Just over a thousand feet south of the Museum of Science and Industry sits Jackson Park’s Wooded Island. In April of 2015, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in partnership with the Chicago Park District, began an $8.1 million restoration of Jackson Park. USACE falls under the purview of the Department of Defense, and builds military facilities, civil engineering projects, and other public works. This restoration project means Wooded Island could be closed for as long as five years until 2020—sad news, since the site is home to the popular Osaka Gardens and acts as both a birdwatcher’s paradise and local fishing spot.
“It’s about how I have experienced loving myself and the people around me in ways that are more grounded.”
The Kids Off the Block Youth Center on the corner of 117th Street and Michigan Avenue only recently reopened its doors. It had been closed since the end of the summer for repairs after the ceiling collapsed, and the organization is still in the process of reorganizin. However, while the center’s floors are scuffed from water damage, its walls tell a different story. Every inch, hand-painted by community youth, is covered in framed articles, plaques, and certificates documenting the achievements of the organization and its founder Diane Latiker, who has been honored as one of CNN’s Top Heroes of 2011 and a BET Award Honoree. All the work on the center, including the ceiling repairs, has been done by community members. Even the Kids Off the Block (KOB) sign at the entrance, which features a portrait of Latiker, was a gift from the youth when KOB moved into the building in 2010. Continue reading