Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. We inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.  LEARN MORE

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    RELEASE: Sustain Charlotte Helps Five Neighborhoods Launch Sustainability Projects


    JUNE 15, 2015

    Sustain Charlotte Helps Five Neighborhoods Launch Sustainability Projects

    Charlotte, NC - Through its Sustainable Neighborhoods Program, the nonprofit organization Sustain Charlotte engaged five low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in projects to improve community sustainability throughout 2013 and 2014. Residents attended visioning and implementation workshops where they brainstormed their neighborhoods’ most urgent challenges. They considered a variety of issues including water use, energy use, waste and recycling, transportation, healthy food access, and land use.

    Sustain Charlotte compiled resident input and a list of community resources into a Sustainable Vision Plan for each neighborhood. After residents agreed on sustainability priorities, each neighborhood developed a hands-on project and organized volunteers to execute it with financial support of $500 per neighborhood from Sustain Charlotte. Examples of completed projects include:

    • The Wilmore neighborhood designed, constructed, and planted an edible walkway with fruit and nut trees, vegetables, and herbs. When mature, the plants will provide food and educational opportunities to residents and visitors. Residents also secured additional project funding from Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful.

    • The Starmount neighborhood hosted a water conservation educational campaign and presentation from Charlotte Water staff. Residents received a water conservation kit including a low-flow showerhead and faucet aerators.

    • Young adult immigrants in East Charlotte developed a recreational soccer program for their peers living in apartment properties to address the lack of open outdoor spaces and fitness opportunities  in their neighborhood. The project was organized by Neighborhood Good Samaritan Center, a nonprofit serving recent immigrants and refugees.

    • The Reid Park neighborhood kicked off a youth mentorship program for middle and high school students by organizing a neighborhood street and stream bank clean-up. Youth and adults collected 900 gallons of trash, 450 gallons of recyclables, and two truckloads of bulk waste. Rickey Hall, President of the Reid Park Neighborhood Association, said, “Sustain Charlotte didn’t just come in and tell the neighborhood what to do. This process allowed the residents to talk about what the challenges are in Reid Park, and we decided that this was important to do.”

    The overall goal of this program is to improve long-term quality of life in Charlotte’s neighborhoods by educating, engaging, and inspiring residents to become sustainability leaders within their communities. Sixteen neighborhoods throughout the city currently participate in Sustain Charlotte’s Sustainable Neighborhoods Program. For more information and to view Sustainable Vision Plans for each neighborhood, visit

    This program was funded by a grant from Wells Fargo.


    Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. We inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.

    To volunteer or donate, visit


    Meg Fencil, Education and Outreach Director

    Sustain Charlotte

    phone: 704-968-2187



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    Sustain Charlotte Seeks a Full-Time Bicycle Program Manager

    Applications accepted through June 15, 2015

    Position Summary

    Sustain Charlotte is looking for an energetic Bicycle Program Manager with a passion and talent for fostering collaboration to accomplish shared goals. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Bicycle Program Manager will develop and manage a two-year initiative to build relationships and foster collaboration among the various organizations who offer cycling events and programs in the Charlotte area, assist with publicizing these activities, and establish Sustain Charlotte as the hub organization for information related to cycling. The Bicycle Program Manager will also assist in securing funding via grants and membership to support these activities beyond the initial two-year period.

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    Sustain Charlotte Hosts Sustainability Discussion with Latin American Visitors

    Sustain Charlotte staff and board members met with eight Latin American professionals on Wednesday to discuss ideas for implementing sustainability programs in urban areas. We shared the story of why our Executive Director Shannon Binns founded Sustain Charlotte five years ago. Then we explained the goals and strategies for each of our major programs and initiatives. As we reviewed land cover maps showing how sprawl has dramatically altered our regional landscape over the past 40 years, several visitors shared that their countries or regions are also facing similar challenges. Poor land use decisions, over-dependence on private vehicles, and short-sighted planning are not problems unique to the United States. 


    Sustain Charlotte staff and board members discussed sustainability with Latin American visitors.

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    Exciting news at our May Monthly Mixer!

