Welcome to the June 2011 JPAC Newsletter online

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

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 May 9 2011 Council Meeting Minutes

President Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. in the fieldhouse. Minutes of the April meeting were moved by Fran Vandervoort, 2nd by Jerry Levy and approved. The 18 present introduced themselves, including two new to the council who are involved with the dog park committee. The agenda was adjusted.

Supervisor William Tillis reported and took questions on the park and program. He thanked the council for several donations for programs and the fieldhouse in recent months. The track team was proceeding to city wide completion as defending champions four years running. Spring and summer programs were filling up as they generally do, but there were still some spaces open that youth and families should investigate. Moved by Dwight Powell and seconded by Fran Vandervoort to purchase a trophy display case at reasonable cost. Approved.

Progress has been made on security, but work and vigilance are still needed. He credited cameras including behind the Museum, combined Police and park police patrol—cumulatively 24-hour by now two cars, bikes, and more, and council members’ and public eyes and ears. McCurry noted continuing problems including steps at La Rabida Hospital and nearby Promontory Circle as presenting a safety hazard to patients with their families.

Several excursion and camping programs that teach many skills are coming to the park this summer (see announcements after these minutes- there is room for more area families). Three movies will be shown at the 63rd beach house. Seniors should take advantage of the June 13 1 pm Jackson Park concert by jazz great Ken Chaney and his group from Kennicott Park. Another opportunity is a dog vaccination day coming to Jackson.
McCurry noted that much information about the park and its programs and facilities are online on the park’s section in http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com- look for family programs and search for Jackson, and on our websites. Vandervoort recommended formation of a program committee to establish programs by the council as well as monitor/evaluate/grow park district programs.

Financial. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported membership renewals including a major gift from La Rabida Children’s Hospital. At least one check was turned in at the meeting. The most recent bank balance was $5,724.66. Bank signatures were renewed for this term.

Nature Committee and reports. Norman Bell reported that a section of Bobolink Meadow was seeded. Much has been accomplished on the volunteer workdays (2nd Saturdays 9 am-a little after noon, but Norm and others are on hand nearly every day). Now that it’s spring, garlic mustard has begun to overtake the meadow and has to be pulled before it goes to seed. Some native plants from Michigan are being added to the mix, particularly in the Woods section. Members praised the condition of the meadow.

Fran Vandervoort reported that the nature trail is currently in the idea stage, with low-cost, easily implemented preparatory elements (including virtual) being readied. Members asked when the bike trails, under installation for a year along 63rd St., will be finished and the detour signs removed.

Jerry Levy reported that good-sized volunteer crews have been clearing out trash on Wooded Island. Shrubs and ground cover planted over the past two years are now visible again. Especially fine this year: viburnum, scilla, violets of all colors, and trillium. The next workday was moved to May 21 due to Memorial Day. The park district is working on moving from the park the beaver(s) that destroyed a fine crab among other trees.
A team of volunteers from Friends of the Japanese Garden and contractor Claus Bros. recently planted much including ground cover in Osaka Garden during a festive workday, and new shrubs are blooming. Jerry led an Arbor Day tree species ID and list-making tour April 30—well advertized but sparsely attended.

McCurry reported that much additional garbage was removed around La Rabida. Patients and families are now visiting the wildflower garden, the shore, and the lookout—but the steps at these places are dangerous. Cleaning the west beach (harbor side) is next.

Birds. Jennie Strable reported that crews (unidentified) had been seen pruning hedges after heavy bird migration through the Island had started. (It was suggested that the crew observed was that removing burlap left around the balls of trees planted without removing burlap last December—removal had to be done asap this spring.) 2

Strable offered on behalf of Chicago Audubon a memo with three proposals to avoid or direct operations and disturbances on Wooded Island during bird migration. Most of the migrating species are insect eaters; the insects congregate in sunny, calmer areas, and the birds follow. As a consequence, if work must be done:
(1) work in the west side in the morning, east in the afternoon,
(2) work in windy areas first on a windy day,
(3) in the spring, when strong southwest winds bring in the birds, keep work to a minimum and in the northwest sector only. And use no heavy equipment during the migratory seasons. By consensus, the memo was accepted into the record with appreciation for review and to pass on to the park district.

Strable reported that 96 species were recently counted on just the Island one day. A special walk and count was planned by National Audubon for the next Sunday. Bird walks continue Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Dog park. After a well-attended site visit, supporters agreed on the site and are circulating petitions and seeking letters. The site has been tested with pets and has approval of nearby tennis players. The plan is written including commitment of the volunteer organizations. Dog permits are in progress. Private funds are available for supplies and needs such as an inner gate and corner rounding, and some fence work is being arranged. The path to the site needs improvement.

Security. McCurry reported that patrols mentioned above are in place, and the 3rd District responds well. Experience this spring seems to verify the hunch that sectors where trash and overgrowth are cleared stay nice and have reduced problems. Some areas are difficult—south of Osaka garden trash can be removed, but it’s a natural area with regulated brush policy. Miscreants there are extremely brazen, even during a well attended workday or festival in the garden.

Sports and recreation. McCurry has made a concerted effort to meet with sports and recreation stakeholders and get them involved with the committee (chair Ram Nair- rnair@naircoinc.com). Committee meeting day and time are being adjusted to fit the full play schedule. Speaking of promotion, JPAC volunteers will staff a table at the 57th St. Art Fair and subsequent community events. Teams’ and others’ material will be sought for the table.

