Welcome to the March 2014 JPAC Newsletter online

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

JPAC posts the monthly newsletter, with updates, to those who provide their email- garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.
LINKS TO NEWSLETTERS (starting in 2006)- (http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html)

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 (archive section Hyde Park Record) 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 in the calendar section.


From Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary. February 24, 2014

Dear members and friends of Jackson Park Advisory Council:

March JPAC Newsletter is attached. Here: March meeting changes; Darrow Bridge update; Hays bridge dedication set.

This is notice that the March meeting will be at a special time and location—March 10, Monday, 7 p.m. (a half hour earlier), at Montgomery Place Retirement home, east room, 5550 South Shore Drive.
Presentation on the Viking Ship at the Fair; Ray Johnson (http://www.FriendsoftheWhiteCity.org) will talk on the Icehouse and rink at the Columbian Exposition, our web upgrades, and a family activity to celebrate the Fair. This will inaugurate our 2014 lecture and workshop series.
Abbreviated updates and reports will include our lecture-workshop-workday schedules, changes to our web and social media presence, including delivery of notices and the newsletter that could require changes to the bylaws. Also chance for community discussion on such issues as the "Iowa Building."

Darrow Bridge- we have an online petition and have reached out to and received support from many officials, agencies, and organizations. But no timetable and funding have yet been announced concerning restoring cut access in the park and to Wooded Island or historic restoration of the bridge. Petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/chicago-department-of-transportation-and-illinois-department-of-transportation-and-chicago-mayor-rahm-emanuel-and-illinois-governor-we-the-undersigned-request-that-cdot-idot-request-emergency-funds-to-quickly-repair-and-re-open-the-historic-clarence-d.
A SIMPLER ADDRESS IS http://tinyurl.com/RepairDarrowBridge.

Be sure to join JPAC and the Chicago Park District March 15, Saturday, 2 p.m. to dedicate the north bridge onto Wooded Island as Nancy Hays Bridge. Dedication will be at the bridge or near Darrow Bridge. Note there is not expected to be access from the east parking via Darrow Bridge to the Hays bridge.

See more events at the end of the Newsletter, including March 13 Clarence Darrow celebration and March 29 Parks Advocacy Conference.

Finally, we wish to congratulate Cathy Breitenbach on her promotion and assumption of new duties within the Chicago Park District and Cassandra J. Francis upon her selection as the new president of Friends of the Parks.

Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


Council meeting minutes. Announcements including March 10 MEETING CHANGED location-time-and special talk, March 15 dedication of the Nancy Hays Bridge.

Closure of the Darrow Bridge has cut access in the park, especially from parking to Wooded Island, and called attention to the long standing need to repair and restoration the historic bridge. Funding has not yet been identified. Find our petition at either http://tinyurl.com/RepairDarrowBridge or

February 10, 2014 JPAC Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the fieldhouse. Minutes were moved by Kenny Newman and approved. The treasurer was excused. Bank balance was $4,349.67.

President’s report. The Darrow Bridge is the main matter now, and it’s urgent. The bridge needs both repair consistent with its being an historic, pre-Fair structure and to restore (if necessary before major work begins) the access it affords (including for workdays) from parking east of the bridge to Wooded Island and the Japanese Garden and access between east and west parts of the park. McCurry reviewed discussions and help from government agencies and elected officials, a petition being circulated (and which would soon also be online in Change.org), and requests to organizations for letters of support. Urged was that our members help circulate petitions. We received communication from Project 120 emphasizing that the restoration be historic. Z
JPAC members attended a fine dedication for the LaRabida outpatient facility February 10, with large attendance from officials, who indicated their support and help on the Darrow Bridge.

Changes to the Golf Driving Range are under consideration by the Park District and Billy Casper management. We need to be ready with input if there are changes to boundaries or land use.

Friends of the Parks informed us that Exelon will again sponsor an (April?) workday replacing trees lost over the years; recommended was the area between Cornell Drive and the north end of the west lagoon.

Jackson Park is at the head of the list for playground replacement this spring- the Chrysalis lot on 56th St. and the playlot at the fieldhouse. Thanks to Chicago Plays! and to support and input from community and officials.

JPAC commended the Park District on plowing the roads and paths during this heavy-snowfall winter.

Park and Fieldhouse. Pierre Nealon, recreational leader, reported on a large and increasing spectrum of sports and increasing sign up. In several of these, Jackson Park teams or individuals consistently win the regions and go on to compete or win city-wide. Spring is the busiest time. Sports include wrestling, inner city basketball and Windy City Hoops (tournament is March 28), tumbling, track, baseball, softball, volleyball, 1-on-7 football, cheerleading. Recruiting and keeping girls remains a problem. We lack equipment to provide gymnastics. More adults are participating in the fitness center, but new and replacement equipment is needed. The most serious need is for replenishment of the gym floor surface. The Take the Field needs work including the surface, and a new sand pit board. A storage locker there is said to be coming. JPAC will look into the status of WI-FI –the company is reported to claim they came but the fieldhouse was closed.
JPAC applauded the entire staff, including Supervisor Bobbie Beckam.

