Welcome to the August 2015 J.P.A.C Newsletter

Volume 22, No. 8, August 2015
Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois. JPAC's fiscal agent is The Chicago Parks Foundation, a 501c3.
President is Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225, commissioner751@comcast.net.

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

The purpose of the JPAC is to provide a forum for …users of Jackson Park; to advise and make recommendations to the Chicago Park District on park improvements and programs (and create/ ensure programs); to encourage long-range planning; promote community utilization and awareness of park and program and participation in planning; and seek alternative funding sources.
Protecting Nature, Preserving History, Promoting Recreation"


August meeting agenda.

Upcoming meetings or events


Visit JPAC's official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. Find also our Facebook link there.

Contacts: JPACChicago@gmail.com, 773 357-7617; Secretary Gary Ossewaarde, 773 047-9541, President Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225.

Visit also, esp. for workdays http://www.bluestem.info/Bobolink/ and http://www.friendsofthewhitecity.org.

JPAC posts the monthly newsletter, with updates, to those who provide their email- garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.
LINKS TO NEWSLETTERS (starting from 2006) and lots of other material- (index is in http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html- whicis also the RETURN link to the Jackson Park homepage in this website with navigator to the many Jackson Park pages in hydepark.org).

It's time for membership renewal- to 2015 printable letter and form.

KEEP CURRENT at Jackson Park News and Bulletins in the hydepark.org website.

Page on the Obama Presidential Library with links.
Record of the January 12 2015 open discussion of the Library at JPAC meeting

To Army Corps Project -JPAC's information page with links including to the USACE official site.
http://www.project120chicago.org. Recent material is posted on the park Framework and 4 projects underway or provisionally proposed. See also gardenofthephoenix.org.

Running set of minutes and standing resolutions.

WHAT'S UP AT THE AUGUST 10 MEETING? (items may be added to the agenda from now until the meeting- contact Louise or Gary) Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Award of prizes in the Photography Contest
Guest speakers if any
Business - including minutes, financial, and vote to fill vacancy in the vice presidency until November elections
Reports and updates from council officers and committees, park staff, Wooded Island project,
Old and New Business. Adjournment

Upcoming meetings and events-

Saturdays 11 am White City Columbian Exposition tours. Meet east of Darrow Bridge at CPD surface lot.

Workdays- Bobolink Meadow 2nd Saturays 9-12. August 8. Meet at the south end. parrybell@ameritech.net.
Wooded Island- check with Jerry Levy as access to the Island is limited.

Pickleball Sundays at 4 at the 59th tennis courts. Lawn Bowling. Croquet. Bird walks Saturdays at 8 in the Bobolink Woods and Meadow.

August 3, Monday, dusk. Movies in the Park. Jackson, exact loc. tba. "To Kill a Mockingbird."

September 5 (not August 22) progress tour (with work project)- meet at 10 am 4th Saturdays the soutb end/bridge to the Island


July 2015 JPAC Minutes

The meeting was preceded by a potluck picnic in the Iowa Building on 56th Street. Thanks everyone. Louise supervised a picture sampler of the past year, and decorations. Parks staff, Louise, others spiffed up the site.

President Louise McCurry opened the meeting at 7 p.m. with a quorum present and a total of at least 30, including Ald. Leslie Hairston and staff, Park Supervisor Bobbie Beckam and others from the Park District, Capt. Loughran and others from the Chicago Police 3rd District, new members and visitors including from Montgomery Place Retirement Community. Attendees introduced themselves. Joining JPAC was encouraged.

Park safety matters. Captain Sean Loughran, 3rd District and Yolanda Irvin, CAPS, discussed logistics and resources and answered questions about specific locations, times, and issues including managing high traffic volumes on Hayes and its lots and at the 63rd beach, and speeding on Hayes. Members said a modern set of paths/bike trails from Stony to Lakefront via Darrow Bridge would help safety and patrol and serve park users.

Alderman Hairston has a priority to see the park used by residents, both in organized activities and in family and individual visits, and plenty of spaces suitable for picnics etc. An example of activities she sponsors or facilitates are movies (such as “to Kill a Mockingbird” August 3 behind the Museum), dancing and other Nights Out, neighborhood festivals, senior days at the harbor, and the August 30 Back to School Picnic at 63rd St. Beach. She is also working to resolve issues on types of vegetation for maximization of picnic space at 63rd.

