Dwelling Place Nonprofit Housing Corporation and Republic Services will hold a National Neighborhood Promise Day on Friday, October 18, from 9:00 AM until 2:30 PM at Roosevelt Apartments in Muskegon Heights. This day celebrates a new investment in the Bethlehem Park Neighborhood with the addition of a walking path and senior exercise park to a tree lined lot owned by Dwelling Place.
At the beginning of the year, Dwelling Place was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Republic Services Charitable Foundation to support the renovation and transformation of the unused green space next to Roosevelt Apartments. The $50,000 grant from Republic Services, a national recycling and waste disposal company, is part of their National Neighborhood Promise Program aimed at revitalizing and restoring places and spaces in need with an ultimate goal of strengthening neighborhoods.
National Neighborhood Promise Day will bring Republic Services employees out to the new exercise park to volunteer alongside Dwelling Place staff, Roosevelt Apartment residents and neighbors. Volunteers will plant fruit trees and bushes, install birdhouses and update garden beds at nearby Bethlehem Park Neighborhood Park. Residents of Bethlehem Neighborhood and Roosevelt Apartments are invited to volunteer and enjoy lunch that afternoon.
In 2017 Dwelling Place opened a 50-unit affordable housing development, Roosevelt Apartments (the former Roosevelt Elementary School), at 525 West Summit in Muskegon Heights. The apartments utilize just over half of the block, and the remaining green space was left unused. The idea to create a senior exercise park surfaced out of conversations with Muskegon Heights Mayor Kimberly Sims. Dwelling Place agreed to explore the potential for development of the vacant land for a landscaped walking path and outdoor exercise equipment that was targeted at seniors residing in the area. Dwelling Place will own the park and assume responsibility for routine maintenance.
A member of the Bethlehem Park Neighborhood Association, Dwelling Place has partnered on several neighborhood initiatives, including capital improvements to the Association’s pocket park on Summit Avenue, multiple community events and several volunteer home improvement initiatives for nearby, low-income neighbors.
The Republic Services grant of $50,000 covers half of the cost, and Dwelling Place is seeking support to cover the remaining $52,792 gap. Some charitable contributions have been made, and interested donors can invest in the Park at dwellingplacegr.org/donate.