Lauren is a rare native Charlottean. Aside from her college years, Lauren has lived in Charlotte for her entire life. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else, nor do I want to,” she says. “Until recently, I’ve taken the city for granted.”
Lauren and her husband are passionate about being active with their kids. Last year, they set a goal of visiting all 41 state parks in North Carolina. Before that, they set a family goal of doing one new hike a week for a year. Both personal challenges opened their eyes to all that Charlotte and the surrounding area have to offer. She blogs about her family’s experiences at BlazeCLT.
They first encountered Sustain Charlotte through last year’s #WalkCLT event. The event encouraged them to do more exploring of the city. “Having grown up here, I thought I was pretty familiar with much of Charlotte, but it’s eye-opening to see what we have,” she says.
After the death of George Floyd in May and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, Lauren’s family sought ways to grow in their understanding of racial inequality in their community. They participated in walking tours of historically black neighborhoods, researched diverse outdoor interest groups they could join, and increased their monthly giving to Sustain Charlotte.
“It's so clear these days that there are a lot of things in our community that need fixing, and I want to be a part of the solution, but also recognize that I'm not individually equipped to affect meaningful change,” she says. “That's why I'm grateful for organizations like Sustain Charlotte that are already doing so much strategic heavy lifting. It's really heartening to know that good folks with know-how and resources are doing things to help pave a better way forward.”