Dear Editor, 

Dedicated public parks like historic Jackson Park exist to provide needed open, clear and free natural areas for outdoor recreation and relief from congested urban city life.

We are now living in a time of growing global warming and climate change, which are the consequence of human conduct. It is a time when every mindless act of environmental destruction must be stopped, and that is mandatory public policy embodied in the law. That is also the public policy Protect Our Parks, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public interest group, is organized to enforce.  

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) became law on January 1, 1970 when Congress enacted NEPA to establish a national policy for the environment. NEPA was the first major environmental law in the United States and is often called the "Magna Carta" of Federal environmental laws. It was followed by federal statutes to protect environmental and historic sites in America from destruction. 

NEPA ensures agencies consider the significant environmental consequences of their proposed actions and inform the public about their decision-making. Countries and non-governmental organizations all over the globe have created their own environmental impact assessment programs, modeled upon NEPA, making NEPA an international catalyst in the field of environmental protection. 

That is what the POP et al lawsuit against the Obama Foundation and city federal defendants is all about — their failure and refusal to even consider the adverse effects of making major traffic changes and cutting down 1,000 mature trees in Jackson Park to build a 235-foot OPC office tower in a pristine public park. That could all be easily avoided by simply acknowledging the alternatives of relocating to an available and superior nearby non-park location. 

Herb Caplan

President, Protect Our Parks

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