April 2003 Meeting Minutes

Horner Park Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes

Jerry Giese, as president, called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. Larry Brown acted as secretary for this meeting.

Previous Minutes: March minutes with minor corrections were passed by acclamation.

Treasurer’s Report: Jerry Giese delivered the Treasurer’s report. The balances are as follows:

  • Checking Account: 3,444.48
  • Savings Account: 4,136.06
  • CD’s 0
  • Totals $ 7,580.54

Announcements: A letter from Chicago Park District’s Community Outreach Director Robert Steele announcing that Chicago Park District board member Michael Kelly has recently resigned so as he can take on a new position within the Governor Blagojevich administration was presented. Anne Rozmin recently attended the Friends of the Park’s(FOTP) annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception at Columbus Park Refectory. Advisory councils at both Carver and Unity Parks were honored along with several other individuals. FOTP provided literature on the promotion of lakefront bird habitat. This literature describes the guidelines that the CPD has adopted to stay within the framework of the “Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds” signed in 2000 between the City of Chicago and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. On May 5, 2003 the CPD will hold a dedication for the new Handicap Accessible Baseball field in California Park. This field was built by the CPD in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs. Several of our local representatives will be attending. On May 7, 2003 Libby Hill from the Claremont Press will hold a informative lecture about the Chicago River at the Lutheran Church at Wilson and R at 7:00 PM. The Manor Garden Club’s Pruning Seminar has been postponed until Saturday April 5th. It will still be from 10:30-12:00. An Earth Day clean up at Manor Park will be held on Saturday, April 26th 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.

Council Business: Plants for the Manor Park Wildlife Garden have been purchased. Several gifts previously approved by the council will be given out this month. This included 2 baby gifts and a bereavement donation. A letter of the thanks will be created for approval to be sent to Heather of the World Vision Ministries acknowledging their help on the Henry Horner Monument Garden Clean Up Day.

Concert Committee: Mailings have been sent out to all prior individual and business contributors. Currently the committee is actively passing out flyers door to door and should be done by weeks end. New business prospect letters will be out within a week.

Garden Committee: The recent Henry Horner Monument Garden Clean Up was well attended. Many thanks to the volunteers that made it a fun and easy day. The council would especially like to thank the World Vision Ministries from Palos Hills. Their youth group “Souled Out Ministry” volunteers were a great help.

Park Briefs: Terry Sweeney, Park Supervisor and Dale Marie Grandys, North Region Supervisor, were representing the Horner Park Staff and CPD.

Horner Park: As of May 1, 2003 the lights at the Montrose tennis courts were turned on. The hours will be from dusk until 10:30 PM. Work on the play lot retaining wall should commence this week. A walk through of the on going phase 1 and 2 work on the sidewalk and water supply problems in the park was completed by the CPD. Work will be starting next to diamond 1 and 2 in the very near future. Terry Sweeney reported that it went well. Mayor Richard M. Daley will be announcing the water fountain conservation program which will effect the number of fountains in the park. There is no definitive answer on which fountains will be turned off yet. The benches in the park in need of painting and repair will be attended to as weather permits. The access ramp at the rear of the field house has been painted. A recent inspection of the lighting system in the park determined that it is in good shape.

Ravenswood Manor Park: Dale Marie Grandys will arrange for the FOTP clean up supplies to be at the park for the Earth Day clean up. John O’Connell requested again that the CPD look into replacing the sidewalk in front of the Pergola. CPD also had a walk through with Terry Sweeney in which it was suggested that more bollards could be installed along Manor Ave. to prevent motor vehicles from coming up on the parkway. The council is still seeking other possible solutions to this problem. Dale Marie Grandys will bring information on bike racks to the next meeting. A Consensus is building on a multi-use solution to this issue. Included would be a bike rack at the north end of this area and a long berm to keep traffic and road salt from killing the plants in this area. The council will continue to work towards a solution. Dale is going to remind Barb Wood, a landscape architect at the CPD, to continue to work for a solution of the drainage issue on the east side of the playlot. Barb was to have continued to as the warmed up in the spring. The playlot retaining wall in that area is continuing to fall. Mario Geofortuna, CPD North District Carpentry Foreman, has offered to build a new kiosk for the park. Anne Rozmin suggested using a prefabricated kiosk to replace the all wood one now there. Larry Brown suggested to install one that matches the pergola and other stained woods in the park. Either way two kiosks are required to hold all of the material that is in the current bulletin board.

Buffalo Park: There has been no further information forthcoming from either Bob McGere from the CPD or Mike Emerson of VOA on the budgetary questions which were requested concerning the proposed council ring at the park.

Jacob Park: Paul Margolis & His Barnyard Friends will perform at the park on June 26, 2003.

Sunken Garden Park: Jerry Giese has submitted a plant list to Dale Marie Grandys. Dale has requested the CPD to transfer the $ 300.00 budget that had previously come from Welles Park to be used for these plants.

Horner Park Riverbank Initiative: Many of the council members recently attended a CPD meeting concerning all advisory councils whose parks are located on the north branch of the Chicago River. The open discussion hosted by CPD’s Bob Foster was held to get feedback from the council’s regarding a bicycle trail which is going to be designated and posted this summer along the Chicago River. It will start at Belmont Ave. in Clark Park and follow the Chicago River north, both along the north channel and the north branch of the Chicago River. Of interest to the council was the new under bridge connectors planned for several streets along this bike trail. Construction of a underpass in River Park at Foster Ave. will begin this year. Also planned to begin this year will be an overpass to be constructed at Wood St. over the North Channel behind Lincoln Mall on North Lincoln Avenue. The plan will ultimately link the path up to the Skokie bike path along McCormick Blvd. The council made it very clear that their collective response to this plan is that there is no underpass at Irving Park Rd. which is going to be very dangerous for any bikers and pedestrians traveling from California Park across Irving Park Rd. t.o Horner Park. Also the council recommended that the bike path be brought into the park at California and Irving Park and routed to the river side of the park and continue along the back of the park all the way to the Montrose St. tennis courts at which point the path should cross Montrose Ave. at Manor Ave. Also it was recommended that the CPD contact the Chicago Department of Transportation and work together to install a stop sign at the intersection of Manor Ave. and Montrose Ave. Our treasurer Elaine Taylor brought up the issue that the CPD has still not become a sponsor of the HPRI. Bob Foster denied he had any knowledge of where the project is within the CPD and suggested that the council talk with Mary Van Haaften. As in his words she is the CPD point person on those projects. He further stated she is about to release a “master plan”. Jerry Giese followed up this meeting with a call to the CPD to get further information. None was forthcoming and the council agreed to set up a meeting with Alderman Mell to discuss this situation with him. Further discussion will ensue assuredly.

Adjournment: Anne Rozmin moved to adjourn the meeting. John O’Connell seconded and Jerry Giese thanked all those in attendance and the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Larry Brown

Roster of those in attendance: Jerry Giese, President; Larry Hodak; Anne Rozmin, Vice President; Susie Novak; Larry Brown, Secretary; Jacob Peters; John O’Connell; Dale Marie Grandys, North Region Supervisor, CPD; Terry Sweeney, Park Supervisor, CPD.

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