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WHNA Major Projects
Following are projects that are currently part of our WHNA programs to provide either directly or indirectly benefits to our WHNA Neighbors; And/or projects that we plan to implement this current year.
1. Expand WHNA Annual Holiday Lighting Contest
The prize money for this year has been expanded. 1st prize = $150.00; 2nd prize = $125.00; 3rd prize = $100.00; 2 4th place prizes = $75.
We added new for this year a raffle or drawing. All homes entered into the contes that where not a prize winner for their decorations will be entered into the drawing. There will be drawings for ten (10) homes for a $50 gift gard. Prizes are awarded with Hy Vee Gift Cards presented on Christmas.
Last year we added a new feature. Once you entered the contest, if you approve, we registered your address in a database drive-by list. When your holiday lighting decorations were ready to "SHOW OFF" we added your home to the drive-by ready list. That will feature will be continued this year. If you want to enter the contest but do NOT want to be on the drive-by list, that is okay also.
We will be updating the drive-by list to our WHNA website every day whenever new information is provided to us. We also will email a drive-by list to anyone that gives us an email address and makes the request.
We learned last year, it was the pride involved in having their Holiday Lighting Decorations shown and seen that most of the neighbors liked best. We will begin maintaining the drive-by list Thanksgiving day or the date of the first Contest Entry, whichever comes later. We will need you yo provide to us a digital picture of your decorations.
Enjoy. Have fun "Showing-Off" and remember, you will have provided enjoyment for other WHNA neighbors.
Our newest addition to the Holiday Lighting Contest overall program is WHNA Provided Holiday Light Strings.
We have plans to expand the WHNA Fifth Annual Holiday Lighting Contest. We want to have a contest like in the past for those neighbors that create really impressive decoration programs.
This year, we want to add a drawing program to encourage all those neighbors that enter the contest but whose decorations are NOT PRIZE Winners.
We want to have a THANK YOU drawing for all contestants that do NOT win a prize for their Decorations. The total number of decorations makes the neighborhood more enjoyable for all the neighbors. Not everyone can provide decorations that are top prize winners. We want to have a drawing from the remaining neighbors that entered the contest but did not win a prize for their decorations to have a chance at winning a THANK you prize for their effort to make the entire neighborhood more festive. The number of THANK YOU PRIZE drawings will be 10 and will depend on the number of contestants.
2. Develop ongoing Funding sources separate from CBG Program
As President of WHNA, I consider one of my most important duties is to find additional and ongoing funding sources that will best allow us to reach our WHNA goals.
Most of the Projects that would allow us to provide the best services to our neighbors cost money. We cannot reach those goals without obtaining the needed funding.
3. Continue and Update Efforts to obtain WHNA Vest-Pocket Park
WHNA does not have a neighborhood Park anywhere in our area. We are one of the very few Neighborhood Associations that do not have a park or even any green space (vest-pocket park).
There was a Blight home demolished on the NW corner of SW5th and Leach. This lot was nearly centered in our area and would have been ideal for a Vest Pocket Park.
The WHNA Board thought they were making headway when they obtained a substantial verbal commitment from a major funder to provide 50% of the cost to acquire and develop the site into a vest pocket park.
We had a few meetings and then a major meeting including City and County personnel and our key representatives from for the City and County. The meeting also had a leading individual from the Parks and Rec Department. This individual made a major presentation to kill the project.
Our desire to have a WHNA Neighborhood Park is not dead. It was partially a learning process. We will look for a different approach. But we will not abandon our goal to have a Vest-Pocket Park for the WHNA neighbors.
4. We are currently working to have a Flower or Community Garden in the Miller Ave Cul-de-Sac area.
Thanks to a WHNA Neighbor with good ideas and her desire to make her area better, and the support people from the Des Moines service people who help WHNA; we are in the early stages now of what we believe could be positive results for her area.
5. We are currently working to update our neighbors regarding the McKinley Avenue Reconstruction.
We have participated in all local meetings we learned of regarding this project to stay informed.
We post updated links and information on this project on our website. This project likely will have McKinley Avenue closed for TWO YEARS to traffic between South Union and SW 9th Street. All WHNA neighbors need to stay updated on this information
6. The McKinley Reconstruction has a major effect on South Union Elementary School Traffic.
Traffic during student pick-ups have parents stopping in what is a no parking area. This has the effect of converting South Union Street into a one-way street for the area from Leach Ave to McKinley Ave.
Even before McKinley is closed, this creates a dangerous situation for the South Union Elementary School Students. There is a local neighbor that lives on South Union and has students attending South Union. Thanks to her efforts and her videotaping skills, there is now convincing evidence of how dangerous this situation is and the real threat for when McKinley is closed.
The city of Des Moines and their Engineering Department are now working closely with the Des Moines School District in finding the best solution to address this problem. We are to be updated when a final decision is made for the solution. We will post this information as soon as it is made available to us.
7. Effort to increase our benefit for and appeal to WHNA Neighbors
This is our underlying duty at WHNA is to constantly try to find more and better ways to benefit our neighbors and how we can increase how the neighbors believe we are meeting that goal.
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