No Sighting - Techny North Parking - "All is great at the Sheraton"

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Tamima Itani

Apr 16, 2024, 5:55:21 PMApr 16
to, Al Stokie (
Hello everyone, 

Al Stokie asked me to share this email with the IBET group, as he previously expressed concern on this forum about the towing risk at Techny North.  I was able to reach the manager of the Sheraton hotel which owns the parking lot and received a very favorable response from the manager, as stated below.

So for now, "all is great at the Sheraton!"

Tamima Itani
Evanston, Cook Co

From: Christopher Dugenske <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2024 1:31 PM
To: Tamima Itani <>
Subject: Re: Parking request
Good afternoon Tamima,
Thank you for explaining how important the land next to the hotel is so important.  Thank you for participating.  As you know, I am the new General Manager.  I am not sure what happened in the past and I cannot change that.  What I can tell you is that I/we have no issues with anyone parking in our spaces that are enjoying the sights to you and birders.  The sign is just a deterrent for Stranges in the area.  Please feel free to stop by anytime and enjoy the scenery.  There is no need to worry about the towing company, they only come when we call them.  Plese let the birding community that all is great at the Sheraton.  


Chris Dugenske

General Manager


O 847-897-6402   F 847 480 1922    

Sheraton Chicago Northbrook Hotel 

1110 Willow Road 

Northbrook, IL 60062 

Operated under license from Marriott International, Inc., or one of its affiliates. 

This communication contains information from Sheraton that may be confidential. Except for personal use by the intended recipient, or as expressly authorized by the sender, any person who receives this information is prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, and/or using it. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately delete it and all copies, and promptly notify the sender. Nothing in this communication is intended to operate as an electronic signature under applicable law. 

From: Tamima Itani <>
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2024 6:50 PM
To: Christopher Dugenske <>
Subject: Parking request
Dear Chris, 

My name is Tamima Itani, I am a local birder who greatly enjoys birding the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD)/Techny Pond and property west of the Sheraton hotel.  In the spring, along with other birders, MWRD representatives and Chicago Bird Alliance member, I participate in locating bird nests ahead of mowing to ensure nest and chicks are safe, and I help with cutting back Teasel plants, an invasive species.  

The pond and surrounding land are referred to by birders as "Techny North."  213 species of birds have been observed there over the years.

The recent No parking/Tow zone sign at the entrance to the parking area has created confusion and concern among birders, who park in the back of the parking lot, close to the trail that goes around the pond.  We all acknowledge Sheraton's right to post the sign and protect parking spaces in its lots.  I am wondering if it would be possible to work out an arrangement that would allow birders to park in the back without the risk of being towed.  Birders typically stay 30-90 min, always park at the back by the pond, and I don't believe we have ever observed that part of the parking lot being used by hotel customers.

To create clarity between the hotel, the towing company and the birding community, would it be possible to place signs by 6-10 parking spots in the back of the parking lot that state: Birder/hiker parking, limit 2 hrs.  This would make it clear to birders and the towing company that birders are allowed to park there, but it would also limit the extent of parking and ensure that non-hotel guests are not parking there an entire day or longer, which I imagine is your main concern.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further or let me know whether this is feasible or not.  If there is anything that we in the birding community can do to help create a greater understanding and collaboration, please let me know.

Kind regards, 

Tamima Itani
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