Welcome to the July 2011 JPAC Newsletter online

Jackson Park/JPAC homepage (http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html).
hydepark.org Parks homepage

TAKE OUR SURVEY! You can find and print it here (and return as therein), take a slightly different version online in our new website, or ask us for earlier paper versions, such as was mailed with the July 2011 Newsletter.

Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois

Editor Gary Ossewaarde. Hosted by hydepark.org, website of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (owner, hpkcc@aol.com) by OnShore Communications.

 

Jackson Park Advisory Council - June 13 2011 Council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m., a quorum being present, 13 in attendance. Minutes of the May meeting were accepted upon review later in the meeting.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT. Louise reported on meetings with Liz Millan (CPD South Region Manager) resulting in progress on the dog park and discussion of repairs and improvements for that part of the park and the LaRabida area. The dog park will be progressive with lots of healthy activities for people and dogs.

A hot Memorial Day. Serious problems including shootings occurred in a greatly overcrowded Jackson Park on Memorial Day. Louise cited loud music and alcohol (arrests made), presence of many from out of town unfamiliar with the park and traffic, a late start to turning away—and at a prudent distance-- people who could not be accommodated in the already overcrowded park, and difficulty clearing the park. Police have since indicated they are modifying procedures, and JPAC relayed to the 3rd District our appreciation for this and for general serious policing done regularly throughout the park. JPAC does have members who monitor conditions and talk to police in various parts of the park daily.

Cleanups continue around LaRabida Children’s Hospital, with cooperation and thanks from hospital administrators. Patient families and other park users are now able to enjoy new sections, and there is a meadow with plenty of birds. More needs to be done, including cleanups, repairs, plant removals and planting, and a stop to prostitution. JPAC has been working with the Park District and police on what is to be done and where.

LaRabida/Promontory Circle is an example of people using more of the park, which means that anything in disrepair where people can get hurt, like stairs and parts of the shore promenade at LaRabida-Promontory Circle, need to be addressed. Louise also suggested that it’s time to think about a memorial to the Columbian Exposition and the replicas of Columbus’ three ships on the Promontory Circle where it can be seen also from the water.


Underpasses at 59th and at Marquette recently had considerable graffiti and trash, which are being addressed. Some paths are overgrown, especially that to the Inner Harbor by Marquette Drive. Meanwhile, the bike and walking trail across the width of the park along Marquette Drive is now complete and open.

Large sets of volunteers from two universities are expected to come to Jackson Park in July to help, likely at LaRabida. Seventh-graders from the UC Lab School pulled a large amount of weeds and woody debris from Bobolink Meadow and Wooded Island. Psst, parents—they enjoyed it!

The next Wooded Island workday, June 25 2-5 would be held if necessary—so much has been done by contractors and volunteers. A consensus was reached to concentrate June 25 on a cleanup at LaRabida shore that morning 8-noon. The July 9 Bobolink workday will be dropped or moved –the stewards will be on vacation.

JPAC thanked Washington Park Conservancy leader Madiem Kawa for a flat of Little Blue Stem prairie grass that will be planted in Bobolink Meadow. A new natural-areas contractor h is developing a plan for Bobolink Meadow. Louise noted that the Friends of the Japanese Garden and Clauss Bros. have planted much and cleaned in the garden.

63rd. JPAC leaders, Alderman Hairston (5th) and Friends of the Parks met on site with Park District officers in May concerning a Corps of Engineers ecological reconstruction and sand stabilization project phase 2, on the 63rd St. Beach and Peninsula. The scope as presented last year was poorly recollected or misunderstood, included work and areas thought by the observers to be inappropriate (especially a picnic area), and the timing and fencing created an enormous public inconvenience on a busy beach day. The park district representative agreed to propose changes to the Army Corps. It appears the work was modified, and the fences came down. A major problem continues to be an access path and its drainage to the east beach and drumming circle. Persons from the Corps agreed to come tonight but did not.

