Welcome to the March 2012 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online

Jackson Park/JPAC homepage (http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html).
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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 our new official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org.

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 OnShore Communications.



Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting of February 13, 2012

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. at LaRabida Children’s Hospital; 15 present (11 members).

LaRabida staff led a tour that included the current outpatient building, and graphics and memorabilia of the site and its use as a medical center since the end of the Columbian Exposition. Mission, patient profile, and facilities have changed over the years. The Hospital works to make all patients and their families feel at home and be readied for home care. Facilities are made to not seem a “hospital” but a resort with a nautical theme and views from inside in keeping with its location on the harbors and Lake Michigan shoreline. It was apparent to all that the present outpatient building, the oldest on the campus, needs to be repurposed and a new outpatient facility built to meet 21st century needs and codes. Staff was thanked.

LaRabida and VOA Architects held a presentation and Q and A on the Project. The new building will be low, one story, and enhance rather than obstruct views and lakefront access. Outside will be a new healing garden. The project will be green (LEED-certified). There will be a balance between security needs and aesthetics, using shrubbery where possible rather than fences—a landscape architect is on board from U of I Extension. A few trees, almost all dead or invasives, will be removed. The current playground, unserviceable to the kinds of patients served by the hospital, will be made available and relocated in the park. After meeting with the boaters et al, they expect start in the summer and finish the new building in May 2013, with the old inpatient building work finished in fall of 2014. There will not be additional patient load or parking. The team was asked to give an update in a few months. No disagreement was expressed with the project or the recommendation of the president that JPAC send the city, park district, and alderman a letter expressing JPAC’s approval. LaRabida staff offered its welcome to host JPAC meetings as desired.

Minutes of the January meeting were approved at the end of the meeting, with caveat that the mentioned destroyed bushes were near LaRabida but not destroyed “by” LaRabida.

In the treasurer’s absence, no report was available.

Logistics were discussed for the February 18 Small Tool Workshop. Fran Vandervoort moved and Norm Bell seconded $100 in reimbursements for the instructor and for supplies. Approved. Vandervoort distributed some of our new JPAC bookmarks and put in a plea for attending the Hyde Park Historical Society dinner which would honor, among others, Victoria Ranney, who did much to honor the history and ecological importance of Jackson Park in the 1970s and ‘80s, to protect Olmsted parks, and authored Olmsted in Chicago. Members were encouraged to attend the February 25 PAC Advocacy and Best Practices Conference at South Shore Cultural Center. Fran is in charge of the poster sessions.

President McCurry reported that a safety and aesthetics tour of the park was conducted; corrections were made, including removal of most graffiti.

Jerry Levy reported on a fundraising soiree held by Friends of the Japanese Garden. Jerry Levy and Gary Ossewaarde attended. Robert Karr gave a fine illustrated talk, with many little-known details on and pictures of the history of Jackson Park and its Japanese gardens, temples, and tea houses at and since the Columbian Exposition, and connections with Japan and especially Osaka. The Japanese Counsel-General of Chicago also gave a fine talk. (Visit http://www.friendsofthejapanesegarden.org.) This year is a special anniversary of the planting of Japanese cherry trees in Washington D.C., which will be honored with a postage stamp. The group intends to revive the Japanese Festivals held in the park in past years, hopefully starting this year. The event raised money to plant a second set of cherry trees in a part of the lawn outside the Osaka Garden. Jerry Levy received consent from the JPAC president between meetings to register, with half to be reimbursed as a JPAC contribution toward trees. Moved, seconded and approved to so contribute and reimburse Levy $62.50.

Levy and McCurry reported extensive continued tree and shrub damage from beavers, including in the Garden. Better tree guards have been and will be emplaced. Replacement plants will not include serviceberry for now. Efforts relocating beavers from the park continue.

Bobolink Meadow. Norm Bell and Gail Perry reported that contractor Pizzo has been very busy, including with woody debris and along the lagoon edge. Paths were raised/rebuilt prior to new topsoil and plantings expected there. A new informational sign was installed-- the nature committee recommended this as the model for the natural areas (costs are being tracked down). Grasses were seeded, and 10,000 plus wildflower plugs are coming after an expected burn. Ossewaarde noted a compliment about work in the meadow, made by a member who is a highly respected site steward in a nearby park. Bell and Levy reported that a comprehensive plan with timetable for both Bobolink and Wooded Island continues to evolve and be implemented.

Nature committee members noted that a new steward is needed for the lakeshore area from south of 63rd up to the 57th St. beach. Norm Bell will discuss the matter with CPD Natural Resources. Also, at least parts of the Promontory Circle sector are taking on characteristics of natural areas and improved with more than normal park landscaping. McCurry is coordinating there.

Workday schedules were discussed including modifications from last year’s. Work should start in March.

McCurry said she will be coordinating some park activities for Montgomery Place residents.

Playground assessment: Judith Hill and Dick Dervin reported they not only surveyed the equipment and compared with standards but compared to other playgrounds in the surrounding neighborhoods and will issue a full report. Main problems with safety and appearance were rotted wood, rough and de-painted surfaces, some rickety ramps, jagged and sharp edges and points, graffiti, and lack of posted regulations. While none is in disastrous condition, that at 64th and Stony Island is recommended for first attention.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 pm. The March meeting returns to the fieldhouse, 6401 Stony I, March 12.
Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

We are going to do an inventory of all the trees on Wooded Island on 4 Saturdays. The dates are MARCH 10th and 24th, APRIL14th and 21st. We will be doing our thing starting at 10:00 until 2:00 or until whatever time anyone can work. We will work in teams with an experienced person in each team, so there's no need of your having any expertise. Each of these Saturdays we will meet at the Darrow bridge at 10:00 and spend some time talking about what we'll do. We have a number of GPSs and tapes for identifying the location and measuring the diameters of the trees. We could really use your help for even one but for as many of the days as you can. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WILL BE THERE. Email Jerry at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

THANKS FOR EVERYONE’S HELP at the small garden tool care workshop! A fun and informative time was had with instructor Don. The next, on landscaping and composting, is tent. Set for April 28 afternoon

(Tree Survey preempts March workdays in WI; check with Norm Bell about Bobolink March 10 and April 14.)

Bobolink- 2nd Saturdays am’s- ask for start, information and sign up from parrybell@comcast.net.

Wooded I- 4th Saturdays- changed to mornings, starts April 28. Starts from Darrow Bridge south of the MSI basin. Info, sign up: sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

EARTH DAY: sign up to participate in or captain for April 21 am Friends of the Parks/Exelon activities at http://www.earthdaychicago.com. As of early March Jackson Park was not listed as an official site, but note the Wooded Island Tree Survey- sign up for that with Jerry Levy.

ANNUAL MARCH 13 CLARENCE DARROW WATCH/SPEECHES/ FLOWERS TOSS; LECTURE. Convene with neighbors at Darrow Bridge at 10. Later attend a lecture about Gov. John Peter Altgeld with refreshments in Museum of Science and Industry—and stay for great new exhibits including Blacks in Energy, thru April 3.

PARK WALKS: Birding! Wednesdays at 7 am, Saturdays at 8 am from Darrow Bridge south of MSI.
Select monthly sunrise and sunset walks from c. 58th/ LSD. http://www.passitonchicago.org.