Welcome to Jackson Park Watch!

For the most recent developments,

check the latest Jackson Park Watch Update in the column to the right.

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Focus on Federal Reviews

Following the Chicago Plan Commission May 17 and City Council’s October 31 rubber-stamp approvals of  the proposals for the Obama Presidential Center and related road changes, all attention has shifted to the federal reviews that are now underway.

Signs are that the City, which is managing the review process, is continuing its no-holds-barred efforts to get quick approvals for the OPC and road construction plans and also for its plan that would actually diminish the amount of public parkland on the South Side by not providing replacement parkland for the 19.3 ares of Jackson Park that would be occupied by the OPC.

Most recently, a change in the federal review process has put the National Park Service in charge of the important NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act) review, while the Federal Highway Administration continues to oversee the Section 106 historic review.  For the latest information, see the most recent Jackson Park Watch Updates (accessible through the right hand column on this page).

For a thorough discussion of the issues related to the federal reviews, go to Federal Review Page.

What is Jackson Park Watch?

JPW is an Illinois nonprofit organization founded by Hyde Park residents and co-presidents Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid.  A virtual organization, it operates within a broad and diverse network of interested individuals and groups.  Over 500 individuals receive its periodic Updates, which are widely recirculated to unknown hundreds more.

JPW  principles:

  • Transparency in decision-making about the Park – no backroom deals
  • Meaningful community input on major changes to the Park – no top-down decisions
  • Preservation of the Park as a democratic public space – priority to local uses and local users, with maximum grass, trees, and open space
  • Development of one comprehensive plan for the entire Park  – forestall its division into unrelated segments

Sign up for JPW Updates!

Through periodic Updates, JPW collects and shares information, encourages attendance at key public meetings, urges concerned individuals to contact public officials and media outlets, and facilitates citizen participation in multiple ways.  To receive Updates, simply e-mail jacksonparkwatch@gmail.com with the request “sign me up.” Jackson Park Watch Updates are emailed via blind carbon-copy (bcc) to maintain privacy.