Welcome to the December 2016 J.P.A.C Newsletter online.

Monthly publication of the Jackson Park Advisory Council, recognized advisory body of the Chicago Park District.

View or print the print version, including the Front Page with vitae, web links, meeting agenda, and announcements.

Sections here:

Abstraction of front page, plus updates and more.
November 2016 Minutes
Announcements and features, including an Op Ed on Yoko Ono's Skylanding.

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 garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.
Join! Time to send in 2017 dues contributions.
Print and mail with check to JPAC c/o Dwight Powell, 7206 S. Luella, Chicago, IL 60649.
To links
How to book a group workday, with contacts, regular schedule and a log.

Next meeting MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 7 PM. Agenda items include regulatory signage and other issues at Wooded Island, park security, tree replacement, confirming board and committee assignments.

J.P.A.C. NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2016 Vol. 23 No. 11

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, commissioner751@comcast.net. Board- see the PDF version front page.

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.
Area Manager Farah Tunks, 773 324-0540. Parks Security- Lakefront - Thomas Snooks

Guests -some invited
Minutes & Finances
Reports/updates/actions, including Wooded Island overnight security, other Wooded Island issues.
Old & New bus, Announcements, adjourn

DDENDUM: In November-December 2016, several concerns about Wooded Island were raised. At the December meeting, JPAC will hold an open discussion on these, Wooded Island rules and signage (including re dogs on the Island) and overnight security. There is also anxiety to look into some kind of paring option closer to the Island and to keep on the radar opening the rail around the south end of teh lagoon as son as feasible. Here are responses/discussion on some of these.

Lauren Umek, project manager writes:

The concerns brown up by Nick Liveris are timely and already on our radar. Wooded Island and the areas around it, are entering year 3 of a 5 year restoration project and while we did allow public access to Wooded Island this October, much of the work planned here is not complete and thus not all of the amenities have been replaced or installed yet. So, no, these are not trivial concerns to be mocked, but things that are very much on CPD’s radar and are in progress. I’ll address his main concerns here.

1. Water fountains – we are looking into an appropriate location for both best public access and most efficient installation considering infrastructure for a new water fountain, but this won’t occur until spring at the earliest.

2. Installation of a new bike rack near the Japanese garden is also in the works – again, this would happen in spring at the earliest due to weather.

3. There are several, at least 4 pairs of garbage and recycling bins on Wooded Island – a pair near each of the new overlooks as well as near the north and south entrances to the island. Many of these bins are a painted metal type, and not the larger, plastic style that were there and are common in other parks.

4. The benches that are currently on Wooded Island are an older bench style and we are looking into repair or replacement options. Broken wood slats were replaced as a fix until a longer term solution is reached. Benches cannot be replaced under the Army Corps project as that project and its related funds are dedicated to ecosystem restoration (and not public amenities).

I am sympathetic to the “bump” feel of the new concrete pathway but encourage park users to view this as an opportunity to take a moment in our busy urban lives to slow down and appreciate the space, flora and fauna of the island. There are many other ways to travel on asphalt quickly on wheels throughout the city, but there is only one Wooded Island.

From the November 14 2016 JPAC meeting minutes:

[Jerry] 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.

Lauren Umek on park rules regarding animals and signage. (The entire set of park regulations for visitors (Chapter 7 of the CPD Code) is at http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/assets/1/23/CPD_Code_Chpt_7.pdf#page2.)

Regarding park rules and signage - New park signs were installed prior to re-opening of Wooded Island to the public as the site enters year 3 of the 5 year Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration project. These new signs now include historic and nature-oriented photos of the park, maps, a description of the recent park improvements, and the park rules. These rules include Park District wide rules (ie. permits required for large gatherings and no littering, alcohol, smoking, vehicles, etc.) as well as site specific rules that are determined by park staff. The rules on this sign, while the language has been adjusted, are the same as before with the addition of the new rule “Do not touch or climb on the Sky Landing artwork” that accompanies the installation of Sky Landing and is a standard rule for public art and non-playground structures.
Of the rules that seem to be of conversation within the community – dogs and fishing – these rules are not new. I’ve attached the highlighted relevant section of CPD code regarding animals for reference. Fishing has been and will remain prohibited from Wooded Island (see attached sign for reference). There are currently no fish stocked in the lagoon at the moment (only small fish introduced for migratory birds), so this rule is not really applicable at this time

Applicable language in the Park District Code, Chapter 7: a, 1. .....Animals may not enter or remain in any..... garden.... animal or bird refuge or other areas that may abe designated by a sign as prohibited areas...
(Rules are also set forth regarding dog parks and friendly areas, and beaches.)

New signage installed fall 2016 lists rules including "Dogs disturb wildlife and are not allowed on Wooded Island."


