Bethlehem Neighborhood Association
Bethlehem Neighborhood Park Association is not the first entity to serve our community as a neighborhood association. It was preceded by the Muskegon Heights Neighborhood Association (MHNA) affiliated with a community activist organization, the Michigan Organizing Project. That association was headquartered at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. It was incorporated and subsequently dissolved. The MHNA was followed by Bethlehem Community Organization (not incorporated). In 1997 the community was surveyed to identify needs, and repeatedly the need for a safe children’s play ground and a community gathering place were identified. A coalition of neighbors, churches, community groups, and businesses began planning and raising funds for the current park which includes playground equipment, a walking track and a large pavilion. In 2001 the Bethlehem Neighborhood Park Association was incorporated. We are a 501-c tax exempt organization.
Our articles of incorporation charge us to build and maintain a community park and to undertake other similar community development and improvement projects in Muskegon Heights. We are at all times to be operated exclusively for charitable purposes.
We continue to partner with community organizations and institutions, among them Harvest Time Church, Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids (Roosevelt Apartments, Cadillac Club of Muskegon, Republic Services, the City of Muskegon Heights, and others). We have had a special relationship with the Muskegon Heights Police Department as cosponsors of the annual Nights Out Program. (Nights Out is an effort to enhance and improve the relationship between community members and the police.)