Welcome to April 2017 JPAC/Jackson Park Newsletter Online
Monthly publication of the Jackson Park Advisory Council, recognized advisory body of the Chicago Park District.
View or print the print version (pdf), including the Front Page with vitae, web links, meeting agenda, and announcements.
PDF update of April 22 & May 6 events.
Abstraction of front page, plus updates and more.
March 13 2017 MINUTES
Announcements, upcoming events and comments on progress.
Official website- jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. FIND OUR CALENDAR THERE UNDER EVENTS
Facebook- https://facebook.com/JacksonParkAdvisoryCouncil/ Both have lots of pictures!
Get the Newsletters and other news announcements sent electronically - submit email address to email@example.com.
Archive of minutes and resolutions. Archived Newsletters
Join! (membership form) Time to send in 2017 dues contributions. Print and mail with check to JPAC c/o Dwight Powell, 7206 S. Luella, Chicago, IL 60649.
How to book a group workday, with contacts, regular schedule and a log.
Next meeting MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017, 7 PM. Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.
Guests -(Carol Adams on a Summer opportunity, One Earth Festival on its films April 22)
Minutes & Finances
Old & New bus, Announcements, adjourn
Following meeting Monday, May 8, 7 pm at the fieldhouse.
JACKSON PARK ADVISORY COUNCIL 34th YEAR! Founded 1983
J.P.A.C. NEWSLETTER APRIL 2017, Vol. 24 No. 4
JPAC- PROTECTING NATURE, PRESERVING HISTORY, SUPPORTING RECREATION
Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, the recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois.
JPAC's fiscal agent is The Chicago Parks Foundation, a 501c3.
President is Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225, firstname.lastname@example.org. Board- see the PDF version front page.
Other officers elected November 2016- VP Anne Marie Miles, Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer Dwight Powell.
Editor Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary. Hosted by hydepark.org (archive section Hyde Park Record) website of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (owner) by Dot Easy.
The purpose of the JPAC is to provide a forum for …users of Jackson Park; to advise and make recommendations to the Chicago Park District on park improvements and programs (and create/ ensure programs); to encourage long-range planning; promote community utilization and awareness of park and program and participation in planning; and seek alternative funding sources.
Fieldhouse, Park Supervisor Bobbie Beckam, 773 256-0903. Region Manager Maya Solis, 312 747-7661.
Area Manager Farah Tunks, 773 324-0540. Parks Security- Lakefront - Thomas Snooks
Council meetings April 10, May 8 at 7 pm. fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.
April 22 10-1 Wooded Island (replenishing mulch trail- enter from south- if late goto middle of west path. ,
12-2 57th beach, 2-4 Midway Plaisance. These include songs adn stories by Andy Carter.
(Also listen to Chicago Children's Choir in pm at Skylanding by the Japanese Garden and in the Music Court.)
May 13 9-noon Bobolink Meadow
May 27 Wooded Island
June 17 It's Your Park Day
April 22, 4:30 pm. Film "The City Dark" is shown - on the importance of stopping light pollution. By One Earth Festival. JP fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island blue room. MAY BE FULL- 100 ALREADY. Register at oneearthfilmfest.org.
May 6 from 9 am Migratory Bird Day programs, tours, activities including building bird houses and feeders, scavenger hun- south entrance to Bobolink Meadow.
May 6, Saturday, 8:45 pm. Jane's Walk Chicago flashlight tour of Jackson Park from the Golden Lady at 63rd/Hayes and Richards.
May 6 history and nature tours resume in the park- schedule and details comin.
