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Welcome to the November 2007 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online

Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, Chicago, Illinois, recognized park advisory council to the Chicago Park District. Visit the JPAC homepage for links to recent Newsletters; contact the editor re: earlier.

Editor Gary M. Ossewaarde. Email at hpkcc@aol.com

Hosted in hydepark.org, owned and published by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, all rights reserved. Administrator George W. Rumsey, rumsey@aol.com. Hosting browser Onshore.

In this Issue, Vol. 14, Issue 11, November 2007:


Meeting Minutes-October 9, 2007 Jackson Park Advisory Council

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at the fieldhouse shortly after 7:30 pm.

Major business

The minutes of the September meeting were approved, with desire for more fieldhouse reportage.

Election of officers to serve to January 2008. Petersen moved an interim election (notice was provided), so that the Council can conduct financial business. He nominated the following to serve until January: President- Ross Petersen, Vice President- Fran Vandervoort, Secretary- Gary Ossewaarde, Treasurer- Dwight Powell. Continuing to serve as board members at large: Geneva Calloway, Vernita Jones, Louise McCurry. With no additional nominations, the question was called and the slate was unanimously elected. Petersen and Vandervoort agreed to continue to co-chair the Nature Committee.

Financial resolutions to comply with Park District council guidelines and to universal practice:
The following are proposed to be amended to the bylaws. [Secretary: As the bylaws state that the language of amendments must be pre-published in the announcement of the meeting at which they are to be adopted, the following needs ratification at the November meeting. Proposed location: Article Seven, new section 5:]
Expenditures may be made only as directed by a resolution approved at a council meeting. There shall be no less than two signers of every check, normally the Treasurer and Secretary.
This resolution was moved, seconded and passed unanimously.
Also moved and resolved in conjunction: JPAC designates the Treasurer and Secretary as the authorized signatories of JPAC checks and financial documents. Approved with no objection. Fran Vandervoort asked that copies of the bylaws be provided at the next meeting. The Secretary agreed.

Park and fieldhouse reports

William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported that the football and cheerleader (70 girls) programs are doing well. Upcoming events included Haunted Beach House October 26-27 7-11 pm, a Haunted House bash party 2-4 pm on the 27th, and a Halloween Party for After School kids and public October 31 afternoon.
November 16, 4 pm will see the annual Turkey Trot race for three age divisions. 75 turkeys will be prizes for the 300 kids and teens expected.
Thanksgiving Day, November 22, the park will have a large football tournament from 10 to 2.
December 6, 4 pm has the 2nd annual Junior Bears and Cheerleaders banquet.
December 20 has the park kids holiday party.

Last summer the park held or participated in major events: 3 concerts, a dance, and movie(s). More are hoped for next year. (Problems with care of the beach house bathrooms by a contractor were reported.)

The football team played Rainbow Beach in a large Homecoming at Gately Stadium. The Parent Club is supporting the large number of squads.

Jackson Park has a walking club for seniors that meets at the fieldhouse Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 am and walks 3 ½ miles, with turnoffs for those preferring shorter distances.

Nature Committee

Petersen said a broadly attended meeting in September approved a phased removal and planting policy. He will share the map and discuss the plan at the next meeting due to lack of time at this meeting.

New and old business and community issues

Akim Gursel described concerns and desires of fishermen, particularly the “banksters” who fish from the lagoon banks mainly near Darrow Bridge. They patrol the trash and try to influence youngsters for the better. The principal need is for a box to store gear, etc. Concerns were expressed about fish stocking policies. Ross Petersen offered to put the fishers in touch with Lakefront Director Alonzo Williams re the box and with fish stocking authorities (Illinois Department of Natural Resources). He would also inquire whether milfoil remains under control, as it hurts fishing and lagoon health. He replied to a query, continuous portable toilets are unsuitable in the park but maybe the comfort stations could stay open longer in the fall. Petersen agreed that brush has over grown the banks and obstructed access, including along Bob-o-link Meadow.

Barry Rapoport shared language pending final discussion with the park district for the boulder memorializing Frederick Douglass’s role at the Columbian Exposition and Haitian Pavilion. He thanked the 217 who signed petitions and those—including area elected officials who sent letters in favor of the memorial. Suggestions were made for possible language refinements if not final.

The meeting adjourned. Next meeting November 12, 7:30 pm, fieldhouse.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Secretary



Dogs on the Trail, Even on a Leash, Give Birds a Fright (see following JPAC letter)

New York Times, September 11, 2007
Research reference: Biology Letters, article by Peter B. Banks and Jessica V. Bryant, University of New South Wales, Australia

Dog walking: good for you, good for your pet.

Not so good for birds, apparently.

Australian researchers have found that walking leashed doges along woodland paths leads to a significant reduction in the number and diversity of birds in the area, at least over the short term.

Peter B. Banks and Jessica V. Bryant of the University of New South Wales surveyed birds along woodland trails near Sydney shortly after dogs were walked on them or after people walked alone. All kinds of dogs were involved, big and small, purebred and mutt. As a control, they also surveyed birds on trails that no one, human or canine, had recently walked on.

Dr. Banks said the study was an outgrowth of his interest in predatory-prey interactions. “Here you have a predator that is being walked through the bush quite regularly,” he said.

The researchers chose trails in places where dogs were banned and in other areas where dog walking was common, expecting different results in each. “We thought that where there was regular dog walking birds would get used to it,” Dr. Banks said. “Well, they didn’t.”*

Regardless of the type of area, dog walking led to a 35 percent reduction in the number of bird species and a 41 percent reduction in overall bird numbers, compared with the control. (People walking alone caused some disturbance, but less than half that caused by people with dogs.)

The study, published in Biology Letters, provides support for park managers and others on the same side of what can be a heated debate over dogs in natural areas.

“The problem is there are other uses for an area” besides dog walking, said Dr. Banks, who described himself as “not a dog hater.” “If dogs walk throughout an area, you’re just not going to get the same bird-watching experience or ecotourism experience."

[*In this editor's (GMO) experience, the same is true of other disruptions such as a train going by--the birds don't seem to learn in this matter-- maybe NOT changing behavior (overriding the flight urge) in such matters is safer and hence more adaptive.]


Letter to the Herald October 4, 2007 by Ross Petersen, Gary Ossewaarde for JPAC on dogs and naural reas not mixing.

To the Editor:

A report appeared in the New York Times Tuesday, September 11, 2007 that shows that dogs and natural areas do not mix.

The article reviews a research study by Dr. Peter B. Banks and Jessica V. Bryant of the University of New South Wales, Australia, published in Biology Letters, publication of the Royal Society, London, September 4, 2007.

Banks and Bryant surveyed bird numbers and species on trails near Sydney before and after dogs of all kinds were walked, comparing the results with trails unfrequented by humans or dogs.

Particularly interesting is the lack of difference between trails where dog walking was frequent or banned. Dr. Banks said, “We thought that where there was regular dog walking birds would get use to it. Well, they didn’t.”

Across the board, dog walking led to a 35 percent reduction in species and 41 percent in numbers. People alone caused less than half as much reduction.

The article quotes Dr. Banks in conclusion, “If dogs walk throughout an area, you’re just not going to get the same bird-watching experience.”

Jackson Park Advisory Council is committed to maintaining a safe and inviting wildlife sanctuary in Wooded Island.


Ross Petersen, Gary M. Ossewaarde, Jackson Park Advisory Council




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