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Wednesday, January 15

Editorial: Some People Can't See the River for the Trees

Updated 1/15/14
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Issues Horner Park Review Summary and Memorandum on Absence of Black-crowned Night Heron Nests at Horner Park
In a non-secret, non-public meeting held at Alderman Pawar's office on January 4, which we learned about from the euphemistically named Friends of the Horner Park Trees Facebook group, representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois DNR met with Ald. Pawar and eight "concerned 47th Ward residents representing themselves and neighbors
who had objected during the IDNR permit review process." At this meeting, IDNR presented the following findings addressing concerns that have been directed at river bank restoration plan, including their finding that there are no black-crowned night heron nests on the banks, which we all already knew. For those of us who want black-crowned night herons nesting at Horner Park, our best bet is to proceed with the river bank restoration project so that they'll have the space and proper habitat for nesting.

The documents:
Black-crowned Night Heron Finding (1 page)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ro0nrirn6zy35u9/Horner%20Park%20Black%20Crowned%20Night%20Heron%20OREP%20memorandum.pdf

Horner Park Review Summary (5 pages)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8l4u7a00jg8n0kl/IDNRHornerParkReviewSummary1.4.14.pdf

Older updates and original post are after the jump




Updated 10/18
US Army Corps of Engineers publishes the PowerPoint slides from their talk at the Illinois DNR Open House. 

You can see the changes made to the plan on page 6, including keeping a ton of trees and planting new ones much earlier than they had planned.

Some of these slides made my jaw drop when they were presented at the open house. Especially slide 15 Native Plantings:


The "tree holocaust" includes over 65,000 trees, shrubs, and plants and 650lbs of seed! (page 15) What awful people. You can download it here


Updated 9/27
Why are Lisa Madigan and neighbors really trying to block a $6.5 million public works project that she once supported?

This week, private citizen and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, with a handful of other neighbors trying to block the $6.5 million prairie restoration of the Chicago River bank in Horner Park, managed to force a hastily arranged Illinois Department of Natural Resources "Open House" that Alderman Deb Mell (33rd Ward) called "highly unusual." The main thing that stands out in all of the anti-restoration arguments is that none of  the neighbors actually say that this ecosystem restoration project is a bad project for the river, for the park, for the riparian ecosystem, or for the general public. Why? Because they cannot.

The surprise meeting from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was last night at Paul Revere Park and it turned out pretty well. The meeting, which Alderman Mell called "highly unusual," was very hastily arranged with only two days notice. In addition, the DNR only sent out invitations to people who had written in with comments, which of course,  since they are the ones most motivated to loud action, is a group composed largely of people who hate the plan, and to the aldermen and HPAC. I could find no notice of the meeting anywhere on the IDNR website before or after the meeting.

Who would have the muscle to arrange such a "highly unusual meeting" on the spur of the moment? I am quite sure I couldn't pull that off. Who could?

A few people, including Illinois Attorney General and Chicago River east bank neighbor Lisa Madigan, still oppose the plan, but I have to confess that after their speeches on Thursday, I find their reasons more and more ethereal. Lisa just loves trees. Somebody may have once seen a black-crowned night heron there, though none are nesting. Somebody else thinks erosion is a great thing because that's how we got the Grand Canyon. On the other side was a lot of common sense, science, and support. Good talks were made by Peter Schlossman from HPAC and especially the Army Corps of Engineers, who have busted their collective butts to amend this complex plan over the past ten days, and who were there to answer every question, no matter how complex or ridiculous.

More on this plus earlier post updates are found after the jump:


USACE put up a few pictures of the event, including one of Julia and me listening to cool and excitable USACE restoration ecologist Brook Herman discussing the changes with an east bank neighbor who seemed cautiously into the plan.
photo courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers

Here are the slides from the great PowerPoint presentation that Peter gave on behalf of HPAC. The original and current objective for the riverfront restoration are:
  • Stabilize the banks
  • Enhance quality of wildlife
  • Store water runoff
  • Provide public access
  • Create recreational opportunities
  • Create views and open park toward river
  • Replant with native species
These goals were sound when this plan was conceived in 1996 and are still worthy now. The amended USACE plan meets these goals and more.

