Chicago Audubon Program

Chicago Audubon Program



Presented by Dr. Douglas Stotz

New date:  Thursday, April 13 - 7:00 p.m.

Location:  North Park Village Nature Center

5801 N Pulaski Road, Building D

In a recent informal poll of birders taken through the listserv called IBET (Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts), Jackson Park was ranked as the sixth best birding spot in the entire state of Illinois. Field Museum Conservation Ecologist and local birding guru, Dr. Doug Stotz, will give an illustrated, data-filled talk demonstrating the extremely high value for migratory birds of the habitats in Jackson Park. 

Beloved for decades as a beautiful year-round refuge by birders and Hyde Park neighbors alike, Wooded Island and the adjacent landscape in Jackson Park has been the subject of controversy and some confusion recently because of several proposed new developments. These include a sculpture by Yoko Ono, the redevelopment and combining of the South Shore and Jackson Park golf courses into a championship course designed by Tiger Woods, the Obama Presidential Library, and a glass-walled pavilion for a possible concert venue. Large amounts of both private and public funds will be sought to implement these ambitious projects.

Though the public input process has been criticized as inadequate, the civically-engaged Hyde Park community has responded by attending meetings, writing letters, and asking questions. A grassroots group called Jackson Park Watch (JPW), coordinated by local leaders Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid, has emerged. JPW has given voice to concerns about noise, parking, loss of trees and open space, and disruption of the tranquility of the park and Wooded Island. JPW members attend Park District board meetings, providing information, and talking to the media.  ( and

After Doug’s talk there will be a discussion of these issues with a panel that includes Dr. Stotz as well as JPW’s Margaret Schmid and others to be decided. We would like to explore how these projects could affect birds at Jackson Park and talk about compromise solutions as well as communication pathways. 

Laurel Ross, Chicago Audubon Conservation Committee

Margaret Schmid, Jackson Park Watch Coordinator

Light refreshments at 7:00 p.m., program begins at 7:15 p.m. If you have questions or need directions, call the Chicago Audubon office at 773-539-6793. You do not need to be a member of Chicago Audubon to attend any of our Programs. Everyone is welcome!