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January 24, 2012

See Spot Run -- But Not In Our Parks, Please
Help Save Our Field House!
Safety Alert
Blues Busters


IMAGE: Dog on leashLast month, a child playing at Lucy Flower Park was bitten by a neighbor’s dog after it was allowed off its leash. Fortunately, the bite did not break the skin and required no medical attention, but this incident underscores the fact that even the friendliest dogs can sometimes behave in unexpected ways, particularly when excitable children are around.
We’ve addressed the issue of dogs being allowed off leash in West Bucktown’s parks before, but it looks like it’s time for another reminder. 
Officially speaking, dogs are NOT allowed in Lucy Flower Park, period. It doesn’t matter if they’re on or off the leash, Lucy Flower is not a designated "dog friendly area," and the Park District has posted signs that clearly state “No Dogs Allowed.” In the past, we’ve attempted to turn a blind eye to this policy, as the vast majority of West Bucktowners are responsible dog owners who not only keep their dogs leashed – particularly when children are present – but also take great care to clean up after them as appropriate. But with this latest biting incident, please be aware that the 14th District Police Department has plans to beef up patrols of Lucy Flower park, and any dog owners found to be in violation of Park District policies will be subject to a $500 fine.
While we’re certainly not looking to eliminate “social petworking” in West Bucktown’s parks, please understand that we have to put the safety of our children first. That’s why we’re asking all dog owners to work with us to increase awareness and diligence on this issue. With just a bit of compassion, cooperation and common sense, Maplewood and Lucy Flower parks can continue to be a wonderful urban oasis for families and dog owners alike.

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IMAGE: Maplewood park field houseMark your calendars! Online registration for Chicago Parks District spring programs will open Tuesday, February 21 at 9:00 am, while in-person registration at Maplewood Park begins Saturday, February 25. Please note, you will need an account to register for classes  -- click here to sign up.
The following progams will be offered at Maplewood during the spring session, which begins Monday, April 1 and runs through Friday, June 1:
Flag Football (ages 8-13)
Kickball (ages 13-17)
Kids Fitness (ages 3-6)
Outdoor Soccer (ages 6-9)
Recreational Tumbling (ages 5-6)
T-Ball (ages 6-9)
West Bucktown is fortunate to be able to offer these fun (and inexpensive!) activities at Maplewood, but we need everyone's help to ensure we take full advantage of the programs. Simply put, if we can't drum up enough interest in these classes, we run the real risk of losing our Parks District funding — which means the field house at Maplewood would no longer be staffed. And an empty field house is a virtual invitation to gang members and other restless teens to come and take over the park. The more of an organized presence we can maintain at Maplewood, the better position we'll be in to keep it safe and clean for children and families to enjoy.
The Maplewood and Lucy Flower Parks Advisory Council (MLFPAC) is interested in hearing what types of programming West Bucktowners would be interested in having available at Maplewood. Arts and crafts? Hip hop dancing? Mommy and me yoga? No idea is too far-fetched! Just let us know what you're thinking, and we'll use this collective input to help shape future offerings at Maplewood. An electronic survey will be distributed  to residents in coming weeks, but in the meantime, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us at
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In recent weeks, it seems that neighborhoods in and around West Bucktown have seen more than their usual share of criminal activity. Police alerts and community forums (like Everyblock) seem to suggest an uptick in area burglaries and unlawful entries, strong-arm robberies and muggings, car thefts, and general vandalism. Of particular concern are reports of people posing as delivery drivers or meter readers in an apparent attempt to "case" a home to determine when it's empty.

Please be extra alert, careful and vigilant out there! Don't let your guard down, and If you see any sort of suspicious activity, please call 911 and report it immediately. Now more than ever, we need to be each other's eyes and ears!

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The post-holiday blues didn't stand a chance last week at West On North, where more than 50 West Bucktowners and their families gathered together to eat, drink, and make merry. It was the best turnout yet for the WBNA, with lots of new faces, great conversations, and a contagious energy making its way throughout the room.
But the evening wasn't just about Blue Line Derailers and free appetizers — thanks to your generous support, we were able to raise $400 in donations for the Maryville Crisis Nursery! We also collected five large bags of "Wish List" items for the Nursery, including diapers, wipes, books, clothing, baby food, Target gift cards, and toiletry items. These gifts will go a long way toward helping area children and families who are dealing with extreme hardships in their lives.
Guess it's true what they say...wonderful things do happen when people come together as a community! Well done, West Bucktown, well done.
IMAGE: Post-holiday blues party
IMAGE: Post-holiday blues party
IMAGE: Post-holiday partyIMAGE: Blue Line Derailer

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Mark Your Calendar!

Tuesday, February 21 @ 9:00 am (online)
Saturday, February 25 (in person)


WBNA is the catalyst for positive change in West Bucktown. We serve the neighborhood bounded by West of Western, East of California, North of North Avenue and South of Armitage.

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P.O. Box 477282
Chicago, IL 60647

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