To the Editor:
Team JPAC, MPAC, and Chicago Parks Foundation,
We made “It’s Your Parks Day “ on Saturday, a wonderful success and gift to our community and our families.
In Jackson Park, we removed the mud from the Music Court aisles, removed the bottles, cans, and trash from the shoreline of the Columbia Lagoon and the surrounding the cherry tree Picnic Area and mulched and cleared the debris from around the aisles of the Music Court and its Trees. We Rock! We distributed the a giant pile of mulch in the hot sun to all of our trees.
In the Midway Plaissance Park, we removed invasive species from the gardens and covering the entrance walks, removed the debris from the soccer playing fields, removed the dead leaf debris from the rink border, and trimmed back the low hanging, face slapping limbs covering the entrance, sidewalks, and bike paths.
The Chicago Park District under Forester and Volunteer Projects Coordinator Jerome Scott, brought tools and mulch and picked up our many bags of debris.
We opened up and made safer areas for family fun in both parks.
After all the hard work, we gathered on the Midway for exciting interactive nature stories and tales by Master Storyteller Judith Heineman.
Children were enthralled as they acted out the stories while Judith told the stories. Judith, who has told stories around the world, graciously donated her storytelling time to help stimulate more young families interest in nature and in our South Parks restoration. The experience left lasting positive park memories. Kids were retelling and acting out her stories as they left the parks.
What we learned is that more young families come out together to help in park restoration when storytelling is included. We need to find grants to partner with storytellers to present at coming Jackson Park Events.
It was a win-win day for the South Parks, the CPD and our JPAC and MPAC Volunteers.
Thank you team volunteers we are proof that when volunteers take ownership and personal responsibility cleaning, planting, repairing, and financially supporting new programs for our families, rather than simply complaining about the park needs, we can proudly proclaim to the community. “ It is our park!”
You are the best!
JPAC and MPAC