Category Archives: General Updates

CANCELLED: Open House re: Merle Hay Road changes on April 30

NOTE: This event has been cancelled due to inclement weather in the forecast. City officials plan to schedule a Zoom meeting in its place on a date to be determined. We will share the Zoom meeting information when it is available. Another open house will be held on Tuesday, June 4, at the Franklin Avenue Library. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Merle Hay Road between Douglas Avenue and Aurora Avenue will be reduced by one lane on the west side of the street. The change in road layout will include the addition of a sidewalk, creating opportunities for further dialogue about placemaking and neighborhood partnerships. A public open house will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 on Tuesday, April 30, in the community room at Franklin Avenue Library, 5000 Franklin Ave. to share design concepts and hear comments and feedback on the project.

Improving sidewalk access, connections, and safety have been among the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association’s top priorities for our commercial corridors and the neighborhood as a whole. The coming sidewalk project on Merle Hay Road is a great step toward the broader goal of expanded sidewalk access and pedestrian safety across the neighborhood! Please join us on April 30 to learn more and share your ideas!

SCRUB on April 20 at Merle Hay Mall

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association (MHNA) will once again partner with Des Moines Public Works to host the annual Spring Clean Up to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB) from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, in the north parking lot at Merle Hay Mall, 3800 Merle Hay Road. Please note the location!

SCRUB allows Des Moines residents to discard unwanted items including furniture, televisions, appliances, tires, hazardous waste, and other materials for free.

This is a largely volunteer-driven event and MHNA welcomes your help. Volunteers primarily help answer questions and direct traffic. If you would like to volunteer, please sign up at: and tree debris can be dropped off at the Des Moines Compost Site at 1601 Harriett St. For more SCRUB program details, call Des Moines Public Works at 283-4950, or visit the department webpage at:

Quarterly Meeting on April 18, 2024

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association will host its next quarterly meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, at the Northwest Community Center. More details will be shared when we get closer to the meeting date.

After April, MHNA’s quarterly meetings will be held on Thursday, July 18, and Thursday, Oct. 17, also at the Northwest Community Center. The July meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and the October gathering will begin with our annual supper at 6 p.m.

Please remember: MHNA’s quarterly meetings are always on the third Thursday of January, April, July, and October.

Annual Meeting on Jan. 18 + 2024 Officer and Board Elections

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association will hold its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 18 at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave. The meeting will include board and committee updates, the president’s annual report, public safety updates, and more. We will announce guest speakers and other details as we get closer to January 18.

The annual meeting will also include elections for MHNA’s 2024 Board of Directors. Elections will be held for president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and three board members.

If you are interested in running for an officer or board position, please send an email to Nominations will also be accepted from the floor when we meet on January 18. Membership dues must be current to run for a seat on the Board of Directors. Dues must also be current to vote. Please consider running for a seat to help serve OUR neighborhood!

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 at: P.O. Box 13241, Des Moines, IA 50310.

Members may take part in MHNA decision-making on planning, development, zoning, infrastructure, streets and parks, beautification, and other community service and education projects, social events, and association business. 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, school, or other non-profit; $15 for an individual; $30 for a couple; and $30 for a business.

Annual Holiday Lights Contest

Judging for the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association’s 19th annual Holiday Lights contest this winter will take place in mid-December. If you would like to ensure that your house is included in judging, please contact April at (515) 707-6386. Your home or your neighbor’s home may be considered for a prize even if you don’t contact us. Three homes will be awarded a $25 gift card. Judges will be looking for creativity, originality, holiday spirit, neatness, and theme coordination. We encourage as many people as possible to decorate their homes and thank everyone who makes our neighborhood a little brighter this holiday season!