April 2014 Meeting Minutes

Horner Park Advisory Council


April 7, 2014

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 pm by President Peter Schlossman. The meeting was held at the Horner Park Field House.


  • Foxhole Chicago
  • Grand Tour has received its liquor license
  • DFAC
  • Christopher and Eileen from Welles Park Advisory Council
  • Jacob Park Neighbors
  • Horner Park West

Report of the Treasurer & Financial matters
MB checking $8664.16
MB savings $14,873.58
Paypal $3433.31
Total $26971.05
Quickbooks accounts reconcile with online financial institution statements.
There are some unidentified contributions through PayPal to be reviewed.
A neighbor asked to see HPAC financials. HPAC has never provided audited records, but our Treasurer’s report totals are published each month. A request was made to break out contributions to specific initiatives on the monthly treasurers report
Event insurance – needed for Horner Park Farmers Market, per Gretchen, and John, representing RMIA, reported that Bash also requires insurance coverage. HPAC officers are currently reviewing two quotes for event insurance. Peter inquired about the respective cancellation policies. Gretchen reported insurance rates at $250 for the Farmers Market, $50 per additional insured party (e.g. RMIA for Bash). A motion was made to approve event insurance, was discussed, and passed with the amendment that all additional insureds be added to the policy. Motion was approved up to $300 for event insurance.
Approval of March Minutes
Copies circulated for review; approved with changes.
Horner Park River Project
Tom McManamon, Park Supervisor: Work is running a little behind due to cold weather, but cutting has now begun. A couple more trees are expected to be left standing than expected on the upland side. Tom is going to install viewing windows in the fencing for people to see through. Workers on the site have been very receptive, respectful, and diligent. There is no change of scope, apart from leaving a few more trees. The work has been challenging with late frost. In case of emergency Tom has access to the secured work area. There was a walk-thru with Aldermen Mell and Pawar. Cutting is expected to be done by the end of the week. The work crew has been going above and beyond to ensure clarity and due diligence.
Peter Schlossman’s architectural office was given a great presentation by the project’s company, Pizzo, about the planned plantings for the site.
There was a short discussion of the MWRD project on east shore of river.
A neighbor noted that where a resident’s nearby pier that has fallen into the river, turtles sun themselves, and herons use the pier to perch on. Suggested anchoring removed trees from the project into the river for wildlife, and brought a drawing to illustrate. Peter confirmed that the use of removed trees is in fact part of the west bank restoration plan, and there are possibilities for further future development.
Larry: traditionally, it has been viewed not as a river but as a sanitary canal. Over the years we’re getting closer to approaching more of a river.
Neighbor reiterated her request for a heron nesting platform for future. Tom will mention this request to USACE and Pizzo Construction. HPAC reiterated that requests and suggestions are welcome through hornerpark.org or email and will be forwarded on to the appropriate parties. The construction company is photodocumenting the project along the way. John: It would be good to document the process for future generations. Tom: That’s the reason for the viewing windows in the fence.
Dog Friendly Area (DFA)
Erica Beutler presented a brief overview of the fundraising effort: $8000 raised so far. Launching a “150 donations in 150 Days” campaign shortly. The team has been brainstorming creative ideas for fundraising and will be running the photo booth at the Horner Park Doggie Egg Hunt for starters. Will also be coordinating an event at the Manor Bash, possibly an adoption event, possibly a pet parade. DFAC have been working with Alderman Mell on harnessing community support. Will be submitting an official request for a contribution from HPAC at May meeting.
There was a question of the proposed dog friendly area’s proposed surface material– which consideration needs to wait for the design phase, after $150K has been raised.
Last week there was an incident involving an unleashed dog that went after a runner. Authorities are actively giving warnings and ticketing. For this reason and to help preserve the riverbank wildlife and plantings, Erica reinforced that it would be great to have a designated, fenced dog friendly area.
Hornerparkdogpark.org for more information.
Theater Hikes gave a brief presentation: performance/hikes are less than 2 miles, incorporating exercise, environment, and entertainment in an afternoon. They have offered to contribute up to eight shows in Horner Park. All shows are family friendly. Alice in Wonderland, You’re a Good Man Charlie musical, Enchanted April, Resurrected (Halloween). Minimal costumes, no set—low impact theater. 1 pm audience in the shade, actors in the sun. Requested from HPAC and Tom a list of dates.
There was a discussion of performances in Horner—Tom raised the question of impacts due to the construction. From Theater Hikes perspective, Saturday and Sunday together would be ideal. Part of the mission is to make the product accessible to everyone. Tom raised logistical concerns with baseball and other activities on weekends and needs to look into it. The possibility is to be discussed in more detail offline with Tom and John on behalf for the Concert/Entertainment Committee.
Two Members of Welles Park Advisory Council (Christopher Haite and Eileen Palmer) gave a presentation– the are on the WPAC committee to bring Midnight Circus to more parks. Presented about the success of the fundraiser in a box—help other advisory councils do this. 8th year. Over 18K people each year see these shows in the parks. Want to partner with Horner Park, host at Welles—start a partnership. Three parks fundraising together at an event held at one park. Handed around the program book—another fundraising tool, 100% proceeds go back to the participant parks. HPAC would be helping with logistics, volunteers, etc. Proceeds from the tour split between the parks. Have a tent now, fits up to 5-700 people, shows selling out, enormously popular. $15/20 kids/adults tickets. 50% split on volunteer hours, helping market, flier, etc. Solid partnership with Park District, insurance covered. fliering, banners, selling adspace to businesses, meetings—15-20 hrs, + 8 people (of any age) at each show. Need point person responsible for coordinating communication. Probably 10/18 weekend. Need to hear back an answer by May meeting. See videos online. Very interested in helping support the Dog Friendly Area initiative in particular. Can’t speak highly enough about the show. 8-16 people on Sat and on Sun. Sharing in the fund(s). Also part of Night Out in the Parks. Digitas new marketing company coming out with promotional booklet next month. High school age volunteers. WPAC will give HPAC first right of refusal. Circusintheparks.org for more info. Tickets to go on sale in July.