Next workdays. spring 2017. Bobolink Meadow Contact parrybell@ameritech.net (done.)
Wooded Island- spring 2017 Contact Jerry Levy, sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

SPECIAL DECEMBER 3, SATURDAY 10 AM. MULCH OAK SAPLINGS SOUTH OF THE JAPANESE GARDEN (can meet there). Let Jerry know you are coming. sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. THEN

WINTER PHOTO CONTEST with Spencer Bibbs, nature photographer
- DECEMBER 3 2016, 11 am. Meet at Hays bridge at the north end of Wooded Islan.
All camera and phone types welcome. Submission deadline Dec. 10 to JPAC Photo Contest Google Acct.

We are pleased to announce that Wooded Island is open permanently for all visitors. The gates at both the north and south entrances will be open. Fences will remain up to protect the new plantings but will not impede access to Wooded Island. Yoko Ono's world class new sculpture, SKYLANDING, will be open in the Garden of the Phoenix at the north end of the Island.

Some key links

Website & calendar http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org
FACEBOOK (please “like” us). https://facebook.com/JacksonParkAdvisoryCouncil/
Newsletter: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/newsletters/Dec2016nl.htm.
Alt. home, index & Newsletters: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html and
Indexes www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac
Index to all Newsletters going several years back
Keep current + news details: http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/jpnewsbuls.htm
ACE Wooded I- news and links- www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ace2014.htm
Obama Library- www.barackobamafoundation.org incl. sign up for e-updates
JPAC’s Obama Library page www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ObamaPLibrary.htm
Project 120: www.Project120Chicago.org , www.gardenofthephoenix.org
SKYLANDING by Yoko Ono www.skylanding.com
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


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 November 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.

In memoriam, Kathryn Ann (Kay) Clement

Kay Clement was a great friend to parks and open lands, civil rights, and to Hyde Park, the South Side and Chicago, a leader in local and state politics, anda generous hostess. As a leader of the Daniel Burnham Committee, she fought against expanded and new highways through Jackson and nearby parks c. 1960, willing to chain herself to trees and be arrested. She helped found Friends of the Parks (on whose board she served for decades) and Jackson Park Advisory Council (a lifetime member), co-led the Promontory Point PAC, and worked for a good solution to the controversial Promontory Point revetment plans. She was honored by the city as one of 100 women contributors to our civic life. Her children include John Clement, whose wife is Loren Moltz, board president of Friends of the Parks and a member of JPAC. A memorial is planned for next spring.

Winter Nature Photography Contest with Spencer Bibbs- December 3, 11 am at Nancy Hays Bridge at the north end of Wooded Island. All ages, any equipment. Entries due Dec. 10 at JPAC Photo Contest Google Gp.
Details: jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org/events, https://facebook.com/JacksonParkAdvisoryCouncil

Chicago Park District is partnering with CPS to provide after Community school sports learning activities in middle schools.. They are recruiting coaches—it is important that a diverse and large cohort apply. Visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com, Jobs- look for the link there.

About the CPD and park budget….. The proposed 2017 BUDGET HAS BEEN RELEASED on the Park District’s website<http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/departments/finance/budget-and-management/>. The public hearing on the proposed budget will be December 7th at the main Park District building, 541 N. Fairbanks, 8th floor Board Room, at 3:30 pm. Check CPD website 2 days in advance re: signing up to speak. FOTP's CPD 2017 budget webinar is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnsWQhUzdE3tApBZPGpqNLw.

JPAC salutes the Calumet Big Marsh, where facilities continue to be opened and nature be recreated.

There are lots of activities, programs, informational and action meetings regarding parks. Sign up for PAC and citywide news from the websites of Chicago Park District, Chicago Parks Foundation (www.chicagoparksfoundation.org), and Friends of the Parks (www.fotp.org).

Thinking about the Library (visit obamapresidentialfoundation.org). By Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC secretary
A number of collaborations and individuals have begun comprehensive thinking about impacts and improvements possible from or in addition to the coming Library. The city and Foundation set up an Inclusion Council, but this seems mainly to be concerned with fundraising and outreach at this point. The Foundation’s VP for Civic Engagement, Michael Straumanis is holding a steady stream of small and larger community input meetings (as are aldermen). mstrautmanis@obamapresidentialfoundation.org.

Two groups, one led by Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization and Southside Together (STOP) prepared draft Community Benefits Agreements dealing with both community and park needs and pointing out site challenges. Both the Foundation and the City have so far been reluctant to have a formal CBA.

Dr. Brazier of Apostolic Church of God is holding ongoing separate convocations (so far by invitation) of business, stakeholder, and broader community groups (soon) with the Presidential Foundation, Chicago Park District, the City, CPS and officeholders to come up with community improvements that might dovetail directly or indirectly with the Library as well as challenges the Library presents. As part of the stakeholder group, JPAC, Jackson Park Watch, Project 120 representatives, and U of C are among many that shared and discussed ideas. Minutes are promised to be posted publicly online—to be announced soon.