Apostolic Church of God has generously shown interest in resurfacing the tennis courts southeast of Hayes and Cornell.
The hoped-for seniors/community garden near the proposed dog park will likely be built next year. Meanwhile, the raised garden of Growing Power, half being community plots, is full and cannot be expanded. Members cited programs that work for more garden and urban farm plots for neighborhoods and the needy. 2

Our website, jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org, is now populated- including with pictures, information, and the committee and events calendar. The email is jpacmail@jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org may be up soon. A committee that includes Fran Vandervoort, Esther Schechter, Toshia Booker, Judith Hill, Louise McCurry and Gary Ossewaarde has worked on our online presence, a Survey that will soon be distributed, and future outreach including an audio tour and fundraising. Many visited our table and signed petitions at the 57th St. Art Fair. Petitions and letters for the naming of the North Bridge to Wooded Island are nearly ready for submission. A few letters from organizations and officials are still outstanding. (Note- this is NOT the Darrow Bridge.) Any others interested were asked to contact Louise or Gary.

INTRODUCTIONS AND CHECK-IN ROUND. New people continue to come to our meetings to offer skills and share observations and experience. Some offered to work with staff to start programs, including for at-risk youth.

Vice- president Toshia Booker, expects to bring to bear her training with the Chicago Conservation Corps, which brings stewardship projects that engage citizens in actions that build our parks and promote year-round healthy living. Esther Schechter encouraged a children’s committee that would include focus on youth from South Shore. Pat Durkin and Jean Strable encouraged people to come on the bird walks and visit bird counts in chicagoaudubon.org—They said the Island had the third highest record number of species this May. They asked that large volunteer group projects including in Osaka Garden be scheduled outside peak bird migrations and that huge running races etc. should not go through Wooded Island.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE US FORESTRY SERVICE, Cherie Fisher and Andrew Dribin, described an environmental stewardship inventory and regional mapping project and asked JPAC stewardship groups to register and take their survey—indeed any such group can and should join go to http://www.StewMap.org or contact Cherie at clfisher@fs.fed.us or Cindy Copp at cindy@cnt.org,. When the map is up end of July, it and its calendar will be sent to corporate and other providers of volunteers.

FIELD. Louise led an update on the artificial turf field and track to be installed this summer between 61st and 62nd, Stony and Cornell. This is now confirmed as a gift, in Jackson Park funded mostly by the Traubert-Pritzker Foundation and Bears Care (Chicago Bears). JPAC expressed its appreciation. Need assessments were done, coaches consulted, and public meetings held. Planning, including for safety, appears to be good, and persons expert in these matters have submitted numerous suggestions. Thorough oversight and education and controlled and fair scheduling will be needed because of high demand and that not all who show up there are going to be fair or good stewards. A vigorous committee is in place and meets at the fieldhouse 4th Mondays at 6 p.m. Those who want to see an example of a good new field largely for the public (and how much work is involved) should visit that in the south part of Lincoln Park. Some amenities that are desired are not covered in the grant. Maintenance cost may equal or exceed that for the present grass.

ACTIONS. JPAC will participate or have informational tables at a number of community activities this summer and fall including 4TH ON 53RD PARADE AND PICNIC (march with AYSO; table in park) JULY 10 JACKSON PARK HIGHLANDS PARTY afternoon in the 67th block of Bennett, and JULY 30 , 31 HYDE PARK SUMMERFEST on 53rd St.

Moved, seconded, and approved- JPAC will set up a PayPal account on its website for donations and dues.

Moved, seconded, and approved- JPAC approves a separate dedicated bank account for Jackson Bark, the dog park management group. The officers will facilitate the necessary procedures for this.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS (ANYONE WELCOME): The DOG PARK Committee will meet with Hyde Bark on site (weather permitting) otherwise 3rd Mondays of each month- June 20, A SPECIAL CLEANUP-JULY 10 AT 11 AM.

The SPORTS AND FIELDS Committee will meet in the fieldhouse 4th Mondays of each month (June 27, July 25….)

The kickoff meeting for the FUNDRAISING, PROGRAMS AND PLANNING Committee will be (was to be June 15, moved to June 29). Regular meeting date will be announced.

