Art Fair & Festival Debuts at Ridge Park this Summer

The 1st annual Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will take place Sat., June 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Ridge Park Cultural Center, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. The event is being planned by the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC) and John H. Vanderpoel Art Association along with the Chicago Park District, and will highlight Beverly/Morgan Park as a cultural hub.

The Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival will feature more than 40 Chicago area artists working across a wide variety of media, selling original paintings, sculptures, textiles, photographs, jewelry, art glass, leatherwork and more. Registration is now closed to artists.

As a Chicago Park District cultural center, Ridge Park offers rich and dynamic programming that will be highlighted throughout the art fair and festival. The John H. Vanderpoel Museum is located in the fieldhouse through the Chicago Park District’s Arts Partners in Residency Program, which unites artists and communities in Chicago’s parks. The Museum hosts a world-class collection of Impressionist paintings and other late 19th and early 20th century paintings and works on paper. Ridge Park Art Fair attendees will  have the opportunity to take guided tours of the Vanderpoel Museum, as well as of the park facilities and ceramics studio.

Rounding out the day will be events for patrons of all ages: food trucks, a bouncy castle, local bands, the opportunity to connect with Beverly/Morgan Park institutions and services.

Information about the Ridge Park Art Fair & Festival is available at www.ridgeparkartfair.org. Donations and sponsorships are still available. For more information, contact Irene Testa, irene@vanderpoelartmuseum.org, or Mary Jo Viero, mjviero@yahoo.com.

Experience Beverly/Morgan Park from Rock Island Line on BAPA Home Tour

There were less than 20 years between 1834 when public domain land sales opened in Chicago and John Blackstone started claiming property in the densely wooded area surrounding the Blue Island Ridge, and 1852 when the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad first started laying a trail of tracks between Chicago and Joliet.

Those two events created the perfect climate for building the community we know today as Beverly/Morgan Park. The kismet between land development and fast access to Chicago via commuter rail service will be explored on Sun., May 20, 12 to 5 p.m. when the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 2018 Home Tour invites people to experience Beverly/Morgan Park from the Rock Island

On the afternoon of the tour, five private homes — all within walking distance of local Rock Island Metra stops and examples of the lifestyle and history of commuter service in our community — will be open to visitors. Like so many of today’s neighborhood residents, the proximity of the Rock Island Metra was a factor in our homeowners’ decisions to choose Beverly/Morgan Park as their community. Visitors to the Home Tour residences will also discover the unique hospitality, community spirit and historic beauty that contribute to the Beverly/Morgan Park lifestyle.

Featured on this year’s tour are:

A stunning Colonial Revival mansion set at the top of the Blue Island Ridge hill, and renovated from foundation to roof. Built in 1906 for a successful businessman who worked for the Wrigley Company and who played a significant role in local society, the gracious home has been restored to its original splendor with marble tile, hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and exquisite decorative moldings. More than 100 windows in the house were replaced. Ellie’s Café and Wild Blossom Meadery will be providing meal-and-mead samples in the club style backyard.

A deluxe Chicago bungalow carefully preserved for its distinctive detailing and livability, and beautifully updated for an active family. This welcoming home was built as a “high end” bungalow, complete with slate roof tiles, decorative outdoor elements, and a matching detached garage. Filled with natural light that enhances the simply and lovely decorating, representatives from the Chicago Bungalow Association will be on hand to offer tips on tending vintage homes and share history about what has made Chicago bungalows so uniquely desirable for more than a century.

An gracious Tudor Revival set on a quiet corner lot just a half block from the Dan Ryan Woods has been beautifully restored with close attention to retaining the homes most elegant features including a spacious sunken living room with a cathedral ceiling and wall of beautifully crafted leaded glass windows. Bringing the home up to date is the breakfast room/kitchen area created by reconfiguring the floor plan and adding lovely new cabinets, counters and light fixtures. Southtown Health Foods will be serving samples of fresh, healthy juice.

A charming Foursquare home set atop the hill is influenced by the simple beauty of Prairie and Craftsman styling. Rich woodwork, handsomely crafted furnishings, exceptional art and collections, and personal touches tipped with whimsy all add to a welcoming home. Master Gardeners will meet with tour visitors and pass along timely tips to bring to their home landscapes.

