Welcome to the June 2014 J.P.A.C Newsletter online

Visit JPAC's official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org. Find Facebook link there.
We expect to soon have our updated website up there be bringing your Newsletter from there!
Visit also http://www.bluestem.info/Bobolink/

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

Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois. JPAC's fiscal agent is Friends of the Parks, a 501c3. President is Louise McCurry, 773 844-225, 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.

Look for Jackson and other Hyde Park-Kenwood park announcements in the Hyde Park Herald (http://www.hpherald.com)- In the Parks box in the calendar section.


JPAC WILL HOST A TALK ON THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES URBAN FISHING PROGRAM and how groups of youth are being hooked on fishing in Jackson Park,
and Marguerite McMahon will present on her sculpture project in the park on WHERE WILL THE BIRDS GO WHEN TREES ARE GONE?

AHEAD OF THE JUNE 9 MTG., at 6 p.m. the WITS organization will hold a training session for community volunteers willing to read for a few minutes a week to kids in the JP summer camp or afterschool. (See at start of Minutes.)

JUNE 14, SATURDAY, 9 a.m.-noon. Bobolink Meadow. Info: parrybell@ameritech.net or http://bluestem.info/bobolink/getting-there.html. Lots of pictures and news: http://bluestem.info/bobolink/
JUNE 28, SATURDAY, 10 a.m-1 p.m. Wooded Island. Meet at Japanese Garden. sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.
OTHERS POP UP FREQUENTLY- call Louise, 773 844-2225 or commissioner751@comcast.net.

The World’s Fair of 1893—a large exhibit open through September 7 at Field Museum.
“The Flight of the Butterflies” (monarchs and the potential for disaster to them and us)- MSI Omnimax Theater. (JPAC nurtures, plants, and favors milkweed et al, upon which these butterflies depend.)

Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Project (US Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Park District). JPAC, with the Hyde Park Historical Society, met with CPD project managers then held a public presentation and discussion May 7 with representatives of the Corps and CPD at the fieldhouse. Also, the monthly JPAC meeting May 12 (held at Historical Society headquarters) featured a detailed presentation and discussion with Olmsted parks architect and expert Patricia O’Donnell, hired to oversee the project in the interest of Olmsted’s design and vision. JPAC thanks Robert Karr, announced as the main speaker—on the topic of Project 120-- for giving Ms. O’Donnell the opportunity to meet with the community. And we thank Hyde Park Historical Society for its participation and for lending its headquarters hall on two occasions.
PROJECT'S WEBSITE: http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx
Summaries of the public meetings are attached to the minutes in this Newsletter. Mr. Karr’s presentation and discussion with our communities will be rescheduled. Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

THANKS- JPAC volunteers, Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks who worked to spread fibar at the expanded and rebuilt playground at the fieldhouse.

Minutes of the May 12 JPAC Advisory Council monthly meeting

The meeting was convened at 7 pm. Gary Ossewaarde introduced President McCurry, who briefly talked about JPAC.

Brenda Palm of WITS reading program introduced this program in which community volunteers read to kids at park day camps and in schools. Jackson Park fieldhouse afterschool will a site this starting in fall. Several volunteered. If interested, visit http://www.witschicago.org or call Gary Ossewaarde 773 947-9541.

Robert Karr described his long-term history with Jackson Park, Japanese culture, and the Garden. His Project 120 is considering the park as a whole. Most recently he and others recognized that an Olmsted park expert needed to brought into the Army Corps project and offered to cover the cost. He introduced Patricia O’Donnell.

Patricia O’Donnell is Principal in Vermont-based Heritage Landscapes and has overseen restorations of a large number of Olmsted-designed parks and spaces. She was hired with broad agreement as oversight consultant on the USACE/Jackson Park habitat project. Ms. O’Donnell gave an extensive presentation and answered many questions. She was thanked for sharing. A separate report is provided appended.

Regular meeting business: April 17 minutes. Moved by Fran Vandervoort, 2nd Dwight Powell, approved as corrected. Clarification by Dwight Powell: There are funds available for a boating program for youth. Participation in the boating training requires first passing a strict swimming test, which many youth cannot, so that needs to exist in the area). A fund is available for use on the South Side; he said it should be so used here rather than sit idle or be redirected.

Financial. Powell reported $3,953.82 in the treasury including deposit of $170 and expenditures of $300 for membership in Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and for AV equipment. (Noted by McCurry that back to school backpacks will be provided for summer camp kids through the Chamber.) Moved and 2nd to approve the expenditures. Powell noted the bylaws require pre-approval of major expenditures. Ossewaarde moved $100 membership in Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, recognizing services. 2nd and approved. $50 was moved 2nd and approved to assist Mrs. Wright, employee at the field house, who is ill.

