Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bloomingdale Trail Community Meeting Tonight

There will be a community meeting for the Bloomingdale Trail tonight from 6-8 pm at the Saint Mary of the Angels School Auditorium - 1810 N. Hermitage Ave. If you're not familiar with the Bloomingdale Trail yet, it's an exciting new project to convert the elevated Bloomingdale rail line into a linear park that runs from Humboldt Park to Wicker Park/Bucktown. The Trail is expected to be a creative new recreation spot and it's attracted a lot of attention and support so far, which is why it's important that the members of the communities it will serve get out in the early stages to learn about the project and have our ideas and concerns heard.

Hope to see you there!

The Bloomingdale line as it looks today - from bloomingdaletrail.org

Monday, November 21, 2011

Announcements from November's Meeting

Besides getting the latest on what's going in the Park, itself, HPAC meetings are a great place to hear about other events going on in the community, as a whole. Many of our members commit their time to non-profits or volunteer efforts in Humboldt Park and share news from these endeavors at our meetings, so I'd like to share some events going on outside the Park along with these announcements from last week's meeting.

  • Online registration for Chicago Park District winter programming begins November 28th at 9 a.m. and walk-in registration begins at most parks on Saturday, December 3rd. 
  • There will be no HPAC meeting in December due to the holiday season, but elections will be held at the January meeting. Advisory Council members can vote if they have attended six meetings in the last year. Eligible voters will be announced at the meeting in case you are not sure how many you have attended in the last year.
  • In case you haven't heard the news...the Bloomingdale Trail is a project in the works to convert the Bloomingdale Avenue rail line into a three mile long, elevated park running from the Wicker Park neighborhood to Humboldt Park and Logan Square. Community meetings are being held this fall and winter, to get involved sign up for their email list.
  • On Thanksgiving day, La Casa Puertorriquena will be serving free meals and holding a clothing drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1237 N. California Avenue. If you would like to drop off clothing for the drive, call (773)885-9302 for hours.
  • On Thursday, December 1st, at 6 p.m. the 14th District Police station at 2150 N. California will host "Tree of Hope," a lighting ceremony and vigil for victims of violence.
The weather may be getting cold, but there are still a lot of opportunities to get out and stay involved in community matters in Humboldt Park. And lastly, the HPAC wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November HPAC Meeting: Thursday the 17th

Please come join us tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. in the field house for our November meeting. Also, a heads up that elections for Council members will be held in January and you must have attended six meetings in the last year to either vote or seek election.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meeting on Thursday 10/20

The Humboldt Park Advisory Council will hold its October meeting tomorrow, Thursday the 20th at 6:30 p.m. in the field house. Potential topics of discussion include the opening/scheduling of the Park's new turf soccer field, the recent assessment of the field house roof and the meeting of the fundraising committee. If you're interested in finding out more about what's happening in the Park or have questions/comments about its services, please come out and join us.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Turf Soccer Field Grand Opening This Saturday

The grand opening ceremony for the new Humboldt Park soccer field is this Saturday, October 15th at 1 p.m. The new field will replace the old grass field just South of Division Street on Humboldt Blvd., in the same location. The old field became unsafe and unplayable during periods of bad weather and over-use. The new turf surface is built on top of a drainage system, which should make it playable even in times of heavy rains. The new field will also have lights, which will come on at dusk and remain on until 11 p.m. when the park closes.

This Saturday at 11 a.m., play will commence with some scheduled youth soccer games, followed at 1 p.m. by the grand opening ceremony complete with color guard presentation and some words by Mayor Emanuel.

This field is the first of 10 artificial turf athletic fields being presented to the Chicago Park District by private funding. All 10 fields are a joint gift to the park district -50% of each field is paid for by the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, and 50% by another source. The second source of funding for the field in Humboldt Park is Allstate Insurance.

Everyone is invited to come to the ceremony, see the new addition to the Park, and enjoy some light refreshments. The Humboldt Park Advisory Council is currently working with the Chicago Park District to decide scheduling for playing times. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please attend the ceremony and speak to a staff member

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fundraising Committee Meeting & Recap of Central Region Budget Meeting

On Wednesday the 21st at 6:30 pm in the Field House, the HPAC's fundraising committee will meet to discuss potential events/opportunities to raise funds for the Advisory Council. The committee is lead by Amy Vega and Area Supervisor Cynthia Rosario will also be in attendance. With many Park facilities badly in need of repairs or updates and the CPD facing a large budget shortfall, we're looking to raise funds to contribute to improvements in facilities and programs. But an effort like this will require a lot of helping hands and I'm sure we will be looking to our AC members and neighbors for volunteers.

