Charlotte Reconnecting Ourselves with Nature (CROWN) (First Place Winner )
Mission: to educate & engage the citizens of the greater Charlotte region about the benefits of wildlife friendly communities. Only 2 yrs. old, CROWN has offered 25+ free community programs, workshops, hikes, & a National Wildlife Federation certified Habitat Steward training class. Also, a total of 84 new area homes, churches, schools & businesses have been certified as NWF Wildlife Habitats. Hundreds of home owners, teachers & businesses now understand the connection human activity has with the natural world. We promote the importance of actively protecting quality greens space, the importance of native plants in the landscape & scientific importance of tree canopy to human health. Programs reminds us we are stewards of this earth & that what we do (or don’t do) in our landscapes has a direct effect on our own health & wellbeing. As a result, the National Wildlife Federation certified Charlotte a “Wildlife Friendly Community”, the 2nd largest city in the US to earn this designation.
Land Design (Second Place Winner )
I think Land Design does a great job helping shape the built environment through the projects they design for both the public and private sphere. Romare Bearden Park is an outstanding example of such a project. What had formerly been dead space in the heart of uptown is now a wonderful public park with an incredible view of the Charlotte skyline that had never been revealed before. The layout of the park itself is very inviting for multiple uses from picnics to Frisbee, and is very well integrated with both the old Latta Arcade and the new baseball stadium.
Little (Third Place Winner )
Little is deeply committed to sustainable design. Sustainable design is no longer the exception. It’s the norm. Little's belief in environmental responsibility dates back more than 10 years ago, when we employed the first LEED Accredited Professional in North Carolina and served as the architect of record for the nation’s first sustainable living/learning center. Today, this commitment includes more than 80 LEED certified projects, over 100 LEED Accredited Professionals, active engagement with the 2030 Challenge and a focus on initiatives that support Net Zero buildings.
Little focuses on designing sites that meld with the existing environment, utilizing strategies including bio-retention basins and natural channels to filter storm water before it is returned to eco-system, and designing porous pavements that reduce the need for large basins. We are also strong advocates for walkable and rideable communities that encourage people to get out of their vehicles.
Davidson Lands Conservancy
The primary role of the Davidson Lands Conservancy is to assist landowners who wish to conserve their land and DLC holds conservation easements on five properties and assists in the stewardship of several others owned by Mecklenburg County and the Town of Davidson. Additionally, DLC has successfully advocated for public acquisition of significant properties totaling over 650 acres as parklands that protect some of the areas most outstanding natural assets including nature preserves, passive parks, and greenways. We have incubated community efforts for a farmers market, nature education, and tree canopy protection
Locust Town Center team
Locust Town Center is the heart of one of America's great small hometowns - rich in history and family traditions - with a new vision for preserving and promoting "the good life" and sharing what really matters most to people.
With open arms, Locust Town Center welcomes its visitors, new friends and future residents, who've always wanted to live, work and enjoy a place they can call home, with wonderful amenities and an active, but relaxed lifestyle that only a small city, like Locust, can offer.
Park Crossing Owners Association
Park Crossing is a large neighborhood of over 600 homes. The biggest challenge has been getting large-scale support for sustainability initiatives. In 2013, residents revised homeowners association covenants to promote sustainability and presented them to the board. The neighborhood has also set goals to increase participation in curbside recycling to 90% and reduce water use by 10% in 30 homes.
Revolution Park Neighborhood
Revolution Park set a goal of improving existing homes and reducing the number of abandoned homes in the neighborhood. They assisted with the improvement of 3 homes and vacant lots in 2013. Other goals that the neighborhood is working toward as part of its Sustainable Vision Plan include increasing access to healthy, local food by establishing a carpool or vanpool, and lowering energy usage by 10% in 50% of homes.
Sun Raised Farms
Sun Raised Farms is a collection of farmers across North Carolina who use sheep to manage the vast grazing areas under and around solar installations. Instead of wasting money on fossil fuels, chemicals, and mowing machines Sun Raised Farms invests in local farmers and their sheep to do the ground maintenance and look after the land. The local farmers raise healthy hormone and pesticide free sheep on the grounds of the solar farms. The sheep graze and keep the grass down during the growing season so the grass and weeds don't shade the solar panels.