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Organization

Jackson Park Advisory Council

Joined in September 2011

About Us

To be advocates for Jackson Park and the citizens who utilize it ,its programs,its facilities,resources, and natural areas: to provide a forum for users of Jackson Park; to advise and to work collaboratively with theChicago Park District on park improvements;safety,and issues, to encourage long range planning; to seek alternative funding sources for park enhancements: to promote community awareness and increased utilizationof this beautiful resource and site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

JPAC is the body that monitors the Park, represents the community and advises the Chicago Park District.We will hold the district to account for stewardship, preserve and protect the park’s historic character and special natural areas, provide an open forum and seek a fair share for all park users and communities, the park’s common good and highest potential.Lively Monthly Meetings…hear from and challenge park officials, share ideas and breaking news, take stands.Committees troubleshoot in the park, work to improve conditions, standards and plans or to conduct park projects.Our Goal is a park that is:

  • Well managed and maintained
  • Safe and healthful
  • Accessible, user-friendly, welcoming to all
  • Favoring public over reserved use and with less road impact
  • With prospering unique habitats
  • Respectful of historic and special features
  • Rich in recreation and in kids and youth programs—including environmental stewardship
  • Grounded in sound planning, responsive to community

Action and AchievementJPAC’s Pioneers led the way on key JPAC concerns before there was a JPAC: 1965—Park land and trees were sacrificed to roads. The public resisted with civil disobedience. Today, JPAC and the public review and even kill plans. A Forest Management Plan is mandated and being prepared.

1970s/80s—In the Natural Area, funding was found by future JPAC leaders from the city and abroad for Osaka Garden Wooded Island (designated the Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary in 1978), Bob-o-link Meadow, and the Lagoons. These remain a primary focus of JPAC activity.

From its 1983 founding, pursuant to a consent decree to achieve equity in the parks, JPAC worked on improvement and maintenance issues and on halting both encroachments on the park and harassment of user groups, first instance being that against the Lawn Bowlers.

Some Issues and achievements

  • Ensuring sound action on pollution, threats to habitat areas
  • Controlling institutional expansion
  • Improving Field House conditions and promoting programs
  • Restored 63rd Street Beach House with new features from the Schiff Legacy
  • Secured a new 57th Street Beach House
  • Continuing review and alterations to major plans for the shoreline, Jackson Park Framework Plan, South Lake Shore Drive, Lagoons, habitat and sports facilities
  • Public Involvement is now recognized and mandated.

Some of JPAC's long-range commitments, collaborations JPAC works collaboratively with the Chicago Park District and other public and private groups to further goals that will enhance Jackson Park and grow the Council. Jackson Park is large, complex, and meets the needs of a wide range of people and wildlife. So, our work and commitment must be for the long haul.

The Natural Areas-Wooded Island, the Lagoons, Bob-o-link Meadow The multi-year, multi million dollar Natural Area projects started in 2000are needed and welcome. But not only must the projects be planned and carried out collaboratively, but we must complete and implement comprehensive plans for ongoing reevaluation, management, and maintenance of these precious sanctuaries. Also needing careful thought is the role of human visitors and activities in the natural areas.

Water Quality Both public health and ecological health require that we continue to see progress on water quality and reduction of pollution in both the lagoons and the 63rd Street Beach. JPAC is calling agencies' attention to problem sources, such as drains from parking lots and asking for a plan or blueprint.

Osaka Garden This special place is distinct from the natural areas and has the kinds of needs that could be addressed by a special support group with vision and commitment. The group and the moment appear to have arrived; JPAC is ready to help.

Engaging Users, Communities A Park that meets the needs of and invites collaboration among its visitors, user and interest groups, and community stakeholders A Park that both receives the care and stewardship it needs from both the Park District and from its users and neighbors and in turn is a focus to bring people and communities together.

This is the tallest order of all. JPAC itself may have to change if it's serious about achieving this goal. JPAC and the Park District will launch a new initiative this fall to identify and energize the many latent supporters and assets the park may have in its near and far-flung communities. We hope to see you at our assembly in October.

To be advocates for Jackson Park and the citizens who utilize it ,its programs,its facilities,resources, and natural areas: to provide a forum for users of Jackson Park; to advise and to work collaboratively with theChicago Park District on…

Issue Areas Include

  • Children & Youth
  • Community Development
  • Education
  • Volunteering
  • Women

Location

  • 6401 S. Stony Island
    Chicago, IL 60649

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