October 2013 Meeting Minutes

­Horner Park Advisory Council
October 7, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm by President Peter Schlossman. The meeting was held at the Horner Park Field House.

Introductions & welcome to visitors

Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the September 2013 meeting were approved, pending changes.

Report of the Treasurer
MB checking $6,534.04
MB savings $14,870.37
Paypal $1,251.03
Total $22,655.44

Quickbooks accounts reconcile with online financial institution statements.

Horner Park River Project
Peter Schlossman reported: The USACE has awarded a contract to a construction firm for the riverbank restoration project. Mobilization could begin as soon as February 2014, though the permitting process still in progress. On Thursday 10/10 the USACE plans to conduct a further tree inventory in conjunction with ILDNR and CPD (Jerome Scott), with particular focus on the riverbank slope area east of the fence. Tom McManamon added that Alderman Deb Mell has been taking time to show concerned residents the disputed area.

Peter S. submitted a letter to the editor to the Chicago Tribune, and it should be forthcoming in publication. Additional letters in support of the project are still needed. The USACE has asked specifically for comments to be directed to Governor Quinn.

Dog Friendly Area (DFA)
Erica Beutler reported: The petitioning process comprising a five block radius around Horner Park is now complete, as is a year-long usage survey with over 300 respondents and a fourth community meeting. The DFAC is now moving on to the fundraising process, targeting $150K to be raised by neighbors and then submitted to CPD for next steps. Erica distributed to the attendees flyers showing what a DFA with required artificial turf might look like.



Once the proposed riverfront restoration project would start, some additional usage surveys would be conducted. The DFAC has collected over 700 signatures with a 3% disapproval ratio. Erica made a general request for fundraising assistance and volunteering. Inquiries should be directed to Lynn Sheck, DFA Fundraising Chair.

Tom M. added that there have been a lot of complaints about off-leash dogs in Horner Park over the last few weeks.

Website Committee – No Report

Garden Committee – No Report

Concert Committee
John O’Connell reported: The 19th season of free summer concerts in Ravenswood Manor Park completed successfully, with a great new addition of Narloch Piano Studio student recitals. The Concert committee will convene in November to begin preparations for the 20th season. New members are welcome!

Kevin Anderson suggested that, given all the interest in Horner Park riverfront development, it would be great to host events in Horner Park once again. John and others raised the point that producing shows in Horner is a lot more work than in Ravenswood Manor Park, so if we want to produce events there, we could certainly use additional volunteer assistance.

John O. gave a heads up that 2014 marks the Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association’s centennial and concurrently HPAC’s 25th anniversary. There was a discussion of helping to host a joint celebration, along the lines of prior years’ Manor Bashes, on the last weekend in June. Next summer’s event will need all hands on deck for a 12 hour day-long production event. Larry Brown will make a list of things that need to get taken care of, based on past years’ experience. The RMIA is also planning a joint event in September 2014 with Ravenswood Gardens Homeowners Association. Chicago Film Archives is in search of more neighborhood home movies for inclusion in Chicago Home Movie day. More information about all events is available on the RMIA Centennial Facebook site. RMIA Centennial Chairs are Thomas Applegate and Kathy Monk.

Park Briefs

Horner Park
Tom McManamon reported: Horner Park is now full staffed once again. The newly reopened wood shop is flying, with thanks to Gretchen Helmreich’s friend for donation of wood.

CPD made a commitment to neighbors to enhance shielding of ballfield lights, and they’ve begun this work.

A new informational kiosk has been installed on south side of the junior fieldhouse.

John Friedmann reported on Emerald Ash Borer: Ash borer-affected trees were treated last week (3-5 yr application; $4600 covered by donations; in search of another $1200). This treatment of trees in Horner Park stands as a test case for the city as the only park where affected trees have been treated. The Save the Ash Tree Coalition is setting up the treatment process so that any other park/advisory council can easily treat their trees similarly. They are also setting up an Adopt A Tree program until a longer term solution can be realized. In the process there were 13 specimens of a rare species, the Simple Leaved Ash, discovered growing in Horner Park—none of which, John F. noted, stand to be affected by the proposed riverfront project. Larry B. moved that HPAC offer to match any funds for tree treatment committed by our local Aldermen up to $600 (in addition to the $250 HPAC has already donated), and the motion was seconded and approved. HPAC congratulates and thanks the Save the Ash Tree Coalition for saving our trees.

