It was an eventful and informative March Advisory Council meeting; we'd like to thank everyone who came out and contributed. Bonnie Tawse from the Trust for Public Land gave a presentation on the progress of the Bloomingdale Trail and took questions and comments from HPAC members (who are already an informed bunch when it comes to the Trail, we found). The design team has reached the end of the first phase of planning and are now beginning work on the specifics of designing the Trail. The final community meeting for the first phase of planning took place on March 8th and was attended by a number of HPAC members; the Grid Chicago blog even posted an audio recording of our Treasurer Maggie Martinez's inspiring and thoughtful comments to the design team.
With Mayor Emanuel recently announcing significant levels of funding from federal grants and private donors the Trail is anticipated to open in the fall of 2014, but there is still a great need for the community to get involved to make this new park space the best it can be. Trail organizers are currently looking for volunteers to form an advisory council for the new Julia de Burgos Park at Albany and Whipple Streets that will eventually offer access to the trail; there will be a planning meeting on Monday, March 19th at 6 pm at Simons Park (1640 N. Drake) for anyone who is interested.
The Humboldt Park Earth Day Clean Up event was another big topic of conversation at the meeting. With a date of Saturday, April 21st it is just around the corner and the Friends of the Park, who organize the event in cooperation with many local groups, are looking for volunteers to register on their website. Earth Day is always a big event in Humboldt Park with many volunteers turning out to clean the park and see the entertainment, but there are also opportunities at many other parks around the city if you would like to come out for a different local park. Follow the link for more details and register today. Also happening on the 21st is the annual Earth Day 5K run, which will also feature the Green Market with a number of vendors.
With the warmer months approaching, there was plenty of news at our last meeting on programs and events being scheduled and planned for the spring and summer. It looks like it's going to be a busy summer in the park with the addition of two major music events that will be hosted for the first time in Humboldt Park: the World Latin Music Fest from July 20-22nd, and Riot Fest from September 14-16th. The park will also host its regular events like the Puerto Rican Fest from June 14th to June 17th, Latin Jazz Fest on July 6th and Movies in the Park on July 7th at Little Cubs Field. The Advisory Council is also happy to be partnering with the Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago for its annual Youth Health and Fitness Family Jamboree on June 9th; a community event to promote health and exercise for youth that will feature a childrens' run in the park.
Now is also the time for registering for youth programs with the Park District. Registration for spring classes and the Humboldt Park Youth Baseball League is currently open, and summer camp registration will begin on April 9th for online registration and April 14th in person. See the Park District website for details. On August 8th through the 13th the Central Region Youth Baseball Tournament will be held for divisions 8-10 years and 11-12 years, please call the Humboldt Park fieldhouse if you'd like to register your team 312-742-7549.