Welcome to J.P.A.C. Newsletter online June 2012 issue - Vol. 19, no. 6

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

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

Visit JPAC's new official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. Find Facebook link there.
Visit also http://www.bluestem.info/Bobolink/

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

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

Look for Jackson and other Hyde Park-Kenwood park announcements in the Hyde Park Herald- In the Parks box.

Promontory Drive is accessed off Marquette Drive at the signal light between Jeffery/Lake Shore Drive and South Shore Drive.

Jackson Park Advisory Council May 14, 2012 Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the fieldhouse. 11 were present. Minutes of March and April were moved by Fran Vandervoort with 2nd by Elizabeth Wyman and approved.

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported end-of-April balance of $5,150.87.

Activities and needs Report (McCurry and others). At the Composting workshop May 5, Ken Dunn described different best practices for backyards all the way to urban farms, tying composting to the carbon and water cycles and a self-sustaining soil. Soil is a very thin, fragile, and easily lost living resource of the planet. Life and food supplies depend on healthy soils, which in turn depend on the actions of tiny to giant organisms. Usable carbon, water and nitrogen are vital to life and to usable soil. Dunn’s raised bed farms have a symbiotic business relationship with some of Chicago’s finest restaurants.

Vandervoort moved, 2nded by Ken Newman a $150 honorarium to Dunn. Approved. Park Supervisor Bill Tillis was thanked for providing tables etc.
The program, held at the ‘Iowa’ building, is part of a suite of programs and stewardship intended to ensure positive usage of this building and park part and to encourage enough low-key usage to ensure police are watching. Discussed was further improvement to the building and need to consult with nearby residents on what they might and might not want there. One idea was a seniors wellness activities path. Another was as a center for nature talks and hikes—another such center being the Music Court behind the Museum.

April 26, over 80 volunteers recruited by Chicago’s tourism bureau and hospitality industry were trolleyed to the park and divided into teams that picked up trash, planted trees and plant plugs, and mulched in several parts of the park. Some of the hardest work was on the LaRabida peninsula removing roots from walls and rocks and moving dead trees (including beaver-killed) and beach glass and garbage, to be picked up by trucks.

We received a communication from Park District staff regarding having kayaks brought in that volunteer clean-up teams would use. Consensus was to decline over concerns about liability and that there are already persons contracted to remove debris from the lagoons.

A Lakefront Trail meeting was hosted at the fieldhouse, organized by Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago Area Runners Association and Friends of the Parks. Attendees described and marked on maps what works and doesn’t, from standards to conflicts between bikers, hikers/runners and autos, to maintenance. The council will submit a position letter on bike courtesy, having sufficient and separated walking paths, and repair of poor trails. McCurry noted progress on ticketing those who illegally fill free lots by LaRabida.

The Friends of the Parks Earth Day cleanup along beaches and harbors was very successful.

Sports: JPAC’s sports fields use and conditions committee has a new chair, Aaron Stephens. Meetings will start out on 3rd Mondays (May 21 at the house of Dwight Powell). Other members include Powell and Gerald Morgan, a new member studying at Moraine Valley who will do his community service with us. Stephens showed pictures showing other parks, such as Portage that have fields with better conditions and amenities. The council by consensus affirmed that we will seek to keep or acquire fields that are first class and where kids are safe. Team and volunteer cleanup patrols were suggested for actively used fields. Newman relayed that coaches are asking for bleachers for the west side of the Take the Field track and field; petitions were suggested. The soccer part of Take the Field has very high demand for usage- especially for exclusive-use times. Some groups are not submitting schedules and then notifying the fieldhouse when they are there (and who), or following posted schedules or applicable rules including for fees and permits (required for major events). Consensus was for JPAC to send user groups and teams a reminder letter that they should inform the fieldhouse of use requests and comply with rules. Other problems: parents parking on the grass for games; soccer area was undersized; washrooms—not open until late spring, and opening
them on a case by case basis leads to having to arrange maintenance as many are very careless; lights- objections to policy of on only on for paid events; there is not yet a fluff-up machine for the turf surface.