Tom M. reported further on Horner Park and fieldhouse news:

The new Kiddie College (early childhood education) program is engaging in a SPARK pilot program to promote more physical movement in youngsters.

Tom M. is working on developing a Basketball skills program partnership NW Basketball Association to begin this winter.

John O. reported having spoken with Barb Wood, CPD’s head of trees, about new trees and plantings for the front of the Horner Park fieldhouse. CPD will be removing existing crabapple trees and replacing them with two serviceberry trees as well as performing some other general cleanup of the area (new pavers, etc.). John Lyman reminded HPAC that the Henry Horner monument is due for historical monument maintenance assessment.

Larry Brown reported that his is working with the Friday night Baseball League to monitor that ballfield lights are shut-off in a timely manner in consideration of neighbors. Tom M. added that it was recently discovered that a group of residents has figured out how to jimmy the lighting control panel in order to turn the lights on after hours, and said that CPD is working to secure the control box against future tampering.

Ravenswood Manor Park
John F. reported that the Ash tree over the playground was treated by the Save the Ash Tree Coalition. Sarah Reiser reported to Tom M. that park needs a new green garbage bin to replace broken one, and that several benches are broken and need repair. John O. added that one of the overhead lights in the park needs repair or bulb replacement.

Jacob Playlot
John O. reported: The new Chicago Plays! playlot construction is now complete. About 15 neighbors convened under guidance of Friends of the Parks to distribute fibar ground cover. Transfer of park-adjacent CTA land is officially in progress (was sold to CPD by CTA for $99k). Tom M. reported that CPD is working on repainting benches and installing new signage. Construction fencing will be removed once final work and inspections are complete.

Buffalo Park
John O. reported working on getting new/replacement parkway trees planted and talking with potential donors ($350/tree). There was some discussion of city’s fees for permitting; John will research further to see about a reduction of permit fees. A motion was made and approved to front up to $650 for tree planting. Sue Davenport led a community workday to work on plantings.

Sunken Gardens – no report

New Business
Sarah R. reported recently leading a group of ten first year Northwestern University Medical students on a walk around the Irving Park community as they considered resources available to residents, including health services and healthy food.

It was decided that a new Communications Committee will form, including Peter S., Kevin A., John O., Larry B., John F., and Sarah R. Sarah will set up for a weekday evening meeting to train members on making website updates using WordPress.

Tom M. noted that the CPD’s Pumpkin Patch has moved from Horner to Shabbona Park this year.

John O. suggested forming a new Stewardship Committee, formalizing what he’s already been doing informally, and possibly evolving Earth Day and River Day events into an Adopt a Park program. Tom M. has some additional ideas for development.

There will be a Horner Park West Neighbor Association cleanup event on Saturday October 12, 10 a.m. at the corner of Montrose and California.

It was decided that a location  for HPAC holiday celebration will be decided at the November meeting.

Ali Avgeris introduced herself to HPAC, representing a new restaurant, Grand Tour, which will be opening in late Fall on Montrose (formerly Sweet Pea’s), featuring international cuisines and some live music.

The meeting adjourned at 9:19pm. The next meeting will be Nov. 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Horner Park Field House.

Peter Schlossman – President
Kevin Anderson – Treasurer
Sarah Reiser – Co-Secretary
John O’Connell – Head of HPAC Concert Series Committee, Friends of the Parks Representative
John Friedmann – Save the Ash Tree Coalition
Gretchen Helmreich – Horner Park West Neighbor Association
Erica Beutler, Dog Friendly Area (DFA) Committee Chair
Lynn Sheck, DFA Fundraising Chair
Jim Peters – Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association
Tom McManamon – Horner Park Supervisor
Ali Avgeris – Grand Tour Restaurant
Kurt Matthesius
D. Luna
Jerry Jaecks
Sigrid Schmidt
Arnaldo Pierluissi
Larry Hodak
John Lyman
Larry Brown

Respectfully submitted: Sarah Reiser, Co-Secretary


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