McCurry reported groups coming regularly to work and for Earth Day projects. Workday: by the Animal Bridge Saturday. Security patrols have returned to Wooded Island. The park district was asked to pick up in the Hayes-Cornell lot more often—buses drop off groups there. Tours are numerous, including for students at Bret Harte and Carnegie schools and prospectively for Montgomery Place residents. August 2- Shakespeare in the Park/Family Day slated for the Music Court.
Staff reports volunteer tutors are welcome for camps- call the field house at 773 256-0903.

Distributed and moved by Gary Ossewaarde and the board and unanimously approved: pre-announced bylaws amendment inserting in Article Four: Meetings, Section 1: new: (d) For notices required in these bylaws and for the Newsletter, timely electronic send shall be considered sufficient for members for whom JPAC has valid email addresses.

Moved to adjourn. Next meeting June 9, 7:30 p.m. at the field house.

Respectfully submitted, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary

May 7 2014 public meeting- USACE Great Lakes Fisheries & Ecosystem Restoration
By Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary
The meeting was held at the Jackson Park Fieldhouse. Presenters were Frank Veraldi of US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Michael Lange and Julia Bachrach of Chicago Park District (CPD). Majority of the presentation was done by Mr. Veraldi and Mr. Lange. Some of the following was in answer to questions.

This USACE project for Jackson Park has authority only for habitat, specifically work that shows ecosystem benefits on a cost-benefit basis. The Federal contribution is 65% (maximum c. $10 million) with the rest from the “local partner” (CPD) in the form of various funds and land-value credits. The project covers about 160 acres of 543, excluding most of the park including the north (MSI/music court), shoreline, Bobolink Meadow, golf driving range and most of the golf course, Japanese Garden, park edges, and paths.

The exploration of feasibility of this project originated in an application for help with Jackson Park ecology by the CPD. Veraldi noted that during the course of the feasibility study (to end after a 30 day call for public comment ending May 12/13) several agencies and expert or stakeholder groups have been consulted, including Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which must sign off on the project in order for it to proceed, Audubon, Friends of the Parks, JPAC. Different objectives were noted between USACE and CPD, in process of being reconciled. USACE’s is ecosystem including fish habitat, CPD’s is return to park character according to the Olmsted design of 1895 as realized by c. 1930 taking into account current and future issues and needs.

The feasibility study, online at http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorksProjects/JacksonPark.aspx, studied and inventoried current conditions (found in many cases to be severely degraded) and desired improvements including to hydrology, land forms, and plant communities. They identified a set of diverse habitats consistent to a Lake Michigan shoreline-wetlands-upland continuum. Constraints taken into account include importance and needs of birds etc., Olmsted integrity and his vision of Lake-lagoons-fields, and present uses/facilities and investments. The experts arrived at 5 options, from no-work to do-everything. Each was evaluated comparing incremental increase in benefit to incremental increase in cost for each set of work added. Selected was #4, which excluded only reconstruction of islands in the lagoons. Habitat types highlighted included pond, fringe marsh, sedge meadow, mudpuppy ponds, vernal pools, and tree/savannah.

Among things they found need to be done: Correct banks that prevent a viable water to land plant community or Olmsted’s vision. Provide some access and viewing overlooks for the lagoons. Recreate a continuous layering of plants—balanced between being a thicket and too sparse, thus fulfilling Olmsted’s vision, wildlife needs and a sound ecosystem. Restore a varied, sustainable, native fish population and its habitat substrate, with fish separator from the stocked Columbia Basin. Remove invasive takeover plants with more but not all native plants. Make places for amphibians etc that need special seasonal or year round ponds. A visible place needing major reconstruction is the path along Cornell Drive and the adjoining bank into the west lagoon. (Decisions will be made on how to balance possibly competing needs and desires for that area.) In sensitive areas especially they want to put in lots of plant material soon and minimize removals (including large trees, overhang and deadwood) and avoid work scars. In some turf areas traditional grass will be replaced with sedges. Removal work will only be done in winter and work will avoid migratory bird seasons.

