Clark Park is a pristine river front park which contains acres of green space and a half mile river front trail, soccer fields, native gardens and a state-of-the-art BMX trail. Also, it has a public canoe/kayak launch and is a recognized butterfly sanctuary and bird watching habitat.
We oppose constructing a 2 acre sized boat warehouse/crewing facility which will negatively impact the park - it will be too large for Clark Park and introduce a 3 story building, surrounded by concrete, increased vehicle traffic, and will interrupt existing activities at the park. The public demands a period of public review to investigate moving the facility to a larger park or a different location.
A much smaller boathouse facility could be constructed at Clark Park, containing canoes/kayak, badly needed washrooms and a public water source, concessios and possible bike rental. Green Space is the most valuable resource in the parks, especially in this one-of-a-kind riverfront park - it must be protected for future generations.
The word "boorish" comes immediately to mind.
Bill Barnes said:
Nobody has posted on this discussion since Monday. That tells me that some were probably working in one way or another for the "special" interests. Okay guys you've won. Go on out to the Clark Park and look at the construction fencing and look to the river from Rockwell and see all the trees that will soon be gone and then me how you think that is okay.
But I seriously doubt that any of the CPAC detractors have ever set foot in Clark Park. Here's a sad story. Richard Clark Park is named after a fallen police officer that lost his life in a shoot out. We have been in contact with Clark's family. They belong to CPAC and have supported our efforts. In memory of Richard Clark a small brass plaque was attached to a rock at the north side of the park. Sadly, somebody stole that plaque probably for the metal.
The Clark family went to the Park District for help with a new memorial. They were told that while the Park District would install it, they could not pay for it and insisted it have no permanent lighting. The memorial stone is about 4 foot of granite and will cost the Clark's about $10,000. That have a fundraiser next month on June 15th. The details are on our website or facebook page.
I think it disgusting that the same bunch that won't cough up $10,000 for a memorial to the namesake of the park can somehow come up with 9.450 million dollars for a boathouse because Rahm Emanual wants it. Shame on all of them. They have no soul.
Is there another chapter of this thread available for download somewhere?
I didn't know Clark Park was named after a fallen orifice.
This changes everything. I'm now fine with the place being razed, plowed-under, and paved over with concrete.
Bring on the dozen 65-foot long 5th-wheel boat-rack trailers.
My whole family got hit with some nasty stomach ailment so I've been distracted this week, but I did go out and work the river cleanup Saturday morning and got a chance to inspect the whole site. Bill may come off as a bit crusty here, but he's entitled to have his blood boiling. As he states, the boat house site is clearly staked out, and it will most definitely irreversibly destroy the character of the park. It is HUGE. It is taking prime natural open space and largely paving it over.
The project also is putting the kayak and canoe rental fella out of business, something I find hard to square with the idea that this boat house is improving access to the river for the public, given that most people can find the scratch to rent a kayak but don't have thousands of dollars to buy and then rent storage space for one of these large rowing boats.
But what I find most sad, possible more so than the lost opportunity of the ped/bike bridge, is that the volunteer group which has spent almost 20 years (going from memory/conversations Saturday) making this park desirable got treated with utter disrespect by the City and whatever this boat house contingency is. That's no way to respect and acknowledge the hard work they've put in over this time. And I wonder what kind of unintended ripples/message this sends to the larger volunteer community.
Some people here may not be aware that 20 years ago, very few people thought about the river as an asset. Most people grew up learning to avoid it, and folks like CPAC who pioneered the concept of cleaning up river front land dealt with everything shy of actual human corpses back in the day. Now that the area is beautiful and desirable, this is the thanks they get? Despicable.
I brought a fellow biker and we focused our clean up efforts on the dirt bike park - while we did a good job getting rid of the trash on the surface, there is decades of broken glass and debris that is actually embedded in compacted soil. Anyone who has time to spare in the future could support bikers by helping remove it, as based on what we got done, it would take a team of 100 a weekend to get all of the glass out of the dirt.
Tim, I don't doubt you are a sincere fellow with good intentions, but I am curious if you have actually seen the staked-out area?
Did you see the rowing organization's report on the appropriateness of the site & alternate suggestions (go to the link for those):
Clark Park was selected by the Chicago Park District as one of the original four locations for new boathouse development on the Chicago River. Clark Park is approximately ten acres of green space in which two acres would be developed for the construction of the proposed 20,000 sq ft rowing boathouse, according to several Clark Park advocacy groups. At first glance, this spot does seem like an excellent location for a boathouse. However, there are a number of outstanding issues that cause concern regarding the development of a boathouse at Clark Park. Because of these issues, which some would consider substantial, are the main reasons the Rowing Group concludes that the Clark Park location is not well suited for rowing boathouse development. In our opinion, there are other more appropriate locations on the North Branch of the Chicago River that should be considered for rowing boathouse development before Clark Park.