May 20, Saturday, 12-4 pm. Picnic party and bench dedication at the 67th-Ridgeland playlot (block easst of Stony)
Some key links
WEBSITE & calendar http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org .../events for calendar
FACEBOOK (please “like” us). https://facebook.com/JacksonParkAdvisoryCouncil/
This issue- Newsletter: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/newsletters/April2017nl.htm. (You are here)
Alt. home, http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html and
Index to all other Jackson Park pages in hydepark.org www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac
Index to all Newsletters going several years back www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/newsletters
Keep current + news details: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/jpnewsbuls.htm
Archive of minutes and resolutions- www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/minandresolu.htm
Current Bylaws- JPACFINAL JPAC_bylaws_rev_Draft_8b_rmh W AMEND MAY 2014, MAR 2015, JUL 2016-clear.pdf
ACE Wooded I- news and links- www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ace2014.htm
Obama Library site- www.barackobamafoundation.org incl. sign up for e-updates
JPAC’s Obama Library page www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ObamaPLibrary.htm
Project 120 sites: www.Project120Chicago.org, www.gardenofthephoenix.org
SKYLANDING by Yoko Ono www.skylanding.com
Golf proposal: chicagoparksgolfalliance.org
BOBOLINK website: http://bluestem.info/bobolink/
Friends of the White City-http://www.friendsofthewhitecity.org
Jackson Park Watch citizen group- www.jacksonparkwatch.org
Friends of the Parks- www.fotp.org
Chicago Park District- www.chicagoparkdistrict.com
Chicago Parks Foundation- www.chicagoparksfoundation.org
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. email@example.com.
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.
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.
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary
Announcements, Upcoming Events, and Progress Reports
Quiz question. Where currently at least is the 13th stainless steel “lotus petal” of Yoko Ono’s Skylanding—(the petal was deliberately damaged at the Indiana foundry to await a ceremony of healing.(Cover next line.)
Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing east terrace off the main lobby. You may have to focus a bit.
IT’S PARK WORKDAY TIME AGAIN-
Bobolink 2nd Saturdays 9-noon, 63rd beach and area cleaning and mulching
Wooded Island 4th Saturdays 10-1. April 22
Earth Day April 22 (Wooded Island 10-1, 57th beach to 59th bridge 12-2. There is also work (and storytelling) on the Midway west of Stony Island. 5 pm environmental and ecological films in the JP fieldhouse.
Migratory Bird Day is May 6 (CHANGED) this year –at south entrance to Bobolink Meadow which has parking (note foot race in park that day)
It’s Your Park Day cleanup – June 17.
New at Science and Industry- Extreme Ice- at the heart of climate change and study.
Endangered near you- The Great Lakes. Visit greatlakes.org.
New information on Darrow bridge. The bridge crosses the neck at the north edge of the east and west lagoons It is key bike and pedestrian connector east west in the north half of the park, and its historic repair is a key matter for all. Recently cores were observed being taken as part of Phase I engineering. At Alderman Hairston’s Ward meeting March 28, Luis Benitez, CDOT Asst. Chief Engineer reported that Phase I study should be ready within the year and Phase II engineering should then begin and take about a year, with construction to start in 2019. Most important is that funding for the whole has been secured.
If you see helicopters dragging sensors off the lake shore….. sand movement and deposition is being measured along the Illinois shore to see how problems at beaches and harbors might be addressed.
Mike Strautmanis of the Obama Foundation addressed the Woodlawn Summit March 18
First, he said, the center is to be global, an urban and community center and most of all an experience center that will build citizen engagement—train in how to engage and have an impact, as well as serve needs of the South Side communities. It will tell and build connection not just with the First Family’s story but the South Side’s Story and southsiders’ stories. They want people to exchange ideas there and put them to work in their communities, and also for there to be physical pathways and corridors for people to extend their visits into nearby communities. The designer teams—including a growing, diverse set of Chicago and South Side experts—will start with many small and larger idea gatherings*. There have been numerous small and larger meetings, but a “best plan” for broad input is still under development. He encouraged also online idea and story-sharing—there has not been much in their website from local people so far—people telling their stories and needs, at http://go.obama.org/hometown. For hiring and direct involvement leading to sustainable careers, enterprises, and development, he urged new approaches beyond a high standard and high targets. A JPAC member urged a vision of the Center as an educator and human development engine. Others brought up the idea of a community benefits agreement, met with much support and some skepticism. Strautmanis said he would continue to meet with the coalition groups seeking a multi-topic CBA, but he indicated he thinks there are better ways, and in any case urged thinking of benefits as broadly as possible.
