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Welcome to the J.P.A.C. Newsletter October 2009 issue 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

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


Frontpage (not available. Includes October 13 meeting agenda (adjustments, guests, Nature Committee and Wooded Island, park and program, other business), contents, announcements (October 14 Wooded Island walk through 10-12 from Darrow Bridge, Workdays Oct. 10 and 24 and special 63rd beach planting Nov. 14 10-1-must reg. with Becky Schillo at 773 743-4072, Bird Walks Sats at 8), vitae

September 14 meeting minutes

Reflections on Wooded Island management plan


Minutes of the September 14 2009

Jackson Park Advisory Council September 14 2009 Council Meeting

Ross Petersen convened the meeting at 7:30 pm. Minutes of the August meeting were accepted.

Jackson Park Community Supported Agriculture Garden. Jane Schenck, from the Chicago Park District Gardening Program, reported on successes of Growing Power-managed teaching garden near Hayes and Cornell Drives. About 30 families have participated. Schenck explained and asked support for installation this fall of a cedar shade structure to harvest rain water via sheeting and a 600-gallon tank for the garden from Roder Organics Co. Among other advantages, rainwater would cycled to provide regular water for the garden rather than add to runoff to lagoons and ultimately into Lake Michigan. After review of the plans and agreement that there will be a warning sign (“Not drinkable water”), Fran Vandervoort moved and Dwight Powell seconded that “Whereas a shade and rain-collector has been proposed for the community agriculture garden that will provide advantages for the gardeners and the environment, Resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council approves this project.” Approved unanimously.

63rd St. Beach and Dune reconstruction project. Becky Schillo, Chicago Park district Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Coordinator, presented plans for the improvement project, funded 65 percent by a Great Lakes Restoration and Ecosystem grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the remainder (in-kind and capital) by Chicago Park District. The large project includes creation of new fish habitat along the pier, creation of a panne (these are unique to the Great Lakes and rare there) and dunes, stabilized by marram grass (which spreads via underground rhizomes), and other restorations and improvements throughout the 63rd peninsula east of Lake Shore Drive. Work will take about a year. At most 3.5 percent of the beach will be lost and people will still be able to stroll between the shore and the new features (which will be fenced during the establishment period at least). People may have to take a dogleg around the new dune land between the underpass and the beach pavilion. Preliminary work was already done on the beach area near the underpass (some rectifications to this were necessary, and Schillo promised there will not be areas of standing water). “Weed trees” are being removed in various areas. One objective is to stop sand blowing onto the bike and walking paths. A volunteer grass planting event is scheduled for November 14 10-1- rsvp Becky Schillo at 312 742-4072.

After thorough vetting and expectations were clarified, Fran Vandervoort moved and Kevin Quinn seconded that “Whereas funding is available for a substantial improvement to the 63rd St. Beach and peninsula that includes ecosystem and fish habitat restoration, Resolved that Jackson Park Advisory Council approves the 63rd St. Nature Area Dune and Beach plan.” The resolution was unanimously approved.

Beach cleanups were announced for 57th St. Beach (Alliance for the Great Lakes) and 63rd beach and Wooded Island (University of Chicago Service Center student community service day). Members appreciated organizers and volunteers.

Park and Program. William Tillis, Jackson Park Supervisor, reported there are financial cutbacks and virtually no programs next year will be free, but all three vacant sports instructor positions will be filled because Jackson is a regional center. Recruiting in the schools and neighborhoods is key to filling programs. Fran Vandervoort moved, with second, expenditure of $300 for turkeys for a Thanksgiving turkey trot for families this year. Movie night will be the week before.

JPAC appropriated $150 for costs and services-rendered and “thank you” to Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference.

Adjourned at 8:43 p.m. Next meeting special day Tuesday October 13, 7:30 pm, in the field house.

Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary

Wooded Island Management Plan. From the editor, Gary Ossewaarde:
Several letters have recently appeared in media concerning Wooded Island natural area restoration activities. Phased selective removals and replacements are under way over several years in accord with a plan approved by the Chicago Park District, scientific experts and stakeholders in the Wooded Island Working Group. Proposed templates and work was vetted in walk throughs and at Jackson Park Advisory Council meetings. The park district and carefully instructed volunteers have carried out the work, intended to remove specific plants that discourage other plants and a diverse, hence resilient, habitat for a diverse fauna, or threaten historic oak savanna, and to selectively plant diverse, habitat-specific native plants. This natural area is gradually being restored and enhanced, as evidenced in areas improved in earlier phases including the “Rose Garden” in the center-south of the Island. The next walk through is Oct. 14 10-12 from Darrow Bridge. JPAC praises and thanks the many volunteers and organizations who lend time, hands and support.