The Chainlink

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.


http://www.change.org/petitions/chicago-park-district-and-the-city-... 


Views: 11211

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

This post made me go back and read all of Tim Norris' posts again.

Tim S said:

Pay no attention to Tim Norris, he only joined the Chainlink to complain about the boat house back in 2012. He was talking half truths back the too.

Yes... And sorry. Back when I was searching for info on the boathouse, this was the only discussion I could find. I vented. I followed the topic and it came up days ago. So I've been venting again.

I miss the old spot. Easier for me to launch from and I didn't need to carry my boat more thatn 30 feet.  I haven't been there since the end of September. Perhaps there is a drivable path now. I am happy there are better facilities for bikes. I'm not a fan of rowers...

Anyway, I'll let it go. Get back to enjoying biking!

Tim Norris

Getting tougher to be loyal to my bike.  Brrrr!  :-)

Yes, Cameron. I miss the amenities I enjoyed for 12 years. I miss the people who formerly populated the park. It could easily have been designed too accommodate the new group of rowers while leaving the rustic paddle and fishing space. The new group displaced the old.

It is a pretty sweet new soccer pitch they are gong to drop in on that underutilized patch across the street.

So how exactly did you drive to the waters edge, did you drive on the waking/bike path out just across the grass.

I am glad to hear that the boathouse plans changed and they did permit the longstanding kayak-canoe rental folks to use it.

I am holding out on my final judgment until I hear final word on whether the "public" aspect of the launch is indeed still the law of the land - a few people dropping their boats in is not the same thing as the Park District clarifying that right as a matter of policy.

But the bigger issue is that the Mayor and this well-heeled rowing group forced the facility down the throat of the community.  None of the long-time Clark Park users asked for this, it was a done deal before it was ever presented to the community, and that's just wrong, wrong, wrong.

$9m for a boat house that is primarily serving private companies, it's architectural beauty notwithstanding, is pretty hard to justify IMO while we are closing schools and the Belmont Police Station a block away.

All the space needed was a small facility with restrooms and running water.  Which the City cried poor over for years and years.

The proof will be in the pudding - we'll see if the private "donor" who owns WMS Gaming ends up securing the deed to that strip of Roscoe which runs between California and the river.  My hunch is the Administration will wait a little longer to avoid direct quid pro quo links, but if they can be shamed into not doing it, so much the better.  I can tell you there is at least one alderman who has been looking into this behind the scenes, losing the street and future river access at Roscoe isn't 100% done yet.

WMS Gaming btw is a manufacturer of slot machines.  So another result of this is there will be a boat house glorifying gambling to our kids, the scholarship argument is first class greenwashing, see for yourself:

http://www.wms.com/OurCompany/Pages/ResponsibleGaming.aspx

http://www.wms.com/OurCompany/Pages/SocialResponsibility.aspx

And WMS just got bought out by a billion-dollar company, btw, so forget this idea that we're helping a successful neighborhood business, this is not the Williams Pinball of yore.

http://ir.wms.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=76037&p=irol-newsArticle&...

NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientific Games Corporation (Nasdaq: SGMS) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE: WMS), combining leading businesses offering lottery games, gaming machines and game content, systems, sports betting technology, and social, mobile and interactive content and services.

"We are pleased to announce the successful completion of our merger with WMS," said A. Lorne Weil, Scientific Games' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  "The acquisition of WMS is transformational for Scientific Games as it creates a leading company in the gaming industry with innovative content, world-class technology and an expansive geographical footprint, able to supply an extensive range of products and services to customers throughout the world."



Tim Norris said:

Yes, Cameron. I miss the amenities I enjoyed for 12 years. I miss the people who formerly populated the park. It could easily have been designed too accommodate the new group of rowers while leaving the rustic paddle and fishing space. The new group displaced the old.

Tim... There was a paved bike and emergency vehicle path along the south end of the plot from the parking lot to where the the paved bike path comes out of the woods. You could carefully pull up to there and back (north) down to the water... Drop your boat and gear on the grass by the boulders and go find parking. This is also how the rental boats people got their trailer in before they had the storage container. It was very accessible. I cleared this with the Alderman back in 2001. It was pretty clearly designed to be a boat ramp.

Cameron... I have not yet attempted a launch. Even though the floating dock is very low, I have a difficult time launching alone without the boat being grounded.

I'd prefer to drive down the main path between the structures in protest than invest in kayak cart wheels... :-)

I will check it all out again as they finish and clean up the site.

I didn't realize that $40-$50 was a major investment, especially since even the cheapest kayaks are at least a few hundred dollars. 

For those interested google's satellite view from farther away shows the new structure and zoomed in shows the old park for comparison. 

google map


Tim Norris said:

Cameron... I have not yet attempted a launch. Even though the floating dock is very low, I have a difficult time launching alone without the boat being grounded.

I'd prefer to drive down the main path between the structures in protest than invest in kayak cart wheels... :-)

I will check it all out again as they finish and clean up the site.

Assuming they don't ban the public from using the launch, I plan on getting a cart so I can bring a kayak there by bike. 

But first I need a kayak...

It's a privatized boat house on public land, so given past such monkey business:

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/worse-than-we-thought/Content?...

"Latin gets a nice little return on its investment: exclusive use of the field from 3 to 7 PM during the week and 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays during the boys' fall season and the girls' spring season, and every weekend morning during the summer practice season. If anyone else wants to use it during those hours—including public schools in the area whose players use ragged fields in other parks—they'll have to get Latin School's OK."

It isn't much of a leap of logic to then assume that the private users are going to be given priority rights over the launch itself.

I certainly wouldn't expect the Park District to come right out and say that of course, but here's a mention alluding to a similar situation:

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130620/roscoe-village/clark-park-b...

"The hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. will be blocked out on weekdays for Lincoln Park Juniors' rowing practices, Trevarthen said. Community rowing will occur before 4 p.m. and on weekends."

You can't trust just what is regurgitated in the media, which relies on official spokespeople who generally have agendas to push.  What will count is what happens to private canoe or kayak owners who find themselves wanting to drop a boat (or return from the river) when these "officially sanctioned" private users want to use the launch.

btw, I stand corrected on the cost of the boathouse, it is closer to $7m according to web stories.



Cameron 7.5 mi said:

Is there any basis for your fear that the public will be banned from using the launch? I've been following this story and haven't seen any mention of a ban other than comments here, nor have I ever seen a similar ban at similar community boathouses in other cities.



Carter O'Brien said:

Assuming they don't ban the public from using the launch, I plan on getting a cart so I can bring a kayak there by bike. 

But first I need a kayak...

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service