CHARLOTTE, NC – Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges, recognized 70 Charlotte area citizens and organizations for their innovative work to address the region’s environmental, economic, and social issues. Awards were presented to eleven of them in front of a crowd of over 250 at the Third Annual Community Sustainability Awards + Earth Day Celebration on Tuesday, April 22 at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Building in Uptown. 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 John Autry, David Howard, Patsy Kinsey, Vi Lyles, and LaWana Mayfield, as well as Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham were in attendance.
Councilmember Autry welcomed the audience of 270 saying: “It’s wonderful to have a partner like Sustain Charlotte -- an organization you can count on for accurate information, strong advocacy, and a passion for a sustainable community.”
Ashley Batey of WBTV served as Master of Ceremonies. The keynote speaker was Alicia Roskind, founder and owner of Okra Yoga, Massage, Tea & Coffee in Plaza Midwood. Roskind spoke about the importance of vision and intention as Charlotte moves toward a more sustainable future, saying: "The 2030 Vision of Sustainability laid the foundation of possibility and created an open invitation for others in the Charlotte community to create, dream, and inspire change. And those people being honored tonight accepted this invitation, whether knowing it or not, through having their own unique, individual visions for themselves, Charlotte, and the world."
Sustain Charlotte Founder and Executive Director Shannon Binns told the audience, “The first Earth Day was celebrated forty-four years ago today on April 22, 1970 and activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life. We are all just a few of the one billion people who are participating in an Earth Day event today, making it the largest civic observance in the world. The tremendous turnout this evening is a testament to our region’s growing awareness and commitment to caring for that which sustains us, and those who will come after us.”
Award nominations were made via an online form open to the public in each of nine categories similar to those included in ‘Charlotte 2030: A Sustainable Vision for Our Region’ for organizations, plus two additional award categories for individuals. The 11 categories and this year’s winners are:
Transportation: Charlotte Department of Transportation
Land Use: Charlotte Center City Partners
Energy: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
Waste Reduction: Eaton Corporation
Air Quality: Clean Air Carolina
Food: Go-Go Fresco
Social Equity: MGR Charlotte
Water: Charlotte Public Tree Fund
Sustainable Economy: PPRE Forevergreen
Outstanding Educator: Cindy Moss of Discovery Education
Oustanding Overall Leader: David Walters of UNC Charlotte Urban Institute