Help the environment, save Jackson Park’s trees and pick new Obama Center site | 8/5/2019 | Staff
jollyjetta (Posted by) Level 3

In the interest of fiscal and environmental responsibility, Mayor Lori Lightfoot should declare Jackson Park off-limits to construction and spare the hundreds of historic trees slated for clear-cutting.

Trees help Chicago offset global warming.

United - Nations - Science - Reports - Tree

Recent United Nations and Science reports prioritize massive tree planting to absorb and sequester CO2. Destroying Jackson Park’s mature trees releases stored CO2 into the atmosphere. Saving them saves Illinois taxpayers $199 million.

Renowned landscaper, Frederick Law Olmsted designed Jackson Park’s “broad spaces of greensward, broken occasionally by groves of trees” to provide Chicagoans “peacefulness of nature.”

Advocate - Abolitionist - Olmsted - Value - Landscape

An anti-slavery advocate and abolitionist, Olmsted believed the restorative value of landscape, especially in urban environments benefited everyone, regardless of economic circumstances.

Few knew it, but last year’s state budget — without mentioning the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) — hid $199 million in taxes to subsidize the Obama Foundation’s demand for infrastructure and roadwork needed to make Jackson Park accessible.

OPC - South - Side - Neighborhood - Replaces

Building the OPC in a South Side neighborhood replaces unused buildings and empty lots, and facilitates business development. Choosing an already accessible location is infinitely fiscally and environmentally smarter than taxing Illinois residents millions of dollars to destroy irreplaceable Jackson Park trees.

Keeping the OPC in Jackson Park requires the city to pay lawyers to counter the appeal from the June 2019 dismissal (by a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama) of the case I filed along with Protect Our Parks, Inc. It requires Chicago taxpayers to fund city handling of Jackson Park-related federal reviews and...
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