Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) proclaimed in the Sun-Times that the cherished South Shore Nature Sanctuary is “actually all dead…it’s been dead for some years.” (Sun-Times, 8/9/19)
“Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) has drawn outrage from locals after falsely claiming the South Shore Nature Sanctuary is “dead” and has not been maintained.
“Hairston told the Sun-Times that she’d like to take Mayor Lori Lightfoot on a tour of the sanctuary “because it’s actually all dead, and it’s been dead for some years.” She was trying to convince the mayor that plans to merge the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses wouldn’t be disrupting parkland in the area.
“All one has to do to prove otherwise is take a visit to the sanctuary, said Brenda Nelms, co-president of Jackson Park Watch. “It is a lovely respite, used by local residents as a place of community, solace and recreation,” Nelms said in a statement. “We hope that Mayor Lightfoot will tour Jackson Park and South Shore, with Alderman Hairston or on her own, with an eye to seeing what would be lost.” (Evans, 8/15/19)”
Read the full story at Block Club Chicago
“Whenever she gets the chance, Anne Holcomb takes the homeless youth she assists in her role at a Chicago nonprofit to the South Shore Nature Sanctuary, a 6-acre lakefront site with paths that bring visitors up close with a variety of trees, plants and flowers.
“Toward the end of the visit, Holcomb brought the group to a circular seating area and asked the youth to close their eyes and sit in silence for five minutes. Afterward, a teen in the group described how he was able to hear birds chirping and water splashing, something he had never experienced in such a tranquil way.
“It was just so incredibly peaceful,” Holcomb said, “and everybody enjoyed it so much. They didn’t want to leave.”
“The sanctuary, which sits adjacent to the South Shore Cultural Center, is at the center of the debate over the $30 million project led by pro golfer Tiger Woods to upgrade and merge the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses.
“Earlier last month, Ald. Leslie Hairston, whose 5th Ward includes the sanctuary, was ridiculed after saying that the sanctuary has been “dead for some years” because of a lack of maintenance.
“On Thursday, Hairston said she stands by her comments. “I do,” she told WTTW News.” (Ruppenthal, 9/19/19
Read the full story at Chicago Tonight WTTW Chicago
Ald. Leslie Hairston Stands By Comment That Nature Sanctuary is ‘Dead, Alex Ruppenthal, Chicago Tonight WTTW, September 19, 2019
Ald. Leslie Hairston accused of lying about nature sanctuary as part of ‘marketing campaign’ to jump-start golf course merger; Hairston claimed the South Shore Nature Sanctuary has been “dead for some years … because there was nobody to maintain it.” But Jackson Park Watch posted pictures on Twitter to prove the sanctuary is alive and well and distributed them at a Chicago Park District board meeting.Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/14/19
Hairston’s claim on South Shore Nature Sanctuary is political self-interest; Far from being dead, it’s one of Chicago’s few thriving examples of a native lakeshore habitat, Letters to the Editor, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/19/19
South Shore Nature Sanctuary Is Far From ‘Dead,’ Neighbors Say After Ald. Hairston Pushes To Replace It with Golf Courses; Hairston made the comments at Medinah Country Club, where Tiger Woods — who’s backing a plan to remove and replace the sanctuary for a PGA-level course — was prepping for a tournament, Maxwell Evans, Block Club Chicago, 8/15/19
Fight for South Shore Nature Sanctuary is latest environmental justice flashpoint; Ald. Leslie Hairston’s recent comments highlight the disconnect between officials and community activists working for environmental equity. Curtis Black, The Chicago Reporter, 8/22/19
WATCH: Have You Discovered the South Shore Nature Sanctuary? Openlands, June 28, 2018