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Welcome to the July 2008 J.P.A.C. Newsletter

July 2008, Volume 15, Issue 7

Produced by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to Chicago Park Dstrict

Editor Gary Ossewaarde. Hosted in www.hydepark.org, administrator George Rumsey. Provided by OnShore.

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 advertized 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 Debaaters: PG132. 773 256-0903 for location, rain date.