About Us

About Creston Neighborhood Association

The Creston Neighborhood Association formed in the late 1970s when a group of neighbors rallied together to save Briggs Pool. As the story goes, the City of Grand Rapids wanted to close Briggs Pool because attendance was down. Neighbors said people didn’t want to swim in the pool because the water was always cold. The floor of the pool was in such disrepair that it had crumbled to sand. Because of the leaks, the pool was constantly refilling with cold water. Neighborhood leaders organized school kids and their families and residents throughout Creston to advocate for the pool to be repaired. They succeeded and the pool was saved!

Since the Creston Neighborhood Association became incorporated in 1979, neighbors have continued to rally together to shape their home community by preserving what is good and changing what needs to change. Through the Creston Neighborhood Association, Creston neighbors:

 

  • Kept a Grand Rapids Public Library branch in the heart of Creston –now the VanBelkum library
  • Kept a credit union in the neighborhood when the last bank left 
  • Supported strong neighborhood schools by organizing parents and safe routes to school
  • Collaborated with partners to create Catherine’s Health Center
  • Pursued the Main Street Model for a strong business district and organized business owners to renew our business district
  • Brought many entities together to build bioretention islands on Plainfield–the first of their kind in Grand Rapids
  • Led efforts for “Living Green in Creston” by organizing residents to care for playgrounds and natural resources at our public parks, create an urban orchard at Aberdeen Park and facilitate opportunities to care for our environment.

 

 

What Do We Do?

We cultivate a neighborhood culture of care for our environment.

How?

  • Native plant education and perennial exchange
  • Advocacy for green infrastructure
  • Partnerships between neighbors and City of Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

We create neighbors.

How?

  • Organize block parties
  • Communicate neighborhood news and events
  • Safety education
  • Community events

We organize residents to have a voice land use and development.

How?

  • We organize neighbors voices to affect projects in our community, ensuring that neighbors have a say in the future of our neighborhood.
  • We coordinate leadership development so that residents can learn about current issues and best practices in housing affordability, public transportation, sustainable land use, workforce development and more.
  • A committee of residents meets monthly to hear presentations about proposed developments and provide feedback based on neighborhood priorities.

We facilitate equitable civic engagement.

How?

  • Organize opportunities for neighbors to learn about City initiatives
  • Provide leadership training
  • Help neighbors connect to opportunities for public service and volunteering

Our CNA Staff

Board of Directors:

Nick Dobkowski – President

Ric Maycroft – Vice President

Carol Carr – Treasurer

Stephen Wooden

Jim Howe

Kristina Colby

Mandi Michielsen

 

Staff:

Megan Kruis – Executive Director

Kymie Spring – Community Organizer

Sue Caps – Executive Assistant

Why Creston?

  • Schools
    • Elementary and montessori schools along with Creston MIddle & High School – (https://www.grps.org/city) City High Middle School is ranked in the top 5% of all Michigan schools on combined measures of student achievement and growth over time. It has been ranked among the top high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report for four consecutive years. City is also ranked as the top high school in the county by the Mackinac Center.
  • Accessable
    • Less than 10 minutes ( 3 miles) from downtown Grand Rapids
    • Easy access to freeways US-131, I-196, I-96
    • Bike Lanes 
    • Sidewalks 
    • Public transportation
  • Parks
    • Briggs
    • Briggs Pool
    • Riverside Park 
    • Huff Park
    • Aberdeen w/ splashpad
  • Local Businesses and neighborhoods
    • North Quarter (https://northquartergr.com/)
    • Noted as up and coming
    • Over 100 active volunteers through CNA
    • Thriving neighborhoods and business corredors:
      Restaurants, Brewing, Lions and Rabbits, Kingmas, Massage, Yoga, Credit Unions / banks, etc.
    • Urban farming – New City Neighbors?
    • Churches (Berean, 2nd Congregational, 4th Reformed, Creston CRC, St. Andrews, etc.)

 

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