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Welcome to the December 2009 J.P.A.C. Newsletter

Produced by Jackson Park Advisory Council, recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District.
JPAC homepage

Editor: Gary Ossewaarde

Hosted in hydepark.org, website of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. hpkcc@aol.com. Administrator George Rumsey.

Host Onshore Communications

JPAC Ross Petersen, President, 773 486-0505

Jackson Park Advisory Council meets monthly 2nd Mondays at the park fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.


Frontpage. Not available. Contents: December 14, 2009 meeting agenda, Issue index, Announcements, Vitae and contacts
Announcements include that Volunteer Workdays are done for the season and informal birdwalks continue through New Years.

November 9, 2009 JPAC Meeting Minutes, featuring the Care of Trees project (FOLLOWING THAT IS A LETTER SENT TO THE HERALD THAT IS MORE CLEAR ON THE CARE OF TREES PROJECT.)
Of Interest: Viking ship


November 9, 2009

Jackson Park Advisory Council November 09 2009 Meeting Minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Minutes of the October meeting were accepted.

Nature Committee report, Care of Trees project. Ross Petersen introduced a major offer of equipment and labor, valued at about $10,000 from Care of Trees for work in conjunction with the Chicago Park District on Wooded Island and areas south of the Island and lagoons. The project entails clearing selected downed trees and growth from around oaks and desired oak saplings to preserve the oak savanna character. (The persistence of oak sapling growth was noted as an indicator of healthy environment for the oaks.) Most of the living material to be removed is ailanthus (“Tree of Heaven”). Full scope of work and contract was furnished in advance to the park district and the council by Shawn Kingzette of Care of Trees. The project was subsequently approved by the Chicago Park District and a walk through on specifics scheduled. Contributing to the discussion was Chicago Park District Forester Jerome Scott.

Pursuant to discussion, Petersen moved and Fran Vandervoort seconded the following resolution:
“Whereas, specific clearing is needed on and near Wooded Island to preserve the historic oak savanna character, and whereas, Care of Trees has offered to furnish equipment and labor for work this winter (weather permitting) in its sector of the project area, with the park district working in the other,
“Therefore, be it resolved that Jackson Park advisory Council supports the proposed project and expresses its thanks and appreciation to Care of Trees for its generous gift and to the Chicago Park District.
Furthermore, JPAC appropriates $2,400 to cover specified costs beyond that covered by Care of Trees and authorizes signing of necessary contracts.” Following discussion, the resolution was unanimously approved.

Petersen also announced that as part of the 63rd beach peninsula reconstruction project funded by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Park District, the CPD Department of Natural Resources recruited a large volunteer brigade to plant marram grass on beach fore-dune November 14. A large part of the brigade was secured by the University of Chicago Community Service Center. Petersen announced that Paul Grabowski, a U of C student, will serve as nature area steward for the 63rd Street Beach.

Petersen reported that Wooded Island Volunteer Workdays are done for the season.

Financial report and business. Dwight Powell, Treasurer, gave a financial report, which was accepted. Among gifts gratefully acknowledged is one from State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie in memory of her husband, and another from her in memory of Brian Ossewaarde, brother of Gary Ossewaarde. Consensus was that JPAC will ask that memorial trees be sought and planted in the park next year in honor of these and other such remembrances.

Petersen moved, 2nd by Powell, that JPAC appropriate a total of $300 to Friends of the Parks to cover the fee for the latter’s fiscal agent services to JPAC and to renew JPAC’s membership in FOTP, with the remainder in appreciation.

Letters seeking renewals and contributions will be sent this year so JPAC will be ready to support needed projects.

Other business: A committee led by Fran Vandervoort continues to plan a nature topics public lecture series.

The council will look into reports of serious criminal incidents and of “camp sites” in the park and what might be done.

The Chicago Park District holds its final budget hearing Wednesday, December 2, 4 pm, at 541 N. Fairbanks Ct., 8th floor. JPAC concerns: rising prices and falling enrollment in park programs and unfilled fieldhouse positions.

Distributed to interested parties were a survey from Friends of the Parks on ways they could help councils and their report on an assembly of councils they held in November (attended by JPAC officers) with the CPD budget director and addressing other subjects.

Desire was expressed that the council not convene in January or February, so the consensus was to open nominations and elect officers at the December meeting, to ensure continuity until March.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting Monday, December 14, 7:30 pm, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

OF INTEREST: Landmarks Illinois’ Cornerstone reports that the replica Viking ship Gokstad that was sailed to the Columbian Exposition has been re-sheltered, re-supported and given repair stabilization in Geneva, IL’s Good Templar Park by Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley. The ship placed 2nd in a 2007 public voting grant challenge by Chicagoland Partners in Preservation/National Trust/American Express and the restoration won a Driehaus Award in 2009 from Landmarks Illinois. For more information visit http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac/jphistoryandfair.htm.


[The following letter was sent to the Herald at the end of November and is more clear.

The Jackson Park Advisory Council (JPAC) is pleased to announce that we have received a very generous gift of a service contract worth $10,000 from the firm, The Care of Trees. The work they are donating involves three projects on the Wooded Island. They are: 1. removing some, but not all, storm felled trees, most just north of Tallgrass Prairie, formerly the Rose Garden; 2. removing the tree of heaven ( Ailanthus altissima ) thicket at the south end of the island; and 3.removing invasive plants north and west of Tallgrass Prairie. At present, conditions in these areas prevent adequate light from reaching the ground to allow the oak saplings to survive. These areas contain a pre-settlement, old growth oak savannah ecosystem, a rarity within the city limits. The Care of Trees has been helping our Advisory Council for many years, and employs not only knowledgeable arborists but also biologists, forest ecologists, and other experts. They have never hesitated to lend a hand and expertise when asked. We are very grateful for their generosity.

Also, JPAC is very concerned that enrollment in after-school Chicago Park District programs has fallen due both to the current economy and an increase in registration fees. We are asking those who are able to send tax deductible contributions to the Camp Kids Fund, c/o The Parkways Foundation, 541 N. Fairbanks, Chicago, Il, 60611. There must be park programs and opportunities for as many kids as possible.