Welcome to the April 2010 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online

Volume 17, No. 3. Editor Gary Ossewaarde

JPAC/Jackson Park home. www.hydepark.org Parks Home. www.hydepark.org home


Front page (April agenda- but see additional flyer in pdf, contents, vitae, announcements)
p. 2 Announcement of April 17 lecture by Greg Mueller. Flyer in pdf
March minutes


April 17, Saturday, 2 pm. Greg Mueller, “The Fungus Among Us” an illustrated lecture about the vital role of mushrooms and other fungi in natural areas and human-dominated landscapes, including Hyde Park and Jackson Park. 5710 S. Woodlawn. Organized by JPAC, Hyde Park Historical Society and cosponsored by University of Chicago Civic Knowledge Project.

The Chicago region is an outstanding natural laboratory for studying the natural area -- human dominated landscape mosaic that now makes up most of the world. Mushrooms and other fungi play vital roles in forests and grasslands in addition to being culinary delights. They also can be used to help assess the health of these systems and the impact of management practices that are being employed to maintain them.

Dr. Gregory M. Mueller received his B.A. and M.S. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His research and teaching activities focus on the systematics, diversity, biogeography, ecology, and conservation of macrofungi, especially fungi that form ectomycorrhizas. He undertook postdoctoral work at Uppsala University in Sweden and at the University of Washington in Seattle before joining the staff at Field Museum of Natural History in 1985 as curator of fungi in the Department of Botany. In January 2009, Greg joined the staff at the Chicago Botanic Garden as Vice President for Science and Academic Programs. He is an adjunct faculty member at University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University. In addition to working on northern Illinois and northwest Indiana fungi, Greg has carried out extensive fieldwork throughout Central and South America, parts of Europe, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. He is author of six books/book length volumes and nearly 100 journal articles. Greg is Chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission, Specialist Group on Basidiomycetes (mushrooms, puffballs, and relatives); a member of the Science Advisory Council for the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; and is past President of the Mycological Society of America.

Jackson Park Advisory Council meeting minutes, March 8, 2010

Fran Vandervoort convened the meeting. A quorum was not present, precluding elections. Agenda and minutes of the December meeting were received. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported on the fund balance and that annual dues and gifts were received (thanks to all). Major expenditures have been $2,400 to Care of Trees and $200 to Friends of the Parks, our fiscal agent.

Fran Vandervoort said there will be three volunteer workdays in April- the 10th, 17th (also Earth Day), and 24th, meeting at the Darrow Bridge at 10 am. They are normally 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Call Ross at 773 486-0505.

Bird walks are resuming informally on Saturdays, but Doug Anderson is unable to lead them due to health issues.

Care of Trees has carried out its contracted cutting and removal work in Wooded Island (to which JPAC contributed) and the Park District expects to do more work this spring including fill-in plantings for a strong ecosystem.

Members were encouraged to attend the March 27 care of parks conference at South Shore Cultural Center, 9:30-12. Requested was RSVP to 312 742-4762 or 312 857-2757 x 17, including for exemption from the parking fee.

Members were also encouraged to invite their friends to a special lecture April 17 that JPAC and others have arranged by Greg Mueller, University of Chicago on what grows underfoot and why it matters to parks and people- see at top.

We are waiting to see what plantings survived the winter on the 63rd Street beach dune restoration area. More planting is expected, with a workday, this spring. Vandervoort said we are waiting to hear what steps will be taken to protect the new area from crowds, such as at July 3 fireworks, and how the wetland swale will work.

Bill Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported that a new state of the art “kid safe” playground will be installed this spring southeast of 63rd St. Bathing Pavilion. It will have a nautical theme. Vandervoort said JPAC needs to see the plans and have a copy. Track and field, the most popular park program, serving 100 or more kids, starts. It is free. Day camp sign up lags, but an increased number of partial scholarships will be available (and promoted in the schools) thanks to the Parkways Foundation. Mr. Tillis said he is confident that no child need be turned away for lack of funds.

Eastern Star organization is funding an Easter Egg Hunt for camp kids and families in the park. JPAC is grateful.

Parking meters are installed in most parts of the park. Members expressed concern and JPAC will seek updates.

All are encouraged to view the spectacular murals/mosaics installed in Lake Shore Drive underpasses at 57th.

JPAC will ask about status of the Museum of Science and Industry plans for remake of its west parking lot and drainage configuration and Park District plans for subsequent upgrades to walks.

Dates coming up: March 13 annual Darrow convening and symposium, March 27 conference (see above), workdays, April 17 lecture (see above), Friends of the Parks Ball April 9 at South Shore Cultural Center. [Friends Of Osaka Garden since announced a workday Saturday April 17 at 10 am to include lagoon-edge protective stones installation.]

The meeting was adjourned. Next meeting April 12, 7:30, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary