Category Archives: Events

COVID-19 impacts on MHNA events

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing MHNA to adjust its events calendar this spring. Shortly after our newsletter went to press in late-March, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were changed to discourage gatherings of more than 10 people. We also learned after our newsletter went to press that the Northwest Community Center has canceled all meetings indefinitely.

The MHNA board plans to host a conference call in the next week to figure out how to proceed with our meeting and events schedule in the midst of the public health emergency. We will make announcements as soon as possible.

Additionally, MHNA has been informed by the Des Moines Public Works Department that the annual Spring Cleanup to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB) scheduled for April 18 at Hoover High School has been canceled. Visit the city’s website for more information on how COVID-19 is affecting the SCRUB calendar:

Visit for the latest city updates and information on how city services are impacted.

Please check MHNA’s website and Facebook page for updates. And remember, please follow CDC guidelines, practice social-distancing, stay at home to every extent possible, and wash your hands. We look forward to seeing all of you soon!

MHNA’s next quarterly meeting is on April 16

Please mark your calendars for MHNA’s next quarterly meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave.

We have extended an invitation to Carl Voss, who was recently elected as an at-large City Council member. We’ll confirm meeting details as we get closer to April 16.

After April, our other quarterly meetings will be held on July 16 and October 15. Please plan ahead and make sure you invite your neighbors!

2020 MHNA Meeting Dates

The New Year is right around the corner, so please think ahead and make MHNA a part of your regular schedule!

MHNA meets on the third Thursday in January, April, July, and October. Unless otherwise noted, the meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and are held at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave.

The 2020 meetings will be held on January 16, April 16, July 16, and October 15. Please mark your calendars and help spread the word!

Help MHNA Keep the Kids Warm on October 17!

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association will once again collect food and clothing donations for the less fortunate when we meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, at the Northwest Community Center.

Through our “Keep the Kids Warm!” program, we will collect winter clothing for students at Moore Elementary School. Donations of new coats, boots, stocking hats, gloves, and mittens are greatly appreciated.

For more information about the clothing drive, contact Kathy Battles by email at, or 515.865.3040.

The food we collect will be donated to the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s Food Pantry Program. For more information about the most-needed food items, please visit:

We will also accept free-will monetary donations for each program and use the funds to further each cause. Please help us continue our success!

MHNA Meeting and Annual Supper on October 17

Bring your appetite and ideas for our neighborhood when the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association meets at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 17 at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave.

Our evening will start tastily enough with the popular annual supper, featuring a variety of soups, sides, and desserts. If you’d like to contribute to the culinary cause, please contact April at 515.707.6386. The meeting portion will feature a discussion about neighborhood priorities for 2019 and beyond.

Before we meet, we encourage everyone to review the Merle Hay Neighborhood Plan. A copy can be found online at Some food for thought:

  • What does the neighborhood plan get right and wrong?
  • What needs and priorities have emerged since the plan was adopted in 2008?
  • What are the Merle Hay neighborhood’s biggest successes and challenges? How can MHNA do better?

We will also be joined by a staff member from the City of Des Moines’ Engineering Department to discuss forthcoming improvements to Franklin Avenue. Storm sewer work along Franklin Avenue will require sections of the roadway to be reconstructed. A variety of other improvements are being considered as part of the project. An open house was held in June, where approximately 50 northwest-side citizens came to learn and ask questions about features such as on-street parking, on-street bicycle lanes, and a multi-use path.

As always, the meeting will also include neighborhood news, public safety updates, and more. Please mark your calendar and invite your neighbors! This is our last chance to gather in 2018 and we look forward to a great turnout.