Advisory Council and Chicago Park District information

A service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Parks Committee and the HPKCC website, Reach us at Parks Chair Gary Ossewaarde

To Park Council Schedule page

To All Calendars and Directories


Regular dates of area park advisory councils
with contact information

Note: Kennicott and Kenwood Parks are now in the Central Region. The remaining non-Lakefront are now in the South Region. Always look at the Parks homepage as meetings are sometimes moved in or and location. We hope that Bessie Coleman park will soon have a council and Kenwood Park's revived--both will be in the Central Region.
Budget hearings- visit Budget.


Updated schedule of regular meetings. An expanded chart of status, meetings, contacts et al follows.

New councils forming: Stout Park, 5400 block of Greenwood. And Cornell Playlot north of 55th. Watch for information. home pages for parks in this website followed by their own websites; see more in


HPK by park

Cornell - 4th Monday at 6:30 at Catholic Theological Seminary, 5416 S. Cornell room 504 (sometimes 304)

Elm- 4th Tuesday at 6:30 at Nichols Fieldhouse, s12355 E. 53rd St. May 26

Harold Washington- 1st Monday at 7 at Del Prado 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd. June 1

Jackson- 2nd Monday at 7 at Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island. May 11 and June 8

Kenwood- not meeting, was 4th Wednesday

Midway- PROVISIONAL- 2nd Wednesday at 6:30 at skating warming house, center panel between University and Ellis.

Nichols- 2nd Thursday at 7 at Fieldhouse, 1355 E. 53rd St. May 14 and June 11

Spruce- 3rd Monday at 6:30 at Nichols Fieldhouse, 1355 E. 53rd St.

Stout- 1st Monday at 6:30 at Nichols Fieldhouse, 1355 E. 53rd St.

Washington (George)- 3rd Wednesday, 7? pm at Fieldhouse 5531 S. King Dr. May 20 and June 17.


Presidents (as of July 17, 2015)

Harold Washington Play Lot- Thomas Allen

Cornell Park-Norm Bell

Spruce Park -Carol Moy

Midway- Bronwyn Nichols-Lodato

Stout- Kenneth East

Nichols-Stephanie Franklin ( no email) phone 773-955-3622

Jackson- Louise McCurry

To be revised with new councils including Cornell, Harold Washington.

Monthly Date
Gwendolyn Brooks- see Kennicott     Belinda Starks
Bessie Coleman 4th Tuesday, 7 pm. Now meets with the local block club West Hyde Park Neighbors?   Peter Cassel
Dyett no regular mtgs lately, is active 513 E. 51st Street

Vinston Glover, president, 773 955-7784 or
Bobbie Townsend, 773 548-2199

312 747-6118

Jackson 2nd Monday (Tuesday following in Oct.) 7:30 pm Field House, 6401 S. Stony Island, 7:30 pm

Louise McCurry, Pres. Gary Ossewaarde, 773 947-9541. JPAC website

Supervisor Andrea Frink, interim 773 256-0903

Harold Washington Not meeting currently Jewish Community Ctr 5200 S. Hyde Park

Thomas A. Allen. Contact Lanita Ross of 5th ward, 773 324-5555.

Under Nichols, Nikki Peters

Harris Recreational Center 3nd Thursday, 6 pm. 6200 S. Drexel

Linda Austin?? , president, 312 282-7321

Gerald Washington, Supervisor. Mail to ctr. Attn: Lorraine Simmons.

Kennicott Monday after the first Thursday Kennicott Park Field House, 4344 S. Lake Park Avenue, 7 ? pm

?Shari Nichols-Sweat, president, 773 288-0844

Sup. Renee Shepherd, 312 747-7138

3rd Wednesdays St. Paul and the Redeemer, 4945 S. Dorchester- Bylesby Room or Chapel off east lot entry.