 

 

 

A handsome stucco cottage with a garden hideaway is the cherished home of a couple who has spent 20 years making it the perfect place to welcome guests. The house, believed to be the first built in the block, is one of several cottages with almost identical floor plans that were built in the 1910s. Many of these modest homes were owned – including the one featured on the Tour – were owned by people working for the Rock Island Railroad. One of the owners of this house spent his career working downtown and riding the Rock Island five days a week. Now retired, the friends his he made on his daily commute often stop by the house to visit. Open Outcry Brewing Company will be offering samples of their craft-brewed beers in this home’s yard.

The Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour begins at the RMH Design Showroom, 1802-1806 W. 103rd St., where people can pick up the guide books that serve as entry into the featured homes as well as complimentary goody bags.  The RMH showroom is a visual delight of merchandise and samples for mall projects through total remodeling jobs, including fabrics, tile, flooring, counters, wallpaper, rugs, cabinets and more.

Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, paint showcase sponsor for the Home Tour, will have representatives at RMH to share information and expert advice on painting, wallpaper and more.

Homes are selected for the Tour because of their outstanding decorating, amenities and architecture which offer a range of great ideas for updating kitchens, baths, basements and even yards. The homes also show the inextricable impact the opening of the Rock Island Railroad’s service to this area made on the creation and expansion of the community we now know as Beverly/Morgan Park. The convenience of the Metra Rock Island service to Chicago’s Loop is still an important factor in why new residents choose to purchase homes here.

A True Commuter Community

Beverly/Morgan Park would not exist today had it not been for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (now the Metra Rock Island). When the Rock began daily commuter service downtown in the later 1800s, the sparsely settled areas along the Blue Island Ridge that became Beverly/Morgan Park began attracting people who desired homes in a “suburban” setting but accessible to jobs and shopping, as well as railroad workers and service providers in need of lodging close to station stops.

Home construction on the Ridge boomed following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. From mansions that housed some of Chicago’s most prominent families, to cottages and bungalows for families of more modest means, quick transportation downtown was a key influencer for home buyers more than a century ago, just as it is for buyers today. Many of the stations, now located at four-block intervals from 91st to 115th Streets, served as village centers for shopping, and the surviving stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s form the Rock Island Train Station historic district because of their historic and architectural significance. All of the stations are part of daily life for the estimated 8.3 million riders currently commuting between Joliet and LaSalle Street each year.

At Home in Beverly/Morgan Park Today

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Tickets to this year’s tour are $30 in advance at www.bapa.org or $35 on the day of the tour, Sun., May 20. Advance tickets are also available at RMH Design, 1806 W. 103rd St., County Fair Foods, `0800 S. Western, and Steuber Florist, 2654 W. 111th St. Homes are open from 12 to 5 p.m. on the day of the tour; all tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m.

Thank You Home Tour Sponsors

Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen in Oak Lawn, Beverly Bank & Trust, Pacor Mortgage, Marquette Bank,  Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Benjamin Moore Paint, CIBC, PRS Real Estate Services, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Southtown Health Foods, Coldwell Banker Residential Oak Lawn,  19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Beverly Review, RMH Design, Smith Village, Bridget Gainer, Road Home Program, Beverly Cabinets and Construction, State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, Open Outcry Brewing Company.

Information about the Home Tour contact BAPA, 773-233-3100 or www.bapa.org.

 

Village Viewpoint – April 2018

By Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director

Ahhhhh spring.  Wait, not really.  My bulbs think so, but hey, we’re Chicagoans, and we earn our stripes on these days when the weather can range from blizzard to sunshine.  As I drive through our neighborhood I find myself thankful that at least we’re not staring at a black, crusty, snow-caked corner every time we stop. Yes, it could snow, but even if it does if we are from the Midwest, we move forward anyway.

April will bring us outside for Easter egg hunts and our yards will silently call to us, reminding us to give nature some attention. Spring in Beverly/Morgan Park brings us back together, it’s when we feel our love for the neighborhood the most.  Warmer weather is a great distractor from today’s constant distractions of cell phones, computers and TV screens.  It’s almost like reunion time on the block as we see the neighbors who we’ve not seen for the winter months except when they ducked in and out of their cars or boarded the train.

