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.