Building a #BetterBlackstone

The grassroots effort aims to revitalize the major road

FRESNO, Calif. - One local organization is working to revitalize a major road in Fresno. Called the Better Blackstone Association, the organization wants a safer and cleaner Blackstone Avenue.

It's a grassroots effort that calls on residents and business owners alike to make a difference.

Run out of Fresno Metro Ministry, Better Blackstone wants to make one of Fresno's busiest corridors the city's next big thing.

Ivan Paz, one of the organization's project managers, is doing that by going door-to-door in the neighborhoods surrounding the road. His goal is to create neighborhood associations, or at least connect neighbors.

"Out of the 30 conversations, 20 people said the same thing," said Paz. "The only problem was they never connected and sometimes they live right across the street from each other."

Better Blackstone works to unite businesses, neighbors, and what they dub as institutions like Manchester Center -- all to make sure they are on the same page for revitalization.

CDC project manager Kelsey McVey said Better Blackstone also wants to help foster new businesses. A program is in development to help new eateries get started.

"We want to create an environment where people can be more successful. Also, make those services available to support those existing businesses," said McVey.

Streetscaping and deterring crime is also high on the list. Paz said Blackstone's mileage definitely ups the potential to get it all done.

"[Blackstone] pulls six out of the seven council districts," he said. "Every one of these six council districts can actually work together for some major citywide change if they wanted to."

To stay up-to-date with all the projects Better Blackstone is doing, you can:

  • Call Fresno Metro Ministry at 559-485-1416
  • Go to their website here.

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