Park Supervisor Bobbie Beckam. Summer camp has 160 kids aged 6-12, with younger in the majority. Sailing classes in the harbor and swimming classes at the beaches are doing well—they will be promoted to local youths earlier and more heavily next year.
A large number of work orders in the park have been completed. Members said we need to do more to clear and resolve repeat areas of standing water, one example being in the Marquette underpass. Members mentioned locales of blowing sand. Vacant facilities were discussed—the former harbormaster offices were fixed up and are now used by park district staff, but members want a concession, restaurant or new public use for the adjoining Coast Guard facility. Trades buildings north of the fieldhouse/south of Hayes have been vacated—opportunities for teaching, camp and other program use should be explored.
The bowling green and clubhouse have been brought up to snuff and are heavily used for croquet and lawn bowling, including by summer camp.

Nature. Only shore work and planting is planned at Bobolink Meadow. Workdays 2nd Saturdays (but July 18).

Iowa Building. Mike Dimitroff of CPD Arts Initiatives led discussion and answered questions about use of art installations such as the large heads that 10,000 Bubbles installs to enhance a space and serve to teach or to create a sense that this place is special and tended- so enjoy it and treat it well. Two such heads are being considered here. He would like more and broader publicity and public discussion about the idea.
McCurry recounted improvements recently made, such as drain and lighting work and tree and vegetation trimming, or desired such a new roof and covering the “basin”. JPAC will continue cleanups, deal with loose stone slabs that are used by kids to throw on the roof causing more holes, and is planning a shade/peace garden on the north side. Built in 1936, the building used to have beach changing, washrooms, concessions.

Business was deferred to the next meeting due to weather. Moved to adjourn c. 8:30 p.m. The next meeting is on August 10 at the fieldhouse. Members are encouraged to come a little before 7 pm for photography contest awards. Also on the agenda will be election of a vice president for remainder of this term.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M . Ossewaarde, Secretary

JPAC appreciates fast and efficient Park District response- a tree that blew down on and damaged the Dickerson Play Lot fence was attended to by Forestry et al within one hour. Thanks.

Wooded Island update
Jackson Park’s Wooded Island and lagoons have been subject since late last year of an ambitions five-year habitat restoration project, “Jackson Park Section 506 Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Project,” managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and highly esteemed contractor Applied Ecological Services. The area is fenced off. Most heavy work is now done- being finished this summer are an upgraded main roadway and restored crushed rock scenic overlooks and the nature trail around the south end of the east lagoon, shore and submerged planting, and aquatic habitat structures. Once this is done and plants have had a chance to become established undisturbed and controlled burns completed, the water will be allowed to fully level and, they hope by fall, Island access will be restored, at least to the Japanese Garden. Most of the heavy planting on the Island interior is expected be done next year, informed by this year’s growing season experience. The workmen appeared to have taken great care and caution. In accord with the joint mandate of Olmsted park historic restoration and ecological habitat, many existing mature trees have been left, including some not native to the area. The birds, especially shore/aquatic and turtles have been reported doing well.

Jerry Levy adds, “The wet fringe area all around the Island has been and is being planted and the water level is close to being at its planned level. The first introduction of fish in the form of minnows has been introduced in the lagoons to the delight of the Gulls and the Herons.”

Lauren Umek, Chicago Park District biologist and manager of the project, will lead monthly information and input tours 4th Saturdays BUT SEPT. 5, 10 a.m., from the south end of the fencing at the parking lot northeast of 63rd/Hayes Drive and Cornell Drive. Other visits can requested of Ms. Umek at lauren.umek@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

A full cache of reports, discussions and descriptions of the project, and links to official sites, can be found at http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/ACE2014.htm.

(Please note that the Darrow Bridge south of the Museum separately remains closed until it can be historically restored, not for a couple of years, unfortunately.)

The following excellent summary using releases from spring 2015 and since, was published July 22 2015 in the Hyde Park Herald.
Jackson Park restoration moving By Emma Herman, Herald Intern.

“The restoration of Jackson Park continues steadily, with the first phase of restoration complete and the second in progress. Managed by a partnership between the Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the ecological restoration aims to revitalize the park’s various habitats and populations of native species.

“The first phase, which involved the removal of dead and downed trees, the draining and clearing of the lagoon and the removal of invasive species, is complete. The second phase, the replenishment of native species, continues. According to a March project update published by the Army Corps of Engineers, the five-year project will ultimately include the planting of more than 400,000 types of trees, shrubs and grasses; the grading and stabilization of approximately eight acres of lagoon shorelines and the reintroduction of native fish communities; the paving of pathways and overlooks throughout the park and the removal and management of non-native plants.

“Fences blocking Wooded Island and Osaka Garden went up in April and the areas are still closed. They will continue to be closed until fall, in order to give newly planted seeds a chance to grow and establish root systems undisturbed. A burn to clear out any trace of invasive species is also scheduled for the fall.”


PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT AND RULES- also appended to the pdf Newsletter.