Welcome to the May 2011 J.P.A.C Newsletter online

JPAC/Jackson Park home. hydepark.org home. hydepark.org parks home.

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) by OnShore Communications.



Jackson Park Advisory Council April 11, 2011 council meeting

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. a quorum being present (attendance 14).

Treasurer Dwight Powell reported a balance of 5,609.88 plus some dues/contribution checks still to be deposited. Members requested total memberships and dues and contributions so far for this year, which will be supplied. Per March meeting, JPAC purchased a microwave for the fieldhouse, being presented to staff. JPAC was informed of park’s need of a replacement fax machine. Consensus was for JPAC offer to buy; staff will be consulted. Minutes of the March meeting were distributed-accepted later in the meeting. The April newsletters, which had the minutes, were reported gone astray in mailing. (They arrived in mail boxes the next week.)

Jerome Scott, Chicago Park District Forester, described and answered questions about removal last winter of part of the dead trees on Wooded Island. This work was done by Park District crews and its regular contractor with a part done by Care of Trees (the latter donating two days of labor worth c.$10,000 with $2,400 in supplies funded by JPAC.) Scott explained what more is needed, particularly in Bobolink Woods (which is east of the East Lagoon), which has been untouched for some time. He explained that the Care of Trees did excellent work beyond what’s funded by CPD and that such limited removals fit the mission of habitat rehabilitation. Some members were concerned about the amount of removal done in parts of Wooded Island and said care should be taken to leave plenty of places and nooks for birds to use, from the ground upward. They preferred that such removal work be done other than on Wooded Island for now. Bobolink steward Norm Bell noted that the Bobolink wooded area has solid masses of material including bird-inimical honeysuckle that should go, so that a successful woodland habitat can grow. There was general agreement that Wooded Island Working Group needs to look first at what should/shouldn’t be removed on Wooded Island, that there should be a similar careful walkthough in Bobolink, and that Bobolink is the best next candidate for such work. Fran Vandervoort moved, seconded by Norm Bell that JPAC approves appropriating $2,400 toward an agreement with Care of Trees for future work, in accord with above and preview by stakeholders. Approved by majority.
CPD was thanked for repairs to the Wooded Island “Rose Garden” fence.

Workdays have commenced. Work April 3 included removal of 27 bags of trash including around and under the Darrow bridge, over to the north bridge to Wooded Island and also in Osaka Garden. There was some progress making spots uninviting as home sites and for illicit activity. Bobolink Meadow cleanup was undertaken on April 9—7 big containers of trash were removed and a quarter acre prepared for native seeding. “Living” sites were remediated to the extent possible. Problems with large puddles in the path and a broken drainage pipe were reported. Security patrols there were said to be working. Much garbage has also been removed around La Rabida, but much remains and paths and concrete there are in very bad shape. There will be an informal workday to do more there the next Sunday afternoon, with a crew from the little league baseball teams (who won a youth of the year award and were on TV.) Ziff Sistrunk took extensive photos of cleanup work and remaining problem areas. Needs, costs for workday gloves and supplies will be presented next mtg.

Security. Michael Taqee, Safety chairman, reported that the 3rd District and Park District police are keeping a close round-the-clock watch on most of the trouble spots, particularly the Island, Bobolink/driving range, and parking lots. The beach house is being taken back, but La Rabida area remains a problem. Police appreciate being kept up to date with where the troublemakers move by hour and as flushed out. Several JPAC individuals or pairs make regular circuits in different parts of the park and report damage, graffiti, and indicators of suspicious activity. The chief liaison with the 3rd District is Sgt. Chapman 312 747-8201. For park district police call Mike Brazell and his staff. Park Supervisor Tillis should be informed of problems- 773 256-0903. 311 and the ward office at 773 324-5555 provide tracking. Use 911 for emergencies or any threatening situation.

Website and e-contact are nearing rollout. McCurry asked $78.00 reimbursement for startup. Moved, 2 seconded by Vandervoort and approved. Online now: Norm Bell’s Bobolink Meadow Volunteer Website, http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm --interesting material and links, means of volunteer sign up. Available also: our traditional website and JP sections in the Park District site.

Sports and Fields, Dogs and related. The Dog-friendly and Exercise Area committee has posted invitations for interested residents to visit a candidate location and facility, at an unused court area near 59th Marina west of the Drive, Monday, April 18, 6:30 p.m. Petitions would be available. This committee meets 3rd Mondays- check the regular JPAC website for location of subsequent meetings.

The Sports and Fields Committee, Ram Nair Chairman, will meet monthly, 3rd Sundays at 2 in the fieldhouse starting April 16. They will be inviting all teams, facilities (including golf) and their stakeholders, and yacht clubs, etc. to a general committee meeting to gather wishes and concerns. They also reported they are developing rules and procedures for the to-be-refurbished track and artificial surface field including: parking planned ahead of time, captains each day including for clean up and bottle patrol, no charge for kids. It (and the other fields) must be a good place that all including kids are proud of-- as good as private fields. A major goal is to have kids take ownership and have a stewardship/service role in the park.