The re-named Nancy Hays bridge (at north end of Wooded Island) will be dedicated Sat. March 15 2 p.m.
Army Corps of Engineers lagoon and other conservation work first phase is expected to start this summer. First work includes the fishing beach on the west side of the inner harbor by Richards Drive. (JPAC will again be doing some cleanup around the inner harbor this spring.) Project 120/Phoenix Garden will pay for independent third-party review (including experts in Olmsted park landscaping) of the plans and project. All expect frequent meetings and transparency.

Membership- building and services. Members were encouraged to contribute (2014 “dues). Ray Johnson and others are working on updating an expanding our web and social media presence including a blog and sending our newsletter and bulletins mostly electronically.
JPAC will apply for Friends of the Parks seed grant money to help fund a run through the park, using stations corresponding to the main buildings and sites of the Columbian Exposition. For the Friends’ Park Advocacy Conference March 29 at South Shore Cultural Center (all urged to attend), JPAC will prepare posters about the park and Darrow Bridge and be involved in workshops.
Activities and talks are being planned for nearly every month, at regular meetings or specials. Topics under consideration are the Fair (March 10), gardening/planting, native wildlife including coyotes—problem or not? Bobolink- it’s plantings and grasses, story of the Viking Ship, harvesting and preserving foods for winter.

Louise summarized actions and tasks: Darrow Bridge including petitions, FOTP seed grant and run in the park, poster work for March 29 conference, March 15 Hays bridge dedication, and April tree workday.

Adjournment. Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary


The March 10 meeting WILL BE AT 7 PM AT MONTGOMERY PLACE, 5550 S. South Shore Dr. It will feature a presentation on the Viking Ship sailed to the Fair. Ray Johnson. Ray Johnson (http://www.FriendsoftheWhiteCity.org) will talk on the Icehouse and rink at the Columbian Exposition, our website changes, and a family activity to celebrate the Fair. This will inaugurate our 2014 lecture and workshop series. Abbreviated reports will include status of the Darrow Bridge and, our lecture-workshop-workday schedule, plans for the Nancy Hays bridge dedication, and changes to web and media presence including delivery of the Newsletter and notices—possibly needing bylaw changes. And community discussion of issues such as the "Iowa Building."

March 13, Thursday, 10 am. Annual Clarence Darrow Commemorative Wreath Toss and speeches at east side (parking lot) of Darrow Bridge and talk in the Museum on a subject dear to Darrow- this year by Robert Burns (Northwestern U) on saving the American court trial. In addition, a special unique aspect of this year's event will be several dozen Darrow-related items from the collection of the late actor Leslie Nielsen, courtesy of his widow Barbaree Earl. Visit http://www.darrowbridge.org.

March 13, Thursday, 12:15 pm. Friends of the Parks Walter Netsch Lecture Series. Chicago Cultural Center 2nd floor Claudia Cassidy Auditorium, 78 E. Washington. Free. Bob Karr of Project 120, Garden of the Phoenix, and Japan America Society of Chicago talks on the Garden of the Phoenix (i.e. was Osaka) in Jackson Park, reflecting upon 120 years of U.S.-Japanese relations in Chicago.

UPDATE- MAY BE CHANGED DUE TO WEATHER: March 15, Saturday, 2 pm. JPAC invites you to the Dedication of the Nancy Hays Bridge and celebration of its naming as Nancy Hays bridge, the north bridge to Wooded Island at approx. 5900 S.- or may be ats teh Darrow Bridge. Be aware that access from the surface lot via Darrow Bridge may be closed.

March 29, Saturday, 9 am-2 pm. Friends of the Parks annual Park Advocacy Conference. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive. reserve- stonem@fotp.org. JPAC will be a major participant. A wide range of new topics.
April ? Tree planting workday with Friends of the Parks and Exelon.
And the re-start of our Wooded Island and Bobolink and other workdays.

JPAC’S PETITION ON THE DARROW BRIDGE- REOPENING OF ACCESS IN THE PARK AND RESTORATION OF THE BRIDGE- CAN BE FOUND EITHER AT http://www.tinyurl.com/RepairDarrowBridge or IN CHANGE.ORG AT https://www.change.org/petitions/chicago-department-of-transportation-and-illinois-department-of-transportation-and-chicago-mayor-rahm-emanuel-and-illinois-governor-we-the-undersigned-request-that-cdot-idot-request-emergency-funds-to-quickly-repair-and-re-open-the-historic-clarence-d