Work around LaRabida and the Promontory Circle will continue on Sunday afternoons.
Cleanup and repairs are needed at and around the Bowling Green clubhouse.
Possibility of scout activities and help in the park continue to be explored with commanders.
Stated was need for more volunteer teams to help patrol and clean “back areas” of the park.
Powell will get to Ossewaarde a form (with thanks) that workday and other committees can give to volunteers noting their volunteer/community hours. Teams should keep a record of hours.

Park and Program- Bill Tillis, Supervisor. Sign up for sports has picked up well. The summer camp fee of $235 is half waived for those who qualify for the school free lunch. Moved by Ossewaarde with 2nd by Powell to again this year get or buy 200 back-to-school backpacks to the day campers.
A guest from Grand Crossing Park shared information and strategies for good parks.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm. Next meeting [addendum- at Jackson Park Yacht Club.]
Respectfully submitted,
Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


JPAC applauds the long and caring service of retiring South Region Manager Liz Millan. Anyone wishing to attend her retirement party should contact Mr. Tillis at the fieldhouse. Liz’s successor was not announced as of press time.

Summer Day Camp runs June 25-August 3rd. Find out what’s offered in the PD website, http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. Fieldhouse 773 256-0903. Scholarship aid is available. Applicants must provide proof of participation in the Illinois Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Applicants who do not participate in the school lunch program can prove eligibility by providing income verification (i.e., 2012 recent pay stubs for last 30 days, AFDC / TANF case #, a copy of a recent IRS 1040 form). All information submitted is confidential. Apply at the park through June 11. More information: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolesberry.

JPAC is pleased to continue our relationship with the yacht clubs. Jackson Park club especially has an ambitious stewardship and community program and wants to share ideas at the June 11 JPAC meeting – thanks for the invite to their clubhouse! Some of the clubs also have teamed up with Ald. Hairston’s 5th Ward office for senior’s outings (773 324-5555 for information. The Outer Harbor hosts the Sea Scouts, which teams up with schools- for information call R. Snow at 773 324-8645.

A half-marathon will take place in Jackson and adjoining parks the morning of Saturday June 9 morning from So Sh Cultural Ctr through Jackson Park Hayes Dr. For information, contact the 5th Ward Office, 773 324-5555. Some Street closures; parking will be scarce.

Bobolink Meadow workday June 9, 9-noon. Park in the tennis court lot and meet at the north entrance to the Meadow. Contact Norm Bell, parrybell@comcast.net.

Wooded Island workday Saturday, June 23. Meet at the Darrow bridge. sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bird Walks are a wonderful outing. Wednesdays at 7, Saturdays at 8. Meet at the Darrow bridge.

And so are croquet (tolaughlin@hotmail.com) and lawn bowling (bigguylor@comcast.net).
June 10, Sunday, 1-3 pm. Open House Lawn Bowling at the Jackson Park Bowling Green. Turn off Lake Shore Drive on Science Drive (5800 S.)- turn left again past the 59th Harbor. Please wear flat soled shoes. http://lakesidelawnbowling.webs.com.

Thursday, June 14 at 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm - Friends of the Parks' Walter Netsch Lecture Series: The City in the Garden: A Photographic History of Chicago's Parks, Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Auditorium 78 E. Washington.
Author and historian Julia Bachrach will discuss the history of Chicago's motto: Urbs in Horto through a narrative and photo documentary taken from her newly released book on Chicago parks. The audience will learn the fascinating history of Chicago's historic lakefront, regional and neighborhood parks as well as some of the treasures that exist within them. Free.

Youth track club to train in Jackson Park. The Chicago Track Club, part of World Sports Chicago Summer Program, again is training kids 5-14 through August at the Take the Field track at 62nd and Stony Island. (Some kids and adults outside that age group may also quality. The teams compete around the city and meet Olympic athletes. Free. Workouts are Mondays and Wednesdays 5-7 p.m. Info: http://www.chicagotrackclub.com or 312-243-3335.

Chicago Marathon training is also available in the park from Chicago Area Runners Association. Generally it will take place in/from the LaRabida parking lot starting June 9. For information visit http://www.cararuns.org.