Welcome to the December 2015 J.P.A.C Newsletter online
(Jackson Park Advisory Council, Chicago)

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Volume 22, No. 12, December 2015
Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a 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, 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

Founded in 1983

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.
Protecting Nature, Preserving History, Promoting Recreation"

December meeting agenda.

Upcoming meetings or events



Visit JPAC's official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. Find also our Facebook link there. We regret that this site has just recently been restored- updates will begin shortly. For recent and navigator to our pages visit http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac and http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/jpnewsbuls.htm.

Contacts: JPACChicago@gmail.com, 773 357-7617; Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, 773 947-9541, President Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225.

Visit also, esp. for rich material and pictures, workdays and tours http://www.bluestem.info/Bobolink/ and http://www.friendsofthewhitecity.org.

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 is in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html- which 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 or to join- to 2016 printable letter and form.

KEEP CURRENT at Jackson Park News and Bulletins in the hydepark.org website.

Meetings and events:


December 19, Saturday, 10 am. There will be a year-end progress walk through (and birding opp) on Wooded Island in Jackson Park. Meet at the sout gate, 63rd/Hayes lot east of Cornell Dr.

January 9 Thodos Dance Chicago presents at Auditorium Theater the the premiere of "Sono's Journey- A Ballet Story" the story of Sono Osato, whose parents ran the concession at the Japanese tea house and pavilion on Wooded Island and who at the age of 14 in 1934 began a fabled career with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, curbed suring World War II because of her Japanese-American ancestry. She nevertheless became important in the dance and entertainment media fields and in career transition for dancers.

Watch for a second South Parks Workshop in early February 2016.


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- $3,758.28. 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 2

Wooded Island, Darrow Bridge and beyond
November 28 a few braved the wintry weather to tour Wooded Island. More tours are expected on weather-appropriate 4th Saturdays, 10 am, from the south gate. As Jerry Levy reports, The new roadway is finished. The four outlooks on Wooded Island are now built and the crushed limestone for them and the paths leading to and from them are being completed…The contactor completed a fairly successful burn of much of the Island. Planting of the shoreline of the Island is done and the new plants along the wet fringe are being protected from the geese with fences. This winter some additional work will be done in preparation for the new planting of trees, shrubs and plants in the spring. The fence will remain up this winter but the curtain covering the fence which is intended to prevent debris and dust from escaping during construction will hopefully be removed.

DARROW BRIDGE. According to Sam Rappaport in the Hyde Park Herald, CDOT Director of Public Relations Mike Claffey said: “The City of Chicago has selected Stanley Consultants for the Engineering Study and Design of the Columbian Bridge. We expect the Notice to Proceed (NTP) to be given to the consultant in the very near future. They would then be able to start the Engineering Study (Phase I) and Design (Phase II).” In practice, Claffey said, construction could begin late 2018 or 2019. While this is appreciated, the long wait since the bridge was fenced off and the restoration timeframe slippage has left frustrated those who visit Wooded Island, the Japanese Garden, or who need to go through the park east to west. Two factors slowing things down are the need for historic restoration and that the only way to get the bridge done and open is designate it for emergency traffic.

FOUND AND NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE SITE OF THE PHOENIX PAVILION: During excavation of the setting for Yoko Ono's Sky Landing sculpture (scheduled for installation June 2016), in the lawn west of the Japanese Garden on Wooded Island, concrete footing from Japan’s Phoenix Pavilion at the Columbian Exposition was dug up and is now placed beside the roadway. It’s about 12 feet long, 2-3 feet wide and 2 feet high. It is expected to be reshaped as a bench. Can we think about appropriate signage there for the history, treasures, artwork and Paul Douglas Nature Sanctuary?

CPD Natural Resources has established a brand new natural areas year round team, all young, strong, and enthusiastic. They spent November 23 2015 clearing and carrying away the invasives, garbage, cutting down overspreading tall grass, and pruning the rose bushes at the 57th street underpass and beach hill. It now looks open, safe, and tended. Now there is a year round CPD natural areas team to help volunteers do this in our parks. (Adapted from reports by Louise McCurry and observation by the editor.)

Obama Presidential Center update
The Foundation has named as of January a Vice President for Civic Engagement, Michael A. Strautmanis, a long-time leader in that field in Chicago, the White House, and the corporate world. His role is defined as creating pathways for communities to engage about finding and defining ways the project can promote change and strengthen communities. Community Leaders and citizens have been proposing both process and outcomes for such benefits. The best and appropriate role for parks in these is an important concern of PACs and the public. From their side, Foundation leaderships have publicly expressed concern about violence and other problems in the city.
The Foundation will move into space at 5235 S. Harper Court 60615 in January. Winnowing and election of an architect will be proceed over the next few months. Announcement of a site is expected to follow perhaps in late spring. The Foundation’s website is barackobamafoundation.org.

NEIGHBORS. JPAC commends Ald. Hairston, residents, Woodlawn Works, + for refurbishment & murals of the 67th viaduct. Metra rebuilt 59th platform & cleared embankments and enabled 63rd/64th gardens. Thanks to JPAC & Midway PAC and CPD/CDOT for Midway embankment enhancements.

We express condolences to the Institute of Christ the King on the severe fire to their church.