Park Briefs

Horner Park
Bus stop – no news. Peter will follow up.
Tom: All Summer programs signup at Horner starts tomorrow. Numerous summer camps. Movie in the Park, Wizard of Oz, Sat Aug 31 (funded by Mell & Cullerton). Night out in the Parks movie, carnival atmosphere, Thurs June 26 at Ravenswood Manor Park, Thurs Aug 16 at California Park.
No news yet on a fitness center in Horner—working on getting equipment from other parks.
Earth Day April 26 – a lot of cleanup needed. Partnership with Bateman Elementary, a lot of people already signed up – Gretchen H. coordinating.
There has been lot of tagging in the parks—if you see anything, call it in to Tom.
Horner Park Farmers Market
Gretchen Helmreich: Moving forward, Saturdays 9a-1p beginning July 12 thru September, into October, weather permitting. Several committed vendors already. Looking for organic fruit and vegetable vendors. Northwest corner of the park in front of the field house. Organic vegetables, organic meat, cheese, baked goods, and a selection of nonprofits. farmersmarket@hornerpark.org , farmersmarket.hornerpark.org, for more information
Earth Day Cleanup in the Parks (4/26)
Sunken Garden – Luke Ross coordinating
Horner Park – Horner Park Pest Neighborhood Association
Jacob Park – Ben Ranney
Buffalo Park – Sue Davenport
Ravenswood Manor Park – Sarah Reiser

Jacob Play lot
Tom says that CPD is working on getting a general contractor assigned to the Jacob Park parcel development project. Big cottonwood is probably going to have to come down. Friends of Jacob Park asked for scope of the project—river access? Tom will keep lines of communication open between downtown and neighbors and follow up with more information once a project manager is assigned.
Tom will follow up with contractor to replace park sign.
Earth Day – painting of benches would be a good project.
River Day, Sat May 10 – sign up online.

Ravenswood Manor Park 
Ravenswood Manor Park received a letter of appreciation from Representative Ann Williams for all we do for the community there.

Concert Committee
John O.: Fund raising is moving along, turning in $3k in proceeds, another $1k forthcoming—about a third of the way toward goal.
John brought his poster presentation (demonstrating concert series sponsorship solicitation materials) from Friends of the Parks conference. Encouraged people to go to it next year.
John confirmed that the Concert Series program itself goes out in the mail to about 100 subscribers and about 60 ad/sponsors, and it’s also handed out at every concert.
Ravenswood Manor Centennial Bash Weekend: Friday June 27 Hawaiian Dance Night; Bash Saturday June 28
RMIA held its recent Centennial Committee meeting at new local business Grand Tour.
CPD/Tom will provide a fence banner and porta-john for the events.
Concert Committee and DFAC will coordinate the donation request from MBFinancial.

Stewardship Committee
Earth Day will be on Saturday April 26, 2014 and marks 25 years of Friends of the Parks’ event observance.
Request for Miscanthus grasses to be cut down before Earth Day. Tom will look into it.

New Business
Doggie Egg Hunt at Horner this Saturday.
Foxhole Chicago presented: want to promote arts in the community—offering recording studio, theater, photography Multi-purpose artistic space.
Grand Tour announced its new menu- featuring Greece this month.
There was a request to use park kiosks as display space for information about development projects. John F. volunteered to head up this project.
The meeting adjourned at 9:08pm

Peter Schlossman – President
Kevin Anderson – Treasurer
Sarah Reiser – Co-Secretary
John O’Connell – Concert Committee, Friends of the Parks Representative
John Friedmann – Save the Ash Tree Coalition
Larry Brown
Ben Ranney
Patrick Monahan
Gretchen Helmreich
Luke Ross
Bradley Baker
Julia Smith
Eric Michaels
Jessica Lyons
Tim Frank
Carol Maher
Christopher Haite
Eileen Palmer
Erica Beutler
Kurt Matthesius
Lynn Sheck
Jan Carlson
Dilek Yunlu
Respectfully submitted: Sarah Reiser, Co-Secretary

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