Hairston calls for clarity from Park District and Project 120

By SAM RAPPAPORT
Staff Writer

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said that she’s in talks with the Chicago Park District (CPD) about holding a community meeting to discuss Project 120’s proposals for Jackson Park.

Project 120, the non-profit organization that has been working with CPD to spearhead revitalizations throughout Washington Park, Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park, has held a series of community presentations over the past six months. However, some Hyde Park residents remain wary of the pace at which Project 120 and the park district seem to be moving.

“There has been very poor communication with the community,” Hairston said. “Residents have said that the community has been ignored and that there has been little input from the community. I think we need to have a meeting to get clarity and to make sure there are no issues surrounding misinformation.”

Margaret Schmid, a founding member of Jackson Park Watch, a community initiative dedicated to providing residents with a meaningful say in parkland proposals, commended Hairston’s plan to devote a meeting to sorting through Project 120’s propositions.

“We are delighted that Alderman Hairston has called on the Park District to convene a community review of Project 120 proposals for Jackson Park,” Schmid said. “While we understand that no date has yet been set, this will give us time to work with the Alderman’s officer to help ensure community participation.”

Project 120 President Bob Karr said that he looks forward to the community meeting. Karr sees the discussion as simply a continuation of the process of community engagement that he said started in November 2013, when Ald. Hairston first introduced Project 120 at 5th Ward meeting in the University of Chicago’s Ida Noyes Hall.

Hairston said that she working to set a meeting date for later this month.

s.rappaport@hpherald.com