The first and most significant issue is the high level of displeasure from local community members, especially the Clark Park Advisory Council (CPAC) and the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBr). The Rowing Group has learned that communication from the Chicago Park District to these advocacy groups, as well as other individuals who use Clark Park, has been unsatisfactory at best and not transparent in anyway. According to the CPAC, the boathouse plans have changed three times, requests by the CPAC for the addition of non-rowing amenities have not been included, and the amount of green space that will have to be removed to accommodate the rowing boathouse has grown to demand 1/5th of the current green space at Clark Park. The Rowing Group concludes that this is an unfair request to be borne by the citizens who already utilize Clark Park for non-rowing activities, especially when you consider the limited amount of usable, public, uncontaminated green space on the North Branch of the Chicago River.
In addition to these issues of transparency voiced by the CPAC, there are a number of planning issues that have been overlooked by the Chicago Park District that should prove to be quite problematic. These would need to be addressed well before committing Clark Park to boathouse development.
These issues are summarized and listed below:
Tim S., my posting on YELP regarding "Native Garden In Danger of Becoming a Parking Lot" was a true statement. You incorrectly assumed 'native garden' was referring to the BMX course. I am thankful to you for your incorrect assumption because when this issue was picked up on chainllink, people at least had an opportunity to express their opinions on the boat warehouse/crewing facility.
So I just saw in the 47th wards newsletter that a $5million baseball stadium is to be built in Clark Park
I assumed nothing only wanted additional information which was hard to come by. I know shame on the CPD.
Was the Native Garden in danger of becoming a parking lot? It seems that you folks backtracked on that statement as well as many others after being called out for the various assumptions/claims that had been made. Happy it got out for more to see, you are welcome. Guess the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity would apply here.
Backtracking on Yelp, Chainlink, CAMBr did nothing to help the cause nor does having people sign an inaccurate petition... BTW did that one get turned in with claims of a 3 story building + other mistakes or were they corrected.
Davo there are 2 Soccer fields, a DePaul baseball stadium and a new nursing school that are going to bring a ton of traffic to their park area the boat house has a potential to be the lowest impact on the area as far as the # of folks coming through but it is getting the most backlash. Seems if there was a real concern about density they should have fought harder earlier against the other 3 plans.
Carter I have not been in the past few weeks to see the stakes. Busy with a few other things but hope to make it up soon.
They came to our February meeting to show us an entire presentation. It was a large meeting with five people from Devry there including the President of the campus. We discussed the issues, addressed concerns and were given answers that were satisfactory plus a lot of new suggestions. We felt it was a successful dialog and the CPAC, DeVry, and Friends of the Parks signed off on the project. This was all done prior to the Cubs going to the board to approve funding.
What's wrong with the boathouse picture is that there is no dialog. They refute everything we say.
So I just saw in the 47th wards newsletter that a $5million baseball stadium is to be built in Clark Park
Rode by the site today. Wow, the Riverwalk Trail is done for the duration -probably years. Nearly 1/3 of the park is behind construction fence now and closed-off. The fencing has totally sectioned off the North side 1/2 of the park from the smaller wooded area on the south as it goes from the front gate, a few feet off of the road, all the way to the river, blocking the trail and cutting the park into thirds.
I propose that this thread be renamed at least one more time as:
The Boathouse That Ate Clark Park
The Mistake on the River -sort of like like those of us from Madison call The Frank Lloyd Wright Convention Center, The Mistake on the Lake. Hopefully this White Elephant won't cost so much to build and maintain and be a money pit year after year...
It's funny how it takes YEARS to get most normal stuff going in this city and it all can be dropped at the drop of the hat but when certain interests are involved everyone MOVES and things get done overnight.
How about '9.5 Million Dollar Boondoggle on the River'. I was there this weekend, and not only did Rejamn insult us by saying the project would only impact 2% of the park, he also lied that everyone who uses the park today for fishing and launching their own canoes/kayaks will be able to continue to do so! Can you imagine launching a little canoe into the chaos that will exist in the river, with a blind curve and those enormous boats? It will be like merging onto the Kennedy Expressway at the Junction in rush hour.
Check out the following link from the Park District. They site 'community amenities, such as an indoor rowing tank, a gym with rowing machines and a community room.' I wonder why they didn't provide ANY information on which facilities the public can use.
Thanks for the link lorraine reder!
It almost looks like there could be room for a Roscoe Ped/Bike Corridor Bridge there after all by the looks of that site. Is that the whole boathouse or just the site? If it is the boathouse then it is MUCH larger than the 20,000 square foot footprint or even the 40,000 square foot footprint everyone was arguing about.
Anyhow, maybe a bridge is in the works. I rode by on the other side and it looks like there is construction fencing on Roscoe there too. So either they are starting the Ped/Bike Bridge to link the Roscoe Bike Corridor or they are just going to rip up the street for other industrial uses like they have wanted to all along.
Your guess is as good as mine -but I bet you we will NEVER see a bridge there. I'll bet someone a free wheel-build. What will you bet me in return?
I actually took pictures of the fenced-off area from every angle yesterday, but got too depressed to upload and link them. Hopefully that designated area is extra-large to accomodate equipment staging and for protecting tree root zones from compaction.