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

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

Editor: Gary Ossewaarde

Hosted in, website of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Administrator George Rumsey.

Host Onshore Communications

JPAC Ross Petersen, President, 773 486-0505,; Gary Ossewaarde, 773 947-9541,

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


Frontpage. Contents: March 8, 2010 meeting agenda, Issue index, Announcements, Vitae and contacts.
JPAC will not meet in January of February 2010.
Access Frontpage PDF here.

December 2009 Minutes, with embedded announcements:


Jackson Park Advisory Council December 14, 2009 minutes

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm; a quorum was present.
The November minutes were accepted.

President’s report: Ross Petersen noted the JPAC letter published December 2 in the Hyde Park Herald. The letter acknowledged Care of Tree’s gift of work to be done on Wooded Island (to which JPAC also contributed) and described the project in more detail. The letter also asked that those who wish to help low income families attend kids and youth programs in parks contribute to the Parkways Foundation’s Kids Camp fund.

President and Treasurer: Petersen described a note of appreciation from Park Supervisor Bill Tillis for JPAC’s purchase of turkeys for Thanksgiving time distribution to families of park kids and noting there are no further needs of help from the Council for programs at this time. It was reported that there has been some fall off in registration for youth park programs, to which a modest increase in fees possibly contributed. The Park District budget has been approved, including an agreement with unions that forestalls additional staff layoff for the present. Jackson Park has suffered staff attrition.

Treasurer Dwight Powell noted Friends of the Park’s gracious letter acknowledging JPAC’s gift to them.

The Secretary and Treasurer were asked to expedite a letter to members soliciting an annual financial contribution to the work of JPAC.

Jill Heise, Friends of the Parks Community Parks coordinator, spoke and asked and answered questions. She thanked those who returned questionnaires on FOTP services and resources for councils. In response, a half-day conference is being planned with the Park District for March 27 at South Shore Cultural Center for councils on fundraising and grants, navigating CPD, council best practices, and working with your elected officials.

February 17 FOTP will hold its next council leadership networking convocation.

February 4 is FOTP’s annual awards luncheon and meeting. The council asked that despite our tardiness FOTP take our nomination of Care of Trees and Washington Park Conservancy leader Madiem Kawa. Friends can be reached at 312 527-2757 or

Heise invited JPAC to send representatives to a first meeting in January by an initiative on tree need identification, planting, upkeep, and replacement, from the Mayor’s Office, CPD, and FOTP (lead Mary Eileen Sullivan). Gary Ossewaarde and Fran Vandervoort volunteered. Petersen said we need clear and sufficient contractor follow up performance guarantees for all contractors to make sure newly planted trees survive. Also, stress should be on having a variety of native, wildlife-friendly and hardy trees. JPAC has worked on lists of preferred species.

Heise participated in general discussion of kids and adult program sufficiency, quality, participation recruitment and pricing in Jackson and in the other parks, and the fieldhouse being empty in the morning. Suggested were focusing on determining whether and ensuring that kids programs really nurture, on creating outside partnerships to make sure the ensemble is one of enrichment, and maybe finding partnerships or other ways to return the training internship programs for high school-aged. FOTP has programs for vetting or addressing these and such other issues of neighborhood parks as playground safety and upkeep. (Noted: the printed and online quarterly program schedules only list programs given by park district staff—councils and neighbors should ask park staff if there are other programs!) JPAC and Friends of the Parks will explore new environmental programming on Wooded Island.

General problems: it’s often hard to reach personnel-- the right, park-knowledgeable person, with authority, whether downtown, in the regions, or in the trades and to get work orders done. Members brought up some ongoing, issues, unaddressed despite work orders, some posing safety hazards. Also discussed: Ongoing crime and people living in the park--difficulty getting authorities and agencies to respond, also off-road bmx bike riders putting up “tracks” when the grass is wet, tearing up the latter.

Spring lecture program planning is being led by Fran Vandervoort. The council voted unanimously to not meet in January and February and so to hold elections in March. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary