Welcome to the December 2014 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online
publication of Jackson Park Advisory Council Chicago

Volume 21, No. 11 December 2014

Contents of published newsletter

Visit JPAC's official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. Find also our Facebook link there.

Visit also http://www.bluestem.info/Bobolink/

JPAC posts the monthly newsletter, with updates, to those who provide their email- garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.
LINKS TO NEWSLETTERS (starting from 2006) and lots of other material- (index in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html- this is also the RETURN link to the Jackson Park homepage in this website with navigator to the many Jackson Park pages in hydepark.org)

It's time for membership renewal- to 2015 letter and form.

KEEP CURRENT at Jackson Park News and Bulletins in the hydepark.org website.
To Army Corps Project JPAC information page and links
See also a running set of minutes and standing resolutions.
WHAT'S UP AT THE DECEMBER MEETING? (there may be additions to the agenda)

Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois. JPAC's fiscal agent is Friends of the Parks, a 501c3. President is Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225, commissioner751@comcast.net.

Editor Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary. Hosted by hydepark.org (archive section Hyde Park Record) website of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (owner, hpkcc@aol.com) by Dot Easy and OnShore Communications

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.

In this issue

Agenda of the December 2014 meeting

Two Authors, Many Mysteries. Join us December 8 for Book Night at JPAC at Lab School Earl Shapiro Hall, 5800 S. Stony Island. Free parking in back. Authors, who will answer questions and whose books will be for sale, are FRANCES MCNAMARA, author of “Death at the Fair” and other 1890s > Chicago-set detective stories featuring amateur sleuth Emily Cabot. Criminal investigator RAY JOHNSON’s books include “Chicago’s Haunt Detective” and “Chicago History, The Stranger Side.” Refreshments served. FLYER

Also: Reports and updates, final approval of bylaws amendment allowing up to two additional (non-officer) board members and nominations for membership and fundraising chairs.

[It was a splendid meeting and presentatiions with over 25 in attendance. January's will include report and discussion on Obama Presidential Library bid with U of C and Park District. Selection of board members and of fundraising and membership.

November 10 2014 JPAC meeting minutes

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