Petitions for naming the north bridge to Wooded Island for Nancy Hays continue to gather signatures, and letters or support are being collected. Contact garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

Condition of birds. Birders said there seem to be a lot of species- 74 on a long circuit April 10, 38 in a short circuit in the Island, including the little blue heron, rare here. (The ever-sited list is 265, 229 on the Island.)

April 30, Saturday, 2-4 p.m. Arbor Day will be celebrated with a Chicago Park District program on Wooded Island. All can learn to identify the trees and fascinating facts, and receive a sapling. Register at 312 747-4914.

Members suggested JPAC hold a festival in the summer, which could include fundraising, also for wellness programs in the park and (more of them?) in the fieldhouse. The program committee will be organized and convened. Work has starting on a survey for park users and friends and a new logo, we were told.

Vandervoort reported on the PAC Conference in March—lots of inspiration, ideas, and questions.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m. Next meetings May 9 and June 13.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary.


News, Announcements and Events

Several groups and individuals interested in a dog friendly and exercise area in Jackson Park met with the Dog Park Committee at a candidate site Monday, April 18. Attendees found the site and conditions acceptable (and not near natural areas) and reviewed rules and required procedures and responsibilities for such areas and will proceed to circulate petitions and seek community and official support.

Clean up at La Rabida weekend of April 15th uncovered a flourishing wildflower garden.

On April 21, a sunny morning, a large group of volunteers from Exelon’s MAC community service program planted 25 trees near Cornell Drive at 5900. They were given careful instruction by Park District Forester Jerome Scott and by Shawn Kingzette of Care of Trees. (There are serious “do’s and don’ts” if you want your trees to live and thrive!) The event was organized under Friends of the Parks’ Trees Initiative under Mary Eileen Sullivan. All volunteers and organizers were thanked by JPAC president Louise McCurry. The trees are grown-from-seed regional native varieties from Possibility Place. They are seasoned; 80 percent of the roots are left and surrounded by a nutrient “growing bag” that is removed with the burlap during planting.

Join the Wooded Island Birders Wednesdays at 7 am or Saturdays at 8 am. Meet at Darrow Bridge. Water, field glasses are recommended.

April 30, Saturday, 12-2 pm. Arbor Day nature program. Learn to identify the trees and more on Wooded Island. Get a sapling for your yard. Registration required at 312 742-4914.

May 7, Saturday, 9 am-noon. JPACers are invited to join CPD Forester and trained master TreeKeeper Jerome Scott in Nichols Park for a master pole saw class and mulching. Hands-on work is expected. Gloves and tools provided, or bring your own pole saw. Meet near 54th and Kenwood.
BOBOLINK. May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, ?November 12.

2nd SATURDAYS 9 am-12 p.m. is the regular miminum schedule for BOBOLINK MEADOW WORKDAYS. Please contact in advance site stewards Norm Bell and Gail Parry at parrybell@comcast.net or via the Bobolink Meadow Volunteer Website, http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm. (Lots of valuable material and information and pictures are here, including additional days or cancellations.) http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm

Tools, and gloves for those without, are provided. Appropriate clothing, water are recommended. Meet at south meadow near golf driving range.

WOODED I. May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, September 24, October 22…
4th SATURDAYS 2-5 p.m. is the regular minimun schedule for WOODED ISLAND WORKDAYS. Please contact in advance site steward Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com. Or 312 832-1616 12-5 p.m .weekdays or 773 955-6334 evenings or weekends. Tools, bags, and gloves for those without gloves are provided. Appropriate clothing, and water are recommended. Meet at Darrow Bridge (south of MSI pond- park in lot east of bridge accessed from Lake Shore Drive at 5800, veer left from Museum lot).

Jerry Levy, Wooded Island site steward, sent this encouraging message about the then-upcoming April 23 Wooded Island workday. The list of new trees and shrubs to which he refers to can be seen in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/birds/Woodedsum.htm, which also has the habitat plans and templates.
…We will be doing a general “spring cleaning” of the Natural Area, including removing trash, and last year’s dead herbaceous waste. This will allow sunlight to reach the soil, and increase native seed bank germination! Because the island is so large…we will focus our efforts on the Northwest side of Wooded Island.
There are nearly 300 new shrubs and trees in this area that were planted by the Chicago Park District over the last few years. I am happy to say that they are all alive and budding and leafing out now. It is an exciting time. Attached is a list of some of the new plantings, many of which are tagged and which you will be able to identify.
I am very much looking forward to seeing and working with you. We’ll meet at the Darrow Bridge at 2 p.m. If you have your own work gloves, I would encourage you to bring them along, but we will have some on hand. Tools and garbage bags will be provided.

Membership units for 2011 as of April 11: 39. There’s room for lots more. Dues and contributions for 2011 through April 11: $3,055.00. $250 was restricted for the Nature Trail.
We thank all who have contributed, including The University of Chicago and Hyde Park Bank.
We thank the Museum of Science and Industry for in-kind services distributing the Newsletter and Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference for in-kind services.