View this email in your browser
Do you know a person, building project, business, government agency, young leader or nonprofit that deserves to be honored for advancing smart growth and sustainability in Charlotte? Nominate them for a 2023 Sustain Charlotte Award today! 
Inspiring Individual Award winner Christopher Dennis accepts his award at the
2022 Sustain Charlotte Awards/(📷 Grant Baldwin)

The 11th annual Sustain Charlotte Awards will be held on Thursday, Apr. 27. Through this event, we highlight the achievements of local sustainability leaders and the issues that shape the sustainability of our region. This memorable evening features dinner, celebration and inspiring stories.  

We invite nominations from any community member — and, importantly, Sustain Charlotte does not make or judge any of the nominations ourselves. The purpose of this event is to honor the organizations and individuals in our community who are working toward sustainability and smart growth and, by their actions, inspire others to do the same. It's not just about who wins! Click here to submit a nomination form online.

You can also nominate an individual, nonprofit, business or community group for Mecklenburg County's Recycling Excellence Award. This award is sponsored by Mecklenburg County Solid Waste as part of its waste reduction and recycling education programs. Click here to submit an online nomination form for the 2023 Mecklenburg County Recycling Excellence Award

The nomination period ends soon. Please take a moment to consider who you think deserves to be honored and let us know! 

In celebration of sustainability,


Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director

Top stories

East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano speaks Tuesday night at Midnight Mulligan Brewing for a panel discussion about greenway expansion.  (📷: Lauren Sawyers/Sustain Charlotte)

Growing our Greenways for All

This week, Sustain Charlotte hosted the latest program in our Growing our Greenways series, an initiative to highlight the many benefits of greenways and to amplify the voices of Mecklenburg County residents and organizations advocating for equitable and expedited construction of our county greenway network.

The purpose of this event was to explore new ways of funding greenways and options for building them faster. The panel discussion was headlined by Dennis Markatos-Soriano, executive director of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the nonprofit working to build out the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway to connect 15 states and 450 cities and towns from Maine to Florida. Their Greenways for All initiative is designed to support communities from Maine to Florida in accessing funding for greenways and trails in order to foster a safe walking and biking route along this entire east coast corridor. 

Sustain Charlotte, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Commission members, Partners for Parks, and Carolina Thread Trail are working together to organize and advance sustainable urban development and improved and equitable access to greenways and public open space for all. Representatives from each organization were on hand to speak at the event. 

Thanks to everyone who came out for this program. If you missed it, you can read more and watch a replay here

In case you missed it: Sustain Charlotte in the news

10 pedestrians were hit near three west Charlotte bus stops. How can the city make them safer?: Many of the city's high-injury roads — where serious crashes are concentrated — overlap with the Corridors of Opportunity, including stretches of Freedom, Wilkinson, Beatties Ford Road, Central Avenue and Albemarle Road. Sustain Charlotte Director of Engagement and Impact weighed in.
"Everyone certainly has a responsibility to interact safely with the street, but we also need to consider people may not know how to be safe on the streets, and so let’s really design with safety as the priority," she said." Listen to the WFAE report.
Opinion: Road widening is never the answer: This week, QC Nerve published a letter written collaboratively with input from the members of the Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition’s steering committee, including Sustain Charlotte's Meg Fencil and Hope Wright, addressing the city's pursuit of a $13.5-billion transportation plan. There’s been much discussion locally around how that money could be best spent to make the most impact, including through road-widening projects. However, numerous examples from metropolitan areas across the country tell us that simply widening roads is not a long-term mobility solution. Read the CRTC opinion piece

Get involved and have fun!

We're ramping up our event calendar as the weather gets warmer! Mark your calendar and join us for one of these upcoming events. Here's what we've got planned:
Act fast: Nominations are OPEN NOW through Feb. 28 for the 11th annual Sustain Charlotte Awards presented by Duke Energy, which will be held April 27. Nominate a person (or organization) who deserves to be honored for advancing sustainability today. Find details, ticket info and nomination forms here.

March 3: Take a walk with us! We’re teaming up with AARP Charlotte and our Growing our Greenways partners to host a group walk for people of all ages and abilities along the Irwin Creek Greenway from 9-10:30 a.m. We’ll meet at Seversville Park on Bruns Avenue in Charlotte. Learn more and sign up here.
March 8: Let’s have fun. Join us for our Sustainability Game Night at Divine Barrel Brewing at 7 p.m. Mingle, learn and flex your board-game skills. Learn more
April 22: Earth Day stream cleanup: We’ll be cleaning up a section of a Campbell Creek Greenway from 10 a.m. to noon. Want to help? Register here.

