To the Editor:

I am writing to protest yet again another action under the leadership of Superintendent Mike Kelly that restricts public access in our parks.

This last week, just a few days after the public was made aware of Amazon lockers in Chicago's parks (see p. 1 story), we found out by a Twitter post that gates were installed on Wooded Island in Jackson Park with the goal of restricting access to the area.

These actions are taken without any respect for public hearings or even making the attempt to reach out to the established networks of communication (local newspapers, elected officials, etc.) asking for input for ways to address the issues facing Jackson Park.

Jackson Park is an important asset to those in Chicago and the surrounding area. More importantly as we face the overwhelming challenges presented by the current pandemic, it has provided for many a place to seek comfort and respite. 

Under the leadership of Superintendent Kelly we have over these last months watched the unfolding of an extensive sexual harassment scandal; establishment of Amazon lockers in our public parks and now the gates surrounding a treasured area of Jackson Park.

As a member of Friends of the Park and a resident of the 5th Ward, I ask that they and others join in demanding that the Chicago Park District hold public hearings regarding the current issue of gates on Wooded Island and the future direction of Jackson Park.

Susan Avila

(5) comments

Carla

Is the HP Herald in the business of publishing lies?

The discussion about the gates has been ongoing for years and it was public knowledge they were going to be installed months ago. Getting involved in Chicago goings on means getting involved in your local park advisory council. Don't blame your own ignorance on other people.

Ross Petersen

It is the advisory council who should have reached out, to the community, on something as substantial as gates on the Wooded Island. An article in the Herald, or a meeting before a larger audience, assuring that residents were informed - that would have been helpful. This 'advisory council' has an obligation to do that - to inform the community, and not to make these decisions on their own.

Where is the advisory council on the Darrow Bridge, or the two bathrooms closed for Years, now? Yet you have money for gates.

Carla

Aren't those multi million dollar projects?

Ross Petersen

The Darrow Bridge is probably a multi-million dollar repair. The bathrooms - not that expensive. The golf-course shelter building is now so collapsed that repairs are prohibitive. The field house really needs replacement, but you left that out, too.

Some advisory council.

Carla

I didn't know I was supposed to generate a list of your concerns for you. Maybe bring your list to the park or PAC since you seem impassioned.

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