Though Meg Massaro moved to the neighborhood 34 years ago, it took a few years before she knew the full scope of the Beverly Area Planning Association. “While raising my son Anthony in this neighborhood, BAPA gave me insight into what the community is all about,” she said. “Seeing what BAPA does to bring people together is why I committed to being a loyal member and that was many years ago.”
The first BAPA event Massaro remembers attending was the Ridge Run. “That’s what hooked me on BAPA — seeing all the families coming together.” Since the launch of the summer Porch Concert series, Massaro says they are her favorites. “That is worth the price of membership alone because you get to hear great music in this open air concert on a block filled with great looking homes,” she said. “There’s just a small-town feel.”
Massaro recalled reading in The Villager recently that less than 2% of Beverly/Morgan Park residents are BAPA members. “That’s extremely low and if it wasn’t for BAPA, our community wouldn’t be as strong as it is today.” Massaro cited collaborations with the 19th ward, business districts, schools and people as reasons for support. The organization does a great job of making sure families, neighbors and friends feel welcome and part of the community, she said.
Lastly, Massaro emphasized the dedication of staff at BAPA. “You can call BAPA and maybe your call starts out expressing a concern about a matter. The BAPA staff will talk through your issue and before you know it, there’s some ideation going on with that conversation. Sometimes there’s solutions right over the phone and if not, they’ll do their best to find the answer.” She cited the Save The Tree Committee as the perfect example, when BAPA called organizations together to determine solutions to the removal of trees in our neighborhoods.
When asked to highlight one thing BAPA does that means much to Massaro, Meg was quick to respond, “fostering community – it’s why I love where I live.”