So...how did this meeting come about? I have nothing concrete on that except that:
  • I know this meeting was not planned as of a week ago, and that Alderman Mell thinks it "highly unusual."
  • I know it wasn't really publicized to anyone but those on the euphemistically named "Friends of the Horner Park Trees" group, the same people who I assume made this manipulative video with a child's voiceover talking about the pretty trees. The aldermen seem to have gotten notice two days before.
  • A quick Google search turns up HPAC minutes from its Feb 2001 meeting that "Mike will be presenting this new budget to State Congressman John Fritchy and State Senator Lisa Madigan, who are assisting us in finding further funding." So in 2001, State Senator Madigan was in favor of the Horner Park plan, which had the same goals as, but was even more ambitious than, either the initial or revised USACE plan (see Peter's PP above).
  • The same Google search turns up a PDF of minutes from "Riverbank Neighbors Bank Restoration Management Plan 2012" ("Plan") from the Riverbank Neighbors, who did tremendous, wonderful work on the east side of the river, largely the same work which HPAC, Friends of the River (who supported the east bank restoration), Friends of the Parks, Chicago Park District, and US Army Corps of Engineers wish to do on the west bank of the river. 
  • The laudable goals of the Plan, as taken directly from their Plan?
    • Make the riverbank safe and accessible
    • Involve neighbors in the care and management of the riverbank
    • Develop a riverbank ecology
    • Clearly these are great goals and their results so far are spectacular. The Horner Park restoration plan shares these, except that HPAC and CPD have the muscle, expertise, and resources of ACE to greatly expedite the process. (Plan, pp. 1, 3, 6)
  • "Plan amended and adopted unanimously on February 21, 2009 by Riverbank Neighbors" includes "Goal 3: Be involved in developing a new and revitalized plan for Horner Park" (Plan, page 11). In attendance for this unanimous vote? Lisa Madigan and an impressive 29 other concerned, involved citizen neighbors.
  • At some point in this process, Lisa Madigan bought a home on the east bank of the Chicago River opposite Horner Park.
  • I heard Lisa Madigan loudly tell Channel 5 news before the 9/12 Horner Park walkthrough that she did not wish to be interviewed because she was "only here as a private citizen." I wondered about that at the time, but I guess I've learned that when a politician says this, it means that they are about to take a stand against the public interest and for what they perceive as their own vested interest, or at least it seems to mean that in this case.  
  • So now, suddenly, the HPAC, FOCR, FOTP, USACOE plan with same goals that the Riverbank Neighbors appear to support–on their side of the river at least, the plan that Lisa Madigan was even helping to procure funds for as a State Senator, and the plan that presumably she voted for with everyone else when they voted to help "revitalize Horner Park," that plan is now "a horrifying holocaust," destroying "a jewel in the city," "clear cutting," and "toddler dragging."
So what gives here? What's the real agenda and motivation behind sad, sad videos, sign-making parties with cute kids, and alarmist language that flies in direct contradiction to elementary school ecology classes, local river and park advocacy groups, basic natural resource husbandry, and their own stated goals on the east bank of the river

There is a telling line from Anne Nolan, "Without the trees, my house will be bathed in light..."* Though this is likely not the sole reason for the contradictory stance of some of the east bank neighbors, it is the only one that really makes the rest of it make sense. People are afraid. They are afraid of light from the park. They are afraid of sound from the park. They are afraid of change, and they are throwing everything they can think of at the Horner Park restoration plan to stop it, even though it seeks the same benefits for the larger public who use Horner Park as those that the east bank neighbors have created through great effort and great time in a smaller way on the east bank of the Chicago River.

A small group has decided to argue loudly against sound ecology (their own goal), against public safety and accessibility to natural resources (their own goal), against riverbank stabilization, against plant species diversity, against wildlife diversity, against aquatic diversity, against recreational opportunities on and around the river, against riverbank runoff that further swells the Chicago River.

I guess I'd appreciate just some honesty from their part. Say it. 

At least if you can honestly say what you're against, we can begin to understand the real problem and then work on finding agreement on how we might be able to address it. Personally, I think the CPD, HPAC, and CoE have already done this with the revised plan. To compromise, both sides have to move, because that's how things work in the real world outside of Congress. Or you can have a hissy fit, scream and cry, warn that the sky is falling, and paraphrase William S. Burroughs: "We've got ours. Fuck you."