At BAPA, we get into the spirit of spring and help jump start this neighborhood reunion with our Clean and Green. Families from all over the community join the BAPA staff and volunteers to spruce up the parks, street corners and the green spaces we all want to admire but are sometimes forgotten.

Our young people have their eye on a society that they can be proud of, and recycling and sustainability are certainly bigger parts of their vocabulary than ever before. I am proud to learn BAPA is rolling out more education on how to “go green” through a pilot school program called “Know When to Throw” and a dedicated section on Going Green in each issue of The Villager. I know that in my house my kids beam with pride when I pay closer attention to loving the earth.  I know my neighbors are happier when I love the earth by starting in my own yard.

This spring, as a new member of the BAPA staff, I plan to expand my warm weather reunion to more corners of the neighborhood.  I hope you’ll join me.

Know Your BAPA Staff

The BAPA staff works every day to make sure everyone in Beverly/Morgan Park loves where they live. But what does everyone do? These profiles will help you match the staff person to their accomplishments.  (The BAPA staff is pictured from left Jennifer Alving, Mary Jo Viero, Susan Flood, Margot Holland, Roberta Kleinman, Grace Kuikman.)

Jennifer Alving, BAPA Business Manager

“I am one piece of the BAPA Office Staff that wants you to love where you live as much as I do,” said Jennifer Alving, BAPA Business Manager for the past two years. Alving grew up by the Sauganash neighborhood – what she now calls “Beverly North.” “I didn’t even know that there was such a place as the South Side.”  Her husband Michael was born and raised in the Christ the King (CK) Parish, which is where the couple bought their home 14 years ago.

Alving does the day-to-day, back-of-the-house work for BAPA, organizing mailings, receipts and payments; managing the membership database; assisting with BAPA programs and events; and helping out when needed. Among her accomplishmests are developing streamlined operations for thanking donors and mailing BAPA Cards, consistent quarterly renewal letters, and other aspects of data management designed to increase membership.

“My favorite part of working at BAPA is the staff.  We all bring a different trait to the table. Our little group gets a lot accomplished and we work well together,” she said.

“I still have two wonderful children at home [Emma, 14, and Aidan, 11], both who’ve enjoyed the same CK grade school experience that their father had. To be honest, it’s still a little weird for my husband to go to my son’s parent teacher conferences. You may see me around the neighborhood at Treadfit, Horse Thief Hollow, working the concessions at the CK gym or out walking my Bernedoodle, Flynn.”

Susan Flood, BAPA Executive Director

Susan Flood joined the BAPA staff as Executive Director not quite six weeks ago, and hit the ground running.

“As Executive Director, I set vision and strategy for BAPA based on what our community needs,” she said. “I work on staffing and recruitment of a board of directors, and reach out to residents to support the Beverly/Morgan Park community through volunteering, support, event participation, and sharing of needs, wants and ideas.”

Flood said that her favorite part of working at BAPA is having the opportunity to give back to a community that has meant so much to her and my family and working for “all the people in my own backyard.”

In the short time she has been at BAPA’s helm, Flood has been focusing on using her skills and knowledge of the community to inform and drive BAPA’s programs. “My passion for and commitment to BAPA lies in bringing all aspects of Beverly/Morgan Park together to collaborate, so we can keep BAPA as a truly valuable resource to our residents, businesses, and  public servants.  Making sure that BAPA truly reflects this community and always has our eye on the ball.

“I chose Beverly 30 years ago, raised my family, have worked and played both in and outside the neighborhood during those years,” she continued.  “My career has always been in business development whether it be in the tech sector in my early years or as a passionate non-profit leader in this second half.  I have always chosen roles where I can dwell in possibility and find a way to get to ‘yes.’”

Flood said that her husband and three kids are her biggest supporters in ways too numerous to count.  “As my kids take their talents into the world I am reminded every day of the impact growing up in Beverly has had on their success,” she said.

“Raised by a saxophone player and married to an artist, you’re likely to see me at the Beverly Arts Center when I’m not at BAPA,” she said.

Margot Holland, BAPA Program Director

Margot Holland been on the BAPA staff just over three years, and recently moved from the position she held as Executive Director into a new part time role of Program Director. “This is a  very exciting new position formed to continue to strengthen BAPA’s relationship with the schools, CAPS program and businesses,”she said.

She loves coming to work every day, know the staff can make a difference and continue to fulfill BAPA’s mission.

