The Obama Presidential Center is attracting the ire of bird watching enthusiasts and conservationists who say the former president's center in Chicago is crowding out green spaces for birds.
At a recent public meeting, a number of birders pressed their concerns that the $30 million Tiger Woods golf center tied to the development of the Obama Center would ward off millions of migratory birds that stop in the borough of Jackson Park, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"Myself and many of my neighbors really enjoy Jackson Park for the natural aspect of it," said Jennie Strable of Hyde Park, who helps lead the Wooded Island Bird Walk every Saturday morning in Jackson Park. "It's a place of quiet repose to spend time in nature, and I really don't want a jungle gym right next door to it."
Karin Droegemueller stepped up to the microphone at the meeting and described herself as an "angry birder."
Other bird advocates say measures have been taken to preserve as much natural habitat as possible while also offering other forms of recreation, the newspaper reported.
"We're very lucky we have one of the finest places for birds in the country," said Louise McCurry, president of the Jackson Park Advisory Council. "We're going to safeguard carefully anything that would affect the natural area. The park is not just for any particular group of people. It's for everybody."