JPW Update – February 17, 2016

 JPW coordinators Brenda and Margaret continue to work at gathering information and getting the word out.  And the word IS getting out!  There have been terrific letters to the editor in the Hyde Park Herald this week and last ( ). The Herald featured a big article about the 2/8 Project 120 Public Workshop on the front page of its 2/17 paper edition.  (It’s online at .)  

Brenda and Margaret have been meeting with key people with a stake in Jackson Park both to gather information and to share JPW concerns.  Recent meetings include:

State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, alerted by Jackson Park Watch communications, requested a briefing from the Chicago Park District and invited Brenda to participate (Margaret was out of town). Kim du Buclet, Park District Director of Legislative and Community Affairs, attended along with Robert Karr, president of Project 120, who provided an overview of that initiative.   Currie had many questions, including “Where is the Park District in this?” She stressed to Karr the absolute importance of getting community input and buy-in on any plans for the parks.

• We met with Lauren Moltz, president of the board of Friends of The Parks, to raise questions and concerns.  Moltz, a Hyde Parker as many of you may know, shares our commitment to promoting an open and inclusive process for assessing any proposals for Jackson Park and our sense that that openness has not yet been achieved.  She also clarified that Friends of the Parks has no formal “partnership” with Project 120 (contrary to the listing on the Project 120 website).

• Looking for better understanding and points of agreement, we invited Louise McCurry, Jackson Park Advisory Council president, for coffee and conversation. Louise recruited Gary Ossewaarde, JPAC secretary , and Frances Vandervoort, long-time JPAC member and leader, to join the discussion, which focused on the evolution of thinking and planning for a structure on the Music Court.  All agreed that there should be community input for such plans, though, to our minds, the mechanisms for that input are ill-defined;  communication will continue.  

Susannah Ribstein and Eric Rogers, who live in South Shore, have joined Jackson Park Watch in part because of their concerns for Project 120 plans (or rather  lack of plans) for that end of the park.  Both have expertise in current communications technologies and recently met with Brenda and Margaret to discuss how JPW can move to the next level in communicating with community members. Look for some expanded capacities  in the near future thanks to their expertise and generosity.

Next steps:  Try to understand the role, goals, and processes of the Chicago Park District in the development of the Jackson Park Framework Plan, especially in light of the fact that CPD’s formal agreement with Project 120 covers only the US Army Corps of Engineers GLFER project now underway.

Questions, comments, ideas?  Let us hear from you!


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