Sophia King, President.
Julie Lemon

Supervisor. Kiesha Taylor, 312 747-6286, Area Manager ?, 773 746-5962

Midway Plaisance Not meeting currently Skating Rink Warming House

David Guyer (David Guyer) (no elected officers) 773 834-4549

Dir. Rick Shaheen, 312 745-2470


2nd Thursday 7:00 pm

Nichols Park gym fieldhouse, 1355 E. 53rd St., 7 pm

Stephanie Franklin,
773 955-3622

Sup. Nikki Peters, 773 747-2703

Promontory Point Not organized, does not meet.  

Task Force is a different entity and charge: Jack Spicer (Jack Spicer), 773 324-5476

Re: park call Jackson Park Supervisor, Wm. Tillis, 773 256-0903.

South Shore Cultural Center 2nd Saturday 10:30 am (excepts October, April- tba) 7059 South Shore Drive

Edie Moore, president edie828@ya

Ctr. Dir. Andrea Adams 773 256-0149

Spruce Not meeting.  


Sup. Rick Shaheen, 312 745-2470 at Midway or Nikki Peters at Nichols 773 747-2307

Washington Park

3rd Wednesday, 7 pm Field House 5531 S. King Dr., 7 pm

Cecilia Butler, president,
773 667-4160
WPAC website

There is a Conservancy for natural areas- for contacts contact Fran Vandervoort

Fieldhouse 312 747-6823, Refectory 312 747-7618. Sup. Janie Collins





Chicago Park District has issued revised Council Guidelines. Guiding councils at CPD includes Dana Andrews, 312 742-4762.

Friends of the Parks has revised its Park Advisory Council Handbook. (ask at, 773 857-5727.)

Some matters covered in the latter include What is a PAC, Who can jon? What is the relationship to the Park District (advisory and collaborative), How to start a council and what issues should the council address, Tips on communications, Strategies (elected officials, board meetings, FOIA, FOTP connection; Funding resources and goals, getting fiscal sponsorship, seed and other grants..., and directory of resources.

Park advisory councils were established and recognized by the Park District starting about 1981-2 to advise concerning their parks. This was pursuant to settlement of a class action suit in federal court alleging discrimination against and neglect of south and west side park needs by the District. The councils are the recognized bodies representing their communities and to which the district has to listen but not necessarily agree and follow through. It is this writer's observation that those councils are most successful that are both proactive and constructive in advice and insist that they be consulted first and immediately about changes and projects. Even when a project is not deemed bad but only half-measure and partly off the mark, councils should not be afraid to say "No", then let the District come to them and negotiate until the details are right. Although their role is only advisory, they often take a leading role and have great power, in part because they are the eyes and ears and often hands in the park day after day, year after year. They should act as an asset and resource for their park (having of course done their homework) and should expect to be treated as such by the District. Actually doing things and raising funds/spending for the park and its users is not only responsible but a good source of respect from both their community and the Park District and its staff. And councils are wise to have long-range planning committees that are ready with specifics and sketches, discussed with the park supervisor and area or regional manager, park neighbors, community leaders/stakeholders, and the alderman well before the budget rounds start. And don't be shy in seeking publicity/press and holding big meetings, and being friends if possible with your alderman. Too many parks do not have active councils. Friends of the Parks provides many services, resources and training. Start by calling Maria D. Stone at 312 857-2757. The Center for Neighborhood Technology also has a Parks Alliance with resources. Contact Karen Hobbs there.

The Chicago Park District has published Guidelines (latest in 2008) for the organization and operation of councils. Please visit the CPD website, Departments, Legislative and Community, click Find Out More for links. (Copies should be available at the Region offices). Friends of the Parks also publishes a very helpful guide, newly revised. Also helpful is a park district booklet on establishing dog parks, which is really a primer on getting any facility or special arrangement for your park or for your community in your park, or a new park.

Certain park district council rules rules are very important:

Otherwise, councils largely adopt their own rules and find their own roles- as the District says they should, and they can resist District efforts at standardization, for example, with a common date for elections. Many don't find it necessary to have officers or bylaws, although if organized--especially if as a 501--and a formal request for recognition is submitted to the District, certain offices have to be filled, and in any case the contact/lead should be given to the District Outreach Manager. Only a few councils are 501 nonprofits. Councils that take in more than a few dollars are well advised to set up their own account and/or spend the money on things for their park or risk their money being "swept up" by the Park District, and to link up with a 501 fund manager such as the park district-affiliated Parkways Foundation or Friends of the Parks or their local neighborhood association or chamber of commerce.

