From representing our community’s best interests with city government to planting trees on neighborhood parkways, the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) is at work making Beverly/Morgan Park the place where we love to live. BAPA’s staff are changemakers, connectors and cheerleaders, and everything they do has one goal: Improving the community.
BAPA Means Business
Building on the organization’s core programs, BAPA has been expanding and updating services, starting with staff. In November, Anna Fratto became BAPA’s Director of Economic Development, connecting businesses with opportunities that can gain them exposure with target customers.
“Anna has brought terrific energy to BAPA’s business relationships,” said BAPA Executive Director Susan Flood. “Business owners are embracing BAPA membership and event sponsorship, and they’re taking advantage of the opportunities BAPA provides for getting their messages in front of their customers.”
Fratto’s program area includes the BAPA Card, event and program sponsorship, business membership and communications, and reenergizing business referrals. She brings to BAPA experience as Public Affairs and Community Relations Coordinator for Citgo Petroleum Co., and Executive Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
In spring, Gary Jenkins took on the role of BAPA Director of School and Safety Programs. “Gary brings to BAPA outstanding insights gained from a long career with Chicago Public Schools and an active role in CAPS initiatives with the 22nd District Police,” Flood said. Jenkins works on school initiatives that recognize achievement through the BAPA Student Community Service Awards for outstanding public school 7th and 8th graders, strengthening relationships with local schools and identifying school needs as liaison to the BAPA Education Committee. Jenkins works with CAPS officers to support safety and crime prevention programs, and he is expanding BAPA’s Safety Committee. He is currently serving as President of the Vanderpoel Improvement Association.
In her role as BAPA Executive Director, Flood has been working with staff to expand programs and refresh projects to ensure BAPA’s work responds to current community needs. Flood now attends Chicago City Council meetings, representing Beverly/Morgan Park and staying informed about the work of our city government. She is forging strong relationships with community partners, working together on shared goals, and challenging staff and supporters help make BAPA’s services and successes even better.
BAPA is known for working hard, but most people may not realize that the staff actually uses a lot of muscle. Beautification activities are designed to keep our community looking its best, and include the neighborhood-wide Clean and Green in April, Openlands tree planting days in spring and fall, and occasionally jumping out of the car to pull some weeds or pick up litter.
Also serving on the BAPA staff are Associate Director and Communications Director Grace Kuikman, Community Organizer Mary Jo Viero, Office Manager Talie Leeb and Accountant Eileen Kenah.
Progress Through Programs
All of BAPA’s programs and events unify neighbors, build community pride, and align with the association’s missions.
BAPA’s reorganized Housing Committee features members who represent Ridge Historical Society, Beverly Givins Castle and Chicago Bungalow Association as well as architects, real estate professionals and planners. Events like the Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour and Open House Chicago support the goals of the committee. The Home Tour showcases our beautiful homes to potential home buyers, and this year launched the BAPA Home Expo to connect homeowners with tradespeople who work on vintage homes.
Beverly/Morgan Park’s first year on the Chicago Architecture Center’s citywide Open House Chicago architecture tour was a huge hit last fall, bringing several thousand people to visit the Village in the City. The event returns to the neighborhood on Oct. 19 and 20 and will feature several new locations. BAPA is the Open House Chicago community partner, assisting in local site selection, event promotion, and volunteer recruitment and training.
The Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade bring thousands of athletes and spectators to the Ridge Historic District to show off rich architecture and the community’s spirited lifestyle. The Bikes and Brews festival, this year expanded to include restaurant row and more brews, brings people together to celebrate with neighbors and enjoy a professional level cycling event.
Other BAPA events support commercial areas. The 3rd Annual Sip and Shop will be held Thurs., Sept. 26, and feature shopping and sampling from 6 to 9 p.m., followed by an after party from 9 to 11 p.m. Co-sponsored by BAPA, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association and 19th Ward Office, the event takes place in the 99th Street and 103rd Street businesses located around the Metra stations. In December, BAPA will host the 4th annual Holiday Cookie Crawl inviting people into local businesses to claim cookies and share holiday cheer.
On Friday, Nov. 8, BAPA will co-sponsor the 19th Ward Veterans Breakfast to recognize local men and women who have served or currently serve in U.S. armed forces.
Get the Message
“BAPA has the biggest megaphone in the community,” Flood. “Our communications cover all platforms.”
The Villager is delivered to 16,000 mailboxes every month, covering the people, institutions and businesses that make us all Love Where We Live. BAPA’s weekly e-newsletters go to more than 8,000 inboxes and on alternate weeks provide updates on local news through the Neighborhood Notes and upcoming events through the new Nightlife & Entertainment. BAPA’s online Community Calendar is the go-to place for events information, and robust postings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram keep people connected. In partnership with the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, BAPA is engaged in a digital radio campaign to promote the Village in the City as a great place to life, shop, dine and visit. Ads drive listeners to villageinthecity.org for visitor information.
You Can Be a Changemaker Too!
A 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization, BAPA relies on the support of neighborhood residents and businesses to fund its work in the community. BAPA is not politically affiliated and represents the best interests of everyone Beverly/Morgan Park. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Look for the membership envelope in this issue of The Villager or join/renew online at www.bapa.org.
BAPA’s office is located at 1987 W. 111th St. For more information on programs, events, memberships and donations, call 773-233-3100 or visit www.bapa.org.