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Friday, May 13, 2011


Dear Mr. Daley,
Now that you are retired, perhaps you will find time to take a stroll through the park and the neighborhood, if just to see what it turned into during the many years of your time in the office.
~ Sincerely, Daiva Skuodyte

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fish Dying off in the Marquette Park Lagoon

My friend Karen just told me about something very disturbing happening in the park. Today I went to see it for myself, and what I saw was far more disturbing than I’ve expected. What caused such massive die off of all the fish? There is a chemical plant not too far away, and the winds blow to the park from that direction, from the West. Then there is the run-off water from the neighborhood school poring discarded stinky water to the lagoon all year round (that was a GREEN project). Such things are happening elsewhere too. What is causing fish to die off like that? We want to know. This is the first time in my long life, and, hopefully, the last time that I’ve got to see such disturbing massive destruction in our park.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day in the Park


Darius and Girėnas monument on Christmas day 2010.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Handsome Visitors

I first noticed this small heron by the water. Pretty colorful plumage and the long beak attracted my attention to the bird. 
Startled by our sudden appearance, it flew away in haste into a tall tree. Yet I was able to notice it among the thick foliage and branches searching in  the direction from where the peculiar calling song was coming. The second bird joined the mate soon. Then I just did my best zooming in and keeping my camera steady in my hands. The second bird hid in the shadows. The braver one was posing for quite a while disregarding even my big black dog sitting next to me. 

What a find! What a beautiful and intriguing visitor in the city park! I looked around me. There were many people in the park today. I wonder how many others saw the unusual birds and heard their songs. I felt very lucky.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Not for those with the weak heart.

The sight not seen in years. All the park street lights are lit and shining brightly all day yesterday and today. Who can’t see in the broad daylight? Maybe those who are preparing for a “BIG BANG.” Hey, tomorrow “the community will be revived” here.

This morning, many city employees descended on the park for seriously cleanup. I would be delusional if I would believe that this is in response to the article that I've sent to Sun-Times on the Earth day.

Usually, only thanks to those who earned community services hours the park gets cleaned. Today it is different. Today it is a massive “group project.” I remember seeing an announcement and signs forbidding parking on the one-way park road for the day, and it was easy then to put two and two together. The city is putting up a huge “STREET SHOW” tomorrow. Street show? In the park were a few remaining wildlife creatures are struggling to survive after just hatching their young? Where people come to escape from noise and stress seeking peace? I feel that city park district is lost, that no one who is in charge of the city parks knows how to preserve and care for the beauty of parks, including Marquette Park nature preserve.

The good news are that these park cleaners will have a job for quite some time after the event is over. I’ve seen how this park looks like after the celebrations and unauthorized picnics. I am guessing that the workers are temps. They have to actually go into the murky dark water up to their waist and with their bear hands scoop up the filth and garbage that accumulated there for at least a year. I was startled at the sight of it and just could not believe what I am seeing. Is this one of those shovel ready projects? There is no way no how unionized regular city employees would ever do it. Perhaps these people are glad that they have a job, and they can’t afford to think about their own health risks?

Among the garbage floating in the water, two little dogs were found rotting in the lagoon with their heads chopped off. When I was passing by, one was still in the water.  I thought it is a log. Only when the decaying body of a little dog was taken out of the water it was possible to recognize what it once was.

I can’t describe what I felt at that moment. It was someone’s treasured pet. It was a creature full of LIFE.  I remembered that some time ago a neighbor was sending out fliers with the description of the beloved white dog. Perhaps this was how her pet’s life ended?  I protectively drag my dog’s leash closer to me. A sudden thought crosses my mind - someone can torture and destroy my beloved Roxie too.

Only a few ducks, geese, some birds and squirrels witnessed the gruesome scene under the tall trees. And only those who did it know exactly why they did it. Now, that poor lifeless rotting body is the “garbage” that these men are dragging out of the lagoon along with gazillions of bottles of alcohol (no drinking alcohol allowed in the park), plastic bags, cans, rags, and other filth reflecting our civilization. I will not say in public what my wishes are for those who so viciously killed the dogs. It is not hard for me to imagine that they could kill people in cold blood too. Yet, I certainly am sending my personal uncensored message into the universe directed exactly at such humanoids.

The park is practically my “back yard,” and I am very grateful to those who clean it. The sad thing is that all of this sudden massive effort today is just for the show - a temporary solution for a tremendous problem in Marquette Park’s nature preserve. There was so much bragging and fencing for construction going on in the park for the several past years. It is evident now that it was a useless million dollar project. In over twenty years I have not seen a sorrier condition of this park after the project was completed.

Give or take a few more years of such mismanagement and abuse of this still beautiful patch of wild nature (wild flowers, trees, wide skies, wild birds, squirrels, migrating birds), and there will be no more life in this park. It will turn into another garbage dump reflecting our “humanity.”  I look at some little kids playing in my neighborhood and I feel very sorry for them. They will never see the rose garden, or pristine clear water in the lagoon with the healthy wild birds leisurely swimming around. They will think that it is a O.K. that this park looks the way it looks today - full of garbage, deliberately broken and dying trees, algae infested water and dogs without their heads in the lagoon. What will be the future of the Marquette Park lagoon?

Daiva S., A.K.A. Average Citizen

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Life


Hopeful force of life -
Lagoon abused by people
Welcomes new life...


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