* NeighborWoods Community Tree Planting

Want to make your neighborhood greener? Here’s a program to help preserve our tree canopy.


Applications for NeighborWoods Tree Canopy Program Are Now Being Accepted

Charlotte’s tree canopy is one of the finest urban forests in America, providing cleaner air and water, energy savings, increased property values, and great beauty.  Unfortunately the urban forest is also aging, fragile and disappearing. But you and your neighbors can help.

Charlotte City Council has adopted a goal of 50 percent tree canopy by 2050. Achieving that goal is a team effort requiring at least 500,000 additional trees to be planted. The City of Charlotte has partnered with TreesCharlotte in a collaborative effort dedicated to planting 15,000 trees annually.

TreesCharlotte’s NeighborWoods program strengthens and beautifies communities and increases environmental awareness by providing trees, education and planting supplies free of charge to neighborhoods with tree planting capacity. Neighborhood associations can apply to receive trees and planting assistance for common areas and homes in the community.

Pre-application letters of intent for the fall 2014 – spring 2015 planting season are now being accepted. Attendance at a pre-application workshop is required.

Upcoming Workshops:

• Jan. 22, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Feb. 10, Noon – 1 p.m.
• Feb. 13, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• March 5, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Workshops are held at Old City Hall, 600 E. Trade Street. Free parking is available. Additional workshops may be requested by calling 704-336-2929.

Learn more about NeighborWoods and how to apply here. Pre-application letters of intent are due by 4/1/2014. Participation is limited.

* Launch of Charlotte “Transportation Choices Alliance” on January 9!

Thanks to Sustain Charlotte for their leadership on this issue!

Want to make a difference in the transportation options for Char-Meck? Hear a great presentation on urban walkability? Register today for this launch meeting and presentation today – space is limited!

On Thursday, January 9th, at 5:30pm, Sustain Charlotte will launch the Transportation Choices Alliance at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Building.  This event will feature a dynamic presentation by author and photographer Julie Campoli, who will highlight excerpts and images from her new book, Made for Walking: Neighborhood Density and Urban Form. Seating is limited to 90 so register now for free!

In July, Sustain Charlotte organized an initial meeting of over 80 nonprofit, government, and business leaders to discuss the idea of organizing a local transportation alliance.

Since that time, a volunteer Steering Committee has selected a name for the alliance, a mission statement, and 2014 priorities based on surveys of nearly 200 citizens representing a broad diversity of local organizations.

The mission of the alliance will be to increase transportation choices and their use throughout the Charlotte region to improve traffic, air quality, public health, mobility, and the economy.  

More transportation choices means more safe and convenient opportunities to take a bus, catch a train, ride a bike, or walk. The alliance seeks to:

  • Play a critical role in the creation of a more accessible, affordable, and sustainable transportation system in the Charlotte region.
  • Represent community interests, educate decision makers and the public, attract media attention and impact funding decisions related to transportation.
  • Ensure implementation of the region’s 2030 Transit Plan as well as local plans for enhanced bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Educate the public and decision makers on the benefits that implementing these plans will bring to our region.

The alliance’s priorities in 2014 will be to:

  • Grow public awareness of the alliance and build the alliance’s influence by securing individual and organizational members.
  • Build public awareness and support for the 2030 Transit Plan. 
  • Promote linkages between economic benefits, quality of life, and more transportation choices.

Join us for the official launch of this exciting new alliance, as well as a dynamic presentation on walkable communities by photographer Julie Campoli!  

* Sierra Club 2013 Year in Review

Thanks to everyone for the great food and fellowship last night at our monthly meeting! It was a great time to get together and reflect about our challenges and accomplishments in 2013. Again,  thanks to the many members, supporters and partner organizations that helped to make all this happen. Click below to see the presentation.

I hope that you’ll review it and think about the great work that we accomplished and how you’ll help to make a difference in 2014.


2013 Year in ReviewCPG 2013 Year in Review


* Sierra Club Socks – Made in Old Fort, NC

I got this email recently and wanted to introduce you you to a North Carolina green business that supports the Sierra Club. I actually bought several pairs of their socks a few weeks back and like them – the Trailhead and Pioneer. So if you needs some socks, click below to check them out.

