Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winnemac Park Neigbors Meeting recap from Tuesday

Looking north at Amundsen High School at Winnemac Park last winter. Photo Eric Rojas
We had a really interesting Winnemac Park Neighbors (WPN)meeting at Dolce Casa Cafe last Tuesday evening.  A couple themes were Local School Council elections and the current state of programing at Winnemac Park. Here are some general observations from the meeting:

  • Neighbors received a primer for the upcoming Local School Council (LSC) elections.  Most neighbors present have never voted in an LSC election and learned how easy it is (just go to your district school and vote!). Check out the link above for more information.
  • William Helm and Jeffrey Newman candidates for Amundsen High School LSC both addressed the group.  They both made excellent presentations and were well received.  Both made great points and provided insight to their candidacies.  Many neighbors were able to ask questions and we really appreciated their talks. Meet them at a meeting or around town!
  • Our group has requested the Chicago Park District's Winnemac Park supervisor come meet us and address the neighbors on the state of Winnemac Park.  WPN would like to understand the programming, budget and needs of the park better.  We have not received a response as of yet from the park supervisor to our invitations.
  • A neighbor made some authorized statements on behalf of the Winnemac Park supervisor. We learned of the Amundsen swimming pool renovation and that swim lessons will continue after it's renovation. All Park District pools are to be renovated.  We also learned that programming at the park faces funding challenges and programs can use volunteers
  • Long time and new neighbors made the point that the communication and information at Winnemac Park can be better.  WPN is committed to reviving the Park Advisory Board already in place and meeting with the park leadership to improve communications, programming and to reach out for volunteers.  If you are interested in the Park Advisory Board, please email
  • We announced the new blog site (web site) you're reading and Google Group.  All neighbors that sign up on the email list get invited to the Google Group for "opt-in" discussions. We called for neighbor volunteers to post information on the blog...please email to become an administrator on the blog site
  • Several neighbors brought up the need to reach out about the meetings in ways other than online.  We all agreed.  However, we called on those neighbors to do just that; help print out and distribute and post flyers for the next meeting.  Watch for the March 13th meeting flyer that will be emailed to our distribution list and help post and distribute to your block!
  • We touched on the new three building, 27 unit condo development in the works at the 4800 block of North Damen.  Most people were positive about development on the vacant lots. The developer, Candea Development, has agreed to address our group at a future meeting.
  • The Community Garden Committee is formed.  Please email if interested in advancing a Food Garden in or around Winnemac Park area and we'll forward your name to the committee.
  • Kris Swanberg introduced our effort at Chappell Elementary.  WPN met at Chappell school and asked if teachers were interested in the popular fundraising projects for their classes.  We have over 20 teachers signed up!  Please contact us to help our teachers with their DonorsChoose projects.  Its easy, fun and there are lots of ways to help! Input a project, come up with the description, help write thank you notes or promote the project.   Soon, you can go to the web site and look up Chappell Elementary to help fund a teacher's project...even with $5 bucks! Email for more information.
Thanks everyone.  It's a joy visiting, learning and helping all that's going on in the neighborhood!