Have faith, Jackson Park Will Spring Up

To the Editor:

As I write this letter on April 12th, it is spring (72 degrees outside). If it is published, in a week or so, winter may have returned. All of this unpredictability has its effect on the Jackson Park landscape.

The good news is that the contractor, Applied Ecological Services, is back on the job and anxious to undertake the necessary repairs from the devastation of winter. A lot of the green fencing placed along the lagoon shores to protect the new plantings has been removed, such as the reeds and rushes, needs to be rebuilt. While most of the white conduit piping used to water the new plantings, some remains along Cornell and in a few other places. The repairs for both, however, cannot be done until the threat of freezing ends, as freezing is the cause of the problems that need to be corrected.

The GLFER Project contract ends in October of 2019. The plan is to complete the plantings, if possible, this year, depending on the availability of supplies from the nurseries. The green fences and the white water piping will be repaired and remain to protect and maintain the new plantings. It is obvious that most of the perimeter metal fencing has been removed. What remains is there to protect the contractor’s work area, and that will remain until the contractor leaves next year.

In early spring, it takes a bit of imagination and a little insight to fully appreciate the many benefits that will soon begin to appear from the restoration project. The flowering crab trees, redbuds, cherries, and other ornamentals will soon liven the spirit as will the many new flowering plants and shrubs. Patience will be rewarded not only for us earthlings, but for the migratory birds who will benefit from the many new crops of berries from plants such as the hazel nuts, coral berries, gooseberries, and service berries.

One of the many other benefits of the restoration project is the appearance of all the young volunteer oaks that have taken advantage of the new areas of sunlight reaching the ground. Volunteer workers have carefully monitored, caged and mulched these new trees as they have emerged. Any volunteer help to continue this and other projects in Jackson Park will be most welcomed. For these opportunities, please come out and help on Wooded Island on the fourth Saturday of each month, beginning at 10 a.m., or at Bobolink Meadow on the second Saturday of each month, beginning at 9 a.m.

Jerry Levy
Volunteer Steward for Jackson Park