This writer advises councils to hold at least quarterly meetings and to strive for new blood and turnover in order to remain viable.

Stephanie Franklin, President of Nichols Park, advises: regularize your proceedings and standing with the Park District, have your own bank account and be or hook up with a non-profit, and seek members-especially in a 3 block radius of the park.

Gary Ossewaarde, HPKCC Parks Committee Chairman

Chicago Park District information and meetings

(More in Parks Directory)

The Chicago Park District is headquartered at 541 North Fairbanks, 60611, 312 742-PLAY.
CEO and General Superintendent: Timothy J. Mitchell. Board of Commissioners: President Maria N. Saldana, Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs, Rev. Daniel Matos-Real, Cindy Mitchell, Robert J. Pickens, Rouhy J. Shalabi, Martin Koldyke.
See below for 2003 schedule of Park District Board of Commissioners and Committee meetings.

Governmental and Community Relations. Director: Michael Kelly; Manager of Community Outreach (including advisory councils): Robert Steele. Spokesman and press: Julian Green.

The bureaucracy can be formidable and hard to reach if you don't have the phone number. (The district is also poor at answering mail, but formal communications and requests should be in writing with request for reply. The Conference and Friends of the Parks can help with whom to contact. The e-mail for most at the District is the first name followed by a dot and (immediately after) the last Coordinating the advisory councils is Robert Steele.

Region offices. Hyde Park and Kenwood are divided into three Chicago Park District Regions.

The former Lakefront Region has been merged into the South and Central regions. They were (n-s) Burnham, Cornell, Harold Washington, and Jackson parks. Offices: Downtown hq. Lakefront Director: Alonzo Williams. 312 742-4641. Area manager south lakefront Daphne Johnson, 312 656-6717, located at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive.

The South Region offices are at Tarkington Park. 312 747-7661.
Region Manager Liz Millan. Information:. Area managers for HP-K parks are, for some A. J. Jackson and for others Gloria Beard. Park supervisors are usually assigned to and based at a park with a field house (i.e. Dyett, Midway Plaisance, and Washington) but manage a suite of other parks. Trades: ask for "Dominick."

The Central Region offices (serving parks north of 51st Street) are in Garfield Park. Region Manager Art Richardson. Area local ?


Schedule of Chicago Park District
Board of Commissioners and Committee meetings


The regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District for the Year 2004 will be held on the dates and the times listed below. Unless otherwise specified in the applicable public notice or by further public notice, the meetings will take place in the Eighth Floor Board Room of the Administration Building, 541 North Fairbanks, Chicago, Illinois 60611. All Committee Meetings will take place in the Chicago Park District Administration Building.
In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. SECTION 12101 et seq.), the Chicago Park District does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment or admission/access to programs and activities.
Any person with a disability who desires special accommodations or the services of a signer in order to attend a meeting of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners should contact the Secretary of the Office of the Commissioners, Section 504 Compliance Officer, 312-742-4686 (541 North Fairbanks, Chicago, Illinois, 60611) or telephone 312-747-2001 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Committee meetings as below, Board at 4 pm. But sometimes comm. mtgs. are before board meetings.

Administration at 10:30, Programs and Recreation 10:35, Capital Improvements, 10:40 am.

They all normally meet on Wednesday, sometimes second, sometimes third Wednesday of the month.

Gary Chico, President, Anita Voravudhi, Secretary Pro Tempore

(May's is the Annual Meeting.)


Non-downtown board meeting locations:


Directory of Resources

Chicago Park District

Community Relations, Dir. of External Affairs (also called Legislative and Community) 312 742-5366

Board- Liaison 312 742-4733

Chief Program Officer 312 742-4868

Director of Natual Resources 312 742=4116

Budget 312 742-4761

Regional Office- South 312 747-7661