Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham and City Council members John Autry, David Howard, Patsy Kinsey, Vi Lyles and LaWana Mayfield were on hand to celebrate the winners of Sustain Charlotte’s third annual sustainability awards on April 22.
The nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and engaging residents to solve the city’s sustainability challenges recognized 70 Charlotte-area citizens for their efforts to address the metro area’s environmental, economic and social issues. It was fittingly held on Earth Day at the UNC Charlotte’s Center City in front of a crowd of 270 supporters.
Winners were chosen by the public through an online petition form in eleven categories. Charlotte Center City Partners won in the land-use category, recognized for its development of the Third Ward neighborhood in the past year. Their contribution to making BB&T Ballpark and Romare Bearden Park a reality helped transform the neighbor from a sea of parking lots to a real neighborhood community. Center City Partners were also recognized as a driving force in the transit-oriented development occurring along the light rail.
In the transportation category, the award went to the Charlotte Department of Transportation for embracing a complete streets approach that provides a safe experience to all users – pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and drivers. The department has retrofitted roads into spaces that accommodate mixed methods of transit turning “automobile sewers” into streets that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
In the water category, the award went to Charlotte Public Tree Fund, a group that focuses on tree planting and preservation around Mecklenburg County. The fund, with the help of 18,000 volunteers, has planted more than 18,000 trees in flood plains and stream buffers throughout the county.
Eaton Corp. was recognized for its waste-reduction efforts. The power management company eliminated 157,260 pounds of waste sent to landfills from its Charlotte plant including metal scrap, cardboard, pallets, plastic and general office trash.
David Walters, professor of architecture and design at UNC Charlotte, was designated the outstanding leader for his commitment to better planning and urban design.
At the celebratory event, Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte, applauded every-day Charlotteans for their contributions to a more sustainable, earth-friendly city.
“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.”
Other winners included North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Clean Air Carolina, Go-Go Fresco, MGR Charlotte, PPRE Forevergreen and Cindy Moss at Discovery Education.