Welcome to the SNOW Block Alley!

The alley – which we call the SNOW Block because we are Slightly North of Washington school – has undergone a complete transformation. What used to be home to primarily weeds and junk that we didn’t know what else to do with it, is now lined with trellises, raised beds, and rain barrels; espaliered fruit trees, berries, and tomatoes. A basketball hoop was installed and the sound of thump, thump, thump was followed by cheers or groans of shots made or missed. Patio furniture was dragged out into the alley accompanied by big bowls of buttery popcorn to be shared while movies were shown on the side of a garage on warm summer evenings. Fall brings pumpkin carving and a chili cook-off as a precursor to Halloween night. Little ghouls and goblins are redirected from front doors to a fully decorated alley to reap the benefits of multiple candy stations and burn barrels to take the chill off.

What was a vision for a garden had turned into something much bigger. Neighbors became friends and our block became a micro-community.

easy garden trellis

Having an idea is one thing but bringing it to fruition is a whole other can of worms. If it wasn't for the sponsors that supported our alley project and our vision right from the beginning I can easily say it would have never happened. It would have simply been cost...

let there be light

When we were sitting around dreaming of all the alley could be, lighting was definitely part of the discussion. Several of us on the block ride our bikes as a main form of transportation in the nicer months and I can't tell you how many times I've hit a pothole in the...

alley beautification project: some inspiration

When I started dreaming of the alley project, I had no shortage of ideas of cool things to do but I always like to see what is already out there. What someone else has done. So I went to my go-to (Google) and starting combing the web. Most of the search results...

it’s a little embarrassing

It's a little embarrassing to show the alley project "before" pictures – or what is actually our "current". While a lot of exciting progress is being made on the project, it's hard to convey it in an exciting way as it's all still in the conceptual stages. I can...

the alley plaza

The neighbors had so much fun at our inaugural get together, we almost immediately started planning our next community event. Even though I'm just now in the spring starting to write about our alley beautification project, and the process behind it, the vision started...

a sense of community

In my first post I described how the vision for the alley beautification project came into being. But before I got too far ahead of myself, the next step was to put together an outline and see whether the neighbors thought it was as good of an idea as I did. This...

the alley beautification project

It all started about this time last year. I was just looking for a home for some blackberries and the best solution happened to be along the garage in the alley. You can read all about that fateful project here. What came out of that has grown much bigger than the...