Noted: plans are still evolving. At the urging of several Olmsted-knowledgeable persons, naturalists, and Project 120 president Bob Karr, a search was made for an expert experienced in Olmsted park restorations who also knew ecosystem restoration. Of two names, Patricia O’Donnell of Heritage Landscapes was selected, a source of funding for her work was found (Project 120), and she began her work a few weeks previous. It was announced she would discuss what she found, and her vision for the park, May 12. Should the Corps find in favor of the project, an agreement would be signed with the park district in July, design done, and initial work in some way started by the end of September (required to use funds from this fiscal year’s budget). Page 3

May 12, 2014 talk and discussion by Patricia O’Donnell, Olmsted parks consultant on the USACE Jackson Park Project. At the Jackson Park Advisory Council.
The public discussion was co-sponsored by Hyde Park Historical Society and held at its headquarters, 5529 S. Lake Park Avenue. By Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary

O’Donnell said the Olmsted legacy is large, both in terms of places he made and in vision—democratic spaces so all people can do what they do, to make spaces seem bigger and the city far away, and enable three kinds of activity-- “re-creation” (which he thought of as “active” pastime), “gregarious”, and “exertive.” (Sports fields and facilities at that time were less intrusive than today—lines, not concrete.) In terms of spaces, he made a spatial choreography—defined spaces, shadow and depth, definers at the edges, sense of movement alternating between expansion and enclosure along spirally curved lines. When we work on his spaces, we come as stewards and rehabilitators, taking into account today’s issues, not trying to restore a plan in toto. We seek sustainability—Olmsted did also; he used green features.

When one looks at the Jackson plans and realizations, we see how far things have been changed not only by the new , but also by what is no longer there—whole lagoons, half the trees, loss of double-rows of trees along paths, truncated and decayed paths and roads, intrusions that repurposed, cut off, or diminished the “fields, lagoons, and lake” that were the three elements in his park, and also a diminished “sublime” progression by water and mathematically curving paths from the lake to the upland. Deviation from vision included damage and cut access by the Nike Base then the golf driving range and tennis area, but also failure of tree and canopy replacement—either not doing it or replacing with sticks that died before maturing. It would now take as much as 5+ percent replanting of trees each year to catch up. What of the loss of other plants, including shoulder high shrubs? Olmsted used many nonnative plants. That was not really taken into account then. Plant success has been tested over the years. Now we have to balance according to what works and is sustainable.

Olmsted did use textures—coarse to fine-- and colors and scales in his plantings to create character and place--experiences—he didn’t just plop and mass. Such plantscape doesn’t take care of itself: how do we recreate the “experiences” using knowledge gained? And how do we rebalance the space of the park according to his lake-pond-fields vision when open space is not as much valued as dedicated space? The fields--some we have to look to taking back, some we have to try new turf such as sedges while encouraging the savannah trees but not cutting off views or open rooms. We need to re-slope and replant the pond banks while creating some access and overlooks and saving vistas. In rebuilding habitat, we need to find ways to have “character,” and habitat, and safety, and visitor and wildlife experiences. Olmsted’s plant palette was “rich”, today we need diversity more (maybe more diverse than the Corps usually wants). Some things this project cannot do, such as the paths or restoring most of the fields lost to golf and other sports. In doing the project, there will have to be some breaking of eggs—but the work can’t be “horrific” even in the short term.


Site steward Jerry Levy noted that many tree and plant surveys have been done and much invested in replacements and plantings high and low. This experience needs to be taken into account and incorporated.

The timeframe? O- “Compressed but feasible.”

How does the plan fit with why people go the park? O- The park lacks destinations now. One part of creating draw is enhancing how it fits Olmsted’s purposes (“re-creation, gregariousness, exertion”), making it act and capable of being seen as a whole again, easy to get into and around. More could be enhanced in small steps in different places.

Will places be sequestered during reconstruction? O- a few, short term, not closing off Wooded Island.

Can there be sound-abatement between Cornell and the lagoon? O- Included, we know a lot about doing that.

Account for needs of birds, minimize cutting, keep species such as mulberries. O- We will take that into account. Mulberries have up and down side. Won’t wholesale removal of species and there will be many more trees.

Beavers- how to handle? O- a complex issue.

How do we make the lagoons more attractive? Can there be boats? O- there are ways to make boats work in natural areas, but it’s not easy. Paddle boats consistently have to be subsidized.

Fences (multiple questioners, want some to stay in WI, by harbor to go. O- Harbors have long term leases; in natural areas trellises can substitute for fences. Park wide we need overlooks and access to water and paths.

Do you expect impacts from climate change? O- Yes.

Sustainability and maintenance commitment? O- The 5 years of the project. This park needs a conservancy.

Olmsted parks her firm has restored generally have a large endowment.

Thanks—let’s do it; often people have to see something in order to appreciate it.