THE FUTURE OF THIS TREASURED SPACE DEPENDS ON YOU.
The Forest Hills Park Save the Pool Campaign is officially underway.
save the pool campaign
The Friends of Forest Hills Park Association has set out to replace the FHPA pool, a treasured community asset located within the Greenbrier neighborhood in Grand Rapids. The Olympic-sized outdoor pool with diving well and children's wading pool is the centerpiece of our 15 acre park. The pool has already surpassed it's lifespan and a structural failure that is beyond repair is imminent. Without substantial intervention, the pool will cease to exist, having a detrimental effect on the surrounding community.
In the fall of 2022, Greenbrier Residents and Pool Members generously pledged over $800,000 toward the $2.9 million pool replacement project. This impressive initial fundraising total provides the confidence needed to move forward with the campaign. Fundraising efforts will be driven by community volunteers and staff of the newly established 501c3, charitable foundation, the Friends of Forest Hills Park Association. In early 2023, residents began payment on pledges. The foundation is currently collecting donations and our fundraising total continues to rise!
"The pool was, and is, the hub of the neighborhood. Always full of friends, family and positivity. To think of it possibly not being there for future generations is just not an option."
- Steve Evert, former resident and pool member
2022 was a pivotal year in the 60 year legacy of the Forest Hills Park Association or "Greenbrier" pool. Community members, under the leadership of the newly formed 501c3 charitable organization, the Friends of Forest Hills Park Association (FHPAF), paved the path forward to replace the pool and clubhouse.
In the Fall of 2022, residents of the Greenbrier neighborhood along with pool members were given the chance to pledge toward the effort— a sort of promise to give a certain amount over a set amount of time. In just a few short weeks, the foundation received pledge commitments totalling over $800,000. This overwhelming initial support gave both the FHPA and FHPAF Board members, along with our non-profit consulting firm, Kennari Consulting, the confidence needed to officially launch the $2.9 million campaign.
With that, the work begins NOW to bolster the support for our project, most importantly to people no longer active at the pool. Why? Because financial support among pool members alone is not going to be enough to fund this project. Former residents & former pool members will be critical. Foundation officials will also request grants and funding from local philanthropists and foundations.
More than $800,000 in pledge commitments
from the current Greenbrier residents and pool members.
847 Greenbrier Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49301
Patti Emelander, President
Linda Mefford, Vice President
Deborah VanBronkhorst, Secretary
Lisa Town, Co-Treasurer
Steve Wilmers, Treasurer
Maggie Lamain, Board Member
Moira Baylog, Executive Director
Sue Radel, Development Director
Newly established 501c3 foundation
The Friends of Forest Hills Park Association's initial priority is to raise the funds needed to replace the pool and clubhouse. The FHPAF is a charitable 501c3 organization started in 2021 as a subsidiary of the Forest Hills Park Association.
The Friends of Forest Hills Park Association's mission is to bring members, neighbors, and the greater community together in a safe, family-friendly environment that aims to provide a source for learning and engagement through lessons, leagues, team oriented sports, and community events – all with the collective goal of helping our community thrive.
The Friends of the Forest Hills Park Association (FHPAF) exists to utilize the Forest Hills Park Association’s pool and park to provide events and amenities, programming, leagues, and educational opportunities. Additionally, the FHPAF, will also lead the fundraising initiative to replace the existing pool.
Why the Time is Now.
This discussion has been ongoing for many years with many generations of Board Members. Now, we have a 501c3 non-profit designation. We have momentum from activating the park and record pool membership. We have a plan. We have urgency.
From 2017-2022 there has been over $50,000 in pool repair costs. Fortunately, these are costs for items that will be re-usable in a new pool. Unfortunately, they are also evidence of the pool and mechanical systems' age.
Deep end leaking crack
Rust chips from pipes
When you walk onto the pool deck on opening day, you may not see the wear-and-tear of the pool. This is because countless hours of work by our Pool Manager and volunteers goes in to making the pool operate and look as good as it can each season. However, these are not long term fixes. Cracks re-appear. Settling from leaking water continues to occur. Gutters continue to crumble.
The photos above are just a few examples. We invite you to come see the state of the pool during work days in the spring. You'll see firsthand why we have urgency.
The Forest Hills Park Association pool has not only been a place for community, fun, and lasting memories for generations, but it directly effects the value of every home in this neighborhood. Whether you're a new or long-time resident, the pool and park was probably one of the biggest reasons you decided to move to this neighborhood. Even if your children are grown and you may not use the pool how you did before, it most likely played a huge role in your family's life.
Just as the original owners of this Plat came together to fund and create this wonderful pool, we now have an opportunity to leave our own legacy and create something for generations to come.