Never mind that the Calumet Land Use Plan, a momentous undertaking of the Department of Planning and Development partnered with the Department of the Environment, had recommended that the property be reclaimed as open space, or that the area is adjacent to TIF redevelopment areas, the Chicago Police Department is determined to locate a project on the Southeast side that other communities would not embrace.
On a recent tour of the property, members of SETF, CEPA, IDNR, DOE, Chicago Audubon Society and and other community organizations were given a presentation of the project by Sgt. Raymond Hamilton of the Chicago Police Department. While Sgt. Hamilton briefed us on the details, butterflies flittered through the wet prairie plants, egrets flew overhead criss-crossing the river and a spotted hawk glided effortlessly above us.
Ironically, the same attributes that make it a plausible site for the firing range make for an even better nature reserve. And after visitng the site and discovering the bird rookeries along the Whitford Pond area, learning that there hasn’t been a serious natural resource survey of the area in more than 15 years, and observing the wildlife thriving there, SETF is convinced that the Police Department should consider an alternative site - like one of the many brown fields or vacant industrial properties that exisit in the city - instead of impacting an area where nature and wildlife have taken refuge. While there are many location options for a gun range, the herons and egrets would have few choices for relocating, as isolated wetland areas with tall trees that are suitable for rookeries are far less common than brownfields.
|EGRETS AND HERONS|
|View of O'Brien Pond from 134th Street|
|CURIOUS MOTHER DEER AND FAWN WITH CID LANDFILL IN BACKGROUND|
|VIEW OF MWRD PROPERTY|
|BIRDS OF A FEATHER...|
|WHITE EGRET AT O'BRIEN POND|
|ASSEMBLING FOR TOUR OF THE MWRD PROPERTY|