About MHNA

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association (MHNA) is a volunteer-driven 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve quality of life and foster a sense of community pride through citizen participation. Our motto is “Working Together to Make a Difference.” Our volunteers strive to make northwest Des Moines an even better place to live, work, and play.

BRIEF HISTORY: MHNA’s bylaws were adopted and officers were elected on January 26, 2000. The association was formally recognized by the City of Des Moines on April 3, 2000. Articles of incorporation were issued on December 12, 2003. The IRS approved MHNA’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in July 2004.


  • North: Aurora Avenue
  • South: Franklin and University Avenues
  • East: 51st Street, 48th Street, and 48th Place
  • West: City limits

Click here for a map.

MEETINGS: MHNA holds its annual membership meeting on the third Thursday in January. Three quarterly membership meetings are held on the third Thursday in April, July, and October. All meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave. unless otherwise noted.


Email: merlehayneighborhood@gmail.com


Merle Hay Neighborhood Association                                                                                                    P.O. Box 13241                                                                                                                                          Des Moines, IA 50310

MEMBERSHIP: MHNA membership is open to anyone who lives or owns a business within MHNA’s boundaries. Annual dues are payable at the annual meeting in January, or can be mailed to the association post office box listed above. Dues may also be paid via PayPal by sending payment to merlehayneighborhood@gmail.com. Members may take part in MHNA decision-making on planning, development, zoning, infrastructure, streets and parks, beautification, and other community service and education projects, and social events. Associate memberships are available to those outside MHNA’s boundaries, though associate members may not vote on MHNA business.

Membership rates are as follows:

  • $10 for a church or school.
  • $15 for an individual.
  • $30 for a couple.
  • $30 for a business.

MERLE HAY NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN: In Spring 2006, the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association submitted an application to the City of Des Moines’ Neighborhood Revitalization Board to be included in the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program. The 2008 Merle Hay Neighborhood Plan was the culmination of a multi-year planning process that included stakeholder input from residents, businesses, city and county officials, and other civic leaders. MHNA volunteers work to this day to implement the action plan.