Jackson Park Watch Update – May 19, 2020

Greetings, all!

Jackson Park as a Public Trust

As previously announced, the appeal by Protect Our Parks of its suit against the City is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, May 21, at 9:30 am.   Due to the pandemic, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will not hold in-person argument, but instead is conducting the argument via Zoom.   You can listen to a live audio stream of the hearing.

It is notable that the Chicago Tribune affirmed the special status and role of lakefront parks such as Jackson Park in its May 19 editorial that addressed Mayor Lightfoot’s restrictions on access to the lakefront during the pandemic.

The lakefront. It’s unique not only because it is one of the world’s great waterfront expanses curled alongside one of the world’s great cities. What also sets apart that expanse is that, because it is protected by what is legally known as the public trust doctrine, it belongs to the people, specifically the citizens of Illinois. It is everyone’s open space, backyard and front porch.

Letting the trees talk

A new spotlight is shining on the trees of the Jackson Park, some 800 of which are threatened by the plans for the Obama Presidential Center and its related road changes.  Meet the Trees  has launched an informational website about major species in the park and has begun featuring selected species in ads on bus-stop benches.  You can now meet the Silver Maple on the bench on 55th Street just west of University Avenue.


Thanks to all who have supported us financially.  As always, we welcome your contributions.  If you have any questions about contributing, please contact us at jacksonparkwatch@gmail.com and we will get back to you. You can contribute in three ways:

  • You can contribute via checks made out to Jackson Park Watch sent to directly to Jackson Park Watch, P.O. Box 15302, Chicago 60615. 
  • You can contribute via PayPal here.
  • You can contribute via checks from donor-directed funds sent to our fiscal sponsor Friends of the Parks at FOTP, 17 N. State St., Suite 1450, Chicago 60602, ATTN Kevin Winters.  Such checks should be made out to FOTP with a note stating they are intended for Jackson Park Watch. 

As always, we thank you.

Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid

Jackson Park Watch




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