Montrose Recreational Area (MRA) bathroom facilities ** No Sightings; Sensitive viewers may wish not to view attached images **

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Leslie Borns

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Apr 16, 2024, 4:25:30 PMApr 16
to ILBIRDS

Dear Birders,

This morning I was contacted by a sergeant from the Chicago Police Department about the MRA bathroom situation. He wanted me to alert you to it if you are planning a trip to the area.  Currently there are only two porto potties available in the entire recreational area (next to the harbor), and all of the bathrooms remain closed despite the unseasonably warm Spring weather and thousands of people using the MRA. The porto potties are overflowing with excrement (his photos attached), and while we were on the phone he was interrupted by a man complaining about the lack of facilities and asking him what to do.

More concerning, the sergeant said that people are using the Montrose natural areas to relieve themselves. I witnessed evidence of this myself last weekend while at Montrose Beach Dunes, where poop-filled tissue was scattered around the landscape sign on the main dune. The dunes are an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site and have been one of the City's highest quality natural areas.

The sergeant told me he has informed the Park District about the problem. Be prepared if you go!

Best regards,

Leslie Borns
Chicago/Cook


























Tamima Itani

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Apr 16, 2024, 4:33:18 PMApr 16
to Leslie Borns, ILBIRDS
Thank you Leslie for this heads up.  

People who are traveling a distance to get to Montrose may want to make a short detour to the Lincoln Park Zoo to use restrooms there.  Parking is free for 30 min and the exit from Lake Shore Drive and back on it is easy.  

Tamima 

On Apr 16, 2024, at 3:25 PM, Leslie Borns <cak...@att.net> wrote:



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Chuck Berman

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Apr 16, 2024, 5:09:42 PMApr 16
to Leslie Borns, ILBIRDS
Another option for a bathroom stop is at the field house at Marovitz Golf Course (formerly, lovingly, Waveland). It is indoors, plentiful, clean and easy parking.
It can be accessed off of northbound Lake Shore Drive at Recreation  Drive (at the totem pole) or at the Irving Park exit. It is a lot more convenient than the zoo.
It is a shame that a city this size does not have public facilities like any other city on the planet. The lack of even portable toilets extends through the entire park to North Ave.
Chuck Berman
Oak Park

Marilyn Ferdinand

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Apr 16, 2024, 5:20:25 PMApr 16
to Chuck Berman, Leslie Borns, ILBIRDS
The boat storage area across the street from the bait shop has well-tended port-a-lets. Nobody has ever stopped me from using them.
 
Marilyn Ferdinand
Skokie

Pat Andersen

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Apr 16, 2024, 5:28:49 PMApr 16
to Chuck Berman, Leslie Borns, ILBIRDS
I agree that Marovitz Golf Course is a good option. Since my drive to Montrose is almost an hour, I always stop there on the way to Montrose so that I'll have plenty of time to bird. Then, I stop there as I'm starting my drive home. Of course, by publicizing this, in the future there might be lines at the restrooms. Lol. Also, sometimes there has been a porta-potty at the edge of the parking lot. It's always been in fine condition. 

When the golf course restroom wasn't open, i.e., winter, I checked out the porta-pottys at Belmont Harbor twice, but didn't use them. They were almost of bad as the ones at Montrose.

Pat Andersen
Homewood (Cook)



Laurel Ross

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Apr 16, 2024, 5:38:11 PMApr 16
to Chuck Berman, Leslie Borns, ILBIRDS
shouldn't the alderman and mayor be held accountable 

Chuck Berman

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Apr 16, 2024, 5:41:15 PMApr 16
to Laurel Ross, ILBIRDS, Leslie Borns
Good luck with that. The Chicago Tribune had an article a couple of years ago about the lack of bathroom facilities to no avail. 

Paul Mollica

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Apr 16, 2024, 5:57:26 PMApr 16
to Chuck Berman, Laurel Ross, ILBIRDS, Leslie Borns
Jackson Park, at least in season, has a few more options (the recently-restored comfort station, the driving range, the beach houses, and the pro shop), but for much of the year you have the Museum of Science and Industry at one end and the 64th Street field house at the other. CPD did add portable toilets outside the Japanese Garden on Wooded Island. Presumably the Obama Presidential Center will have public bathrooms (?), a super-thin silver lining, but they're not slated to open until 2025 or '26.

Chuck Berman

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Apr 16, 2024, 6:00:18 PMApr 16
to Paul Mollica, ILBIRDS, Laurel Ross, Leslie Borns
Agree about the Obama Center but I cannot hold it that long.
Chuck B
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