September 7, 2012

embRACE theSTREET Better Block Project

For the past several months, Riverside neighbors, property owners, business owners, artists, and other creative-thinking, community-minded individuals, have been preparing for embRACE theSTREET; a grassroots DIY Urbanism project based on the Build a Better Block model. embRACE theSTREET will showcase the potential Race Street has to become a vibrant public space where neighbors and visitors gather to shop, eat, walk, bicycle and enjoy the authentic character of some of Fort Worth’s oldest neighborhoods.

embRACE theSTREET takes place Saturday, September 8th from 11 AM ‘till 9 PM and Sunday, September 9th from 11 AM ‘till 3PM. Centered on the 2800 block of Race Street, the area will be transformed into a walkable district with a community garden, outdoor market for local artists and artisans, food trucks, pocket dog park, redesigned streetscape with bicycle lanes, street performers, public art, music and art activities. Existing businesses on the street will be open, with the addition of art galleries and a bookstore/cafĂ© located in existing vacant spaces.

Race Street is located in Six Points Urban Village, one of sixteen urban villages in Fort Worth poised for revitalization and economic growth. embRACE theSTREET is a small-scale picture of a larger vision to bring changes to the area that, in the long term, strengthen the economy, provide jobs, and build strong neighborhoods.

Dallas’s Oak Cliff area was home to the first Better Block project in 2010. Since then, numerous Better Block projects have taken place across the country, each one created by dedicated individuals with a passion for improving livability in their communities.

For more information visit embRACE theSTREET  and  Better Block

Pocket parks are popping up in vacant lots between downtown buildings, neighborhood residences, and even in parking spaces. They offer a splash of green where people are welcome to meet their neighbors, make new friends, or just spend time relaxing. A place where “dogs and humans alike can socialize and enjoy their surroundings."

I knew immediately I wanted to be involved with the dog park, but will admit I was a bit surprised when I was asked to be the lead. I got to work to involve several community organizations that help the dogs and their humans. Securing Apollo Support & Rescue, Don't Forget to Feed Me, Community Pet Outreach, DFW Beagle Buddies and Red Jett Sweets gives a nice mix to the event. Whether you are looking to adopt, foster, donate, vaccinate or mingle, there's a place for you. The dog park itself will have a swimming pool, plenty of cold water troughs, balls and frisbees and some cool yard art from A Piece of Work and the talented Jennye James (and her mom Leslie). Thank you also to Russell Feed & Supply for their generous donation to the dog park. Note: the groups in the dogpark will be there on Saturday from 11-4 and Sunday 11-3.

I can't wait to see how the weekend unfolds, it has been such a rewarding experience over the last couple of months getting to know so many people in and around my neighborhood. I am really looking forward to watching this community grow as Riverside Arts District blossoms.

Expect about 44 vendors selling their goods this weekend including Etsy Fort Worth's Bespangled Jewelry, JML Photoworks and Red Dog Barkery. Food trucks, art exhibits at Fringe Art Studio and the Work Room, live music, even live chickens.

Come see us, the weather sounds perfect.  Bring the kids and don't forget the dog!

This post was written by Mindi at Red Dog Barkery. Visit her Etsy shop for durable, yet fashionable goods, or her blog for bits that are sure to whet your appetite.