When asked about which of her accomplishments she is most proud, Holland said, “There is so much to be proud of here at BAPA, we do so many things,” then added, “I am most proud of how our community rises to challenges and works together to support each other.”

Holland grew up in north Beverly and, after living many other places, moved back when it came time to raise a family. “Jeff and I have three kids and just adopted a puppy, Dakota! Most days you can find me shopping at County Fair and working out at Treadfit Beverly.”

Roberta Kleinman, BAPA Coordinator of Property Preservation Services

Roberta Kleinman joined the BAPA staff the first week of 2016.  “The two areas of responsibility I assumed were real estate preservation, which requires familiarity with the Chicago Building and Zoning Codes, and crime prevention, which requires a working relationship with the commander, police officers and civilian CAPS personnel of the Monterey (22nd) District of the Chicago Police Department, where I am Vice Chair of the District Advisory Committee and serve on the Domestic Violence subcommittee,” Kleinman said. “Both areas of responsibility also entail working with 19th Ward officials and other city and county personnel.”

Working alongside BAPA’s staff members has led to other commitments, including working with Mary Jo Viero in starting up the Ridge Park Advisory Council and in representing BAPA at meetings of the Beverly Improvement Association, the oldest and most active neighborhood association in Beverly/Morgan Park.  Kleinman also interfaces on BAPA’s behalf as a board officer of the non-profit Friends of the Major Taylor Trail, and serve on the 19th Ward’s Environment Committee.

“My association with BAPA has raised my awareness of the social interconnections that enable this organization for more than 70 years to remain a unifying force in the lives of multiple generations of longstanding residents, even as it welcomes newcomers that find their way here from elsewhere in the city and state, as well as from other parts of the country,” Kleinman said. “I am particularly proud of my role identifying neglected and/or abandoned residential and commercial structures in BAPA’s service area to city officials, who have used that information to bring property owners into court to compel them to make necessary repairs, put their properties on the market, or consent to demolition in worst case situations where restoration efforts were no longer feasible.”

Kleinman has been a neighborhood resident for nearly 24 years, moving from New York.  “Although I knew absolutely no one when I moved in, I did not remain a stranger for long, as several neighbors on my block began to invite me to holiday dinners, backyard barbeques and their children’s graduation celebrations in their homes and I made the acquaintance of other North Beverly neighbors with whom I shared a daily Rock Island commute until my retirement,” she recalled. “It didn’t take long after that until I traded some of my newfound free time for the privilege of giving back to my adopted community, and volunteerism has been a big part of my daily life ever since.”

Kleinman resides with her life partner Mark Kasper and cat, Mr. Beady Eyes

Grace Kuikman, BAPA Associate Director and Director of Communications

Grace Kuikman joined the BAPA staff 30+ years ago as freelance editor of The Villager. Having worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer and editor, the opportunity at BAPA was the perfect fit when Kuikman was ready to start raising a family. When her youngest child started all-day kindergarten at Sutherland School, Kuikman took over the role of communications at BAPA, and started working in the office. She oversees communications for all of BAPA’s events and programs, and produces The Villager, enews, website content and other BAPA print and digital initiatives.

Although she was raised in Evergreen Park, Kuikman’s grandparents were Beverly/Morgan Park residents, and her dad, John Kuikman, attended Vanderpoel elementary school and Morgan Park High School.

“What I love most about working for BAPA is The Villager,” Kuikman said. “Every month for three decades, we have found new and wonderful stories about our neighbors, our schools, our churches, our businesses. It speaks volumes that this community stays so vital and continues to attract interesting and engaged people with even more new stories to tell.”

Kuikman said she is most proud of how BAPA and its communications – The Villager, website, enews, social media – have evolved over the years to remain important sources of information and media that are relevant to old and new neighbors.

Kuikman enjoys spending time with her three adult kids because they are really fun and interesting. Her pastimes are predictable: she’s the founder and facilitator of Longwood Writers Guild, spends her free time writing stories, and is about to launch a digital literary magazine with two longtime colleagues.

Mary Jo Viero, BAPA Community Organizer

Mary Jo Viero began as BAPA Community Organizer in January 2016, working with neighborhood residents and businesses on green initiatives, promoting local shopping, and bringing people together for issues and events.

