Bay View Neighborhood Association

June 30, 2011

[flickr id=”5889256901″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

Bay View and other south-side residents relax and enjoy the first week of Chill on the Hill, a weekly concert series in Humboldt Park coordinated by the Bay View Neighborhood Association. ~photo Veronica Rusnak

1. How many members do you have? How many do you want?

We have about 350 dues-paying members. It’s part of our mission to encourage informed and active citizenship, so it’s hard to imagine “too many.”

2. Why was BVNA formed? How do you define the geography of Bay View?

The BVNA was founded in 2004 to promote the welfare and livability of our community by serving as a voice for our common interests. Bay View has traditionally been defined as the area bound by Bay Street on the north, Morgan Avenue on the south, and from east to west by the lake and Howell Avenue. For what we do, it’s the entire 53207 Zip Code.

3. Why should people support BVNA with membership?

Largely for the same reasons that someone should, for example, join public television or buy a subscription to the Compass rather than picking one up anywhere along Kinnickinnic Avenue.

4. How does BVNA communicate with members? With nonmembers?

In addition to our website, quarterly membership meetings, and old-school post office box, we use both print and social media. You can also access our Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr pages through

5. What are some yet-to-be-realized accomplishments of BVNA?

Last fall the BVNA made significant leadership changes, and with that came a change of focus in the way we expend our energies and resources. Most people know us for the events we sponsor, and while we’ll continue to do those things, they are evolving to serve a broader purpose than mere entertainment. We want our activities to have both a longer-lasting and wider-ranging impact than they have had in the past, and that includes supporting—financially and otherwise—the efforts of other Bay View organizations.

6. Describe the work of some BVNA committees.

Communications and Environment are the two busiest of our standing committees, led by Gretchen Theisen and Rob Miller, respectively. This time of year Rob’s group is busy with river, beach, and park clean-ups and acting as our liaison with other environmental projects. BVNA recently made a substantial matching grant available for the bluff restoration project at South Shore Park.

Gretchen’s team handles press releases, advertising, printing, graphics, and most of our photography. Besides being the driving force behind our social media pages, she also developed and coordinates our new, much easier-to-use website.

7. What do you need from Bay View residents to further your mission and goals?

Input. We want people to make their concerns known to us. Secondly, we’re always looking for volunteers.

8. How many volunteers does it take to make Chill on the Hill happen?

Chill is a monumental undertaking and preparations begin in February. Every Tuesday for the run of the series we rely on volunteers to manage the stage and the booths and handle setup and tear-down.

9. How does BVNA raise the money that it spends?

Sponsorships, grants, and membership dues. We don’t hold “fundraisers” in the traditional sense and we keep our spending local.

10. What are some past or ongoing BVNA projects?

Last year our biggest project was the construction of Bay View Hide House Community Gardens. We recently provided funding for their urban beekeeping project; and once again, produce from BVNA’s plot at Hide House will go to the meal program at Bay View United Methodist on KK. We’d also like to expand Project Crayon Box to include more schools. Other things include scholarship funding, a Humboldt Park movie night in August, voter registration at Chill, and more improvements to our park facilities.

Bay View Neighborhood Association

Teri Crain, President

P.O. Box 070184, Milwaukee, WI 53207



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