Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party!

This is a special year for NC and Charlotte outdoors!

Smokey 70th

This is the 70th anniversary of the Smokey Bear Wildfire campaignHappy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! 

Wilderness 50

The 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act50 Years of Wilderness

40th anniv logo_485

The 40th anniversary of Char-Meck Park & RecHappy 40th Birthday Mecklenburg Park and Rec!

NC Wilderness Celebration

And the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act30 Years of NC Wilderness

Wow! Join us Wednesday, August 27th at 6:30 PM for a celebration with pizza and cake. The celebration will take place prior to our regular monthly meeting at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte, NC. Free parking is available.

First ever Charlotte 2014 Sustainability Report released

Perhaps this will push the City of Charlotte to FINALLY develop a Sustainability Plan! As the saying goes, If It Isn’t Written Down, It Doesn’t Exist – “A strategy you can’t write down is unlikely to be well-enough conceived or communicated to actually work.”

And special thanks to the Sustain Charlotte team for this great work!

Sustain Charlotte 2014 Report Card2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card

Announcement from Sustain Charlotte:

After more than a year of research, writing, and design, we’re proud to announce the public release of the 2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card: Scoring Our Economic, Environmental, and Social Health. The inaugural quantitative report card marks the first ever independently researched and written report that assesses the current health of the community using 57 metrics spanning nine issues.

Shannon Binns, Founder and Director of Sustain Charlotte was joined by Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham, Charlotte City Council Member John Autry, and Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio, all of whom spoke at the press conference held in Marshall Park on Tuesday morning. Charlotte City Council Members David Howard, Vi Lyles and Greg Phipps were also in attendance.

Using a robust methodology and years of data from a variety of sources, the authors have generated a report card for each issue and provided 94 recommendations for how Charlotte-Mecklenburg can accelerate progress. The nine issues assessed include: Air Quality, Energy Use, Equity + Empowerment, Food, Jobs + Income, Land Use, Transportation, Waste, and Water Use.

The report card is available for free public download at www.sustaincharlotte.org/ReportCard2014.

“We’ve taken an objective, quantitative approach to assessing our progress on the issues that affect the quality of life for today’s residents as well as those who come after us,” said Binns. “We hope our leaders as well as all residents who call Mecklenburg home will take our recommendations to heart, and make the choices we must make to ensure a vibrant future.”

And here’s a good summary of some key points from Ana McKenzie of Creative Loafing –   15 takeaways from Sustain Charlotte’s Sustainability Report Card.

Sept 4 – “Understanding the Climate Change Problem and Seeking Solutions”

Make plans to attend this timely and informative program!

Join the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room and the Sierra Club Central Piedmont Group  as we welcome Dr. Jason West of UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. West will be presenting a lecture entitled, “Understanding the Climate Change Problem and Seeking Solutions” at the University City Regional Library, 301 East W.T. Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC on Thursday, September 4th, from 6:00 until 8:30 PM.

Climate Change Solutions

 

Charlotte Powers Up With Solarize Charlotte!

Solarize Charlotte Single

Solar power for the masses reaches Charlotte

By Bruce Henderson
Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014

MORE INFORMATION: Solarize Charlotte

A three-month campaign to broaden the appeal of rooftop solar systems has declared success in its aim of making them cheaper and simpler for Charlotte-area homeowners.

Solarize Charlotte launched in the hometown of the nation’s largest electric utility, Duke Energy, in April. The volunteer-run program offered discounts on installations and connected homeowners to tax savings and low-interest loans.

“One of the issues we all recognized was that even as solar dropped in price, people saw barriers,” said project assistant Michael Zytkow. “So the goal is to help with everything involved.”

About 600 people expressed interest in the program, of which 186 solicited proposals for systems. Twenty-four homeowners signed installation contracts, six made verbal agreements and 10 contracts are pending. Another 89 projects are still in the consultation stages.

North Carolina ranks fourth-largest in the nation for its solar capacity, says the Solar Energy Industries Association, but that’s mostly because of commercial-scale installations.

Duke Energy says about 1,700 North Carolina customers, most of them affluent, own rooftop solar systems. Solarize Charlotte’s focus included lower-income and non-white homeowners.

Initiative moved east

“My philosophy is that solar should be for everyone,” said Zytkow, whose full-time job is as a Greenpeace field organizer. “My background of activism is in meeting people where they are.”

Solarize Charlotte was an outgrowth of an initiative born in Portland, Ore., five years ago and adopted by dozens of communities under Energy Department-funded guidelines.

A coalition of more than 20 nonprofit advocacy groups and churches brought it to North Carolina. Similar programs have launched in Asheville, Carrboro and Durham.

The Charlotte campaign worked with a solar company, the RED Group, that offered bulk discounts on installations. State and federal tax credits pare the cost, and the program led homeowners to low-interest loans.

Cut cost of systems

All told, organizers say, those incentives could take up to 75 percent off the retail price of a solar system. Typical Solarize systems, including tax credits, cost about $4,500 to $8,000.

Solar panel prices have dropped sharply in recent years, and the arrays are now thinner and more aesthetically pleasing. The expiration of North Carolina’s 35 percent tax credit at the end of 2015 has also stimulated interest.