Viero works with civic and homeowners associations to support their efforts to resolve issues, host events, and communicate with their neighbors.  She helps to promote small businesses with the BAPA Card program and small business events such as the Sip and Shop and Cookie Crawl.

Viero assists with planning, presenting and sponsorship for BAPA events and coordinates BAPA’s green initiatives, including overseeing tree planting grants through Openlands, Weeding Wednesday and neighborhood clean and greens.

“My favorite part of working for BAPA is our staff,” Viero said.  “We are small but mighty. I don’t like to talk about things, I like to get things done. Not a day that goes by that we don’t accomplish something positive for the community.”

Viero and her husband, George, moved to Beverly/Morgan Park in 2003 and their son Frank was born in 2004. They are active St. Barnabas parishioners and Frank will be graduating from St. Barnabas this year. Viero is President of the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC), a volunteer group that works to improve the condition of the Ridge Park fieldhouse.

“I’m proud of the work I have done with the Park District, introducing the idea for Picccolo Park as well as helping to get improvements for Ridge Park Fieldhouse. The RPAC is moving forward on fundraising efforts, hosting events and building awareness of the importance of Ridge Park and its connection to our community.”

Viero likes to stay active. “Neighbors might see me at on Weeding Wednesdays at the Metra Stations or a park. You may also see me eating and shopping locally!”

 

 

 

Going Green: Tips for a Healthy Environment

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day is Sun., Apr. 22 and there are lots of environment-friendly way you can celebrate leading up to, on and beyond that date.

Lights Out!

Even though Earth Hour was held in March as a global effort to help save our planet by reducing use of electricity, you can schedule your own Earth Hour at home. Pick a day, then turn off the lights for one hour, starting at 8:30 p.m. Make some noise to celebrate your commitment to saving the earth’s resources. Info: www.earthhour.org.

Take a Hike!

Experience the glorious beginnings of spring by taking an Earth Day walk in Dan Ryan Woods! The woods are beautiful, and there are hiking trails and open areas where you can observe birds, enjoy nature and celebrate this amazing resource right in our community. Check out programs at Dan Ryan Woods sponsored by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County at fpdcc.com or volunteer to help the Friends of the Forest Preserves at monthly work days in Dan Ryan Woods; info: fotfp.org.

Save Money & Save the Earth

BAPA is hosting a Utility Bill Clinic with representatives from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) on Tues., Apr. 17, 6 to 8 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Bring copies of your utility bills for the experts to review so they can give you tips on how to save on your gas and electric bills. Spots are limited, so make a reservation at www.bapa.org.

Clean Up Our Community

BAPA invites neighbors to help clean up parks, train stations, schools and other public places in a community wide clean and green, Sat., Apr. 21, 9 a.m. Volunteers who register by Apr. 18 will receive a BAPA Love Where You Live t-shirt. Bring gardening/work gloves, rakes and brooms, if you have them. Students can receive community service hours. Sign up for a location near you at www.bapa.org.

Plant a Tree / Pull Weeds

BAPA continues to work with Openlands to secure tree planting grants throughout Beverly/Morgan Park. Help is needed to identify areas that need parkway trees and to recruit homeowners in contiguous areas who need trees and will be willing to help plant them.

If you’re around on weekdays, join the BAPA team for Weeding Wednesdays. Each week throughout the summer, public places are targeted for removal of debris and weeds. Volunteers receive a BAPA Love Where You Live t-shirt. Info: contact Mary Jo Viero, 773-233-3100 or mjviero@bapa.org.

Every Day Earth Friendly Habits

Conserve water: Do not let water run when brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.

Use low flow faucets, shower heads and toilets.

Try Plogging! Pick up trash as you jog or walk through the neighborhood. On Apr. 21, 7 a.m., the Running Excels running group will be plogging. They meet at the store, 10328 S. Western. Info: 773- 629-8587.

Leave the car at home and walk or bike to your destination.

Invest in a reusable coffee cup.

BYOB grocery bags – even when you’re shopping in the suburbs.

Use earth friendly cleaning products

Reduce, reuse, recycle every day.

House Doctor Series Focus is Recycling

Eileen Klees from the Beverly Unitarian Church (BUC) Green Sanctuary group will present a program on recycling for the House Doctor series, Sun., Apr. 7, 2 p.m., Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley. Klees will explain what you can or cannot put into blue bins as well as the theory and economic impact of recycling.

