Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes – November 21, 2005

Attendees: Jeffrey Allen, Geraldine Baginski, Denise Browning, Larry Clary, Elaine Coorens, Melissa Daza, Peter Debreceny, Julie Dickinson, Laurie Elliot, Shannon English, Susan Fontana, Kathy Grayson, Joe Lake, Gina Lakin, Daniel Marre, Craig Norris, Dina Petrakis, Anitra Rowe, Nick Sommers, ED Tamminga, Mary Tamminga, Kathe Tellingator, Richard Tilley, Jane Wenger, Donna Whitacre, Douglas Wood

  1. Welcome and Introductions –J. Allen: Mr. Kelly Torres, Park Supervisor, will be transferring to Kelly Park in December. Welcome to new Park Supervisor Shannon English and our grateful thanks to Mr. Torres for his years of service.
  2. Recognition of Doug Wood, Denise Browning, and WP Garden Club for the many awards they have won this year, and for their role in re-doing the landscaping in the playground area.
  3. Treasurer’s report: Currently the Treasury has $14,907. This month, we paid $84.41 to the WP Garden Club for playground landscaping materials, $165 for Halloween candy for the Halloween party, and $50 for prizes for the Halloween party. In addition, thanks to J. Dickinson for soliciting donations from local businesses for prizes at the party. Finally, we have checks for 6 brick orders, although it is not clear if we will be able to find an installer for the bricks. E. Coorens moved that a 2005 financial statement, which includes an opening and ending balance, as well as a list of expected income and expenses for the remainder of the year be distributed in writing at the next meeting. Motion seconded by P. Debreceny and unanimously approved.
  4. Vision for WPAC for remainder of 2005 and 2006: Discussion of document brought forth by the executive council, which proposed focusing funds and energy on capital improvements for the Park. In particular, the proposal would purchase 8 benches for around the fountain and relocate the four currently there to the playground; it would also repair the mud bog near the bear water feature in the playground with new soft surfacing in that area. The benches would cost $1500 each. We do not yet have an estimate from the Park District on the cost of repairing the bog. D. Wood noted that the Friends of the Parks has identified a donor who may be interested in donating 2-3 benches for around the fountain. He discussed the impetus behind the new benches being the creation of a historically accurate fountain/garden space that would include the benches and a wrought iron railing around the plantings. The railing would likely cost about $4000. D. Wood plans a fund raising event for June 2006 to help raise the roughly $22,000 needed for the project. He also brought photos from the CPD Park Historian depicting the original benches. P. Debreceny moved that the WPAC earmark funds for 5 benches (in the hopes that a donor might support three, for a total of 8), with the design of the benches to be approved by D. Wood. D. Marre seconded. On voting, there were 22 yes and 2 no. P. Debreceny then moved that the WPAC Executive Committee bring forward a budget at the first meeting in 2006. Seconded and unanimously approved. Discussion of use of the money currently in the budget; D. Marre pointed out that in the future, all projects undertaken by the WPAC will need to be self-supporting, as the money currently in the budget will ideally go for capital improvements in the park. Several members present disagreed, stating that the interests of all groups using the park should be considered when allocating money from the budget. J. Dickinson and J. Allen suggested that anyone with a proposal who would like to request funds from the WPAC should email their programming requests, as well as a proposed budget for the project, to wpac@ourwickerpark.org. Those without email access can submit paper copies to the park supervisor.
  5. Garden Club Report: Contained in item 4, above. Additionally, D. Wood asked for volunteer committee members for the June 2006 fundraising event. In addition, due to concerns over groups renting the park without adequate trash pickup or security, he proposes having groups who wish to rent the park sign a to-be-drafted agreement detailing their responsibilities. He will draft a document, which will need to be reviewed by the CPD, and he will get a copy to the WPAC Executive Council prior to December 14 (the CPD deadline).
  6. Please note that during his report Doug Wood’s 10 minute report was truncated. He distributed copies of the following—Including a PDF on line, as Matt did, would be excellent:
    1. Copies of the Adult Programming that will be presented in the park by the Wicker Park Garden Club open to all interested individuals from the Chicagoland area.
    2. Copies of the CPD Wicker Park Budget Request (drafted in July by Wood for the WPAC) and the final proposed CPD Budget for Wicker Park. He noted that the requests made were all granted. This requested increases were reflected in the CPD on-line posted budget: a full time attendant and added hours for the summer staff, as well as extra funding in many other categories.
    3. Copies of the Park Goals and Capital Improvements Document prepared for the Budget hearings by Doug Wood for the WPAC. He announced (to all in attendance and to the WPAC executive committee via email within 24 hours) that these goals would be discussed Monday, December 19 at 7- 8 PM, Wicker Park Field House.
  7. Due to time restraints: Doug Wood was not able to present his report on:
    1. SPRING BULBS: The bulb garden created by the Park Kids Grow ($412 donation from Al and Pat Linnerud, Leslie Zimmerman, Jane Wenger, Fertile Gardens and Garden Club funds), and the Park Kids Grow design of the Fountain Pots Spring Bulb Display–$71—pots were planted and buried for winter chilling, then will be installed in the fountain pots in spring.
    2. A list of the volunteers and hours spent redesigning the playground garden-that was distributed via email to the WPAC Executive Committee earlier in November.
    3. The adult exercise program description and timetable to raise funding to maintain the park’s gardens.
    4. The lighting of the Gurgoyle Fountain-funded by the Wicker Park Garden Club and The Care of Trees—a community project headed by WPGarden
    5. The incorporation of Tatiana Lund (Around the Coyote referral), Art Instructor (graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Childhood Art Education Program) into the Wicker Park Programming for Park Kids and she will return in January for a 8 week session and in the spring for a 8 week session. Cost of Class ($300 teacher stipend; $150 supplies)
    6. Report on Summer Expenditures for the Watering of Park Gardens and Trees and trash pick-up assistance stipends paid to homeless and elderly $600/month or $2400 (private donations-$1800, garden club $600) Period June-October. All gardens and trees in the entire park were watered; garden club purchased trash bags all the cans. Private donations paid for the daily pick up of trash in all parts of the park.

The meeting was adjourned at 9pm.

Respectfully submitted, Lorrie Elliott Secretary