A letter from our Executive Director:
“Parks are not sacred!” That was the declaration of a supporter of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park recently at a community dialogue about the subject in Hyde Park.
We’ve been reflecting on this point of view while busily preparing for our 29th annual Earth Day Celebration and Cleanup. It promises to be a big one—with more than 130 parks and forest preserves signed up to participate. And we’re expecting more than 5,000 volunteers who will pick up trash, mulch trees, get gardens ready for the season, and all around invest in community and commitment to caring for our Mother Earth.
While some might not see such efforts as sacred acts or the spaces we steward together as sacred ground, we know that many of you indeed hold up our parks and lakefront as sacred. Some mean it literally. Some mean it figuratively.
Regardless, we friends of the parks consider it our duty to stand in the gap to safeguard our society’s short- and longterm access to the personal, community, public, and environmental health benefits that parks and green and blue spaces provide. Sometimes the struggle is ratcheted up a notch. Or several notches, as has been the case over these last few years.
Some of you have manifested your commitment by participating on park advisory councils. Some of you particularly enjoy digging in the dirt. Some serve on a committee to help us advance a particular favorite cause or have served on the Friends of the Parks board or put in significant time on behalf of our organization some other way. Many of you have activated recently to voice your points of view through park planning processes like the recent South Lakefront Framework Plan process covering Jackson Park and the South Shore Cultural Center.
We so appreciate your investment alongside us in “Your Earth, Your Legacy,” in these different ways, echoing FOTP’s apt Earth Day theme for this year.
Whether you are spending your time mulching with us as part of our Earth Day Celebration and Clean-up, insisting on inclusive decision-making about how to improve the east end of the Midway Plaisance absent the above-ground parking garage that we collectively fought off, or speaking up for the protection of the South Shore nature sanctuary, we celebrate you and your love for our parks.
And because we know you care so much, we invite you to ratchet your investment up a notch with a special Earth Month donation to undergird the collective work to defend our parks as sacrosanct.
Yours in partnership,
P.S. As the details are changing daily, please check our website at https://fotp.org/issues/projects/obama-presidentiallibrary-2/ for the latest on our work to promote a park positive outcome in Jackson Park in light of the Obama Presidential Center.
Here are a selection of relevant newsletters, news articles, and editorials about issues in or related to parks. For each section, the most recent articles are on the top (and the oldest articles are on the bottom).
Friends of the Parks’ Newsletters
Obama Presidential Center & Jackson Park
Friends of the Parks’ Press Releases:
- Press Release Friends of the Parks press release OPC Midway parking garage October 2017
- Press Release: Statement of Friends of the Parks on Obama Presidential Center Model Unveiling – 5/3/2017
- Press Release: Excited for the Library to come to Chicago, but Disappointed it will be on Park Property – 5/12/2015
- Hyde Park Herald: Obama Foundation presents modified OPC design plan
- Curbed Chicago: Obama Foundation will build its own parking garage for presidential center
- DNAInfo: Obama Foundation Revises Plan, Will Build Presidential Center Garage Itself
- Hyde Park Herald: Obama Library CBA Coalition hosts Forum in South Shore
- Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Southside golf course plan full of holes
- CBS Local: Head Of Friends Of The Park Thinks Obama Library Plans Are Moving Too Quickly For Input
- Crain’s Opinion: Redefine Lake Shore Drive? Here are some questions. Big ones.
- Chicago Reader: What We Know About the Future of Jackson Park
- Chicago Sun-Times: Debate over South Shore Nature Sanctuary heats up
- Chicago Tribune: Will Tiger Woods golf course displace South Shore Nature Sanctuary?
- Hyde Park Herald: Residents show up in large number for Jackson, South Shore parks meeting
- Chicago Tribune: Obama center’s landscape architect plans playground and performance lawn
- Mike Nowak Show: The Obama Library: Baby Steps for Transparency
- DNAInfo: Public Meetings On Obama Library, South Shore Golf Course Start Wednesday
- Southside Weekly: Greener Pastures: What the history of Jackson Park tells us about its uncertain future
- Curbed Chicago: Obama Foundation: Presidential center’s economic impact could be worth billions
- Chicago Now: Obama library site still a disappointment
- Chicago Tribune: Obamas unveil design of presidential center in Chicago
- Chicago Tribune: In Jackson Park, private money begins to reshape a public jewel
- DNAInfo: Obama Library May Threaten Parks’ Historic Place Status, Activists Worry
- Arch Paper: How the Obama Library and wHY’s Plan Will Revive Chicago’s Jackson Park
- Editorial: Taking Parkland for Presidential Library is not the Only Choice – 2/12/2015
- Chicago Tribune Editorial: Obama must veto Chicago parkland for legacy library
North Branch Industrial Corridor
- DNAInfo: 15-Acre Park Must Be Part Of North Branch Corridor, Petition Demands
- Our Urban Times: Is the North Branch Industrial Corridor Ordinance another done deal?: What’s the rush? What is this? Who cares?
- DNAInfo: In Rush To Help North Branch Developers, City Ignoring Community: Neighbors
- Chicago Sun-Times: Massive Chicago redevelopment plan better make room for parks
- DNAInfo: New Parks A Must For North Branch Corridor, Aldermen, Community Groups Say
Last Four Miles Initiative
- Chicago Tribune Letter: Give Chicago’s Southeast Side community what it deserves
- DNAInfo: Lakeside Development Dead After U.S. Steel and McCaffery Interests Split – 2/29/2016
- Crain’s: South Works developers McCaffery Interests and United States Steel split up – 2/29/2016
Friends of the Parks’ Press Releases:
- Press Release: On the heels of planned remediation of DuSable Park, Coalition holds celebration of Chicago’s founder, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable
- Press Release: Event to Honor Founder of Chicago – 9/2/2015
- Chicago Curbed: The long-delayed plan to rehab Chicago’s DuSable Park creeps forward: The City of Chicago has authorized a further cleanup of the lakefront peninsula’s contaminated soil
- Chicago Tribune: Park District signs contract for oft-delayed cleanup of DuSable Park on lakefront
- WTTW: Why a Historic Daniel Burnham Building Sits Empty on Chicago’s South Side – 3/7/2016
- NY Times: Tribute to Chicago Icon and Enigma – 2003
- WTTW Chicago Tonight: Lollapalooza 2017: What is the City of Chicago Getting?
- Sun Times: West Side Residents Wary of “Ravinia-Style” Venue in Douglas Park
- DNAInfo: Douglas Park Neighbors Have Mixed Emotions on Riot Fest after Year Two
Rails to Trails
- New Washington Heights Park Will Have Entrance To Major Taylor Bike Trail
- The 606 is Pushing Up Real Estate Prices Along Its Path
- Paseo Trail Could Gentrify Pilsen The Way 606 Did, Residents Fear
- Red Line Extension Could Run Through Parks Along Route
- Big Marsh Is a Hit With Local Cyclists, But It’s Still Challenging to Bike There
- Sun Times: South Side Residents Left Out of Park Decisions
- Hyde Park Herald: Bixler Playlot Frequenters Still Dissatisfied with Chicago Park District
- Salon: Shaping the Urban Brain: In Building Cities, Concern about Well-Being Can’t Take Backseat to Growth
Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Friends of the Parks’ Press Releases:
- Press Release: Lucas Museum Departure Statement – 6/24/2016
- Press Release: Friends of the Parks Achieves Further Discovery Schedule – 2/17/2016
- Press Release: Friends of the Parks Prepares to File Statement Against City – 11/10/2015
- Press Release: Friends of the Parks Challenge of Lucas Museum Location Proceeds to Court – 3/12/2015