Monday, October 27, 2014

282 Acres Along Lake Calumet Opens To the Public

Great news!!! 282 acres at Lake Calumet will be open to the public as part of the Millennium Reserve projects in the community!

After years of collaborating with other organizations to gain public access to Lake Calumet, the effort has come to fruition.  Now, people other than golfers, will be able to enjoy a view of Lake Calumet not seen from other vantage points.   There also plans to do shoreline restoration work and add water activities.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Deep Tunnel Tour Almost Washed Out!

The rain came down hard and long the morning of our Deep Tunnel Tour.  We were afraid we would have to cancel.  As expected, it did impact our tour.  Our coach bus was not allowed to drive down into the quarry because of the steep, wet incline of the road.   Our tourists had to be satisfied with seeing and listening from the observation deck 400 feet above the quarry.

We were almost barred from the Deep Tunnel itself because it had to be on standby because of the rain.  But thanks to the persistence of  SETF's Tom Shepherd, the engineers allowed the group to go down deep within the rock layers to see the pumping station and learn about the project.

We thank MWRD for accommodating our request for the tour and for making their knowledgeable staff available to us.






Monday, May 5, 2014

2014 Bird Tour

What a great day Saturday was for the bird tour that the Southeast Environmental Task Force sponsored. Perfect weather, great sightings!

Thank you to Walter Marcisz, local bird expert, for leading the group.
The amazing results of our day were logged below by Walter.

And YES!!!.....we did observe a bald eagle, who posed high in a tree before he treated us to a show by soaring overhead and circling above us for some time.
(from Walter Marcisz)
We had a total of 52 bird species at Eggers Grove (our complete Eggers list is pasted at the end of this message). After Eggers, we added a few more species: 1 Illinois Endangered LITTLE BLUE HERON at 126th St. Marsh; 1 NORTHERN HARRIER & 2 RUDDY DUCKS at Harborside Golf Course; and 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS at the Stony Island landfills between 116th & 122nd Streets.

Therefore our total for the day was 56 species in all. Seventeen of these species were migrants which will continue north and breed to the north of us in the northern USA or Canada. The remaining species will stay for the summer (or year-round, in some cases).

Eggers Grove Forest Preserve (Chicago), Cook, US-IL
May 3, 2014 8:55 AM - 10:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
Comments: "Not for Birders Only" Brown Bag Eco-Tour sponsored by Southeast Environmental Task Force.
52 species

Canada Goose 13 (total includes 1 adult incubating on nest)
Mallard 3
Blue-winged Teal 4
Northern Shoveler 3
Ring-necked Duck 3
Double-crested Cormorant 13 (flyovers)
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 2
Great Egret 1 (flyover)
Green Heron 2
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Cooper's Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 1 (1 juvenile/1st-year bird being mobbed by crows)
American Coot 24
Solitary Sandpiper 6
Ring-billed Gull 20 (flyovers)
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 1 (flyover)
Chimney Swift 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1

Thursday, April 24, 2014

March Against Petcoke

Back in November, our Mayor promised to run petcoke and coal out of town. It's apparent that the only thing tough about our Mayor was his words.  Neither the recently proposed Petcoke Ordinance nor the new City Regulations will rid the southeast side of this blight. 

On April 26th, we will bring people together to march to call attention to our elected officials lack of concern for their constituents, and  BP and Koch Industries' concern for profit over people. 

Please join us on:

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Intersection of Stateline and 106th Street , Chicago
10:30 am start time

Wear your comfortable shoes and breathing masks.

For more information, call SETF at 773-646-0436

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Volunteer Enjoys Sunday Matinee

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I’m a fairly new volunteer for the Southeast Environmental Task Force and I helped out with the first of their 2014 matinees. Quite honestly, I didn’t expect so many people to come due to the poor weather but we had a nice crowd, enjoyed refreshments, and had a lively discussion afterward.

The documentary shown was “The Price of Sand.” I came away with learning about what it means to have a mining firm move into your community and its effects.  Effects such as how these companies acquire land, the process called fracking, and the devastating results to the land, and the daily life of the people because of noise, pollution, and their health and so on.

It seems to me that the mining firms use the fact that communities don’t have the laws or regulations in place already so the mines buy land quietly before any regulations exist.

I would encourage communities everywhere to go to their lawmakers to find out if they have acceptable laws or regulations in place for industries such as mining, the stockpiling of bulk materials like petcoke. and if they don’t, draft them as soon as possible.

These industries may be coming to your neighborhood!

Thanks to all the braved the weather and know that your support is very much appreciated!

Rita Campbell

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunday Matinee - The Price of Sand

Plan to join us for our seasonal showing of documentaries.  This month we're screening The Price of Sand.  This movie tells the story of silica sand mining in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  While there have been mines in operations for decades, there has been a sudden boom in the need for silica sand because of it's use in fracking.  This film examines the impact of this mining boom on the landscape, the communities and the people. 

The movie will be followed by a short discussion with an activist involved in  the fracking issue.

City Regs Not Strict Enough

Reading a document that refers you back to this section and that section is never easy.  Some things that were clearly questionable about the proposed regulations were:

  • the allowance for smaller operations to openly store dust generating materials out in the open
  • the two year grace period for the construction of an enclosure
  • the set backs given without explanation as to how they were determined or why they are sufficient
  • variances to the regulations granted at the discretion of the Commissioner of Health
  • penalties not clearly stated or defined
We are still in the process of evaluating the regulations and have enlisted the help of other environmental organization.  But how can we trust the city to protect us when they present us with weak regulations.  The residents of  Southeast side have made it pretty clear that they want the nasty piles removed.

If you would like to sign our petition to have the piles removed, you can do so here:

Go here for instructions on  how to comment and for a link to the regulations:

Community Comments on Proposed City Petcoke Regulations

The city of Chicago's Health Department conducted a meeting to hear comments about the newly proposed Bulk Storage regulations.  Residents  turned out with signs and made it be known that the proposed regs were not strict enough.  They complained that the comment period was too short and that residents need more time to understand and evaluate the proposed rules.  See the story here.