McCurry consulted with the lawn bowling and croquet leaders to learn needs, successes at the green and clubhouse. She noted an opportunity to jointly promote these activities and bring more seniors and younger people into the park.

She also consulted with the yacht/boating club commodores and Sea Scouts. Condition of the sea walls is a major concern. McCurry wants to see a coordinated effort including by the clubs etc. to clear accumulating harbor edge garbage and discourage throwing garbage from the boats. For trash in general, the football teams will help with larger objects, and 63rd St. basketball club will keep up its area.

Baseball. Ziff Sistrunk said the teams are very busy playing and also patrol the Stony Island edge of the park for trash from 61st to 64th on weekends and learn stewardship. Four high schools participate- Hyde Park, Corliss, Phillips, and Brooks. Players get certificates. Storage room is needed. One objective is to ensure lots of people will be using and taking care of the track and the Into the Field artificial surface as well as the whole sector around them.

Barry Rapoport offered to bring juggling into the mix. He will coordinate participation in World Juggling Day June 18 at the Frederick Douglass memorial on the path west of the 59th underpass. Still to be met with are adult soccer, tennis, and golf.

Old and new business. Gary Ossewaarde continues to collect support for naming for Nancy Hays.
Vice President Toshia Booker-Blakeley described the Chicago Conservation Corps (C3, associated with the city’s GreenCorps program), with which she is taking training, including from Chicago Park District staff. A particular program that could jump start and dovetail into JPAC’s Nature Trail Initiative includes youth and other volunteers measuring environmental benefits, threats, or impacts in parks—for example of invasive species, or to do asset and community resource mapping. Tentative preference of members was to theme invasives. Toshia was directed (motion Norm Bell, 2nd and approved) to work with Norm Bell to develop a plan and prepare to apply for C3 sponsorship.

The council selected by straw vote an icon design from among several submitted. Fran Vandervoort and Jerry Levy also agreed to work on ordering tee-shirts with the new logo. These would be used by trail guides and possibly workday volunteers. Agreed by consensus. Fran Vandervoort asked for a committee for development, design, and fundraising. The committee will be convened before or arranged at the next meeting. 3

Fran also reported that Park District Historian Julia Bachrach is hosting “What’s Out There” park tours including of Osaka Garden and Wooded Island, June 11-12 weekend. Anyone willing to volunteer as a greeter should contact her at julia.bachrach@chicagoparkdistrict.com. Jerry Levy was among volunteers.

Fran secured gloves for the workdays from Washington Park Conservancy. She was asked to convey thanks.
Questions were raised about the state of the Viking Ship that was sailed to the Columbian Exposition and is now in a park near Geneva, IL, and whether repaired. Also whether Devil in the White City might be filmed partially in the park.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Crossing our fingers: a new COMMUNITY TEACHING GARDEN and program is planned by an outside organization under pd rules and oversight. It will include opportunities for persons with disabilities. This is in addition to the Growing Power managed garden near Cornell and Marquette. We hope final details, site and approval will be actionable by the June meeting.

Chicago Park District announced a partnership with the Traubert-Pritzker Family Foundation, Bears Care, Chicago Fire, and others to build several ARTIFICIAL SURFACE FIELDS in parks including 1 in Jackson (this year). Use will be free during ample hours daytime and weekend; fees are expected for leagues. A big user will be park and school teams. Advertized, well attended public meetings were held, JPAC gave its support, a planning and oversight committee has been formed. Persons wishing to join this committee may contact Supervisor Tillis at 773 256-0903.

The url for the BOBOLINK Meadow Volunteer Website- to learn about the meadow and work and contact steward Norm Bell-- was given incorrectly in the May Newsletter. The “B” in Bobolink must be upper case:
http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm.

Workdays are 2nd Saturdays 9 am-12 pm from the south meadow near the golf driving range,
June 11, July 9, August 23, September 10, October 8.
VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS. JUNE 11 9-NOON BOBOLINK MEADOW. 2ND SATURDAYS. Steward Norm Bell, parrybell@comcast.net.
JUNE 25 2-5 PM 4TH SATURDAYS. Steward Jerry Levy, sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. Darrow Bridge so of MSI pond. We are pleased that cleanup by crews and contractors has been fantastic, including control of garlic mustard.

NATURE OASIS programs are described in the Park District website. Register 312 742-4914.
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.

MOVIES IN THE PARK- 63rd Beach House.
July 12, Tuesday, dusk. JAWS. July 19, Tuesday, dusk. Barber Shop. July 26, Tuesday, dusk. BABE.

Lakeside Lawn Bowling and Chicago Croquet. Bowling green and clubhouse are southeast of the Museum and reached via driveway past 59th Harbor entrance. Lakeside Lawn Bowling Club Open House June 5 1-3 pm. Schedule Tom Michael, 708-366-8228. Croquet- Tom O’Laughlin, 773 631-1422.
JPAC facilitated union of pictures taken in 1963 at the green to Lakeside Club for its historic album project.

As the spring migration peaks, join the birders on Wooded Island! Wednesdays at 7, Saturdays at 8- meet at Darrow Bridge so. of MSI pond.

Fitness for Seniors Monday afternoons in the fieldhouse includes on June 13 Ken Chaney and his combo. 4