Plans for flower beds with edible plants at Jefferson Memorial Park among issues discussed at Jefferson Park Forward meeting
by BRIAN NADIG
The Jefferson Park Forward at its April 20 meeting heard updates on community gardens, a fundraiser for a resident injured in a hit-and-run accident and crime-related news.
Stephanie Livingston, who leads the Jefferson Park Pollinator Gardens, reported that Girl Scouts are building four raised flower beds with edible plants along the south side of the park’s fieldhouse, 4822 N. Long Ave. The Chicago Park District recently changed the garden’s designation from “ornamental” to “combination,” allowing for the edible plants, she said.
The volunteer gardening group formed about two years ago and has spearheaded several beautification projects at the park. “I’m not the best gardener, but luckily we have community members that are amazing,” Livingston said.
The group focuses on using native plants because they require “less maintenance and do much better for the environment,” Livingston said.
JPF president Maggie Daly Skogsbakken reported that a gofundme.com fundraiser has been set up for Fanar Hanna, who reportedly suffered multiple injuries on Tuesday, April 4, when a vehicle hit her while she was walking in the 5300 block of North Avondale Avenue. The accident occurred near the pedestrian bridge over the Kennedy Expressway.
The funds will go toward medical bills.
In September Alderman James Gardiner (45th) submitted a request for a safety study of that stretch of Avondale, but it has not been completed, according to Gardiner’s office. At the time a resident reportedly had expressed concerns about speeding vehicles and other safety issues along Avondale.
In recent weeks Avondale has experienced an increase in traffic due to motorists wanting to avoid backups on the Kennedy due to a major construction project on the inbound lanes.
Also at the meeting, it was reported that on certain days from about 3 to 8 p.m. there is a foot patrol officers at the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave.
In addition, 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District commander Heather Daniel warned about ruse burglaries in which one offender typically distracts the homeowner by pretending to be a contractor or utility worker, while another offender sneaks into the house and steals cash and jewelry.
“They play on people’s good nature. … That makes it such a heinous crime,” Daniel said, adding that a scam artist claiming to be a roofing contractor came to her house. She said that the man had not broken any laws so he was not arrested but that officers did meet with him and got his name.
Also at the meeting, park supervisor Andrea Woppel asked residents to help spread the word that park district is hiring for a variety of positions. Seasonal workers must be at least 16-years-old, while year-round workers must be at least 18-years-old, she said.
Jefferson Memorial Park Advisory Council representative Ashley Romero said that the a family event celebrating the work of artist Ed Paschke is scheduled for the park on Sunday, June 11, and efforts are being made to being concessions, such as the sale of coffee and food, to the park’s Esdohr House, 4820 N. Long Ave. The house, which once served as the park’s craft shop, was built about 140 years ago and requires renovations.
Sunday Market manger Merril Miller said that the famers’ market will be held the second and fourth Sundays of the month from June to October in the park and that the final market of the indoor season will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, May 7, at the Copernicus Center Annex, 5214 W. Lawrence Ave. Admission is free.
It also was reported that a variety of summer camps are available at th Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. For more information, visit www.filamenttheatre.org.
JPF will once again be sponsoring the community stage at the “Jeff Fest” music and art festival on Aug. 4-6 at the park. The festival is in conjunction with the park advisory council, the park district and the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce.
Under consideration is adding a fourth day of the festival, with a free concert, on Thursday, Aug. 3.
The main headliner of the festival will be the Buckinghams, who had several hit songs in the late 1960s, on Saturday, Aug. 5. There is an admission charge for the festival on Aug. 4 to 6.
The meeting was held at the North Branch Fried Chicken restaurant, 5481 N. Northwest Hwy.
Editor’s note: Nadig Newspapers’ publisher Brian Nadig is the chamber president.