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.