Better Block DRAFT Project Plan

We're hard at work sketching out the details of the Better Block Project for this fall. Andrew Howard of Team Better Block created an overall concept plan for us. Now volunteers and the Bethel Revitalization Initiative are walking Main Street and looking closely at every opportunity for projects or improvements to our downtown. We've created a draft map with potential project ideas, and our next steps are to refine it and finalize plans.

We'll do that by: 

  • talking with property and business owners to find out whether/how they would like to be involved
  • running ideas by the town government and leaders to make sure they work for Bethel
  • having project teams evaluate all the ideas and choose the projects that are most exciting and feasible

Draft Project Map

Here's what we're considering for Better Block project activities and improvements. Do you have another idea for Better Block? Want to help make one of these happen? Find out how to get involved!


The Better Block project will transform downtown Bethel... in a weekend! Help make our downtown safer, more attractive and more livable.

  • Better Block is a nationally-renowned process for revitalizing downtowns and blocks, starting with temporary changes and projects. 
  • Bethel was selected by AARP of Vermont to host a Better Block project in 2016 - receiving $15,000 in technical assistance and resources.
  • We're working with Andrew Howard of Better Block, AARP and other partners to identify specific projects to test & try, like pop-up shops, temporary bike lanes and intersection improvements, benches and parklets, beautification projects and more. 


How do you build a Better Block? With lots of temporary paint, pallets, and volunteer labor. Read more about the specific projects and plans for Bethel.


Everyone who is willing! This project is a true community effort, organized by the Bethel Revitalization Initiative in conjunction with:

  • Many, MANY, many community partners, volunteers and supporters
  • Town of Bethel, Vermont
  • AARP of Vermont (funding and technical support)
  • Andrew Howard of Team Better Block
  • State & regional partners including Agency of Commerce & Community Development, Two Rivers-Ottauguechee Regional Commission, Department of Health, Community Workshop, BALE, White River Chamber of Commerce and more.

Want to get involved? Have an idea? Give us a shout!


September 30- October 2, 2016.

  • Community forum and planning sessions June 29-30
  • Community build & prep workshops in September
  • Demonstration weekend of October 1-2, in conjunction with the Bethel Community Forward Fest


Main Street in Bethel, from the Town Hall to Mills Hardware. 


We love our town, and it's pretty great. But there are always things that could be better, and it doesn't have to take years to make changes. Better Block will help us see how great downtown can be and test out potential changes.

Join us and help find creative ways to:

  • Improve safety for walking, biking AND driving
  • Encourage new businesses and services
  • Give people a reason to stop - and stay
  • Increase activities and gathering places
  • Improve access to the river and town assets
  • Restore, repair and clean up historic buildings
  • Make downtown more walkable and livable for youth, elders, families, and all!