And speaking of funding...last night I attended the Central Region Budget Meeting along with our Treasurer, Maggie Martinez (thanks for the ride, Maggie!). Our friends from the United Leagues of Humboldt Park were also there, giving Humboldt Park a great showing at the meeting.

Chicago Parks District Interim Superintendent Michael Kelly hosted the meeting, taking comments from audience members and offering feedback or advice. In our two minutes to speak before him we drew attention to badly needed repairs to the Field House and comfort stations, as well as the need for accessible parking spaces on Marin Drive at Little Cubs Field.

Superintendent Kelly responded that contractors will be assessing the condition of the Field House roof on Thursday, which means we will soon know an estimate of the cost to repair it and how the Park District intends to address the issue. Note that this does not mean it will get repaired and it is likely that the Park District will ask for contributions from the Advisory Council and donors to help cover the cost. We expect to be hearing more on this issue at our October meeting.

 We also got a chance to speak with Larry Labiak, the Park District's Disability Policy Officer, about accessible parking for Little Cubs Field. He informed us that further coordination is needed with the Chicago Department of Transportation, but was optimistic that this project could be completed in the near future. We invited him to attend our next meeting to talk with us further on this issue and are hoping we'll see him in October.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Upcoming Regional Budget Meetings - Monday 9/19

A big topic of discussion at Thursday's meeting was the Park District's Central Region budget meeting, coming up this Monday, and how Humboldt Park's priorities will be represented at it. This meeting is important because it offers Park users an opportunity to lobby for needed improvements in facilities and services before the Park District's Board. Members of the HPAC will be attending, including Treasurer Maggie Martinez and myself, Brian Hacker (Secretary), to bring attention to a list of high priority improvements that we feel need attention. They include badly needed repairs to the fieldhouse (roof, structure, doors and windows) and comfort stations that serve childrens' playgrounds and sports fields.

The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. at Taylor-Lauridsen Park, 704 West 42nd Street. Doors will open at 5:30 and early arrival is recommended. If you wish to voice your concerns before the Board, you must sign up at the beginning of the meeting and submit a letter of intent describing your requests. There is a maximum of two minutes allowed for anyone wishing to speak, so please be sure to make your statements brief.

We're hoping to have a good show of support for our Park  from community members so the Park Board can see we're serious about having these issues addressed. Even if you do not wish to speak before the Board, we're looking for members of the community to come and stand with us and other community groups when we're called to speak. The United Leagues of Humboldt Park will also be attending and we're both hoping to have as many supporters as possible standing behind us.

We realized the meeting location is not local and that this could be a problem for anyone looking to attend. It's possible that arrangements could be made for carpooling, so if you are interested in attending but need help with transportation please send an email and we'll do our best to help.

To get to the meeting by CTA from Humboldt Park, take an eastbound bus like Division or North Ave to the Halsted Street bus and head south to 42nd Street. Then walk one block east on 42nd Street to Taylor-Lauridsen Park.

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September Meeting on Thursday the 15th

This Thursday at 6:30 pm the HPAC will hold its September meeting in the fieldhouse. The summer event season may be over but there should be plenty to talk about with the construction of the new turf soccer field, upcoming regional budget meetings for the Park District and Jesus Perez's first month as Park Supervisor.

Please come out and join us if you'd like to get involved in volunteering for Humboldt Park of if you're just interested in finding out more. All are welcome!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Charity Softball Game & September 11th Memorial Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the 4th Annual Chicago Fire & Chicago Police vs. The Chicago Blackhawks Alumni 16" Charity Softball Game will take place at Little Cubs Field, 1339 Luis Marin Munoz Drive. The day will include a tenth anniversary memorial of the September 11th attacks, a game between Chicago Blackhawks Alumni and a team of CFD and CPD members, a citywide championship game between CFD and CPD, and a raffle drawing. There will also be food, non-alcoholic drinks and autographs.

Here's the schedule:

11:00 am - event starts
12:00 pm - September 11th "Ceremony of Remembrance"
1:00 pm - Blackhawks Alumni vs. CFD/CPD 16" softball game
2:30 pm - CFD vs. CPD citywide championship 16" softball game
4:00 pm - Raffle drawing

Follow the CPD Memorial Foundation on facebook here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happening This Week...

Even with Labor Day behind us, there's plenty going on in Humboldt Park.

