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NFC Recognition


October 15, 2015 - Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association Grassroots Initiative Award

The path to a reimagined Birdland has been long and challenging at times, but the dedication and steady leadership by the neighborhood and City officials has paid off.  The Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized the Union Park Neighborhood Association and Parks Area Foundation for their leadership of the Birdland Area Redevelopment Plan and presented them with the 2015 Grassroots Initiative Award.   We received a beautiful trophy and a Certificate of Award to put in our display case.  The award also was mentioned in the Fall 2015 City Source newsletter.  This is a well-deserved honor for everyone involved.


October 19, 2011 - Union Park Neighborhood Group of the Year

The Union Park Neighborhood Association received the  Neighborhood Group of the Year Award at the East Des Moines Chamber fall Celebration of Progress Dinner on October 19, 2011 at Valley View Village 2571 Guthrie AVE.  Each fall, the East Des Moines Chamber hosts the Celebration of Progress to showcase new and upcoming commercial developments on the East Side, to celebrate the success of Chamber member businesses, and to raise funds for annual scholarships given to East High, North High and Grand View University students. The event celebrates the community spirit in East Des Moines by recognizing the outstanding contributions of its volunteers and neighborhoods.


May 4, 2010 - Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC)

Union Park Neighborhood Association was recognized with a plaque for its significant support of the Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) at a standing room only reception during its 20th Anniversary Celebration on May 4, 2010 at the Pappajohn Education Center.  For 20 years, the NFC has worked with Des Moines area neighborhoods in their missions to revitalize and strengthen their neighborhood by providing funding. 

Neighborhood Finance Corporation plaqueThe award was presented by Holly Olson, Executive Director of NFC.  She noted that the Union Park Neighborhood is one of the top neighborhoods in the amount NFC has loaned for the past 20 years. Through April 30, 2010, NFC has originated $18,959,785 in loans and grants in Union Park.  ($16,122,333 is loans for repayment and $2,837,452 are forgivable loans).  The $18,959,785 translates to approximately 9.5% of all NFC loans.  She said that Union Park’s award was very well-deserved.   

She continued to say “Your neighborhood’s ability to get the word out on the program has really contributed to the success we have seen there.  The City and County are very excited about neighborhoods who take advantage of the NFC program, as with every loan, there is neighborhood revitalization.  We look forward to working with Union Park for many years to come.”

In 20 years, NFC has loaned $200 million to 3600 housing units in 27 neighborhoods.  Loans are two-part - a mortgage and a forgivable portion. NFC now allows properties to utilize $10,000 of forgivable money every 10 years.  Therefore, if someone got a NFC loan more than 10 years ago, they can return for the opportunity to utilize more forgivable funds. 


February 17, 2009 - Union Park Neighborhood Group of the Year

Neighborhood Group of the Year 2009East Des Moines Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner on February 17, 2009 at Copper Creek Golf Club.  The Union Park Neighborhood Association was recognized as Neighborhood Group of the Year for accomplishments in 2008.  In addition to UPNA’s ongoing yearly activities, UPNA was instrumental in the response to and the recovery from the Floods of 2008 that devastated the Birdland area.  UPNA began the process with the City to redevelop residential housing in Birdland after the levee is reconstructed. UPNA forged an alliance with parks area neighborhood associations, along with the Downtown Des Moines Kiwanis to promote improvements in the area, stage ongoing summer concert events at Riverview Island and promote a positive image of our neighborhoods. Nominees are considered based on the organization’s exemplary leadership in tackling neighborhood issues, bringing neighbors together, creating community cohesiveness, supporting neighbors and working cooperatively with government and other entities to accomplish its goals.