“Reduce – Reuse – Recycle was a mantra started in the early 1970’s when Earth Day became an official date on the calendar,” Klees said. “Despite its longevity and obvious value, we are a long way from zero waste.”

In the House Doctor program, Klees will clarify what should be reduced/reused/repaired, what can be recycled, what should be replaced, and why knowledge and options make sustainable living more enjoyable and less expensive.

A Q&A will follow the program. Admission is $5 for RHS members and $10 for non-members. Reservations requested: 773-881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.com (provide your name and phone number).

The BUC Green Sanctuary group sponsors environmental events, including the hazardous waste collection every October.  For more information, visit www.beverlyunitarian.org/green-sanctuary-group.

 

Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour Showcases Neighborhood Lifestyle Built Around Rock Island Stations

Five private homes — all within walking distance of local Metra stops and illustrative of the lifestyle and history of commuter service in our community — will be open to visitors for the Beverly Area Planning Association’s 47th edition of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour, Sun., May 20, 12 to 5 p.m.

Visitors on this year’s tour will step inside a glorious Colonial revival mansion that has been renovated from foundation to roof; a deluxe Chicago bungalow beautifully updated for an active family; a gracious Tudor just steps away from the woods; a charming Prairie-influenced hilltop home; and a cozy stucco cottage with a garden hideaway.

Homes are selected for the tour because of their outstanding decorating, amenities and architecture. Featured this year are homes where contemporary stylings enhance original architectural details and offer a range of great ideas for updating kitchens, baths, basements and even yards.

Home Tour stops feature cooking and decorating demonstrations, experts offering home and garden advice, sponsor giveaways, tastings and more.

A True Commuter Community

Beverly/Morgan Park would not exist today had it not been for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (now the Metra Rock Island). When the Rock began daily commuter service downtown nearly 150 years ago, the sparsely settled areas along the Blue Island Ridge that became Beverly/Morgan Park began attracting people who desired homes in a “suburban” setting but accessible to jobs and shopping, as well as railroad workers and service providers in need of lodging close to station stops.

Home construction on the Ridge boomed following the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. From mansions that housed some of Chicago’s most prominent families, to cottages and bungalows for families of more modest means, quick transportation downtown was a key influencer for home buyers more than a century ago, just as it is for buyers today. Many of the stations, now located at four-block intervals from 91st to 115th Streets, served as village centers for shopping, and the surviving stations built in the late 1800s and early 1900s form the Rock Island Train Station historic district because of their historic and architectural significance. All of the stations are part of daily life for the estimated 8.3 million riders currently commuting between Joliet and LaSalle Street each year.

At Home in Beverly/Morgan Park Today

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Tickets to this year’s tour are $30 in advance at www.bapa.org or $35 on the day of the tour, Sun., May 20. Homes are open from 12 to 5 p.m. All tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m. The starting point is RMH Design, 1806 W. 103rd St., an eclectic home décor and clothing boutique, where people must check-in to receive their booklets, which are required for admission into the homes.

Thank You Home Tour Sponsors

Pacor Mortgage, Southtown Health Food, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Benjamin Moore Paint, Marquette Bank, PRS Real Estate Services, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Steuber Florist & Greenhouses, Coldwell Banker Residential Oak Lawn,  19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Beverly Review, RMH Design, and Road Home Program.

Information about the Home Tour and sponsorship opportunities, as well as tickets are available at BAPA, 773-233-3100 or www.bapa.org.

 

BAPA Names New Executive Director, Expands Programming

The Board of the Beverly Area Planning Association is delighted to announce that Susan Flood has joined the staff as the new BAPA Executive Director.

A longtime Beverly/Morgan Park resident and active volunteer and supporter of BAPA for many years, Flood brings expertise in business development, non-profit management and strategic planning to the organization.

Margot Burke Holland, who recently completed her three-year commitment as BAPA Executive Director, has moved into the newly created position of BAPA Program Director. In that role, she will focus on developing and enhancing programs that fulfill BAPA’s mission in the areas of supporting local schools, small businesses, community safety, beautification and quality of life.

The addition of Flood at BAPA’s helm and transition of Holland into an important new role fulfills BAPA’s recent efforts to reorganize the staff and reenergize the programs and services that benefit the Beverly/Morgan Park community.