Updated resource links:

John O'Connell's latest wonderful letter from Friends of the Parks and Friends of the Chicago River in support of the USACE project.
Many seek to preserve their views from across the river, and fear any change that could temporarily disrupt their vista, or dislodge the avian and fauna species that inhabit that area.  With education and guidance, it is my hope that they see the wisdom of this plan, that we have a rare opportunity to provide for future generations a more natural state, and a home for all the birds, beasts and plants that yearn for a return to a more pristine prairie ecology.
Oh hey. Here's a nice white paper from the TVA on...stabilization techniques like planting and bioengineering (bank shaping) to control erosion and protect property in riparian habitats. Look at the Army Corps of Engineers doing actual science to help maintain Horner Park, increase plant and animal diversity, and give public access to the river where there has been none for decades. Wow. Science.


Here is the important page of the Illinois Federal Consistency Register where you can submit comments in favor of, or against, the amended Army Corps of Engineers plan and how it meets, or does not, federal consistency. (The are not ruling on the trees.)
Any person asserting that a specific action does not meet federal consistency must specifically reference the state law or laws that would be violated. All persons submitting objections will be notified of the Department's final decision.  Comments can be sent by email to James.Casey@illinois.gov (Comment Period Ends: 10/29/2013) or by mail to:
James P. Casey
IDNR/OWR
Michael A. Bilandic Building
160 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 703
Chicago, Illinois 60601
In addition to postings in local newspapers and this web site, the IMCP maintains a list of interested parties who want to receive consistency notices via email.  If you would like to be added to this list, please email James.Casey@illinois.gov, include in the subject line: Please add to Federal Consistency email list.



The Illinois DNR Coastal Management Program notice on the Horner Park River Restoration (PDF)


*For the record, I, too, am against light pollution in all its forms (see my 9/13 letter to Col. Drummond below). During the meeting after the walkthrough, Colonel Drummond and the Chicago Park District have already agreed to address this issue. They have promised to shield the lighting and to closely monitor the ball field lighting so that it is only on when games are being played. As a dork with a telescope, I support this change in policy and as a voting member of the HPAC, I will do my best to make sure that these changes are implemented and monitored.


**Guess what little Jimmy? I love trees, too. In fact, my wife plants them for a living. Your trees can't grow up big and strong on that river bank as it now stands. It is too steep. It is eroding. The soil is clay. They fall in the river. See the linked white paper above. The trees CoE are planting? Some of those will be around for a hundred years or more, big, beautiful, and healthy.



Updated 9/26
The Horner Park Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project process for final approval is a roller coaster that just keeps going. A surprise Illinois Department of Natural Resources "open house" is taking place tomorrow (Thursday) night at:
Paul Revere Park, 2509 W. Irving Park
Thursday, September 26, 2013
6:00 to 8:30 P.M.
The small group of neighbors still opposed to this revitalization process are planning on being there, so we need the silent majority to not be silent, even if only for a few hours. Please come out to Paul Revere Park and support the amended version of this important plan to return healthy diversity to the west bank of the Chicago River as it flows through Horner Park.

More details and a copy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources notice is available at the Horner Park Advisory Council's website.

Lest we forget, the guiding intent for this plan, since its inception, is to:
  • Restore wildlife habitat
  • Stabilize the riverbank from erosion
  • Create area for public access and recreation
  • Provide increased safety through more openness and visibility
In other news:
The Horner Park Advisory Council's project page is here, complete with a lot of links.

The Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association voted to support the ecology restoration plan.

John O'Connell of HPAC and Friends of the Parks wrote an open letter. In part, he says:
Yet the plan, even with modification, portends an exciting revitalization for a natural native vegetative habitat, one that will attract and harbor a recovering population of avian and fauna species. The merits of the modified plan far outweigh any short term detractions, and it is my hope that those who are against the plan now will learn to love the results as time allows nature to morph a temporary scab into a blossoming pastoral paradise.    (emphasis mine)
John's letter is posted on Facebook, so for those like me not on Facebook, I posted it here in full with John's permission.