[*Imagine..” with design team members 4/9 3 pm HP Art Ctr.] GMO
Golf update from Brian Hogan of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance
(As sent to Jackson Park Advisory Council.) “We remain confident of our ability to raise $30 Million of philanthropic contributions. Pending the civil engineering studies and detailed construction estimates, we target $20M to golf course improvements, $5M for programming and operations, $5M for endowment to support maintenance and preferred pricing for local residents. Currently, we have collected preliminary donations to cover design services and short term operations. ..[I]n deference to the community review process, we have yet to collect funds related to construction costs until we can share design proposals and project timelines with our donors. Michael Ruemmler stated this to the Sun-times: ‘We’ve got a lot of people [who] are ready to go as soon as they can see some designs and make sure that everything works. We have to make sure that our community input is strong and that the designs are feasible… [P]eople want to make sure that it’s real before they give any hard-earned money.’” Hogan added, “Most importantly, funding is secured for the caddie program to begin this summer regardless of any design/construction timelines.”
Note- youth seeking caddie jobs this summer should write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park planning and input. There has been much discussion of the kind and level of park planning, coordination, and input there should be—we expect this will be worked out, fairly soon.
What is the layout of the park now? The park north of Hayes/63rd Drive can be thought of as a set of concentric rings—the center core is the natural area (Wooded Island, the lagoons, and Bobolink Meadow) (Wooded Island also contains the historic Japanese Garden compound.)
Surrounding the center is a variety of open or partially wooded landscape and recreational grounds, some of which have the needs of wildlife taken into consideration. Around the edges are some institutional or service structures (most notably the Museum of Science and Industry), continuing south of Hayes.
South of Hayes is mostly golf, with others recreation and the fieldhouse. East of and straddling the Drive are the beaches and harbors. And the park is bisected by several very busy highways. There is no reason to think this macro-pattern, which follows the historic template, would change.
Are there framework plans now, and is what kind of thinking about the park is in progress now?
Plans were made in the early days of the park, most notably by Olmsted’s, to guide the building and trans-formations of the park (1895 was especially important), and have been revisited several times since. The governing Framework Plan was devised with considerable community input 1999-2001. It is nearing 20 in age but has many robust recommendations, many as yet unrealized. Recently the Park District, Heritage Landscapes (notable Olmsted experts), and Project 120 prepared a draft revision accounting but going beyond the GLIFER ecological restoration and Project 120 proposals to see how the park might work together—as many have been asking. It was set forth at community meetings for input--and as is to be expected led to serious disagreements. Should we revise either or start again?
Then even larger proposed changes--the Obama Library and golf consolidation came into play, serving as a real spur to looking closely at the park. Groups and coalitions to consider them and in many cases consider the park- or four parks-- in part and in whole or with surrounding neighborhoods. Much in the park has been found broken, as known to its close observers. Engineering assessment and design firms are surveying the park, including roads and paths, soils, infrastructure, shoreline, drainage, trees, et al and sharing their findings. But their work is not yet completed. The golf concept phase I may be the first piece of the puzzle. The big proposers and design teams have begun engagement meetings. Alderman Hairston has held several community meetings and has convened a broad-based, broad-agenda Advisory Council. JPAC holds large meetings and Q & A updates and has convened a park coordinating committee that has other stakeholders, planners, and agencies. Other coalitions meet with proposers or develop their own plans, ideas and demands. These should all feed into the broad and comprehensive process that emerges.
And what about bird and wildlife enhancement and environmental responsibility? Let’s be clear that birds, pollinators and other wildlife are in serious trouble locally and worldwide. And Jackson Park has been rated the 6th most important site for birds in Illinois.
