“It’s been nearly three years since pro golfer Tiger Woods announced his plan to restore and merge two historic golf courses on the South Side. The $30 million project would upgrade the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses, transforming them into a single 18-hole championship course designed by Woods, and a shorter course for children and families.
“The project has generated both criticism and praise from community members and golfers who use the existing courses, both of which are more than 100 years old.Those in favor of the project are excited about possible upgrades, and believe it could lead to the creation of jobs and opportunities for prospective junior golfers. Opponents, meanwhile, are concerned about the plan’s impact on Jackson Park and the local golf community. They worry a revamp could lead to privatization of the courses and restrictions on public access.
“We’re not opposed to improvement to the parks,” said Brenda Nelms of the nonprofit Jackson Park Watch, which has been critical of parts of the plan. “Our focus is making [sure] the park [is] accessible to as many people as possible and not developing facilities that are more focused on higher-end visitors rather than local South Siders.”
“At a press conference last week at the South Shore Cultural Center, members of the group Environmentalists of Color pressed that issue. They were responding to comments made by Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) to the Chicago Sun-Times, in which she said the nature sanctuary is not well cared for:”
“I’d like to take (Mayor Lori Lightfoot) on a tour of the nature sanctuary because it’s actually all dead. And it’s been dead for some years. They don’t plan on getting rid of the nature sanctuary. They’re gonna maintain it. And the reason that the current sanctuary is in the condition that it is is because there was nobody to maintain it,” Hairston said.”
Have You Discovered the South Shore Nature Sanctuary?, Openlands, June 28, 2018
“No matter your feelings on city life, we can all appreciate a quiet moment with nature in the heart of the city. You can find one of the most sublime retreats into nature at Chicago’s South Shore Nature Sanctuary. Maintained by the Chicago Park District, the South Shore Nature Sanctuary is six acres of dunes, wetlands, woodlands, and prairies within South Shore Beach Park.
“This small nature preserve sits peacefully on the shores of Lake Michigan, home to a short boardwalk and some magnificent views of the lake and the skyline. It is a great location for a short walk in the city or to make part of a larger day in the community. There are two rest areas within the nature sanctuary if you want to bring a picnic.”