“I could not be more thrilled to welcome Susan Flood to BAPA as the new Executive Director,” said BAPA Board President Maureen Gainer Reilly. “BAPA will benefit from her years of experience and strong non-profit, event and fundraising background. The neighborhood is so fortunate to have yet another talented, dynamic executive director to ensure BAPA’s success. With Margot Holland transitioning to a newly created program director role, the staff is poised to continue their ‘back to basics’ approach which has strengthened the organization.”

Flood began her career doing business development in the tech industry, then took a break to raise three children and pursue some personal development. She dabbled in Chicago’s improv scene at Second City and Improv Olympic and on weekends embarked on training new runners for their first races and marathons. Her first experience with BAPA was through the Ridge Running 101 training program where she trained to run then signed on to train others. “I trained more than 200 women for the Ridge Run and another 200-plus to run marathons to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association,” she said. Flood was also on the committee that organized the first Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, setting a course for this popular annual summer event.

When she reentered the work force, Flood joined the staff at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, taking a leadership role in fundraising. Among the many successful programs Flood spearheaded during her ten years at Mercy Home were the “Mercy Home Heroes” Chicago Marathon team program and Legacy of Learning, an endowment campaign that raised money for the education of Mercy Home’s youth in perpetuity. Susan remains committed to the kids at Mercy Home through service on their Leader Council, a women’s board that funds the home through their Graduates Luncheon, held in the spring.

Flood has shared her expertise for many years as a member of BAPA’s Development Committee. She has served on Christ the King’s Family and School Association and began the parish Moms and Tots group.

“I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to lead BAPA into the future, building on the dynamic and extremely successful formula of solid programs and talented staff,” Flood said.

In the past three years, BAPA’s mission-based programs have been expanded and special events have grown to attract bigger audiences and more engaged participants. These trends are expected to continue and realize even better growth with the addition of Susan to the team.  .

In her tenure as executive director, Holland introduced successful programs including the recent Author in the Schools at local public elementary schools, the community safety survey, and the popular Meet Me at the Metra Family Fun Nights.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOB SEARCH JANUARY 2018

The Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) is one of Chicago’s most successful grassroots civic organizations. Since 1947, we have worked to preserve and improve the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. BAPA’s motto is Love Where You Live. Our mission is to sustain and enhance our safe, culturally diverse community. We do that with proactive, effective programs that unify residents, institutions and businesses around the common cause of nurturing Chicago’s best neighborhood. Our programs focus on issues that enhance our quality of life: safety, schools, housing, shopping, business services, communications, and beautification.

BAPA has benefited the last 3 years from a strong Executive Director, Margot Holland, who revitalized the organization by increasing membership, reorganizing staff, improving events, and expanding programming.  Mrs. Holland is transitioning to a programming position so the Board of Directors is seeking a dynamic, experienced candidate to continue and expand on the progress of the past three years.

The Executive Director must be a proven leader who demonstrates an understanding of, and dedication to, the mission of BAPA to preserve and improve the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood.  As the principal advocate and spokesperson for BAPA, the Executive Director must have the ability to engage and inspire staff, volunteers, local business owners, policymakers, educational institutions, faith based institutions, law enforcement, media, and elected officials. Attributes that will be highly valued in a candidate are excellent verbal and written communication skills, experience in community engagement, fundraising, development, and working with volunteer boards.

The candidate must reside in the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for BAPA’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives.  In fundraising, program development, event management, and organizational administration the Executive Director will:

  • Assure that BAPA has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
  • Manage BAPA staff of 1 full time employee, 3 part-time employees, 2 volunteer positions, freelancers and consultants.
  • Work closely with volunteer Board of Directors to drive organizational goals, set annual budget, and ensure the overall vitality of the organization. The Executive Director will keep the board fully informed on the condition of the organization and important factors influencing it.
  • Create and strengthen relationships with neighborhood and city stakeholders to ensure BAPA has a leadership role in creating policy and effecting change.
  • Represent BAPA at community meetings, social events, and neighborhood activities. In addition to BAPA board and committee meetings, the evening commitment to this position is roughly 2 evenings per week.
  • Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of BAPA’s programming, fundraising, and community events.
  • Develop strategies to increase income and financial stability through membership, grants, public and private partnerships, and major gifts.
  • Report to maintain compliance with City grant requirements around BAPA’s local economic development goals.
  • Work with staff to identify and develop programming to fulfill BAPA’s mission.
  • Respond to neighborhood issues and incidents with a constant focus on working towards the goals stated in BAPA’s mission.
  • Sustain and increase residential and business memberships.
  • Oversee planning, sponsorship, and presentation of BAPA special events: Home Tour, Ridge Run, Memorial Day Parade, Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Family Fun Nights, Sip and Shop, Tap Into BAPA, Cookie Crawl, and others.
  • Manage Special Service Area (SSA) for 103rd Street business district. (SSAs are local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas.)
  • Oversee property management consultants, vendors and agents in maintaining the physical property at 1987 West 111th owned by BAPA.