First, the GLFER project, now in its third year was based on extensive planning and planting in much more than Wooded Island and the lagoons by naturalist experts and some of the country’s foremost Olmsted landscapers with a primary goal of providing a strong habitat for birds and other wildlife. Large numbers of overgrowths of invasive species were removed, but some that were contributing to wildlife or were left. Many thousands of native species were carefully grouped and planted so as to create a multi-storied habitat. These will grow and provide even more habitat for birds and other wildlife. Lagoons were restored.
In addition to natural habitat-oriented contractors, teams of volunteers work with JPAC’s stewards and the Park District in the natural areas of Wooded Island, the lagoons, and Bobolink Meadow and Woods. We would hope this work can be expanded to other parts of the park. Vigilant birders led by Audubon and others monitor and count and give tours in the natural areas and beyond. This is a part of the all-important work of educating children and families on the role of nature and birds and hopefully recruit them to help in stewardship. Nature tours are now to many school and volunteer groups by JPAC in conjunction with workdays; we hope the schedule will be expanded. These have been integrated into the park history tours that JPAC runs from May through October. Soon the physical trails and lagoon overlooks in Wooded Island and Bobolink will be joined by a new section along the south edge of the lagoons. JPAC’s introductory App, Jackson Park in Your Pocket, is being made available to anyone in the world who wants to learn about the park, its vision and history and its conservation. We have so many volunteer leaders to thank for this, starting many decades ago with Nancy Hays, Doug Anderson, Ross Petersen and their cohorts, and today Fran Vandervoort, Jerry Levy, Jake Young, Gail Parry and Norm Bell and many others. We have found that most of these activities and most visitors, have been responsible and not disruptive of nature and are appreciative of the respite from the city offered there.
The Library Center is course very close to the core natural area- just across the road. The landscape and design teams, particularly Living Habitats, are very experienced with Olmsted and presidential centers and hydrology challenges but will need to be put in touch with experts on this natural area and the needs of wildlife in general--for the construction and beyond, and for the Library site itself. They have ideas. 5
Project 120 in conjunction with the Park District has done or proposed the following. 1) Maintain the Japanese Garden. 2) Replaced invasive thickets with cherry trees to the north and part of the mainland to honor the Chicago-Japan connections. 3. Helped fund the GLFER ecological and landscape restoration project and secure Olmsted experts to do park-wide planning. 3) Brought Yoko Ono’s world class SKYLANDING sculpture to the (then only turf) footprint of the Phoenix Pavilion that had been given by the government of Japan to Chicago in 1893, honoring ongoing Japan and Japanese-American connections.
4) proposed for the future moving the golf driving range south of Hayes Drive to open up a great lawn with new possibilities (see golf course below). 5) Proposed and commissioned a drawing for a pavilion in the former Music Court designed by Olmsted. The latter, on hold, could, if built to size and with occasional non-amplified concerts bother birds. But the music from picnickers in the summer is much louder (and bothers residents in Montgomery Place) without much noticeable effect on wildlife. And there are many who have said they would like to see some performances (again non-amplified) in the music court with or without any structure.
The golf area is almost entirely located away from the natural area core. Should the driving range be moved away from the Bobolink natural area (as proposed since the 1999 Plan by the Park District and more recently by Project 120/Heritage Landscapes and now the Golf Alliance) new possibilities will be opened for both nature and human needs, hopefully with ecologically friendly planting. For the golf course, whether consolidated or not, several studies show that golf courses today can be and often are good for bird and wildlife populations. The current golf course manager has over the past several years cooperated in adding patches and features friendly to wildlife. (Did you know that there are both mini-lagoons and copses in the golf course?) The Alliance planners have committed to enhancing this further, hiring Olmsted planners. The Chicago Park District has signed on to a universal protocol for golf courses with regard to use of pesticides, herbicides and other practices such as for water. This commitment will continue. During reconfiguration of fairways, there would indeed be reshaping, as would be the case for needed course improvements should the plan not go forward. Also, the superintendent has said he will not sign on to wholesale tree removal in the golf course. GMO 6