HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER BLOCK

Will Milne

 A large crowd gathered outside of the long-closed Piggly Wiggly yesterday evening to discuss Better Block Denton. 

A large crowd gathered outside of the long-closed Piggly Wiggly yesterday evening to discuss Better Block Denton. 

Last night, several dozen people met outside of the Piggly Wiggly on Sherman Dr. that has been closed since 2009. We're sure that passers-by the parking lot that's been empty (except for when that one cop turns it into a speed trap) were shocked to see so many cars and people in front of the closed down grocery market. The crowd was present for Denton Better Block, a local offshoot of a national organization that seeks to show communities how they can better use their potential. Taken from their website, Better Block "create[s] quick, inexpensive, high-impact changes that improve and revitalize underused properties and highlight the potential for creating great 'Complete Streets.'" Which, as you're well aware, Denton has plenty of need for. After much deliberation, Sherman Dr. was named as the location for Denton's Better Block and we couldn't be happier - we always like to see development/revitalization in Denton that isn't within a two-block radius of the square. 

We went last night to listen to Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard, co-creators of The Better Block, give an introductory speech to interested citizens. They talked about how simple TBB is to set up, how things work, and encouraged folk to get involved. People applauded and then quickly jotted down several ideas (both business and non) they thought would work well in the area. We heard people throw out terms like "splash pads," "dog park," "actually public public art" and even "super awesome grocery store," - and even wrote down a few of our own. Heck, they even ran out of sheets of paper for people to write ideas on! We wanna hear what y'all think would work well at this space. Click the link below to fill out an application, but also tell us in the comments below. Also, hey Thomas and Alphonso from Paschall's Bar, y'all should have a pop-up cocktail bar when this thing goes down - we'll hit it up for sure. I mean how awesome would it be to have a bar with a sweet tree-covered patio in North Denton? 

Read below to see how you can help out and find a cool TED video featuring Jason Roberts. 

 

 Jason Roberts of Better Block Denton and a megaphone. 

Jason Roberts of Better Block Denton and a megaphone. 

 Folks writing down ideas for the block. 

Folks writing down ideas for the block. 

If you missed last night, fret not. There are still many ways you can help coming up. Here's a few we grabbed from their website below: 

  • June 6th 6pm Design Happy Hour (location TBD)
  • June 13th Pop up Shop Applications Due
  • June 20th Sign-Up for Classes/Workshops
  • June 26th & 27th Classes/Workshops (location TBD)
  • June 28th Better Block 9am to 1pm with graduation following at 2pm

We'll make sure to include them (and whatever locations they end up choosing) on the #Den10. 

Also, if you wanna help out (we know you do), Better Block has volunteer forms here, and, even better, if you have a prospective business idea that you can create on the small-scale on Sherman during Denton Better Block, make sure to fill out this application.

 Jason Roberts talks to Denton Community Market's Kati Trice. 

Jason Roberts talks to Denton Community Market's Kati Trice.