Welcome to the October 2011 J.P.A.C. Newsletter online.

Jackson Park/JPAC homepage (http://www.hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html).
hydepark.org Parks homepage

TAKE OUR SURVEY! You can find here and print (and return as therein), or take a slightly different version online in our new website, or ask us for earlier paper versions, as was mailed with the July 2011 Newsletter.

Visit our new official website: http://www.jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org.

Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois

Editor Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC Secretary. Hosted by hydepark.org, website of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (owner, hpkcc@aol.com) by OnShore Communications.


Jackson Park Advisory Council September 12 2011 council meeting minutes

Louise McCurry convened the meeting at 7:30 pm, a quorum, 12 attendees present. The minutes of the August meeting were approved as presented. However, members wanted it clear that the celebration of the end of summer day camp was quite a gala event and included distribution of school supplies made possible by Walgreens 71st and Jeffery, particularly the manager Mr. Schelley and head of pharmacy Dr. Ann Ridgeway.

Louise polled the meeting concerning the October meeting day/location as the fieldhouse closes early on Columbus Day. Consensus was to keep it on the same day (Monday the 10th) and seek another location (subsequently arranged for La Rabida Hospital library).

Finance. Treasurer Dwight Powell reported an August 31 balance of $5,562.55, with checks having come in since. Fran Vandervoort noted that the cost of our park photomontage for flyer background and other uses will be $200. Moved, seconded to approve the expenditure with Fran to submit the bill to the treasurer. Approved.

More ideas for our motto were suggested and will be further narrowed via email.

Park District region budget hearing will be held September 27 at South Shore Cultural Center. Suggestions for comments and budget asks were requested. These could be sent to officers, who would narrow and present them at the meeting. All were urged to attend and lend support.

Louise reported on a meeting for PACs focused on park security, held that afternoon by Friends of the Parks, with Chicago Park District security personnel as guests. Much was learned about the role of park as distinct from city police and the difficulties ahead with major budget cuts expected. Louise will consult with the 3rd District CAPS coordinator, Sgt. Chapman, about more steps we or police can take in the park, and perhaps invite him to attend next the JPAC meeting.

Natural areas work. Pictures including of wildflowers were passed around. Park flower, bird, and insect life are flourishing. Families are visiting many areas of the park. Numbers stop to talk and sign up to work. Large amounts of trash and invasives continue to be removed in Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow, LaRabida area and more, thanks in part to large groups including from Northwestern University and University of Chicago. More are expected in September, much arranged by Friends of the Parks. Some did raking, seeding and planting in the natural areas. The soccer groups held a large cleanup day. Lots of mulch made from pruning in the LaRabida area was used to create wheelchair paths down to three mini-beaches. The pruning was part of PD forestry training. One of the main projects on Wooded Island, Jerry Levy reported, has been removal of goldenrod by volunteers and by the contractor (Pizzo*) (especially in the prairie/former Rose Garden, to open up for valuable plants to do better.) Another has been planting of small ground cover and seeds- notes will be posted for people to be careful. In Bobolink a main project was thinning a deadwood thicket. A walk through was done there with the Park District, contractor and stakeholders, including on an evolving plan to make a transition ecotone this winter between the meadow and the woods, using grasses and forbs.
October 14 Friends of the Parks has arranged another tree planting, c. 9 am, between Darrow Bridge, Cornell.

Fran described planning by herself and others to invite school groups come in and learn nature and ecology—a curriculum is being developed for a general tour and “how to use a park” workshop. Moved, seconded, approved to pursue.
Fran reported on a scouting trip to other parks to narrow down what nature signage might be best in Jackson.
She commended a major article in the New York Times on Frederick Olmsted and the South Side parks.

Some repairs, for safety at the water’s edge at LaRabida is being contemplated by the PD, Louise reported. Members expressed some concern about what kind, and whether shore-up with rocks is needed for LaRabida.

Birds. Jennie Strable reported that we were in the midst of fall bird migration. Cormorants were among the prize sightings, south of Osaka Garden on high perches.

Louise reported that a series of events converging on the park did damage and that there has been a considerable increase in people and groups formally or casually using the South Lakefront. Problems include massive parking on lawns, displacement of or danger to kids playing sports, traffic congestion, and sets of insensitive bicyclists, particularly “cross country”. Members suggested that larger events should be scheduled later in the year (including bypassing bird migration time in the park and Wooded Island for running events period—the latter promised not to happen but it did). Also that the council be informed and be provided schedules of large events in advance and so be in a position advise, to monitor, and call for police/managing. Moved, seconded, and approved to meet with park officers, write letters, and invite parties to the council.

