Good news! Others are joining JPW and Friends of the Parks to demand development of a coordinated, comprehensive plan for the future of all of Jackson Park. We note two recent developments of particular importance:
The Jackson Park Advisory Council, at its February 13 meeting, voted to establish a coordinating committee to consider two current major initiatives – the Obama Library and the golf course renovation. The committee will include representatives from the Park District, the Obama Foundation, the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance, Chicago Department of Transportation, Alderman Hairston’s 5th Ward Office, JPAC, and Jackson Park Watch. While this cannot be a substitute for a well-resourced, staffed and open community input process, we welcome this action and look forward to participating in the discussions.
On February 15, Alderman Hairston issued an open letter to the Obama Presidential Center calling upon the Obama Foundation to actively engage the community in discussions about its evolving plans. Hairston called particular attention to the need to coordinate planning for the OPC and for the proposed renovated golf course: “They should be planned together. They are both part of Jackson Park and residents would like to have a comprehensive picture of how transportation, park use, and recreation will be addressed.” The Alderman’s statement was covered also in the Tribune and DNAInfo. You may want to thank Alderman Hairston and offer additional comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We applaud both of these steps and hope they that lead to a planning process for Jackson Park that is both more transparent and fully open to broad community review and input.
Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid
Jackson Park Watch
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