Friends of the Chicago River helped craft the plan and have issued a statement in support. An excerpt:
A massive ecological restoration project at Horner Park on the North Branch of the Chicago River in Chicago recently triggered major controversy because of neighbors’ concerns about the removal of trees along the riverbank and the potential for increased light pollution and noise from the park which is now screened by a wall of buckthorn. Those concerns have been addressed thoroughly and thoughtfully and the site plan is being revised to save the maximum number of trees, add more diverse species, and adds a woodchip trail along the water to complement the nature trail at the top of the new bank.
Happy to see that the well-meaning Waters School ecologist, who hysterically claimed the Army Corps of Engineers, HPAC, and Friends of the River plan was "a Holocaust on the trees," now supports the amended plan. Of course, the clearing of non-native species, regrading, and replanting is no more a "holocaust" than the annual renewal burn that takes places at Waters every spring, but we'll take it. Valid concerns are one thing...

City of Chicago page on Horner Park and the Riverbank Neighbors, discussing the amazing work the neighbors on the east bank of the river have done restoring their side of the river to a state of beauty. We look forward to the Corps of Engineers and Chicago Park District doing the same on the west bank.

See you Thursday night, I hope!


Updated 9/17:
GREAT NEWS!! Army Corps of Engineers proceeds with project after extensive consultation with community and eleventh hour adaptation of the plan. In addition to the many changes, the CoE and Park District look to have addressed community concerns, including mine, about shielded lighting. Small victory in the battle against light pollution:
  • CPD will only use light towers while athletic activities are in progress and will turn them off immediately following
  • CPD is working with manufacturer to identify other products or devices that could be used in addition to existing shields
  • Light shields willb e installed on the three east-facing light masts not currently shielded

Read the full plan here.

Ecological benefits of the Horner Park Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project at Horner Park here.

Here is the map of the new plan:

You can see the Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District project page here.

You can see the CoE project open for bids here.

My photos from the walkthrough and following meeting here.

Over the weekend, we visited Morton Arboretum, and hiked through a serene restored oak savanna similar to the one planned along the river bank at Horner Park. Below is the sign showing the difference. It resembles the even more overgrown Chicago River riverbank.







Here's a panoramic photo I took of the beautiful savanna:
Restoring an oak savannah at Morton Arboretum
Restored oak savanna at Morton Arboretum

I also learned what vernal pools are, and also saw an example of one at Morton Arboretum this weekend. I'm now sad that we're only getting one of them and not four. Vernal pools are very cool.

Thanks to Col. Drummond and his team, Alderman Pawar, Alderman Mell, Friends of the River, Friends of the Parks, and The Chicago Park District for really digging in and finding points of compromise to save this important environmental project.


Updated 9/13:
Last night's walk through of the both sides of the river bank as it flows through Horner Park, and the followup community meeting with members of Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago Park District, and many neighbors was a well-attended success. Many questions were asked, answers given, grievances aired and understood, and compromises searched for. The Corps strove to bring the different  groups together, and I was especially touched by Col. Drummond including the cute kids with ecological signs whenever he stopped to speak. I left hopeful that compromise could be reached. No doubt, all sides will not be happy, but that's usually what happens when an effective compromise is reached. We'll see what the end result it, but I'm hopeful that the plan will move forward with the limited time we have before contracts must be given.

Sarah Silverman posted a beautiful quote from the Iroquois Nation about planning for future generations and not just our own that seems to have disappeared, but I found this entry about seven generation sustainability on Wikipedia:
The original language is as follows: In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.
Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, writes: "We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come. . . ." "What about the seventh generation? Where are you taking them? What will they have?"

The following letter was sent to Col. Frederic A Drummond (Army Corps of Engineers), Mike Kelly (Chicago Park District), Alderman Pawar (47th Ward), Alderman Mell (33rd Ward), Maya Solis (Chicago Park District), Cynthia Fox (Friends of the Chicago River), and John O'Connell (Friends of the Parks)