The LYNX Blue Line light rail train passes the Charlotte Convention Center on Feb. 20, 2023.  (📷: Dashiell Coleman/Sustain Charlotte)

It's time to talk to Raleigh about funding for mobility

If you're a regular reader of this newsletter, you probably know that Charlotte needs a viable funding source to implement a $13.5 billion plan that includes an expansion of our transit system and better pedestrian and bike infrastructure. The likeliest source of that funding would be through a sales tax, which local voters would decide whether to approve.

But putting such a referendum on the ballot requires approval from the North Carolina General Assembly. Yet Axios Charlotte reported this week that there's been little formal discussion between top city officials and the leaders of the state legislature.

As Axios noted, Charlotte City Council recently adopted a legislative agenda that includes a goal of working with lawmakers to secure "mobility legislation."

Our take:
It's time for local leaders to determine how to move the plan forward. We need a viable funding source to expand our mobility infrastructure. Our region is growing, and we can't afford to wait any longer; federal funding that's available now might be awarded to other cities if we stay in a holding pattern. Mecklenburg County should seek necessary approval from lawmakers to move forward and allow local residents the chance to decide for themselves.

Partner news

💡 Renewing partner spotlight: Sun Raised Foods 💡

Our sincerest thanks go out to Sun Raised Foods,who recently upgraded to a Platinum corporate partnership with Sustain Charlotte! 

Sun Raised Foods sells North Carolina lamb that was raised on animal welfare-approved farms. The farms use solar energy, so the whole process is sustainable. We love this business model! Learn more about them at

Businesses that join our partner network are committing to support our efforts towards a healthy, equitable, and vibrant Charlotte for generations to come. 

To learn more about how your company can become a partner, visit!

Events + opportunities

 (📷: City of Charlotte)

What's on our radar

Weigh in on Meck's budget process: Mecklenburg County's budget process for fiscal year 2024 is underway. Residents are invited to attend workshops to learn more about the process and provide input that may factor into county leaders' decisions. We covered the budget process so far with an overview of early discussions and a piece on the Capital Improvement Plan. We encourage you to attend a workshop. Details here.
Charlotte's community area planning process is starting. The city of Charlotte announced that it will launch a community area planning process as the next step of implementing the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Area planning is when recommendations are made for land development, transportation and infrastructure improvement and other amenities. Over the next two years, the city will work with residents to develop plans for 14 geographic areas that comprise Charlotte. In-person and virtual workshops will be held soon. Learn more here
• Help make Charlotte's public spaces pop: The Charlotte Urban Design Center has opened applications for the 2023 Placemaking Grant and Creative Pool. The program is meant to make underutilized public spaces more vibrant. Projects could include murals, painted crosswalks, green infrastructure, bike parking, bus stop improvements and more. Grants ranging from $1,000-$25,000 are available. Residents, organizations and businesses can apply. The deadline for applications is March 3. Learn more here.
• Apply for a fellowship to help address climate change. E Pluribus Unum just opened up applications its new fellowship cohort program. Public and civic sector leaders in the South who are engaged in work on climate and the environment and want to deepen their focus on racial equity are encouraged to apply by March 15. Details here.

What we're reading

Changing street design is critical to reducing bike-ped deaths (Congress for the New Urbanism)

A highway that doesn't exist is taking a toll on a Black neighborhood (Bloomberg CityLab)

Vermont activists help abolish parking minimums in Burlington (Strong Towns)

What happens when you ask public officials to give up driving for a week (Streetsblog USA)

Thank you for reading!

As a nonprofit, we rely on support from our community. If you find value in this free weekly newsletter, please consider becoming a member or making a one-time donation. It will help us continue keeping you informed through the newsletter, social media and the timely weekly articles we publish for everyone. More broadly, your support will help us continue our mission of making Charlotte healthier, more equitable and vibrant for all.
Learn how to support us!
Thank you to our partners!

We genuinely appreciate all of our partners. Their generous year-round support allows us to work towards our mission.



BirdBoingo Graphics - Ekologicall - Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont 
HDR - Integra Architecture - Lime - Little -  Moore & Van Allen
NC Sustainable Energy Association  -  QTS GroupRenu Energy Solutions
Self-Help Credit UnionStantec - The Mill Coworking 

Copyright © 2023 Sustain Charlotte, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward