FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 www.sustaincharlotte.org/initiatives.
This program was funded by a grant from Wells Fargo.
ABOUT SUSTAIN CHARLOTTE
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 www.sustaincharlotte.org.
Meg Fencil, Education and Outreach Director