Hello.
I am a 47th Ward resident and a member of the Horner Park Advisory Council. Last night, I attended the Horner Park river walkthrough and meeting with the amazing group from the Army Corps of Engineers. 
If you are counting votes, I support the ACoE plan as amended last night, and as discussed on the new letter from Peter Schlossman, president of HPAC, which will hopefully go up on the website soon. It can be viewed here:
http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=41f707fa4abc55ac39410fee3&id=a23af6f0a6&e=30ac66b849 
During our walk last night, it was made clear that the steep western river bank as it passes through Horner will not support tall trees and has become infested with non-native, highly invasive buckthorn and other non-native species. In addition, the dense undergrowth has also frozen out many birds, insects, and mammals that would otherwise be using it. Unfortunately, to regrade the river bank, some trees will have to be sacrificed, but if we look ahead even four to five years, these changes will be worth it. 
I like the recent non-native species elimination and riverbank landscaping changes that were put into place a few years ago at Ronan Park. Obviously the changes for Horner will be more drastic, but will end up being nicer & more important for the environment, the park, and the health of the Chicago River in the medium and long term.  
I think some of the scare tactics and loaded language that have been used are unfortunate. I believe Col. Drummond when he pledges to incorporate necessary changes to the plan to help ease fears of neighbors and help with access issues on the western side. I understand that there will be some discomfort, inconvenience, and adjustment, but this is a positive plan for the environment as a whole, and for our beloved Horner Park more specifically. I think the bank on the east side of the river, all done by neighborhood volunteers, is stunning and I hope that bank in the park can match it in the not too distant future. 
I understand concerns about light pollution. The lighting at the park is clearly a problem. Along with diligently monitoring on and off times for the large lights on the field so that they are only on when the fields are being used, I would point you to the following resource pages from the International Dark Sky Association. They offer tips and solutions that show how to use directional lighting in the park that would make it less light polluting for all. The International Dark Sky Association has ideas on their website that might be a place to start: 
http://www.darksky.org/assets/documents/PG3-residential-lighting.pdf
http://www.darksky.org/assets/documents/Specbull1-2.pdf 
As an amateur astronomer who offers free public viewing in Horner Park and other parks around the city, I would support any measures to reduce light leakage and pollution in all of our parks, and at Horner specifically. The night sky is a rapidly disappearing resource, too, and every small bit helps. 
I hope that delays do not cause us to lose the $6.5 million in funding that has suddenly become available, and I fear a stalling tactics by scared reactionaries will result in just that.
I also hope that this project can be a small stepping stone toward cleaning up the Chicago River, which I know is a goal that we all share. 
Best,
Patrick Monaghan

--------------------------------
Last night there was a monthly meeting of the Horner Park Advisory Council (HPAC), the citizen steering committee of which I am a member. Normal meetings have five or ten people and things roll along rather smoothly. Small business is conducted. Future plans discussed. Minuscule budget matters parsed.

Last night's meeting drew about one hundred attendees, most of whom came to have their voices heard about the long simmering Army Corps of Engineers plan to return the West bank of the Chicago River in our beloved Horner Park to natural habitat and encourage species diversity, while also allowing access to one of our city's greatest natural resources.
Horner Park Chicago River restoration walk through with Army Corps of Engineers
Photo by pmonaghan
Well, people freaked out, flames were fanned and some terribly unhelpful, scare words, imagery, and loaded language was used to stir up emotions on this topic both before and during the meeting, a topic that has been on the docket with HPAC, Army Corps of Engineers, and Friends of the Chicago River for over a decade.
The Horner Park Advisory Council, in conjunction with Friends of the Chicago River, developed the plan to stabilize the bank, enhance the quality of wildlife along the shore, and improve water retention. 
"The Horner Park riverbank is eroding, it's crumbling," said Cynthia Fox, director of operations for Friends of the Chicago River. (courtesy DNAinfo)
Who can't hate that?

Unfortunately our energetic Alderman, Ameya Pawar, whom I strongly support, didn't exactly help the level of discourse when he threw out the term "clear-cut" in his September 9 open letter to the Army Corps of Engineers. People read or hear words like that, their brain shuts down, and they stop reading and thinking.

I can absolutely understand how people would be against parts of this plan for various reasons–I'm not, but I understand that we all have vested interests and deeply held beliefs; however, I cannot accept substituting panic, fear, vitriol, frantic arm-waving, and hyperbole for rational public discourse over a city planning and natural resource preservation and restoration issue. Such tactics move us further from a solution, not closer. (Paradoxically, if you are screaming at me, it makes it exceedingly difficult to hear you.)

