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

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/

JPAC posts the monthly newsletter, with updates, to those who provide their email- garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.

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 in the calendar section.


Jackson Park Advisory Council August 13, 2012 Council Meeting Minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 pm in the fieldhouse. A quorum was present; attendance 14. A round of introductions was done about mid meeting.
McCurry described some mid-summer activities in the park or participated in by JPAC and on conditions. These included various games and tournaments including soccer, lacrosse, croquet, lawn bowling, July 21 youth baseball, August 4 tennis, closing celebration for day camp (JPAC contributed back to school packs and walking kits (contributed by a South Shore Walgreens) and the grill we gave helped feed the group).

In light of the beautiful re-mulching a set of soft trails on Wooded Island, we invited Hyde Parker Rochelle Lodder to lead a dragonfly tour of the Island and Bobolink, a soft-launch of our nature education programming – nearly 20 attended. Both areas, and especially the replanted prairie garden in the south part of the Island, were really blooming, and the large numbers and variety of dragon- and damselflies was evidence of a healthy habitat on land and of the lagoons. (Hal Cohen called attention to his blog with a log and lots of pictures of birds and insects in the park—http://www.woodedisland.blogspot.com/.) A circuit of the main paths on the Island measure 1.6 miles. Around the south lagoon and Bobolink to near the north end of Wooded Island is another 1.9. Fran Vandervoort and the stewards continue to develop self-guided tour materials working with the park district. They reported encouraging meeting with park district nature programming staff. Vandervoort showed examples of the visuals featuring at least 10 activities along the trails. (More below on educational materials in progress by others and planning for signage.) 3 or 4 bird watching groups plus other tours occur weekly in the natural areas. The park district was planning a small family overnight camping excursion.

The park district, contractor, and volunteers have been keeping vulnerable plants watered. Water in the lagoons has been low due to the drought, and there was extensive storm damage, including downed limbs in the park—it’s being cleaned up, but will take a while here and citywide. McCurry asked that members visiting the park note down problems and report them. Concern was expressed about people parking on the grass for picnics.

Ashes were scattered and stories shared in a fine remembrance of long-time member Gerda Schild, and planning was underway for a celebration of life September 16 2 pm in Osaka Garden.

Hal and Kathy Cohen invited all to an inaugural outdoor game of “pickleball” (a modified tennis-like game friendly to seniors) for that Sunday at the 59th tennis courts.

At the harbors, dredging of channels and creation of artificial protective sandbars was continuing, and swimming lessons might be held for children.
Barry Rapoport shared a report of recommendations for cost-assessment from Gast Monuments for placing anti-settling material under the Frederick Douglass monument.

Work continued of junk removal on the LaRabida peninsula including stuff thrown over the walls, in the ornamental garden, and weeding and planting including around the harbor and Animal Bridge.

Members volunteered for the safety and security committee, which will meet at 6:45 p.m. ahead of the September 10 meeting. Various hot spots were and evidence of gangs (direct and tagging) including times were pinpointed including on Wooded Island (eyes were said needed on the south end) and 57th St. Beach. Presence of bike patrols was noted. A member asked support for acceleration of plans for a camera at the Take the Field. Third District police are committed to come to an upcoming meeting. Meantime there would be Take Back the Night/Night Out large program and hearing, including one at the Midway and Stony Island August 7.

Budget asks for the park would be submitted as part of the 2013 budget process now in progress. Consensus was to invite new South Region Manager Daphne Johnson on a park walkthrough. Members attended the park district board meetings. There we made acquaintance with a not for profit group led by Norwegians that 2 was concluding negotiations for transfer to it from the park district of the Viking ship sailed across the Atlantic to the Columbian Exposition and start of fundraising for restoration and a permanent home. The ship will need strengthening before moving, and a very large storage space with very high ceiling.

Large groups including youth from the Jewish World Federation continue to come to volunteer in the park. At LaRabida, The JWF youth did much enhancement of the beach area and the now heavily used wheelchair path at the north end; they are expected back. More groups including University of Chicago students are expected in September.

