Vandervoort recognized for service

Herald Intern

The Jackson Park Advisory Council has awarded its first “Golden Lady Volunteer of the Year Award” to Hyde Parker Fran Vandervoort. In her case, though, it’s being called the “volunteer of the decades” award.

Vandervoort has been volunteering for JPAC since 2004, when she returned to the parks after working during the 1970s.

Vandervoort claimed all she did to merit the award was plant in the park.

“I showed up [and] got my fingers dirty,” she said.

Louise McCurry, president of JPAC, said Vandervoort had given herself short shrift.

“Fran is involved in every aspect of JPAC,” she said. “She plants, cleans, organizes— she’s truly amazing,” McCurry said.

McCurry listed fundraising, forging new nature trails and leading tours for students as a few of Vandervoort’s contributions to the park.
“These are green jewels,” Vandervoort said. “It’s a responsibility to look after these public spaces.”

Vandervoort’s award features a picture of the Golden Lady, a statue in the park which is a reproduction of an 1893 World’s Fair attraction.