Here is the letter I wrote this morning to Alderman Pawar (47th Ward) and Alderman Mell (33rd Ward) in support of the Army Corps of Engineers plan to restore the section of the Chicago River at Horner Park:


Hello Alderman Pawar and Alderman Mell, 
I am a 47th Ward resident and a member of the Horner Park Advisory Council. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the meeting last night, but have gotten a full report. 
If you are counting votes, I support the ACoE plan. I like the recent non-native species elimination and riverbank landscaping changes that were put into place a few years ago at Ronan Park. I think the changes for Horner will be more drastic, but will end up being nicer & more important for the environment, the park, and the health of the Chicago River in the medium and long term.  
It is unfortunate to hear loaded words being tossed around like "clear cut"–which incorrectly leaves people with visions of mountains naked but for the stumps of thousands of trees, "tree holocaust"–a particularly awful and unfortunate choice which clearly brings up images of Nazi death camps and complete, soulless devastation with nothing in its wake, and "dragging the river for toddlers"–which ignores the miles and miles of Chicago River access in parks all throughout the City where, to my knowledge, toddler dredging is thankfully an exceedingly rare activity. These scare terms are purposefully used to appeal only to base human emotion while disengaging the brain for rational discourse. Loaded terms impede reason and play on our natural fear of change. 
Some hysterical people are acting like trees will leave and a field of stumps, a parking lot, or a Wal-Mart will go in, as if the project will halt after the first step. I understand that there will be some discomfort, inconvenience, and adjustment, but this is a positive plan for the environment as a whole, and for our beloved Horner Park more specifically. 
I hope that delays do not cause us to lose the $6.5 million in funding that has suddenly become available, and I fear a stalling tactics by scared reactionaries will result in just that. 
I understand concerns about light pollution. If the lighting at the park is a problem, there is much that can be done to use directional lighting in the park that would make it less light polluting for all. The International Dark Sky Association has ideas on their website that might be a place to start: 
http://www.darksky.org/assets/documents/PG3-residential-lighting.pdf
http://www.darksky.org/assets/documents/Specbull1-2.pdf 
As an amateur astronomer who offers free public viewing in Horner Park and other parks, I would support any measures to reduce light leakage and pollution in all of our parks, and at Horner specifically. 
I also hope that this project can be a small stepping stone toward cleaning up the Chicago River, which I know is a goal that we all share.
Best,
Patrick Monaghan

Can we all agree that it's easier to work toward a solution if we aren't shouting, name-calling, and fear mongering? Let's start there. Please.


5 comments:

  1. Ameya Pewar's use of the phrase 'clear-cut' is entirely appropriate. That is in fact what must be done to re-grade the riverbank.

    This is a fact not disputed by the Army Corps, Friends of the Chicago River, or the Horner Park Advisory Council.

    "Clear-Cut' is much less inflammatory than 'reactionary' or 'hysterical'.

    Alan Spindle

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  2. The end result of this project is described as an "oak" savannah which gives people the illusion that the trees to be removed will be replaced. This is not the case. Only 1 pin oak will be planted for each acre of the project. The riverbank is adjacent to 10 acres so only 10 trees will replace the hundreds. The new trees won't mature for 25 years leaving a 1/2 mile of the park edge with no relief to the runners, walkers and bikers from full day sun. We can all agree that doing nothing is not an option. The riverbanks need help. Access to the river needs to be provided. But a desolate 10 acre savannah is not the answer. We can do better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. After the meeting last night, it's clear that "clear cut" is not what they ever intended, and we are all happy to hear that they have moved to save even more trees.

    It is a long process to get it all replanted, but I was happy to hear that the trees grow very fast in their first four years.

    I hope that we can do something to mitigate the light pollution from the ballfields for all concerned, but that will have to come through the Chicago Park District, and not the Army CoE. Hopefully this can be addressed at the next Horner Park Advisory Committee meeting.

    I think Peter's point about allowing more space on along the walkway to the east of the ballfields is important, too.

    I also wonder where the cross country runners will be running...


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  4. I could care less about trees or an eco-system anywhere along the Chicago River. As a resident in Albany Park, where the river has flooded twice since 2008, there's nothing I'd rather see than the entire river bed dry as a bone. If that means a tree dies, so be it. If a bird falls on the ground without food, so be it. I'm tired of Chicago not taking care of the humans that occupy it's city. Valuing a tree or a bird or anything else for that matter, is political grandstanding. What else would you expect from a life long politician like Madigan? C'mon. Don't fool yourselves voters, she does not care about obvious truths.

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  5. Thanks for your support Adam on a completely different issue that just happens to involve land next to the Chicago River.

    ReplyDelete

Be nice!