Response to letter to editor of complaint about GLFER (Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration) Project conditions

To the Editor:

It has been a cold and snowy winter that has taken its toll on our parks. It is easy to complain about the visible ravages of Chicago’s winter weather on our parks, our streets, our cars, and our homes. Our Jackson Park volunteers are grateful for the warmer weather allowing our volunteers to get back to work restoring our parks. In a 500+ acre public access park, having many eyes seeing and respectfully reporting (preferably with a picture) needed repairs is helpful.

We are also grateful that the Chicago Park District and the GLFER Restoration project in Jackson Park, now in the middle of its park replanting project, took down the protective fencing, while a few years from completion, and allowed all of us to walk through the new acreage and beautiful replanted Natural Areas last Summer,Fall, and Winter. We had visitors from around the world, who had read of World famous Olmsted Landscape Architect Patricia O’Donnell’s Olmsted landscape restoration, and came to see it for themselves .We are grateful to Project 120 for bringing Ms. O’Donnell to our Jackson Park Project. We are grateful to Chicago Park District’s Lauren Umek for her hundreds of hours, planning and supervising the project, teaching, leading community tours and patiently answering questions from our passionate community members.
We are grateful for the new ADA wheel chair accessibility of the Jackson Park project’s 8,000 linear feet of new crushed stone paths and the reconstructed 4,000 linear feet of existing concrete paths and nine lagoon overlooks We are grateful for the Park District’s project planting of 180 new trees, 600,000 new native plants, and 11,000 new shrubs and 300 different species of new ferns, vines, trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowering plants. The Project, when completed will provide our park with crucial ecological diversity, four seasons of beautiful landscapes for visitors, and diverse habitats for our diverse worms, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and water fowl living in our natural areas in and around Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow and our Lagoons.

Finally, we are grateful for our volunteers. Volunteers are welcomed to participate in these Jackson Park Earth Day Activities.
Saturday 4/21
Time–7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Goal–Park green and Clean up, Kids are welcome
Location –63rd Street Soccer Fields, paths, and Lagoons
Bring-water and reusable bag

Time : 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Place: 57th Street Beach
Goal: Beach Cleanup
Bring: water and reusable bag.

Time: 10:30 a.m. to noon
Place 63rd Street Beach
Goal: Beach Cleanup
Bring: water and reusable bag

Time: 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Place : Women’s Circle Garden at 60th and Stony Island
Event: park tour
Join our- Free -History Tour of the Obama Center site and the Midway Plaissance
(kids are welcome)

Time -2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Place: Jackson Park Fieldhouse at 6401 Stony Island
Event :One Earth Films presents the Redford Studios Movie- ” Happenings”
With presentations by the Sierra Club and Michael Strautmanis of the Obama Center.

Date: Monday 4/ 23 / 2018
Time: 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Place: 67th Street Beach at Southeast corner of Jackson Park
Goal : Beach cleanup and path repair.
Bring: water, gloves, reusable bag.

Jackson Park is an exciting place where volunteers working together make a difference in our community ecology. Instead of complaining about it, you can actually help make a positive change in our community park.

We welcome you!

Louise McCurry
President, Jackson Park Advisory Council