Tonight (Tuesday) at 6pm in the fieldhouse the HPAC's Soccer Committee will hold a meeting with members of the Park District. Humboldt Park has been chosen to receive one of ten new artificial turf soccer fields being built in parks throughout the city. The HPAC was asked to form the committee to develop guidelines for the field's use and offer input on its design. We're expecting it to be very popular once it opens, so this meeting will be important for anyone who wants to take part in using the field or booking time on it.

Also...on Wednesday night from 6 to 9pm at the boathouse, the Park will hold the last Summerdance event of the year. Summerdance is a program run by the Park District where dance instructors will give free lessons for an hour then offer two hours of live music and dancing. This should be a great way to close out summer at the Park and a fun way to get a little exercise, so put on those dancing shoes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thursday Night: HPAC meeting and Movie in the Park

Join us Thursday night for a meeting of the Advisory Council at 6:30 p.m. in the field house at 1400 N. Humboldt Blvd. We will have an opportunity to speak more with new park supervisor Jesus Perez to find out his thoughts on the future of programming in the Park and give him feedback.

Also happening tomorrow night...as part of the Park District's "Movie in the Park" series, "The Sandlot" will be showing at Little Cubs Field at dusk (approx. 7:45 p.m.). Come out and celebrate the end of the little league season at this family friendly event. Drinks and snacks will be available from the HPAC's concession stand, which is managed by our Treasurer, Maggie Martinez.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Park District Budget Meeting Thursday @ 5:30

On Thursday the 28th at 5:30 p.m. the Park District will hold a meeting regarding the 2012 budget for Humboldt Park at the field house. This is an important meeting for those interested in the future of the park's programming and improvements because it will help the District decide on how revenue is spent for the next year. The HPAC has a list of concerns that include structural repairs to the field house, upkeep of restroom facilities and adequate staff to run programs and maintain the park.

Would you like to see certain programming expanded at the park? Better upkeep of the grounds? Improvements to the facilities? If so, please attend this meeting and voice your concerns to Park District staff. Humboldt Park is meant to serve the people of the City of Chicago so it's important that we make our priorities and needs heard by the Park District.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HPAC Meeting Tonight

Hello...please join us tonight for our July meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the field house, just south of North Ave. on Humboldt Blvd. Our soccer committee will discuss the new field being built behind the stables building, and possibly meet the new Park Supervisor for the first time. Hope to see you there, please send an email if you would like to make a comment but cannot make the meeting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign

Would you like to see Humboldt Park become more bike friendly?

The Active Transportation Alliance has started the Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign with the goal of creating 100 miles of protected bikeways in the City by 2015 to make cycling a safer and more accessible transportation option. Chicago recently got its first protected bike lane on West Kinzie Street, where the City installed a barrier between the car and bike lanes, along with bike boxes at intersections, which give cyclists a safe place to wait for the light to change.

If you're interested in finding out how to get involved in your community or would like to show your support for the campaign, sign up here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Artificial Turf Soccer Field in Humboldt Park

Construction has begun on a new soccer field in Humboldt Park located just south of the stables, which houses the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. The field is funded by private donors.

The park district wants the Advisory Council to form a committee solely for the purpose of creating rules and guidlines for the use of this facility. At the next Advisory Council Meeting on Thursday July 21st @ 6:30 p.m. the first meeting of the soccer committee will take place.

We encourage anyone interested in the use or scheduling of the field to stop by and give us your feedback so the field can be made as accessible as possible to those who want to use it. If you can not make the meeting but would like to send a comment, please send an email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Community Garden Opportunity

For the past two years, the vacant lot at the southwest corner of Kedzie and Crystal has been used as a community garden by a local group. This year the garden space has opened up and a neighbor has approached the landlord about continuing to use it as a garden, so there is an opportunity for HP residents to get involved and possibly reserve some gardening space on this plot. Anyone interested should be willing to contribute to maintaining the entire garden and the surrounding parkways, as well as their own garden area.

This is an excellent opportunity to get involved in the neighborhood and meet your neighbors, as well as grow some veggies, flowers, or herbs. If you'd like to find out more, please send an email.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HPAC's Maggie Martinez Interviewed on ABC 7

The HPAC's Treasurer, Maggie Martinez, also part of the Block Club Federation and a longtime community activist was recently interviewed by ABC 7 News regarding a string of shootings in West Humboldt Park. Watch it here.


Hello...this is the blog for the Humboldt Park Advisory Council. We are a group made up of residents interested in making our park a better place for those who visit it by promoting events, and working with Park District staff to improve service. We hold monthly meetings, usually on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m., that are open to the public. If you would like to make your opinion heard or learn more about what's going on at Humboldt Park, please stop by, we'd love to hear what you have to say and get you involved.

FYI...there will be no meeting held in June.