The stewards described projects in the natural areas including planting grass and forb plugs and more in Bobolink and the Wooded Island prairie garden. Replacement of lost trees and care for ailing trees was noted as important. (Jerry Levy described an injection system called Tree-Age that is effective in green ash 2-3 years before needing another application. Under consideration is application to some ash trees on the Island. Purple Martins were reported to have done well this season. The great fall bird migration would soon be in swing.

Carolyn Marsh described a National Audubon project for a brochure on birding in Jackson Park, including bird history (the park has had 317 recorded species). A box is needed, similar to that at the north end of Wooded Island for JPAC’s Wooded Island nature trail materials. JPAC offered to help supply online links. Best signage for the natural areas was discussed—those in Bobolink are quite expensive--perhaps we could start simply, Vandervoort advised, and make sure through our input that the signage is appropriate for the park. Members volunteered for a signage committee. When things are more in place, schools could be invited on tours.

Marsh also announced a press conference that week about the proposed Burnham Prairie (between the Drive and Metra from c. McCormick Place through the nature sanctuary north of 47th. His would add much more bird and wildlife friendly habitat to that in Jackson Park and present and potential in the Lake Calumet area and the greater Millennium Reserve. Also about to be announced were plans for Northerly Island.

Damage at the Take the Field was reported mostly repaired.

Minutes of the July meeting were moved by Esther Schechter, seconded by Kenny Newman and approved.

The treasurer was excused, no report.

The meeting was adjourned about 9:15 p.m. Next meeting September 10, 7:30 fieldhouse. (Safety committee meets at 6:45).

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary


Park District 2013 budget hearings at the regional level- in September? TBA

Next regular board meeting Wed. Sept. 12 4 p.m. 541 N. Fairbanks 8th fl. Or as tba. (To speak you must sign up online by 5 pm. Tuesday, or in person by 3:30 p.m.)

Sign up for a big array of park programs online or at the fieldhouse.

Workday in Bobolink Meadow- Sat. Sept. 8, 9 a.m.-noon. Meet in the meadow. Contact Norm Bell, parrybell@ameritech.net (changed email).

Workday in Wooded Island- Sat. Sept. 22, 10 am- ~1 p.m. Meet at Darrow br so. of MSI. Contact Jerry Levy, sjlevy@jeromelevy.com.

Wooded Island Bird walks with Audubon experts. Weds. at 7, Sats at 8. Meet at Darrow br. so of MSI.

The Bowling Green- lawn bowling Sundays; Tues evening. Croquet Saturdays, Wed evenings

We want the tennis areas used and with plenty of eyes- 59th by the 59th marina, 63rd and Cornell.

If you see something, report it to Contact us in chicagoparkdistrict.com, park 773 256-0903 or police.

Jerry Levy passes along links to the completed tree survey of Wooded Island, conducted by Openlands and our volunteers. http://openlands.org/openlands_gis/html/Community_Greening/TreeInventories/Jackson_Park/WoodedIsland_TreeInventory_Genus_.html. Follow the instructions above the legend to utilize the map features.

What is pickleball? Might it lead to more things for seniors to do in the park?
This racquet sport has been around a number of years, especially in the West and Mountain states, especially for seniors- it's low-impact and can substitute for tennis. It is slower, with the ball going at a third the speed of tennis, and is easily learned. The tennis courts are lined at 1/3 the depth. It's played with a kind of paddle and wiffle ball, which can be ordered at low cost from one or more firms in Seattle. A little under 20 people tried out in the 59th tennis courts August 19 (possibly the first outdoors in Chicago parks), and Hal Cohen and wife will be there additional Sundays. JPAC has been thinking of additional activities for seniors in the park such as fitness stations or trails. Meanwhile, there are tennis courts, loads of trails, exercises in the fieldhouse, golf, and the bowling green games.