Better Block Akron’s inaugural neighborhood event will take place May 15 through 17. The “Temple Square” block in North Hill (the intersection of Cuyahoga Falls Avenue and North Main Street) will be adorned with temporary landscaping, bicycle lanes and popup businesses in currently empty storefronts, along with live music, art, an open air market and a number of other attractions.
The Rev. Carl P. Wallace, from Trinity United Church of Christ, shares his perspective of working on this event from the “heart of the community.”
How did you get involved?
I was invited to attend a North Hill Community leaders meeting at our library, near the church, where the Better Block project was presented. I was so pleased to see more than 50 people packed the initial meeting.
Why did you get involved?
Our church’s (Trinity UCC) motto is, “At the heart of the community with the community at its heart.” It was the right thing to do when you have the mission of the church behind you. Knowing what a truly positive project this is and hearing about the success from Texas, our involvement was a no brainier. I love it when positive people come together for positive things and the result is a more positive community.
Why should people attend?
To experience the transformative power of a community coming together for the benefit of the whole. Someone said, “It’s beautiful when a plan comes together.” This is beautiful! How beautiful to witness an entire block being transformed in three days. Something spiritual about that.
What does this program mean to you?
The personal joy I receive by witnessing the entire North Hill Community coming together regardless of race, culture, greed or socioeconomic status. There is no place in the world like North Hill.
What does it mean to North Hill?
It is always good to see change that lifts up the positive aspects. More people will now see firsthand what it means to be an example of Dr. Kings’s beloved community. We are putting the entire city on notice: if we can all get along on North Hill we can all get along!
What will it mean for other neighborhoods?
Something to strive for!