    Just when you thought our Monthly Mixer couldn't get any better, we're making it happen! Beginning in June, we'll combine our monthly networking event with Green Drinks Charlotte. We're all excited about this merger of the two events since we know it'll mean more chances for YOU to expand your network of new friends who care about sustainability! The format will remain similar and you'll still see all of the Sustain Charlotte staff and volunteers, but we'll also be joined by volunteers and current attendees of Green Drinks Charlotte.

    We can't imagine a better opportunity to invite your friends, family, and colleagues to our new event! Stay tuned to our social media (Facebook and Twitter) and your email for an announcement about the date and location of the next mixer.


    More than 45 people came to mingle and to hear what we're working on!


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    Sustain Charlotte Announces Winners of 2015 Awards




    CHARLOTTE, NC – Sustain Charlotte, a local nonprofit dedicated to educating, engaging, and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges, recognized 100 Charlotte area citizens and organizations for their innovative work to advance the region’s sustainability. Awards were presented to thirty-one winners in front of a crowd of 350 at the Sustain Charlotte Awards + Earth Day Celebration on April 22  (Earth Day) at the Historic Palmer Building in East Charlotte. Local nonprofits, government agencies, businesses, and neighborhood associations were recognized for helping to advance ‘Charlotte 2030:  A Sustainable Vision for Our Region’, which Sustain Charlotte launched in 2010. The Earth Day Network recognized the celebration as an official Earth Day event.

    Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter and City Council Members Alvin Austin, John Autry, Vi Lyles, Greg Phipps,Patsy Kinsey, and LaWana Mayfield, as well as Mecklenburg County CommissionerPat Cotham and Trevor Fuller were in attendance. Terri Bennett, Co-Founder of Do Your Part® served as Master of Ceremonies.  

    Sustain Charlotte Founder and Executive Director Shannon Binns welcomed the audience saying, “Regardless of religion, race, or political boundaries, what unites us all is our shared dependence on this planet: for food, for energy, for water, for air – for everything that sustains us. On this 45th Earth Day, we come together to lift up those who are leading the way to making our community sustainable so that 45 years from now, our children, nieces, and nephews will enjoy at least the same health and prosperity that we enjoy today, if not more.” 

    Awards were presented to three organizations in each of eight categories: Land Use, Sustainable Economy, Energy, Food, Waste Reduction, Social Equity, Transportation, and Water. Also, three individuals were recognized as Outstanding Leaders. This year’s winners are:

    Category Winning Individual or Organization
      1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
    Energy Envision Charlotte Alliance for Climate Education JLL & Goddard School of Rock Hill
    Food Green Teacher Network Society of St. Andrew - Charlotte area modPALEO & Atherton Market (tie)
    Land Use Charlotte Reconnecting Ourselves With Nature (CROWN) Land Design Little
    Social Equity Youth Development Initiatives Universal Institute for Successful Aging of Carolinas & MeckMin (tie) Little
    Transportation B-cycle/Charlotte Center City Partners Charlotte Spokes People Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association
    Sustainable Economy Centralina Council of Governments Project for innovation, Energy & Sustainability (PiES) Naturally Clean & USGBC North Carolina (tie)
    Waste Reduction Central Piedmont Community College Grier Heights Community Improvement Organization Enderly Park Neighborhood Association
    Water Autobell Car Wash Charlotte Water Commonwealth-Morningside Neighborhood Association
    Outstanding Leader Terry Lansdell Monica Embrey Jaime Emerson

    Event sponsors included:  Charlotte Magazine, Boingo Graphics, Mecklenburg County, Plan Ahead Events - South Charlotte, Hannah Solar, O2 Energies, Belk, TreeCycle America, Sean Busher Imagery, Blumenthal Foundation, S&D Coffee, Duke Energy Foundation, Solar Solution, NC Sustainable Energy Association, Healthy Home Market, Charlotte Green Team, McGuireWoods, Whole Foods Market, Cruise Carts, Clean Air Carolina, Habitat for Humanity Charlotte ReStore, TapSnap, Zippy Shell, and NC GreenPower.

    For more information on the event, visit the event website or contact Sustain Charlotte. 

    Sustain Charlotte is a nonprofit organization helping to advance a region-wide sustainability movement by serving as a catalyst for change.  Our mission is to inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.  Visit for more.


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