The BCO has five main standing committees that serve the members and our community: Events, Gardening, Planning and Development, Communications and Membership. Explore these committees at the links below.
Two additional permanent committees serve the needs of the organization itself: Auditing Committee and Nominating Committee.
In the BCO Bylaws, a committee can be created as a “special committee” that is active when needed. There are four additional “Special Committees” currently authorized and operating: GreenSpace, Public Art, Finance, and Gateway Garden Expansion.
The BCO Events Committee is officially committed to creating FUN annual events. Their purpose is to produces the annual and special events of the BCO. Three main events are planned yearly:
- Street / Yard Sale in early June
- The Bowmanville Garden Walk in mid July
- Summer Social in mid August
We kick off the outdoor season with the Annual Street/Yard Sale. This event is traditionally held the first weekend in June each year. This great event enables residents to clean out their basements and sell their surplus to the shoppers who attend this event. Past years have seen 90+ families participating in the sale. Recently we have added a post-sale happy hour to allow sellers to unwind and build community.
The Bowmanville Garden Walk shows off the amazing beauty hidden within our community. For over 20 years, this is our signature event, which has drawn thousands of people from across the city and beyond to see our neighborhood in full bloom. The Bowmanville Garden Walk welcomes guests into resident gardeners’ yards to view, discuss their gardens. Residents who participate can get advice from Illinois Master Gardener judges. Residents can also elect to participate in the BCO hosted Awards Party, which is judged by the Illinois Master Gardeners. This event is held at the close of the Walk.
The Summer Social provides an afternoon of fun, camaraderie, music, food and free ice cream! This is a great time to mingle with neighbors, meet new people, and enjoy the last hurrahs of summer. This event is held mid-August before school starts.
The BCO Gardening Committee organizes and oversees our three community gardens: the Bowmanville Ave Community Garden at 5386-5410 N Bowmanville Ave, the Gateway Garden at 1801 W Balmoral Ave and the Westgate Garden at 2329-2339 W Berwyn Ave. They also organize volunteers to help to maintain these community gardens. Within two of the gardens, there are vegetable plots areas available to residents and non-residents. Those vegetable plots are located at the Bowmanville Community Garden and at Gateway Garden. Applications go online in early Feb. These Vegetable Plot renters are asked to help with maintaining a regular schedule of watering, weeding, mulching, pruning, and other special projects.
Planning and Development Committee
The BCO Planning and Development committee keeps its fingers on the pulse of development in our community. Bowmanville continues to attract avid interest among residential and commercial developers. Working with the Alderman’s office and city departments, the Planning and Development Committee monitors real estate and commercial development in the community and provides guidelines to developers and businesses when requesting zoning changes through the Alderman’s office. They inform the community of initial plans that require zoning changes and host community feedback meetings with developers. The committee also fosters partnerships with local industrial and commercial businesses.
The Communications Committee informs and updates the community of BCO events, meetings and local issues. They are responsible for the publication of the Bowmanville Bee and BCO website. The Bowmanville Bee began in December 1995 as a four-page newsletter trumpeting the renaissance of the BCO and voicing concerns of the neighborhood residents. At the time, the Bee covered crime, traffic, community development, local history, committee news and a calendar of local events. The Bowmanville Bee is the printed publication for the BCO. The Bee can also be found on the BCO website: https://bcochicago.org/bowmanville-bee-newsletter We welcome residents who want to volunteer with putting the Bee together, arrange advertising, writing articles, and delivering the Bee.
The Communications Committee also sends out BCO “special issues” via e-mail blasts whenever an important community issue or event needs attention and could not be included in the Bowmanville Bee. The BCO phone line is available and is another way to leave us a message. Call (773) 349-2268 anytime.
The BCO also has a presence on social media. We have a Facebook page and use Instagram. Both social media sites are used to inform members on events, news, and other interests within our community. The BCO website is another way we communicate to everyone. If you have content ideas for the site or stories for one of our publications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Being a part of the Communication Committee is a fun and creative opportunity, and a great way to contribute to the Bowmanville community.
The BCO Membership Committee works hard to expand the reach of the BCO. In 2008 a membership drive was launched featuring events including a New Neighbor Social, a Food Drive, a door-to-door campaign, and the inception of the BCO Kids Rewards program.
Today, Membership Committee continues to help drive the value of being a member of the BCO. They have turned the New Neighbor Social into the First Fridays Happy Hours at many of our local bars, deliver welcome bags to new residents who have moved into the community, and continues to help to support our events with recruiting volunteers. This committee is open to new and innovative ideas on how to get current members more involved and how to continue to expand our membership. Joining the effort is a great way to meet new people, test out new ideas, and get out there in the neighborhood.
Membership makes it happen!
BCO GreenSpace Committee
The BCO GreenSpace Committee was formed in 2009. This committee was created to research permanent green space locations in the community and to facilitate the planning and establishment of parkland and open community spaces. The committee joined Friends of the Parks to form BCO GreenSpace Chicago. Since then, this Committee is responsible for the green space build out at Bell and Bowmanville Ave. See more information on the GreenSpace page.
Public Art Committee
The Public Art Committee was established in November of 2010. This committee was created to research and promote public art offerings in the Bowmanville community. Their last project was the Berwyn Pedestrian Tunnel Mural. The Berwyn Mural project was a community-driven public art project. The goal was to create a painted and mosaic work of art in and around the pedestrian foot tunnel underneath the Metra tracks at Berwyn and Ravenswood Avenues. Since then, the Public Art Committee commissioned a garden sculpture at the Bowmanville Ave Community Gardens. As the BCO continues to build out the Gateway Garden, the Public Art Committee will seek artwork to beautify that space as well.
Please call the BCO phone line at 773.349.2263 to get involved!
If you notice graffiti, please contact us at email@example.com so that we can remove it. And if you see anyone interfering with or damaging the mural, please call 911 right away to report it.