Meeting adjourned. Next meeting Monday, July 11, 7:30, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary 3

 

REPORTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Swim bans. By Gary Ossewaarde
The June 30, 2011 Chicago Sun-Times discussed a report issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Testing the Waters 2011.” Both in terms of bacterial testing and swim bans, the Great Lakes scored significantly worse than the east or west coast, and Illinois scored 26th of 31 states with major shores. In terms of percentage of time bacteria exceeded state standards in 2010, four North Shore beaches (highest one 61% of the time) did worse than any in Chicago. Three on the South Side had the highest Chicago percentage of exceeding standards—South Shore (30%), Rainbow (24), Calumet (22), followed by Montrose, 31st, and 63rd all at about 21% of the time.
Because Chicago raised the bacterial count threshold for closures and the North Shore did not, it is hard to make comparisons between those areas. Still, a few years ago 63rd St. Beach was consistently among the worst in counts and closures in Chicago. Modest configuration changes were made on the 63rd pier (anecdotally considered as insufficient to make a big difference) and some preventive measures undertaken, such as dogs on the beach to harry gulls, and more sophisticated ways to measure and predict water quality. The role is unclear for disease-bearing microbes washed into the lake by direct runoff and especially through untreated drainage pipes, heavy storm water diverted into the Lake, or microbes making sand their home. Still, It might help if we all adopted more care when we go to the beach and into the water. To find out if you can go into the water today, go to the Park District website, but recognize that decisions for swim bans can lag considerable from onset of weather and other adverse events.

Visit http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org, particularly its calendar, for volunteer workdays, programs and meetings. Still maintained and with major background is http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html.

For Bobolink meadow, visit http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm.

The July Bobolink Meadow workday (2nd Saturdays 9-12) is cancelled—check for a substitute at the Bobolink site or parrybell@comcast.net. Otherwise resumes August 13.

July 10, Sunday, 11 am- Cleanup up, fix up, flower planting at the dog park site- Jackson Bark Dog and Tennis Center, 60th west of the Drive. From LS Drive take Science Dr., follow left along Marina fence and over the red bridge.

The dog group has big and imaginative programs in mind and is working closely with tennis groups to bring tennis back.
July 23, Saturday, 2-5 p.m. Wooded Island Workday, 4th Saturdays. Meets at Darrow Bridge south of the Museum. Contact Jerry Levy, sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

SAVE THE DATE! JULY 29 OR 30. C-3 (Chicago Conservation Corps) BEACH SWEEP AND INTRODUCTION TO BEACH ECOLOGY AND STEWARDSHIPS! FREE TROLLEYS WILL TAKE BETWEEN BEACHES. There will be prizes including a few passes to MSI. Starts at 57th St. Beach.
For information, date and time contact Toshia Booker at jpacattack@gmail.com.

MEETINGS Jackson Bark Dog and Tennis Center committee- 3rd Mondays at 6, 60th near the Drive (rain-fieldhouse) July 18. Louise, 773 844-2225.
Sports and Fields- 4th Mondays at 6, fieldhouse. Ram Nair, rnair@naircoinc.com.
Security- contact Michael Taqee, taqeearchitectural@comcast.net.
Programs, Fundraising and Planning- contact Fran Vandervoort, vandersand@sbcglobal.net or Toshia Booker, jpacattack@gmail.com. Volunteers and volunteer program- contact Judith Hill, greenjahjah@gmail.com.

Movies in the Park- 63rd Beach house at dusk: July 12, Tuesday, dusk. “JAWS“
July 19, Tuesday, dusk. “Barber Shop"
July 26, Tuesday, dusk. “BABE"

There is room for more members from the community in the Park District's Nature Oasis Programs that will be in Jackson Park. These include day, urban and family camping from late June into fall. For more information, call 312-742-4914, or visit chicagoparkdistrict.com. Day Camp field trips are scheduled 6/27-7/8, Urban Campers 7/18-7/22, Under Illinois Skies 7/26-7/28, Family Camping 9/10-9/11, Fall Color Canoe trip 9/22.

Chicago Track Club’s Summer Track program is underway and practices twice a week in Jackson Park. Visit chicagotrackclub.com or call 312-243-3335.

SEE YOU AT…4TH ON 53rd , JP HIGHLANDS JULY 10, 53rd SUMMERFEST
- and with the birders Weds. at 7, Sats. at 8 or Suns. (?) at 8- meet at Darrow Bridge.