August 2, 2016 Wicker Park Advisory Council Minutes

Wicker Park Advisory Council – August 2, 2016 Minutes

Meeting Attended By: Clare Rodriguez (Park Supervisor), Adam Housley (President, Dog Park), Doug Wood (WPAC Secretary and Events Coordinator), Nick Gecan (WickerICE – Co-Chairman), Mike Payette (Security), Joe Sawicki (Softball & WickerICE), John Shirk (Urban Encounter & WickerMic), Denise Browning (Wicker Park Garden & Events), Susan Fontana (Former President & Wicker Park Garden), Lorna Cagan (WickerICE), Alexa Schutz (WickerICE), Nick Grygiel (WickerICE)

  1. Clare Rodriguez – Park District Report
  • SUMMER CAMP – Camp went well this summer and was filled to capacity.
  • UPDATES ON TEEN INITIATIVES – The Wicker Park Teens designed a special entrepreneurial project that was submitted and approved by all appropriate Park District deparments.  They will extract the active, medicinal components from Wicker Park Garden’s Witch Hazel shrub’s branches and leaves. The Witch Hazel extract will be sold at the WPB Farmer’s Market on Sun. August 21. The teens who designed the project and extracted the active components will be at the market to sell their product and to discuss their process and product with WPB Farmer’s Market attendees.
  • IT CAPACITY – Clare’s computer still freezes up regularly. Park District IT would like to test the functions needed for MCITP ticket download: access the Brown Paper Ticket program, download and then print the tickets.  This test is to see if Wicker Park Staff can download the tickets 2 hours before each of the 5 performances and print them in the field house office.
  • FLOOD CONTROL – A Park District employee came to view the sidewalk that are flooded regularly and took away data for review. In addition, the Park Staff placed an order for a shop vac – large capacity to be used to remove the water until the sidewalks are brought up to grade.
  • TREES – Clare discussed the status of storm damaged trees – remove or leave damaged? The damaged trees include the old Maple by fountain and a mature tree in playground. Most broken branches were removed by meeting time.  Next, these trees will be observed and the plan for each tree will be determined in upcoming weeks.
  • PARK SECURITY – Park Security and Park Security Guard – Ginny’s Absence – what is schedule for replacements and what are daily responsibilities of the security team?  The performance has varied greatly – can we set a protocol?  No report, other than Park Security will attempt to cover during Ginny’s absence.
  • 14TH? Report of 14th District police daily visits & responses to 911 calls – how often and when? What does the sign in sheet give as far as visits?  Visits were few and not on a regular basis.
  • FOUNTAIN – Drinking Fountain at Fountain Court – Update on Repair – No update.
  • PLAYGROUND: Noisy Swings – Flooded playground due to spitting bear’s drainage issues. The work orders have been entered – not yet addressed.
  • SIDEWALK REPAIR – Update on repair of sunken/broken sidewalk near Damen/Wicker Park Ave – dangerous. Someone came to view and took away data for review.
  • NIGHTS OUT EVENTS – Upcoming Nights Out Events produced by Park District – Tunes Turtles, etc. – No information on details of the event have been given to park staff.
  • FIELD TIMETABLE – No update & confirmation on the bringing up to grade and the re-sodding of the field after the Circus in mid-September have been received.


  1. WPAC Events Updates
  • Dog Park, Softball, Garden – Joe Sawicki (softball) reported that the softball team members had a verbal conflict with the soccer players during a softball game.  The softball team has a permit to use the field; the soccer players do not.  Joe was able to resolve the conflict.  The WPAC discussed the usage of the field by the soccer players without a permit.  The consensus was that soccer players should have a permit and that the neighbors who want to use the field should be consulted. The soccer group parties and drinks during and after their games.
  • WickerICE – The council discussed turning the rink 90 degrees to parallel Schiller and to install lights on the posts that hold the netting. This will cut down on the ice melting, since the south end of the rink was shaded and did not melt.  This change would put the entire rink in the shade of the buildings and trees.  This change will be worked out with Patrick Levar and staff as well as leveling the field and consulting with Park District and Christy Webber to meet the rink installation time table which is the 1st week of December.
  • Volunteer Coverage for August Events – More volunteers are needed for all events.
  • Attendance at events – 200-300 yoga students each Tuesday; 200 programs distributed at the 3 classical music and 3 theatre performances; 120 for WickerMIC; 20 per week for gardens; 20 for park tours – ALL NUMBERS reported to the Nights Out Team – since these were all called Nights Out Events.
  • Midnight Circus in the Parks Update   – Tickets on Sale August 1 – Brown paper Tickets Friday, September 16 at 7pm and Saturday & Sunday September 17 & 18 at 2pm and 5pm
  • Boo-PaloozaSaturday, October 29, 2016 from 10am – 2pm – Decision Cancel for 2016

Question Posed – Do we have a volunteer pre-event planning team and funding options other than a grant to WPB SSA#33 – Usually $5,000 needed plus SSA#33 grant of $5,000   Security Costs for Street Festivals and Movies – at $4,000.  Decision – Cancel – after going through the entire pre-event job requirements and costs.