CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT COMPOUNDS THE CONFUSION – YOUR INPUT NEEDED MONDAY NIGHT
While continuing to ignore the elephants in the room (the siting of the Obama Presidential Center, the proposed road closures/realignments, the proposed golf course consolidation/expansion), the Chicago Park District has now thrown a grab bag of new options into the mix at its latest round of open-house meetings. The second and last of these hastily announced presentations takes place this Monday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 9 pm at the South Shore Cultural Center. Doors open at 6; presentation at 6:30; open house follows. We urge you to attend!
As in prior meetings, there are a myriad of “boards” displaying possible layouts of the park, with staff posted at each. Specifically, we encourage you to discuss what you like and what you don’t with the staff (some from the Park District, some from the hired consultants). These in-depth discussions on individual park features are more significant than the overall general “vote” that attendees are asked to cast. It is not a question of choosing a single scenario but rather of identifying the desirable and preferred features in each (and tagging the undesirable ones as well).
The new options – packaged as three scenarios – range from bad (a revived “music pavilion” in scenarios one and two, one option locating it at Cornell Drive and 59th St.), to potentially useful (new walkways, a relocated dog park, a boardwalk along the lagoon near the Music Bridge), to intriguing but expensive (new water features in scenarios two and three, construction of a “point” in the lake at the 63rd St. beach). Attention to the details will be important.
The Park District is going to use feedback at these meetings in devising its next steps. While it is possible to view the boards and comment online, direct discussion is much more productive and powerful. This is one of those times when in-person input may carry real weight.
Please feel free to share this Action Alert widely.
Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid
Co-founders, Jackson Park Watch