JPAC Workshops. Toshia Booker reported that the first JPAC Workshops have been set up; most will be in conjunction with the city’s Chicago Conservation Corps, whose courses Toshia recently completed. 3C provides support, materials, and publicity. C3 requires that programs it sponsors have a measurable environmental impact.. Other organizations will be recruited to participate depending on the particular program. Volunteers are of course needed for all programs. The first two are:
Bike Workshop, Saturday October 15, 2-5 pm at the ‘Iowa” building, northeast corner of the park just south of 56th across the street from Montgomery Place. (Cleanup days will precede.)
Home weatherization, Saturday November 12 2-5 at the fieldhouse.
Please contact Toshia at jpacattack@gmail.com to be on the message list or volunteer.

Fundraising and development. Judith Hill submitted a draft being reviewed by the committee, of a three-year strategic plan and preliminary plans to fundraising and of membership and contribution levels. The committee meets again on October 5, 6:30 at the fieldhouse.

Sports. Coach Stephens of Apostolic Church of God described the church’s sports and mentorship programs (youth and adult) as a sample of a well rounded program, and advised on how to assign time slots. The church uses the park for some of its programs. Louise urged that all groups or teams who want to use fields in the park sign up and get into the mix. It appears that the park’s supervisor will make final assignments for the new track and artificial field, although there is a preview/review committee made up of Jackson Park sport teams. The field and track is expected to be finished by mid-November. Louise also announced that a new baseball diamond will be built in the vicinity in spring.

Concern was voiced about the impact of a lengthening school day on signup for and viability of park afterschool programs.

There being no other business: moved, seconded and approved to adjourn until October 10, 7:30 pm. (This meeting will be at La Rabida Hospital library.
Respectfully submitted,

Gary M. Ossewaarde

*We apologize for misspelling the name of the natural areas contractor in the original. It is Pizzo.

Saturday starts with a Bobolink Meadow workday, moved this month from the 2nd to the 3rd Saturday, 9-noon. Meet at the south meadow. For details and a lively page of pictures and information, visit
http://home.comcast.net/~normbell43/Bobolink/home.htm. Or email Norm Bell, parrybell@comcast.net, 773 288-1260.

2-5 pm. Our first JPAC workshop: BIKE CLINIC WORKSHOP. At the ‘Iowa” building, northeast corner of Jackson Park south side of 56th Street across from Montgomery Place. The community members and Advisory Council members will host a Bike Clinic. The purpose is to educate the public on the benefits of using alternative forms of transportation and of living a green lifestyle and to provide tips on safe riding and bike maintenance. This is a C3 project for the purpose of providing communities with educational resources and workshops as a team to make a measurable environmental impact. Others participants include the Active Transportation Alliance and the city’s Bike Ambassadors. There will also be material on the ‘Iowa’ building. Volunteers needed. For information or sign up, contact Toshia Booker-Blakeley at jpacattack@gmail.com.

Save the date for our next workshop on HOME WEATHERIZATION November 12. Normal dates will be 3rd Saturdays.

October 14, Friday, c 9 am. Join Friends of the Parks and recruited corporate volunteers, with JPAC in planting 9 or more trees in Jackson Park, between Wooded Island/ north end of the lagoons and Cornell Drive. For more information, sullivanme@fotp.org.

[MOVED TO OCT. 23 SUNDAY 3 PM?]. WOODED ISLAND WORKDAY. Meet at the Darrow Bridge south of the MSI pond. For more information and sign up, contact Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

For any additional workday activities (and they pop up on the spur), call Louise McCurry, 773 844-2225.

JPAC IS THRILLED TO ACCEPT THE KIND INVITATION BY LA RABIDA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TO HOLD OUR OCTOBER 10 MEETING IN THEIR LIBRARY. 65th and the Lake. From Marquette Drive in the park, turn at the sign for the hospital and follow Promontory Circle Dr. to parking. Check in at the main entrance an proceed left (north).
When entering be sure to admire the wonderful mosaic of Columbus’s ships (Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria)—and discover the re-freshened beauties of the Promontory Circle and the harbors.

KEEP UP TO DATE- jacksonparkadvisorycouncil.org,
hydepark.org/parks/jpac.html. And any wishing to receive the newsletter by email only, contact garyossewaarde@yahoo.com.