With City’s New Block Party Trailer, Neighborhoods Have All They Need to Get The Party Started

Articles Block Party Trailer 06-13-16

Neighbors on Echols Street, located near UTA, are the first to use the City’s Block Party Trailer to help make their event a success.

LaKeshia Walker wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when she organized her Echols Street neighborhood block party for for the sixth year in a row.

She’d assigned various tasks to neighbors and had chosen the theme for this year’s event – favorite football teams – a long time ago.

But when Walker went to the City of Arlington’s Community Development and Planning Department to register her event, just like she had every other year, she said she was pleasantly surprised by two new changes.

“We didn’t need to pay the $40 registration fee this year and I was told that the City now had a trailer that we could reserve for free over the weekend that had lots of supplies and equipment we could use,” Walker said.

Walker and her Echols Street neighbors are the first group to use the City’s new Block Party Trailer, which is an enclosed trailer that contains tables, chairs, coolers, ice chests, barricades to block off the street and even games for kids to play. City workers even dropped it off right in front of her house the day before their event and picked it up after it was over.

“The Block Party Trailer is a component of the City’s Neighborhood Program, which provides resources to neighborhoods to improve their communities,” said Senior Planner Sarah Stubblefield. “We wanted to start the Block Party Trailer because fellowship with neighbors is a critical ingredient to building up communities, and, unlike some of our other programs which can be longer-term projects, the Block Party Trailer is solely about making it easy for neighbors to get out and get to know each other.”

Numerous studies, including a recent one completed by researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale University found that the more closely knit a neighborhood is, the less exposure to violence they had. Community activities like block parties also improve communication among neighbors while forging trust and cooperation.

The Block Party Trailer is available to reserve for free for any registered neighborhood group.

“The Neighborhood Network is a way that the Community Development and Planning Department gets information about what’s going on in the City, and any neighborhood can register by visiting www.arlington-tx.gov/cdp/neighborhoods.

Articles-Block-Party-Trailer-5-10-16

To reserve the Block Party Trailer, neighborhoods should submit a completed application to the City’s Community Development and Planning Department at least seven days prior to the event. Applications can be found at www.arlingtontx.gov/blockparty.

There is only one Block Party Trailer, so it’s available to neighborhoods on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Stubblefield.

As to how much use the trailer gets, only time will tell. But Walker thinks that it will be very popular.

“No matter how much you plan or how long you’ve been having block parties, you always miss something, the little details,” said Walker. “The trailer has a lot of supplies that you don’t even think you need until you need them.”