May 2013 Meeting Minutes

May 2013 Meeting Minutes

The Horner Park Advisory Council meeting on Monday May 6 at 7 pm hosted representatives from US Army Corps of Engineers and the Chicago Park District who gave a preview to neighbors of riverfront restoration plans, which incorporate a portion of Horner Park.

Horner Park Advisory Council
May 6, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm by President Peter Schlossman. The meeting was at the Horner Park Field House and a quorum was determined to be present.

Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the March 2013 meeting were approved.

Report of the Treasurer
MB checking $4,791.22
MB savings $14,866.65
Paypal $1,080.48
Total $ 20,738.35

The Quickbooks account reconciles with the bank statements. Additional money from the concert committee is expected.

River Project
Nicole Roach, with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), is the project manager for the river restoration project at Horner Park. She gave a presentation about the status and goals of the restoration project. The slides from the presentation and a report titled Detailed Project Report and Environmental Assessment can be found on the Horner Park website.

The project is limited to the west side of the riverbank and consists of 14 acres and 2600 feet of river front. Disposal of soil will go to a landfill because of the uncertainty of what will be found in the soil; a former brink manufacturing existed on this site. The river currently has a grade of 1 vertical foot to two horizontal feet. This will be changed to a grade of one to three. All non-native trees will be removed and those native trees that impede the restoration process will also be removed.

The current budget, approximately $5.6 million, is split 65% from the USACE and 35% from CPD. The federal funds are coming from the Great Lakes Restoration; this money was originally scheduled for another project, but that project did not materialize and the money was transferred to this project.

By mid-June the plans will be nearly complete. Any comments that could influence the design are needed soon; comments about the plans should be sent to Peter so that the USACE has a single point of contact. Nicole will return to Horner Park for a presentation of the final design by the end of the summer.

The USACE is planning to award the contract in September, with work to begin in the winter. The goal is to monitor the site for 5 years to ensure that the site has healthy growth.  Only native vegetation, primarily Oak Savanna, will be planted and Vernal pools (small, low-land areas that collect rain water) will be created. A concrete abutment at the north end of the park will be incorporated into the design and it can be used for fishing and to tie-off boats so that the boaters can access Horner Park.

Nicole fielded a lively question/answer session covering a variety of topics, including the bike and pedestrian trails, whether they are separate trails, the relationship with the under-bridge connection, and how they enter and exit the park, the proposed dog park, the type of native plants and that will be planted, and the types of fish, bird, and animal life the new habitat will encourage.

Dog Friendly Area (DFA)
The only issue raised regarding the DFA was the concern that the USACE is using the south end of Horner Park as a native plant restoration area. The potential conflict is being addressed by Erica, CPD, and USACE.

River Day
Luke Ross raised a question about whether there would be a barge to trim branches.

Earth Day Park Cleanup
Each of the 5 park had a captain for Earth Day. Peter and the HPAC board extend their thanks to the captains and to everyone who was able to help with the clean-up.

Website Committee – No Report

Garden Committee – No Report

Concert Committee
John O. said the season should be very successful and reminded us that opening day is June 14th.

Park Briefs

Buffalo Park – No Report

Sunken Garden Park – No Report

Ravenswood Manor Park
John O. said the trash hasn’t been picked up – the trash can is over-flowing and trash is all over the ground. Tom said that the frequency of garbage pick-up will increase for the summer months.

Jacob Park – No Report

Horner Park
A woodshop instructor has been found. He is going in for prints on Friday, in preparation for the background check.

A neighbor reported that here is a significant trash problem at Horner, especially in the playlot. Tom has his staff pick up the garbage whenever possible. Much of the garbage is caused by people who use the concessionaire stand but do not throw their garbage in a garbage can but just leave it on the ground. Larry suggested that the concessionaire clean up the park. Tom has also asked the concessionaire to change the look of the kiosk.

Peter was asked to write a letter to Alderman Mell to support the ordinance regarding privatization which is currently it is in Alderman Mell’s committee. The privatization ordinance will prevent the sale of parking meters, etc. without proper oversight. Larry motioned that HPAC write a letter; the motion was approved unanimously.

Emerald Ash Borer
John Friedman has been asked to inventory the ash trees in Horner. He informed us that the herbicide in being offered at cost, which Alderman Mell offered to pay. John will send to the HPAC board both the inventory and a request for permission to treat so that we can show our support by signing the document. These documents will be sent to Alderman Mell, who will then submit a request to CPD for permission to treat.

Events at Horner Park
River Day – May 11
Avon Breast Cancer Walk – May 31 to June 2

The meeting adjourned at 8:50.


Peter Schlossman – President
Larry Brown – Vice President
Kevin Anderson – Treasurer
Lisa Cleveland – Co-Secretary
Tom McManamon – Horner Park Supervisor
John O’Connell – Head of HPAC Concert Series Committee, Friends of the Parks Representative
Erica Beutler – Head of the DFA
Cathy Breitenbach – CPD
Mitch Murdock – CPD
Nicole Roach – USACE
Damian Allen – USACE
Elaine Taylor – Neighbor, Civil Engineer representing Chicago District USACE
Larry Hodak – Neighbor
Laura Bolesta – Neighbor
Grace Gaughan – Neighbor
Lynn Sheck – Neighbor
Ambriose Donnelly – Neighbor
Liam Donnelly – Neighbor
Kristine Casart – Neighbor
Kristy Rog – Neighbor
Philip Buoscio – Neighbor
Jen Worthington – Neighbor
Peter Desmond – Neighbor
Patty Wetli – Neighbor
Libby Karier – Neighbor
John Friedmann –Neighbor


Respectfully submitted: Lisa Cleveland, Co-Secretary

Next Monthly Meeting: June 3 @ 7:00 pm

News and info about the Chicago River:

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