The practicalities. It has become evident that the planning phase for the Library itself will be long, and that decisions on specific aspects will determine or affect others, inside and outside of the 20 acre overall site and 5 acre facility footprint-- and to the overall extent of change in the park. That and the fact that no private or public money have yet been assembled for facilities in the park or in the communities despite ambitious ideas being explored. Important regarding the park are 1) the exact siting of the 5-acre Center within the 20 acres, and 2) whether parking will be on or off site (out of the park)-- these plus over all site use and security and maybe whether and what changes happen to Cornell Drive will likely affect whether and where current sports/picnic facilities will move. If the track moves (within the park) that could spark other moves. JPAC and users of course hope and expect that there will be no or minimal down time for any sports facilities. And JPAC members and park users of course are discussing both making sure there are not environmental, circulation or other setbacks due to the Library and construction and many hope for a variety of updates or improvements long sought, including for the present or possible replacement fieldhouse.
This writer has assembled information, documents and links about the Library and what people are thinking and saying about it in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ObamaPLibrary.htm.

Jackson Park staff and JPAC work to provide for our children and teens:
Sports of all varieties including Windy City Hoops, football, track, weight room, drumming…advocating for more for ages 8-12, girls, thinking outdoor facilities beyond playgrounds, fix up of playing courts.
Teen club thinking and communicating about peace, aspirations and stewardship including at the Peace Sculptures at Iowa bldg.; history essay contest.
Nature photography classes and contests and Nature and Migratory Bird Day tours and activities (No child left indoors); preparing a Jackson Park in Your Pocket video app on park history, nature, and features.
Giving books to the new fieldhouse library and revive reading and tutoring.
Volunteer workdays/community service leadership-(clean, remove, plant); creating a hands-on youth garden. Volunteering at and providing for holiday and day camp end celebrations, awards, backpacks.

Chicago Parks Foundation is crowd-funding (through Nov. 29), and you can otherwise give through them, for a variety of teen programs in parks (CPD will select the programs.) Visit. The following examples of teen initiatives in parks is from the Foundation’s MPAC and is used with permission.

The McGuane Junior Park Advisory Council (JPAC) is an organization run by teens with the supervision of adults from the regular McGuane Park Advisory Council.
JPAC strives to bring fresh perspectives from youth in the community into the park. JPAC members are encouraged, but not required, to serve as volunteers at events hosted at McGuane and Palmisano Parks. JPAC members also help with social media promotions.
One of the first goals JPAC has set is to create programming that resonates with youth who might not participate in the park's lively athletics offerings. Currently, the JPAC is pursuing activities involving technology and/or robotics. The JPAC also hopes to help promote fitness and wellness programs that incorporate activities that differ from traditional park programming.
JPAC serves as a fantastic outlet for building leadership skills in teens and each member has the opportunity to contribute to this endeavor.

Program Spotlight: Veterans Memorial Park. Veterans Memorial Park offers
Seasonal Sports Club and Teen Club throughout the year. Over 50 teens participate in these programs. The teens participate in all the sport tournaments such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, flag football, and floor hockey. They have been successful as well, winning Citywide Championships in Boys Volleyball and Co-Rec Softball this year.
Teen Club gives teens a space to come and socialize with each other, participate in friendly games, and play sports. This time is designated for teens only. The program also takes teens on field trips to Lincoln Park Zoo to see the zoo lights during Christmas time. This gives them an opportunity to meet other teens and enjoy a night out with their friends.
One specific teen stands out to the staff at Veterans Memorial Park. She has been playing sports for the park since she was 8 years old. As a teen she has been volunteering as a junior counselor during Day Camp, coaches a team for our Cubs Care Baseball Program, and assists staff coaching Inner City sports teams. She is passionate about working with youth, and will someday be a Chicago Park District employee. (Robert Quinones, Veterans Memorial Park)
A Happy Thanksgiving to members and friends from Team Jackson Park
Your hard work and persistence took us from just removing waste and overgrowth to laying out gardens, smoothing surfaces of new playgrounds, and considering classrooms and gym spaces needed in a new or renewed fieldhouse and from giving our first nature and history tours to creating a Park in Your Pocket tour Ap. Major progress has been made in reducing deteriorated and dangerous spaces while increasing spaces such as at LaRabida where patients can be wheeled down to the water’s edge. Bus loads of kids now come to do volunteer work or tour and have pictures made among nature and landscape and inspiring art in our historic, exciting, and beautiful urban park.
People have reported an aura of moon glow above the Skylanding sculptures. Maybe like the Peace Rising sculptures by the Iowa building this can inspire new expectation for peace, reflection, care and renewal. The Jackson Park team gives a grateful “Thank You” to all close and near for engaging in and thinking about their park. We ALL did it. Now we need to keep up the momentum.

Jackson Park harbor- A great place to fish. The November 18 Chicago Maroon carried an interview feature by Greg Ross. Some of the fishers (and salmon snaggers) have been coming for 50 years.