February 2016 Meeting Minutes

Horner Park Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes
Feb. 1, 2016

Peter called the HPAC meeting to order at the Horner Park Field House at 7pm.
Because of the many new attendees, introductions were made at the beginning of the meeting.

CDOT Bike and Pedestrian Connector
The North Shore Channel Trail currently ends at Lawrence and Francisco.  The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is planning to extend the trail to Horner Park, using Manor Ave. as the connecting street between Lawrence and Montrose.  Two representative from CDOT, Mike Amsden and his colleague, came to discuss the new plans; their presentation was focused on that part of the trail that extends from Montrose Ave. into Horner Park.

The project is federally funded and construction is expected to begin in 2017. The portion of the path in Horner Park would be maintained by CPD.

The primary effect on Manor Ave. would be new pavement markings and new signage.

The proposed path from Montrose Ave. to the existing, circular path in Horner would be concrete, 10 feet wide, and curve to avoid trees to the extent possible. An advantage of a curved path is that it will keep bike speeds down. 4 trees will have to be removed from the path inside Horner Park: of these, 2 of them are sickly and 2 of them are honey locusts, a tree commonly found in parks and on parkways.  Additionally, 2 trees in the parkway on Montrose will have to be removed. CDOT representative noted that they block the sidewalk so they should be removed for safety. Since it is CDOT policy to replace every tree that is removed, 6 new trees will be planted. They are working with the park district to determine locations for the trees.

When they are laying the concrete, the crew from CDOT will trim the roots of the trees near the path to help protect the health of the tree.

One other effect on the park is that it will reduce the small parking lot behind the field house by 11 feet. The CDOT representatives asked for input on how existing parking needs would be effected by the proposed path. Gretchen and Deb described the parking issues for the programs that are run at the park.

CDOT is also talking to the CTA about possibly moving the bus stop on Montrose.

There were many comments and questions about the proposed path, including:
1. John suggested directing all bike traffic to the path on the east side because that side is less busy.
2. Amy suggested moving the drinking fountain to reduce foot traffic.
3. Carol suggested making the path 11 feet to conform to the existing path and to accommodate the expected bike traffic.
4. Deb expressed concern about the loss of parking spaces, which are highly utilized.
5. A question was raised about using a semi-permeable surface rather than concrete.

Previous Minutes:
The minutes of the Dec. 2015 and Jan. 2016 meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s Report:
The following funds are in HPAC accounts:

Checking  $33,331.81
Savings  $14,728.23
PayPal   $9,106.61
Total   $57,220.65

All accounts reconcile with QuickBooks.

All online accounts reconcile with QuickBooks.  Check #205259 for $2980.48 from Welles Park Advisory Concert was deposited on the 19th, presumably for the Midnight Circus.  That deposit also included check # 6005 for $220.29 from Dog-a-holics, Inc. There are two large outstanding checks from last year: $1000 for Paul Cox, World Entertainment Inc. (Gizzae concert) and $500 for Manor Garden Club.  Kevin attended the Chicago Parks Foundation’s Finance Workshop on Saturday and found it very informative.

Stewardship Committee: No Report

Farmers Market:
Gretchen reported that the Farmers Market will run from June 4 to Oct. 1. They will not extend the market until the end of October as they have done in previous years. These are the same dates as last year, so some advertising materials, such as banners, can be reused.

Applications for merchants are on-line. Gretchen asked for recommendations for a bakery as they need a new one.

Dog Friendly Area
Erica and Peter met with several people from the park district. While the park district previously expressed support for a small dog park, they have agreed to consider the larger dog park that Erica is proposing.  The board is reluctant to use grass because of previous experiences, but they may consider using Horner as an experiment to see if a grass area will work out in a large dog park.

Erica reported that they raised almost $3000 from Midnight Circus and almost $200 from Dog-a-holics. The next event is the doggie egg hunt.  There is also a separate bunny breakfast that day. Amy is preparing a registration web site for both events and Deb asked her to limit attendance to 150 participants for each event.

Concert Committee:
John bought supplies last week. He will print around 800+ letters. He will need block captains for the flyers next month.

Two representatives from Theater Hikes, Matthew Powell and Bradley Baker, described their involvement with the concert series this season. They are going to offer 3 hikes as part of the concert series: Jungle Book with puppets, Iliad, Odyssey, and Greek mythology in 90 minutes, and Driving Miss Daisy. Luckily, Disney is releasing a new version of the Jungle Book in April, which will tie in with the first Theater Hikes performance. In addition, they will present 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse in October, although this is outside the providence of the concert series.

