May 2012 Meeting Minutes

Horner Park Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm by Vice-President Larry Brown; he conducted the meeting in the absence of Peter Schlossman, who was away on business. The meeting was at the Horner Park Field House and a quorum was determined to be present.

Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the April 2012 meeting were approved, without change.

Concert Committee
Fund-raising is still underway: $5800 has been raised toward the goal of $8500. All members should try to solicit new sponsors. A mass email will be sent later in the week for concert fund-raising. More checks and expense receipts were submitted.

Earth Day Cleanup
John O’Connell thanked Theresa Hicks for successfully running the Earth Day cleanup at Horner Park on April 21. Theresa noted that the optimal amount of mulch was delivered and suggested that the same amount be requested next year. She also sent a letter to the Little League thanking them for their help (Attachment 1). Earth Day clean ups were also staged at Ravenswood Manor, Jacob, Sunken Gardens and Buffalo Parks. There were sufficient wheelbarrows and tools for all, although there was not enough mulch at Sunken Gardens. Thanks to the CPD for all tools and supplies and to Friends of the Parks for sponsoring the event and providing T-shirts and gloves.

River Day Cleanup
On Saturday, May 12, we will have River Clean ups at Horner, Jacob and Sunken Garden Parks. Ten loppers are available to remove buckthorn and garlic mustard. A mass email about this event will be sent this week as a reminder. The captains are John O’Connell and Theresa Hicks for Horner, Ben Ranney for Jacob, and Luke Ross for Sunken Gardens. This event is sponsored by Friends of the River.

Jacob Playlot
On April 10, Peter sent a letter to Forrest Claypool at the CTA, regarding the proposed sale of land adjacent to the Jacob Playlot (Attachment 2). Forrest responded and proposed using TIF money for purchase of the area at a discounted rate.

Ben reported on the status of the petitions. The paper petition, listing names and addresses, was passed to Alderman Pawar on May 2, 2012. The online petition at is still active. Alderman Pawar contacted Ben to express his support, but acknowledged that support from Alderman O’Connor is essential. Several community groups have written letters of support, including Friends of the Park, Friends of the River, and Openlands. It was suggested that we maintain communication with the aldermen and the mayor’s office. Maya Solis will be the CPD contact on future communication.

The CTA is going to continue with the bid process but is not obligated to accept a bid.

There are two fund-raising efforts that will have to be undertaken for this venture. The first is for the purchase and the second is for capital improvements, which will be significant. Ben also acknowledged that any capital improvements must be mindful of any CPD needs regarding long-term maintenance. John said that Friends of the Parks has written the CPD to encourage them to apply for an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant from the State of Illinois.

Dog Friendly Area: No Report

Web Site
Michael Holm is working on improvements. A potential volunteer is being contacted.

Ravenswood Manor Park
The request will be amended to include Sunken Gardens. There is a pipe leaking at Eastwood and Ravenswood, but this may not be a CPD job. John will call the 33rd Ward.

Theresa Hicks authored an enthusiastically-received critique of the tree trimming done at Ravenswood park. This “Pruning Assessment” has been passed to HPAC, Tom, Maya Solois, and Adam Schwerner, head of Landscape Services for CPD. Adam passed the assessment to the head of Forestry.

Volunteer Sarah Riser has been furnished with the buffalo box kit and a key for hose storage.

Buffalo Park
The Liz Freese Memorial Tree project for the parkway next to Buffalo Park is being funded by the Manor Garden Club. Site and species has been approved by Joseph McCarthy, Forestry. (Attachment 3). Permit will be issued as a Treekeeper Workday to plant tree. Request has been made with Glenda Daniel, Openlands. Go-ahead is on hold, pending repair of Buffalo Box (water source) in park.

Sunken Garden
Gerry Geise, Ravenswood Gardens, informed Council of plans to plant trees in Sunken Garden. He has phoned Barb Wood, CPD for a request to do so. Theresa raised a question about moving forward without available water source of commitment from residents to perform needed watering etc.

Barb Wood has already committed to one tree planting in Sunken Gardens. Additionally, the Manor Garden Club is in the process of proposing a Memorial Tree planting for the adjacent parkway. New plans could affect projects already in process.

Council asked that Gerry and Ravenswood Gardens folks be in open communication with Theresa Hicks, representing Advisory Council, regarding trees. Theresa will be in touch with RGHA and Gerry Geise and report back to Council.

Horner Park
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing program has $200 in their budget, less $150 for an upcoming party. They would like to begin a basketball program and would like Horner Park to be their fiscal agent. Tom will investigate.

The elevator has been approved and is working. A community member has emailed Tom about the Wood Shop vacancy. Christina Williams is the new pre-school teacher, and is exploring new ideas, such as children’s pilates. There area variety of summer classes and Little Campers was booked so quickly, new sections are being added.

Tom is going to ask the Sunday Baseball League to put in new clay tiles. A new mix is being used on the ball fields to minimize dust blowing in nearby yards.

The Doggie Egg Hunt was the largest in recent memory. All 110 bandanas were sold, and 90 additional dogs attended.

Theresa is going to try to track down a tree inventory.

Report of the Treasurer
MB Checking 6,271.00
MB Savings 2,125.50
Chase Savings 10,328.23
Paypal 204.18
Total 18,928.91

All accounts are reconciled and consistent with records and bank statements. Approval was given to renew our subscription to Friends of the Parks.

New Business
Tom advised that there is a new application for submitting dates of the concerts. John O’Connell will follow-up.

River Day Cleanup, May 12.
Jazz Concert, June 1
Avon Breast Cancer Walk, June 1-3
First Concert in Ravenswood Manor Park: June 15, featuring Dave Dondero.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40pm.

Attachment 1: Thank you letter from Theresa Hicks to Little League
Attachment 2: Letter from Peter Schlossman to Forrest Claypool, CTA
Attachment 3: Liz Freese Memorial Proposal

Attendance roster:
Larry Brown, Vice President, Kevin Anderson, Treasurer, John Bernbom, C-Secretary, Lisa Cleveland, Co-Secretary, Larry Hodak, Tom McManamon, Alan Mueller, John O’Connell, Ben Ranney, Theresa Hicks, Maya Solis

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