Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Present: Clare Rodriguez (Park Supervisor), Adam Housley (WPAC President), Scott Venable (WPAC Vice-President), Richard Tilley (Treasurer), Doug Wood (WPAC Secretary-Events Design/Promotions) , Elaine Coorens (Our Urban Times), Denise Browning (WPAC-Former President), Susan Fontana (WPAC-Former President), Mike Payette (WPAC Security), John Shirk (Urban Encounter and WickerMIC), Joe Sawicki (softball leagues), Alexa Scultz, Hannah Bauhof

  1. Minutes – Doug Wood – July Minutes are read and approved
  2. Treasurer’s Report – Richard Tilley – Richard repeated the need to find a new person to fill the treasurer’s position.
  3. Midnight Circus in the Parks (MCITP) – Doug Wood gave an update on the MCITP that included information on the status of program ad sales, banners, flyers, posters, and volunteer recruitment. He requested input from the council of day of event leaders, concessions acquisition, and the further recruitment of volunteers.
  4. Boo-Palooza – Doug Wood gave an update on the components of the event: Permits, Liability, Letter from 14th, Waste Management Proposal – Permits for both days (Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24) and all inside rooms were set for this year. He asked the council for assistance with obtaining funding, recruiting activity table designers/sponsors, performers, activities, determining section leaders, and people to assist with volunteer recruitment.
  5. Update on WickerICE Rink for recreational free skating and hockey – Doug Wood reported on the August 10 meeting with 1st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno, Patrick Levar (COO Chicago Park District, Rocio Varela (1st Ward staff), Nick Gecan, Mike Kupfer, Russell Ruplingor, and Doug Wood

    The Wicker Park Advisory Council’s WickerICE Committee is working in partnership with the Chicago Park District to fund, install, and maintain a non-refrigerated, seasonally installed ice rink (November – End of March) for both recreational and hockey skating in Wicker Park 1425 N. Damen. The Rink is called WickerICE. The dimensions of the rink will be 200 foot long by 85 foot wide, consisting of 4 foot walls on three sides and a 2 foot wall on the fourth side. Skating at the rink is free of charge and the rink cannot be rented for private parties unless the private parties serve as fundraisers for WickerICE.

    The WickerICE Committee has agreed to be responsible for the following (currently working to finalize commitments)

    • Obtaining Funding for the purchase of the rink from elected officials, grants, and private and corporate funding sources
    • Installing the Rink in late November and Removing and storing the rink off site in early March
    • Determining the hours of operation and setting separate times for free skating and hockey skating
    • Maintaining the ice daily during the season (Late November – end of February) – resurfacing the ice, removing snow, repairs when necessary
    • Providing volunteers to oversee the rink during the hours of operation
    • Promoting the Rink to the community and recruiting of all volunteers to maintain and monitor the rink
    • Communicating regularly with the Chicago Park District – submitting progress reports and reviewing/approving sponsors

    The Chicago Park District has agreed to the following (currently working to finalize commitments)

    • Utilize Wicker Park’s unused budgeted funding to extend Field House hours (9am – 9pm) on Sat/Sun during the season
    • Install lighting to illuminate the rink
    • Bring the field (currently under grade) up-to-grade and to install sod in the early spring – April of 2016

    The Working Budget includes

    • Cost of Rink (package for liner, brackets, board toppers, liner protection system, 42in Poly Boards, delivery, and storage
    • Cost of hockey goals, 3 snow blowers and gas, hoses, rink re-surfacer, sitting areas
    • Cost of installation and removal assisted by volunteers
    • The next steps are to work to elucidate all funding sources and to contact them, determine the level of volunteer support, create social media, and a GoFundMe.com donation page. In addition, the committee is interested in the status of the PayPal Page on the WPAC website and to have on the home page a directive and description of the project.
  6. CREATE – Playground Upgrade Committee – Doug Wood reported that several individuals have approached the council to find ways to improve the playground and he suggested they attend meetings to form a playgroup upgrade committee. The council discussed the issue and agreed that the committee was needed, but no one volunteered to assist in promoting the idea in the community.
  7. Park District Report – Clare Rodriguez, Park Supervisor reported that the Cirque Experience Open House was a great success and that the children and families enjoyed the addition to the summer camp. In the fall the group will offer a class to the public (children under 14) and it can be registered for on the Park District site or in person. The teen camp went well this summer and their work was well received at city wide events. Most work orders were filled.
    • Security Meeting– Mike Payette reported on Alderman Moreno’s’ July 21 security meeting. Park Security, the 14th District police and representatives from the legal department were present. At the meeting it was clear that the Park District’s Code of Conduct will not be enforceable; that it was a difficult procedure to obtain footage from the cameras that the 14th would continue to provide service to the park – but, no exact schedule could be determined. Denise Browning reported that the 3 security guards hired for the park during the Wicker Park Fest were incredibly helpful and that they recruited 11 14th District on duty police to assist them during the latter part of Saturday evening during the festival. The Garden Club funded the security ($2000) and no reimbursement was received from the Alderman or from the Chamber (presenter of the festival).
    • INCREASE Staff Numbers on Weekends– It was determined at the Security meeting that Wicker Park 2 staff members would be on duty each Saturday and Sunday.
    • Dog Park – Adam HousleyNothing new. The newly installed Parkway trees will be watered by Adam Housley and Mike Payette.
    • Softball– Joe Sawicki – All is going well.
    • Programming– Reviewed by all (Movies, Music, Theatre, Magic Boat, Wicker Mic, Learnapalooza, YOGA, Meditation, Rooted, etc.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:30pm