Applicants to should email a cover letter and resume to Maureen Gainer Reilly at maureen@consultgo.com.

Start date: Immediate  Salary Range $60,000-$70,000 BAPA is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Village Viewpoint – January 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year from all of us at BAPA! We hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful holiday. This is a time of year when we can reflect on all that has taken place over the last year and make goals for the upcoming year ahead. We had a great year 2017 at the Beverly Area Planning Association and that is because of you — our neighbors and members are more engaged than ever. Your support provides the gift of community, and that is something money can’t buy.  Thank you to all those who attended BAPA events, sent in membership and volunteered in 2017!

During 2017 we were able to expand our programming in schools and safety and our support of local businesses. In 2018 BAPA will continue to build in these areas. The BAPA board has been hard at work organizing committees to support the staff and expanding programming. Coming up in 2018, in addition to our existing services, BAPA will launch Author in the Schools, Tech Tuesdays for seniors and shared office space in the new and improved community room space in our building. We are proud of all that has been accomplished and all that is to come in 2018.

As part of our growth, early in the year I will be completing my three year term as Executive Director and will move into the new position of Director of Programming to launch these new initiatives. I am proud of all the change and positive momentum that our staff and board have been able to accomplish and look forward to a new chapter of climbing even higher.

BAPA is in a very strong position both organizationally and financially, and poised to continue all the good work for many years to come.

All the best,

Margot

Police Presence, Nosey Neighbors and Being Informed Impact Safety

According to BAPA’s safety survey, a strong and consistent police presence, a commitment to being nosey neighbors and having access to community alerts and crime information are the top three tools needed for a safer community. (See survey results.)

“I think these results show how much confidence our community has in our police force, so much so that we hope Chicago Police Department leadership will dedicate more police manpower to protecting our commercial and residential areas,” BAPA’s Margot Holland.

“The survey provides valuable information for our law enforcement partners,” said 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea. ” I look forward to ongoing collaboration with BAPA and the 22nd District.”

The survey was distributed in early December through email blasts and social media, and was completed by nearly 2,000 area residents.

“It was a great response, and respondents overwhelmingly agreed that frequent police patrols throughout the community is the most effective crime-fighting tool,” Holland said.

Being a nosey neighbor and calling 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity was cited as the second most important aspect of crime prevention, and quick access to crime alerts came in third. CAPS meetings received the lowest confidence as a crime prevention tool.

Nearly 80% of the people who completed the survey have lived in the community for more than 10 years, and they provided good perspective on changes in community safety. “Many people noted that neighborhood receives a lot of attention from police when there is an uptick in crime, and that strong police presence is an effective crime deterrent,” Holland said. “People also commented that the neighborhood needs continuous police presence, not just added presence when something happens.”

While the vast number of survey respondents perceive the neighborhood as somewhat safe or very safe, a concerning number of people also indicated that they limit certain activities due to safety concerns.

“We received a lot of comments about where and why people curtail activities, and many people said that concern about their safety increased with the recent spate of crimes and there is more opportunity for crime because there are not enough police on the streets,” Holland said.

Even before the recent armed robberies, BAPA was developing the safety survey. “Those crimes made the survey more timely and the input we received more critical,” Holland said.

Survey respondents selected increased crime prevention tips in BAPA communications, volunteer-driven neighborhood watch, and neighborhood watch Facebook groups.

People interested in seeing the survey results can find it at www.bapa.org. The survey was developed by BAPA staff and board members with the help of 22nd District CAPS leaders, 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, and community members.