Established in 1978, the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association (RPNA) has worked to make the Roosevelt Park neighborhood a safe, attractive place for residents and businesses alike. Successes include:

  • Built a new playground/basketball courts at Hall School in 1994
  • Built the first Grandville Avenue Neighborhood Library in 1996
  • Built the Grandville Avenue Academy for the Arts in 2001
  • Renovated the old Fire House with the Hispanic Center in 2006
  • Built the Cook Library Center with GA Arts & Humanities in 2008
  • Created an Area Specific Plan approved by the City of GR in 2017

RPNA also runs a community garden, a neighborhood farmer’s market, and a free tool lending library.As well, RPNA’s focus on the Grandville Ave. is seeing results as redevelopment comes to this critical corridor in 2024. Ensuring the success of such initiatives is the RPNA Executive Director and two bilingual Community Organizers.

Their work is made possible through support from the City of Grand Rapids, area foundations and businesses, and YOU! Your support of the CommunityWorks Seed Grant fund has helped RPNA hire its Community Organizers. RPNA organizers are being equipped in the principles and practices of Asset-Based Community Development by Wayne Squires, Grand Rapids Regional Coach and Bates Place Neighbors Executive Director.


Andres is one of the Bilingual Crime Prevention and Community Organizers with Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association (RPNA). Having joined the organization earlier this year, he was motivated by his girlfriend’s passion to be a voice for the most vulnerable.

Andres spends his day listening to neighbors and empowering them to solve local problems. Having been in the role for four months, what he enjoys the most is hearing people’s stories. In his own words, “Neighbors tell and will show you their whole journey. Engaging with the community is precious to me and it makes the streets feel alive. Everyone knows each other and is happy to work together to accomplish stuff in the neighborhood.” He shared that his favorite thing about the neighborhood is how peaceful it is. And yet, it’s also alive with activity as they have neighbors tending to a community garden and planning for two community events this fall.

Amy, RPNA’s Executive Director since 2017, feels the same and has seen the impact the seed grant is having. Amy shared, “The Seed Grant has helped the RPNA build capacity in our bilingual community organizers and to support them through Wayne’s mentorship. This has allowed the RPNA to more effectively integrate Asset-Based Community Development principles in our community engagement work.”