To the Editor:
In response to comments in the Herald’s September 6 issue, we would like to reaffirm the four broad priorities that guide Jackson Park Watch: transparency in decision-making about Jackson Park; meaningful community input on major changes to the park; preservation of the park as a democratic public space; and development of a comprehensive plan for the entire park rather than a practice of piecemeal changes. Within this framework we encourage residents of the communities surrounding the park, and Chicagoans generally, to learn about the current proposals for transformational projects — the Obama Presidential Center, the golf facilities, traffic and parking reconfigurations — and to participate actively in the discussions to evaluate and refine those proposals as well as to identify other needs and improvements for the park. With robust community engagement in the planning process Jackson Park can remain an invaluable nature sanctuary and a treasured recreational resource for local uses and local users even as it welcomes new visitors from afar.
Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid
Co-coordinators, Jackson Park Watch