Still, “it takes a lot of consumer education to get people to the point where they’re ready to go solar,” said Cynthia Redwine, a partner in RED Group, a 2-year-old company formed by former Peace Corps volunteers.

Some potential customers, for instance, believe that net metering – in which utilities give homeowners with solar systems credit for the energy they generate – means they have to live off the grid, she said.

Starting in late April, Solarize volunteers went door-to-door, bought radio ads, staffed festival booths and made presentations to homeowners associations, clubs and churches.

Savings biggest factor

The campaigners pitched the environmental and economic aspects of solar power, but found most people responded to rising electricity rates.

“At the end of the day, that’s what resonates with people – their power bills,” Zytkow said. “One of the first things you hear out there is the idea of these (utility) monopolies. They’re captive customers, and they don’t have any options. A lot of it is rallying around the concept of choice.”

Charlotte homeowner Terry Taylor-Allen, a communications consultant on energy, environment and sustainability, heard about Solarize at a conference and quickly signed up.

Taylor-Allen and her husband, Mark Allen, had considered solar for years but hesitated at trying to sort through its technological aspects and financial viability.

“The very nice thing about Solarize Charlotte is that they sort of anticipate those wrap-around needs and solved those problems,” she said. “From that perspective, it’s a really, really good program. It facilitates a lot of decision- making.”

Their rooftop panels started generating electricity July 14.

Save the Date! Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration, Sept 26-28

50 years ago, the Wilderness Act of 1964 protected two wilderness areas in North Carolina.

30 years ago, the North Carolina Wilderness Act designated seven new wilderness areas and protected five more as study areas.

Learn the History →

“The question then is who will speak for wilderness? The wild regions of our public lands belong to all of us.”

- Dr. Robbie Cox, October 28, 1983

From comments made before the Subcommittee on Public Lands and  National Parks of the Committee on the Interior, House of Representatives, U.S. Congress

Our Wild NC Sept


Save the Date!

Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration

Morrow Mountain State Park
Sept 26-28

We are planning a fun weekend full of outings, camping, picnics, presentations and more!

Celebrate Smokey Bear’s Birthday – Evergreen Nature Preserve Service Outing

This Saturday is Smokey Bear’s birthday – Happy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! What better way to celebrate than to give back to preserving and protecting our local natural areas. Make plans to join us!

Preserve Our Preserves Service Outing

For the last 2 years, The Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club has been engaged in invasive species removal  at Ribbon Walk Nature Preserve, and we have done such an outstanding job  the Parks and Recreation Department has asked us to do the same for Evergreen Nature Preserve. Invasive species, also called “introduced species”,” non-native” or “non-indigenous” are plants that adversely affect the habitats or bioregions they invade.  The invasive species dominate the region and crowd out native species which had previously provided habitat and food for birds and other wildlife.  There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes from clearing a section of forest of invasive vines and seeing the natural open landscape restored.  We would love to have you join us at Evergreen to pitch in and restore this little slice of nature right in the heart of East Charlotte.

When: Saturday, August 9th, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Where to meet: Winterfield Elementary School, 3100 Winterfield Pl, Charlotte, NC

What to bring: Wear sturdy shoes for work and walking. Bring a water bottle and a snack if you would like to nibble while you work. Work gloves recommended. Tools are provided but you are welcome to bring your own loppers, trowels, knives, etc.

Liability Waiver: All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the liability waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, download a copy at NC Sierra Club Sign In Waiver

For questions or more information. contact Outings Chair David Underwood at 704-675-2390 davidmunderwood@mail.com

https://charlottesierraclub.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/evergreen-trail-map.jpg

Aug 5 – Sustain Charlotte launch of 2014 Sustainability Report Card

Come and hear about how sustainable Charlotte really is!

Sustain Charlotte is launching a groundbreaking new report!  
And you’re invited!

For over a year, Sustain Charlotte has been hard at work researching and writing the first ever independentcomprehensive report card assessing Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s
economic, social, and environmental health.

And now, they’re ready to share it with you!

This Tuesday, Aug 5th, they be holding two launch events (one in the morning and one in the evening) and you’re invited to join either — or both!

See below for details of both events and please RSVP to let us know you’re coming!


MORNING EVENT

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham, Charlotte City Council Member John Autry, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio, and Sustain Charlotte Founder + Director Shannon Binns will speak about the importance of sustainability to Charlotte’s future. Charlotte City Council Member Greg Phipps and Pineville Mayor John Edwards will also be in attendance.

WHEN

Tuesday, Aug 5
10-11 AM

WHERE

Marshall Park
800 E. Third Street, Charlotte 28202

RSVP for this event!



EVENING EVENT

Sustain Charlotte’s Monthly Mixer + 2014 Sustainability Report Card Launch Party!
Light Snacks Provided by Earth Fare

WHEN

Tuesday, August 5
5:30-7:30 PM

Schedule
5:30: Networking Begins
6:30: Report Launch + Sustainability Trivia!
6:45: More Networking

WHERE

Triple C Brewing Company
2900 Griffith St, Charlotte 28203