BAPA Makes Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Better

Who We Are

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. We do that through proactive, effective programs that unify residents, institutions and businesses around the common cause of nurturing Chicago’s best neighborhood. BAPA’s events and communications foster the pride that is the hallmark of our busy and welcoming community. BAPA is the go-to resource for information, referrals and action.

Our motto says it all.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, BAPA is supported by membership donations from residents and businesses, as well as grants and gifts. To learn more about how you can help our efforts, visit Support BAPA.

BAPA Mission

The mission of the Beverly Area Planning Association is to sustain and enhance Beverly Hills/Morgan Park as a culturally diverse Village in the City with increasing home values, high quality schools, and thriving commercial areas.

What We Do

BAPA’s mission-driven and ever-evolving services, events, and programs focus on issues that enhance the quality of life in our community: safety, schools, business services, outreach and communications.

  • We help our neighbors solve problems and connect them to resources such as finding reliable tradespeople, enhancing community safety, supporting local schools, and beautifying public areas.
  • We promote local shopping, provide B2B networking, host professional workshops for small businesses, offer opportunities for businesses to partner on special events, and provide free development resources.

 

The Villager, BAPA’s monthly newspaper, covers neighborhood people, businesses, places and events. It is delivered free to 16,000 homes, businesses and organizations in the BAPA service area. Submit news villagereditor@bapa.org. Learn more about advertising villagerads@bapa.org.

The Villager Neighborhood Notes Enews provides weekly updates on local news and events between issues of the paper. Sign up to receive it.

BAPA actively promotes the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park community via social media on Facebook and Instagram

Events

BAPA is probably best known for our signature special events.

BAPA: Neighbors helping neighbors for nearly 75 years.

 

BAPA Staff

Mary Jo Viero
Executive Director

Grace Kuikman
Assistant Director,
Villager Editor

Brittany Wiley
Business Liaison

Cathriona Fey
Community Outreach and Improvement

Tina Jenkins Bell 
School Liaison

Gary Jenkins
Director of School and Safety Programs

Eileen Kenah
Business Manager

Talie Leeb
Office Manager

BAPA Board of Directors

Michele Pettiford, President

Tim Doody, Vice President

Dennis McClelland, Treasurer

Jayne Corcoran

Mike Geraghty

Maureen Kelly

Brian Roberts

Don Larisey

Bill Halvorsen

Mike Martin

Abby Mazza

Maggie O’Reilly

Kellianne McDonough

History

Founded in 1947, BAPA is a model for grassroots community organizing, bringing together staff and volunteers to advocate for all aspects of neighborhood living. Since its inception BAPA’s focus has expanded from neighborhood beautification and zoning concerns to larger issues confronting urban communities: business development and support, housing stock, diversity, education, and crime. Today, BAPA advocates on a variety of neighborhood issues, including small business support services, community outreach, neighborhood communications and engagement, crime prevention, and continued improvement of our local schools.

About Beverly Hills/Morgan Park

Beverly Hills/Morgan Park provides an excellent quality of life for its residents. Community hallmarks include architecturally and historically significant homes, quality public and private schools, vibrant shopping districts, and excellent public transportation including seven Metra/Rock Island commuter stations.

There are few other neighborhoods in the city that boast our cultural diversity and friendly atmosphere. Amenities include the Beverly Arts Center, John H. Vanderpoel Art Association Gallery, The Beverly Art Walk and a variety of venues offering live music, performance arts, fine arts, film, storytelling and more. Brewpubs, restaurants, juice bars and coffee shops add to the lively lifestyle. A full schedule of special events — including the city’s oldest neighborhood 10K race — appeal to homegrown families as well as visitors from throughout the metropolitan area.

Beverly Hills/Morgan Park is bounded by 87th Street to the north, 119th Street to the south, Vincennes Avenue to the east, and California Avenue to the west. Along our borders are the Dan Ryan Forest Preserves, Beverly Country Club, Ridge Country Club, Major Taylor Bike Trail and three historic cemeteries, and within the community are the Beverly Hills Tennis Club, the Morgan Park Sports Center and ice rink, Edna White Community Garden, and playlots and parks within walking distance of every home.

Through the heart of our neighborhood runs the Blue Island Ridge where the highest point in Chicago offers an amazing view of downtown. Large residential lots, abundant trees and an area unique in its bikability and walkability encourages an active lifestyle for all ages.

Home to the Potawatomi Native Americans until 1840s, the area once lay along the Vincennes Trail, a trade route for farmers and trappers traveling between Indiana and Chicago. In the 1860s, with the advent of the Rock Island Railroad commuter service, much of the land was sold for residential development. Housing boomed after the Great Chicago Fire when wealthy Chicagoans moved away from the ravaged city to enjoy the pleasures of rural living in large, lavish homes built atop the Blue Island Ridge hill. Convenient transportation to jobs and shopping downtown offered residents the best of both worlds – much the same as we enjoy today!

The architecture-rich neighborhood boasts every American house style built between the late 1800s and World War II: Victorian, Colonial, Georgian, Art Moderne, Prairie Style, Chicago Bungalow, and many more. Beautiful homes and a connection to community residents remain the main reasons that people decide to make their homes in Beverly Hills/Morgan Park. Local families are well-educated, earn good incomes, lead active and engaged lifestyles, and demand quality schools and amenities.

Learn more about becoming a Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighbor by contacting BAPA bapa@bapa.org.