Rebuilding Together in Columbus Park

Park and neighborhood revitalized

Rebuilding Together in Columbus Park

Polk County, Meredith Corporation and Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines joined forces for the past two years in revitalizing the Columbus Park neighborhood on Des Moines’ south side. Volunteers repaired homes, installed playground equipment, and spruced up the Bellizzi MacRae American Legion Hall. 

“We decided to return to the Columbus Park neighborhood for a second year in the fall of 2013 because we accomplished so much during last year’s project, but we knew there was more work to do,” said Mell Meredith, Chairman of the Meredith Corporation Foundation and Vice Chair of the National Rebuilding Together Board.  “We developed great relationships with the residents when we were there, and we look forward to going back.”

Teams of volunteers worked on five single-family houses in the neighborhood between SE 1st and SE 5th Streets. Improvements will include remodeling homes to be handicap accessible, replacing siding, painting and landscaping.

“One of the main goals of Rebuilding Together is to make vital improvements that allow residents to stay in their homes,” said Kimberly Hansen, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines.  “Meredith volunteers have significantly improved the lives of hundreds of Des Moines residents every year.”

A team of volunteers made extensive improvements to Columbus Park, including the installation of playground equipment.  Another team helped paint the exterior of the Bellizzi MacRae American Legion Hall.

Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines is one of the 200 Rebuilding Together affiliates that preserve affordable home ownership and revitalizes communities nationwide.  In the past 19 years, Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines has organized more than 19,000 volunteers who have repaired or rehabilitated more than 1,750 homes, along with more than a dozen city parks, public spaces, and non-profit facilities.  The result is $8.8 million in added market value to Des Moines homes and neighborhoods.