and approved: JPAC fully supports and urges the historic restoration of Darrow Bridge as a pedestrian, bicycle and emergency vehicle bridge and supports CDOT's request for funds for the same.

Moved. seconded and approved that JPAC supports the efforts of the appropriate agencies to place a drain pump in the underpass of Marquette Drive under Coast Guard Drive to ensure proper drainage.

July

Moved and approved revised bylaws amendment to Article III, sections 2 and 3 (section 2 for individuals, 3 for organizations )
“An individual is a voting member if they have attended at least two meetings during the prior twelve months.”

Informally instructed JPAC IT to place a tab on safety and security, with numbers to call, in the website.

August

Approval of appropriations.

October

Moved and approved $75 for kids programs late year parties- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas

Reaffirmed by consensus that JPAC believes the recently refurbished basketball courts, especially by Hayes have been a positive influence in the park and must be kept.

November

Moved and approved that JPAC prepare a letter or otherwise present to Museum of Science and Industry requires to alow limited weekend parking in its west lot for access to wooded Island and the Japanese Garden.

Placed on the agenda means of securing Wooded Island over night, including by the Park District including possibly arm gates at the bridges.

December

Moved and approved to seek more information from naturalist experts and form a nature subcommittee, inviting CPD experts to the next meeting. (Subsequently parts were ruled out of order and contrary to bylaws. A report on committees will at the February meeting announced a science subcommittee of Nature.)

February 2017

At motion of Jerry Levy, 2nded by Dwight Powell, JPAC voted to create a standing committee to review and seek coordination of construction and projects proposed and underway, in light of the transformation of the park and the need to look at the park as a whole. In additon to JPAC, invited participants would come from the fifth ward office, JPW, FOTP, Obama Foundation, the Golf Alliance, and the overseeing agencies CPD and CDOT.

March

Upon board motion, authorized the treasurer to pay final portion of Jackson Park in Your Pocket production bill, up to (est.) $3,828.00.

Agreed to establish a Fieldhouse committee to recommend features for a new or refurbished fieldhouse.

May

Approved approriations for Migratory Bird Day, limited for upcoming programs, and replacement air fans for the fieldhouse.

July

Agreed to set up committees on harbors-beaches-swimming, chaired initially by Anne Marie Miles, and a committee on education and educational and other initiatives towards park stewardship, and ownership by users.

August

Moved, 2nded, approved to ask Summer Dance and Lucky Trikes to come back to do events in Jackson Park.

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