Friends of the Parks Now Officially “Foes of the Parks”

At a forum held at the Cultural Center on April 9, Friends of the Parks repeated its support for the 2016 summer Olympics coming to Chicago despite the many venues being planned for public parks all over the city. FOTP’s stated mission is “a designated park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicago’s parks and forest preserves for all citizens.”

2009 is the Centennial Year of the Burnham Plan for Chicago.  Daniel Burnham called for ten acres of park land per thousand residents. According to a study by the Trust for Public Land, Chicago ranks 10th of all major U.S. cities in park land per-thousand-residents. We have 4.2 acres per thousand residents. Number One is Washington, D.C., with 13.1 acres and Boston comes in at second place with 8.5 acres.  So why is Friends, excuse me, Foes of the Parks, in favor of destroying Washington Park, parts of Douglas Park, Jackson Park and placing a 30,000 seat tennis stadium adjacent to the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary at Addison and Lake Shore Drive? [Download the report. totalacresperresident_08] So what’s up with supporting the biggest single public land grab and park destruction program in Chicago’s history?

In a story in today’s Chicago Tribune, the newly re-named Foes of the Parks made their position clear:

Friends of the Parks maintains that the best community use for the land is open fields for baseball, softball and cricket, low-impact facilities that they claim maintain the vision of Olmsted, the famed park and landscape designer…Nonetheless, Friends of the Parks is in favor of bringing the Olympics to Chicago, Tranter said. “I’m very hopeful” the two sides can work out satisfactory compromises, she said.

We’re not so hopeful. We’re pretty sure that if the Olympics come to Chicago citizens of the Washington Park, Jackson Park, Douglas Park and Lincoln Park neighborhoods will experience the destruction of their public spaces, massive traffic jams, cost overruns, disruption of the wild life and taking of public and private property to suit the games organizers.

Why don’t you call contact Erma at 312-857-2757 x 18 or trantere@fotp.org and let Foes of the Parks know that we know they have betrayed their mission and mandate.

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4 responses to “Friends of the Parks Now Officially “Foes of the Parks”

  1. No Games Chicago provides a forum in which supporters and opponents of Chicago 2016 can express their opinions. Chicago 2016 provides no such forum as their information is all tightly controlled.

    Hmmmm…. why are they so afraid of giving the opposition a say? Could there be these pesky things called “facts” that might contradict their arguments for the Olympics?

  2. A professional protest group would respect the opinion of other well-to-do organizations who have looked at the facts and formed their own opinion. Unfortunately, it looks as though you’re just what I thought you were: the standard “Chicago model” for citizens who complain about whatever they can find. This, as it appears, happens to be a bit larger of an issue than what to put on the Children’s Memorial Site or saving your parking place after you shoveled because you “own” the street.

  3. Parks could be returned to their original state by using ” transformer ” stadiums.This would be a giant stadium designed to be reassembled as numerous little stadiums elsewhere.These could be used by local schools or minor league sports teams.
    Another stadium solution would be to have floating stadiums.These could be built and maintained by all Olympic nations.They would also allow poorer nations to host the games in the future.A giant transformer floating stadium could be constructed by having bleacher vessels surround a field vessel in a hub and spoke pattern [they would be connected by bridges that doubled as braces.Floating parks might be a good idea for Rogers Park regardless of what happens with the Olympics.
    Still another possibility would be the ” Wrigleyville solution “.This would be an Olympic village that surrounds a field .All the buildings would have rooftop seating.

  4. PJS — Why must those who oppose Chicago 2016 be malcontents who complain about everything? Quite a few Olympic supporters like yourself are so terrified of dissent that you feel compelled to stereotype the opposition.

    Many of us have reviewed Daley’s track record and have logically concluded he’s the wrong man to have in charge of an Olympics (yes, Daley would be in charge, not Pat Ryan). With a more competent mayor I would be more likely to back the bid.

    This site allows opposing opinions because they are unafraid of having their logic challenged. Chicago 2016, on the other hand, has to tightly control information.

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