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Welcome to the November 2006 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online

Produced by Jackson Park Advisory Council, Chicago, Illinois
Editor: Gary Ossewaarde

Hosted in, owned and managed by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
Domain administrator: George Rumsey
Website and Conference e-mail:

November 2006, Volume 13, Number 11

In this issue:


Jackson Park Advisory Council October 10 2006 Minutes

Ross Petersen opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. The minutes were approved as corrected: The section re: a proposed food distribution program by Food Not Bombs ends with “JPAC was amenable.”

Eleanor Roemer, Friends of the Parks. Completing the south lakefront: open and clear
Eleanor Roemer, Assistant Director for Policy, Friends of the Parks, presented and led discussion. Charettes have been held and small and public meetings are now in progress. a refined plan is expected to go public late in the year, ready for discussion in honor of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago. Roemer distributed a survey and also agreed to meet with the council to discuss improvements and access to the southeast part of Jackson Park shoreline and its interface with South Shore and South Shore Cultural Center.

Pamela Broom, Growing Power
Ms. Broom gave background on the organization and programs nationwide to train youth and others in sustainable food sources, gardening, and environmentally savvy lifestyles. Growing Power was asked to return with specific project proposals to begin design with the council and gardeners of the park’s Longevity Garden.

Fieldhouse and Programs
William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, thanked JPAC for supporting the Junior Bears football team and program. This program, with 120 players and up to 40 girl cheerleaders, has helped to make this fall’s among the most successful suite of programs in a long time. There is now enough staff to run large programs and do outreach including in schools. 300+ participate in all the kid and youth programs. Parents and the Parents Club have really participated, including doing the cooking.

The fieldhouse will hold its Halloween Party October 31, 6 pm, open to the neighborhood. On October 27-28 (but not 29th as reported in the previous Newsletter) Haunted House will be open for kids (teens Saturday 2-4) at 63rd Bathing Pavilion. It really will be scary, Tillis said. Charge is $5. October 28 will also see the big Pumpkin Patch program at the fieldhouse.
November 17 there will be a free Turkey Trot for 6 kids and youth age division. 40 turkeys will be given away. On Thanksgiving there will be adult touch football. December: a holiday party for the needy.

Bob Foster, Chicago Park District special programs and facilities
Foster reported that the drumming circle needs modifications. These will be done after planning meetings with the drummers. The council looked forward to a major inauguration next spring.

Adam Schwerner, Director of Natural Resources
Schwerner thanked JPAC for its contributions and participation in natural areas management. Schwerner first discussed Wooded Island. He reported on meetings that included JPAC Nature Committee and created a Wooded Island Management Plan (shown by Petersen). There will be further discussions with the park district forester and natural areas manager. All parties recognize that there are distinct needs and visions that need constantly to be reconciled, He specifically noted that needs of birds and other wildlife “is the lens” setting natural areas agenda in Chicago.

Schwerner said the park district will replace all the trees lost in the disastrous October storm, although this will take years and not be (in answer to query) on a caliper-inch basis. He noted that over 900 trees were lost in South Side parks, trees of every species. There is also much landscape damage.

Schwerner said the district is preparing a plan to improve slope and landscape design at underpasses to correct the problems that have occurred. The 57th boardwalk will have a sweeping schedule. Members suggested curbing to slow covering by sand. The district is aware of the poor paths.

Nature committee
Petersen cited the natural area plan. He also said the Army Corps will return to inspect and possibly remediate the Bob-o-link area, site of the former Nike base. A document has been received.

New business and community concerns
Sharonjoy Jackson said the Iowa building is not kept up. It’s in a community. Various options and difficulties realizing them and creating ownership in the structure were discussed. Petersen asked members to bring ideas to council meetings so JPAC can bring a plan or request to the park district.

Lakefront and Park District report. Alonzo Williams.
Mr. Williams has been promoted to the position of Director of Lakefront Services. A new South Lakefront Area Manager has not yet been selected. Williams’ office will be at downtown headquarters, phone 312 742-4641. JPAC congratulated Mr. Williams and encouraged his presence at council meetings.
Williams emphasized the holiday programs and growing service to communities.
The fencing is up for construction of the replacement playground at 67th and Chappel. The project may be finished next spring. There was much damage in the playgrounds at the north edge of the park, Williams noted; extent was not yet clear. Peterson reminded the meeting that one of the lots honors Civil Rights and African American community leader Earl B. Dickerson.

Old business
The council reviewed language presented by Barry Rapoport for a plaque or stone honoring Frederick Douglass and his role at the Columbian Exposition. Draft (below) will be further refined.

“On this spot January 2, 1893, Frederick Douglass opened the Columbian Exposition with a speech from the Haitian Pavilion.”

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting: Monday, November 11, 2006, 7:30 pm, Jackson Park fieldhouse south room, 6401 S. Stony Island Avenue. Agenda revisions may be given to Ross Petersen at 773 486-0505.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde


Saturday, November 11 is the next and probably last Workday in the natural areas this year. Call Ross Petersen to make sure it occurs, 773 486-0505. Meet at Darrow Bridge south of the Museum 10 am. Park to east of bridge, accessing from Lake Shore Drive at 58th.

Doug Anderson’s bird walks continue through New Years Day. Wednesdays 7 am, Saturdays 8 am. Meet at the Darrow Bridge. 773 493-7058.

Turkey Trot for kids 6-12 Friday, November 17, 4-6 pm. Free. 40 turkeys to be won! Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island.

Geneva Calloway and Vernita Jones, JPAC board members, submitted to the Park District and the officers a statement of community concerns. All of these were submitted five times in the past, starting May 2005. Corrections to several are being planned with the council, others are under study. JPAC will seek and pass along periodic updates. We thank Geneva and Vernita, as well as others on the committee and in other groups for vigilance and reporting of problems.