Their biggest challenge in working with Horner Park are storm days. Each performance costs them nearly $800 for expenses such as royalty fees. These costs are incurred even if the performance is canceled due to inclement weather.  At other locations, they have an indoor space which they use and asked if they could use something in the field house. The consensus was that the conference room should be available for their use.

Their other challenge is that people have trouble finding them at the start. The suggestion is to meet at the front of the field house. Because their performances take place after the Farmers Market, they could hang their banner in near the field house as another form of advertising during the Farmers Market.

Horner Fest will occur on July 16 and will include a salsa band and a movie.

Park Briefs:

Horner Park:
The play lot is going to be renovated. There are 4 proposed designs, Gretchen created a survey to gather input from the community. She received 396 responses.
There was a landslide victory, 53%, for Option 3, Nu Toys.
The surveys included 82 comments, including:
Comments about the need for more swings. None of the designs have enough swings. The vast majority of the comments were requests for more swings.
Comments about the need for a clear distinction between big and small child areas.
Comments about the lack of shade, especially for swings.

John reported that the walls are falling over and are in desperate need of repair.
Carol suggested letting the neighborhood know the final design specs.

Peter will send the results to Maria.

The ceramic/clay program Horner Park is very popular, but the tiny sink used to clean materials is always clogged. Diane Sutliff, representing the group, is asking for a new sink as well as a trap for the sink in the kitchen. The trap is relatively inexpensive – about $100.  The new sink will require removing a wall and drawers. Deb said the CPD will do the installation. Deb will take the design to the plumber. The expected cost of the sink and traps is around $500. HPAC is supportive but further investigation is needed for a vote is taken to commit funds. Also, Deb asked that once they have the new sink, they no longer use the sink in the kitchen, alleviating the need for a trap.

Carol asked about the request for a splash pad. Deb reported that she told the interested parent to come to the meeting, but the parent never attended.

Carol also asked about providing chess tables at Horner Park. The concept is for 3 cement tables and chairs. Diane said that the ceramics group is willing to assist by putting attractive tiles on the tables. Peter is going to follow-up and determine if there is a spot for them.

Deb asked everyone to advertise the Valentines Dance. The alderman’s office and Amy are going to send out email to their constituents. There will be snacks, pictures, and music. Deb asked HPAC buy 4 pizzas for the band. There was a motion to order 4 pizzas to arrive by 5 on Feb. 12. The motion passed unanimously. Erica will order the pizzas.

Ravenswood Manor Park:
A group met to discuss the west side of the native garden. The first step is to secure plants for the spring and to do some weeding. Deb agreed to put in a request for removal of a limb on the Maple tree.
Erica moved that we donate up to $500 for new plants for the garden. It passed unanimously. John has an application from CPD for a grant for park gardens. If the grant is approved, then the funds will be obtained from that instead of HJPAC.

John reported that in the last 6 weeks, the conifer planted on the parkway failed. The park district removed the tree.

Peter will attend the RMIA meeting on the 11th to talk about a possible history station.

Jacob Park:
John assessed the erosion area near the fence. John feels it looks bad – a child could slide down. John contacted the park district and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to resolve the problem.

Buffalo Park: No Report

Sunken Gardens: No Report

Website Committee:
Still working on moving email to gmail.

Stewardship Committee: No Report

Nominating Committee
John is looking for volunteers.

Landscape Committee for Ravenswood Manor Park: No Report

New Business:
Doggie Easter Egg Hunt – Mar. 26
Lunch with the Bunny – Mar. 26
Valentine Dance – Feb. 12

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Lisa Cleveland Co-Secretary

Peter Schlossman – President, John Friedmann – Vice- President , Amy Jahnke – Co-Secretary, Lisa Cleveland – Co-Secretary, Erica Beutler – DFA, Gretchen Helmreich – Farmers Market, Deborah Groh – Park Supervisor,  John O’Connell – Concert Committee, Carol  Maher – Neighbor, Alan Mueller – RMIA Representative, D. J. Ames – Neighbor, Jeff Sobczyk – 33rd Ward, Geoff Gieskop – RMIA Traffic Coordinator, Mike Amsden – CDOT, Diane Sutliff – Local Artist, David Smith-Tylin, Matthew Powell – Theater Hikes, Bradley Baker – Theater Hikes


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