My name is Amy Parker and I am part owner (with my brother Jeff) of Parker Legwear in Old Fort, NC.
We have been a hosiery manufacturer since 1946, and now we are also the exclusive licensee for Sierra Club socks!  To date, Sierra Club has realized over $60,000 from our partnership and efforts.
All the socks for the line are made right here in our Old Fort factory, and are made of recycled cotton (from t shirts) and poly (from water bottles).
We’d like you to visit our website Sierra Club Socks  and see our products.
Thank you for your help!
Best regards,
Amy Parker
Parker Legwear
Distributor for Sierra Club Socks

Sierra Club Scoks

* Last Week to Apply for Neighborhood Sustainability Planning Assistance

Here’s a great opportunity to make your neighborhood greener and more sustainable. Apply today!

Sustain Charlotte Offers Sustainable Vision Plan Assistance and
$500 Incentive to Local Neighborhoods!

Six days left to apply!
Applications Due by 5:00 pm this Sunday, December 15!

Do you want to create a long-term sustainable vision for your neighborhood? Are you finding it difficult to harness all of the great ideas that come from your neighbors? Are you looking for more great ideas?

In 2012, with funding from Wells Fargo, Sustain Charlotte partnered with the City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood & Business Services staff to assist neighborhoods in achieving a more sustainable future through Power2 Live Green. Although dozens applied, only a few could be selected.

Ideas were captured in Sustainable Vision Plans, step-by-step guides with prioritized goals and community resources to make achieving goals easier. Successes included bicycle and pedestrian improvements, community gardens, composting classes, home efficiency retrofits, crime reduction and many other improvements.

Sustain Charlotte is now accepting applications to work with five additional neighborhoods to develop Sustainable Vision Plans in 2014, and will award each selected organization up to $500 to kick-start plan implementation.

Sustain Charlotte will:

● Educate you and your neighbors on sustainability topics and related news that impact your community
● Help you identify your community’s greatest needs and develop a plan for long-term success
● Work with you to draft your own Sustainable Vision Plan
● Connect your community to resources and partners to implement your plan
● Regularly attend your neighborhood meetings to help you make progress towards your goals
● Explain how your neighborhood could be eligible to receive an additional $25,000 toward plan implementation
Click here to apply by 5:00pm this Sunday, December 15.
Want to see an example of a Sustainable Vision Plan? Click here to see Sustainable Vision Plans for 11 local neighborhoods.

And check out the great videos below of recent neighborhood sustainability successes!

Plaza Midwood Custom Bike Corral & Bicycle Maintenance Stand

* Fight Back Against Monsanto

SierraRise -- Why stand apart, when we can rise together?

Monsanto would rather hire a former senator to lobby for them than simply stop being evil.

I can't afford my own politician so I made this sign

We can be louder than their new PR firm. Help send 75,000 letters for GMO labeling today!

Take action today!

Dear Friends,

It’s easy to see why Monsanto was voted the world’s most evil corporation for 2013. [1] Two examples from just the last 30 days might almost be enough to win the title all on their own.

Last week, 20 environmental activists were brutally assaulted for protesting the biotech giant in Argentina. [2] And in the November 5 election, Monsanto broke spending records to defeat a Washington ballot initiative that would simply label genetically engineered food (GMOs). [3, 4] What are they hiding?

But we’ve been shining a light on Monsanto’s shady activities. Thanks to SierraRise supporters like you, it’s not just the Big Ag corporation’s products that are potentially toxic, but also their reputation.

Rather than fix these disastrous practices, Monsanto is trying to buy a better image. [5]

They recently hired former Senator Blanche Lincoln [6] and the high-powered PR firm FleishmanHillard to improve their reputation and help block more labeling initiatives in 2014. Now when you want to know what’s in your food, the forces against us will be stronger than before.

This means we need to fight back against the Monsanto agenda harder than ever. Let’s start by sending 75,000 letters reminding our government to listen to we the people, not them the corporations and PR firms, and label GMOs now!

Monsanto — the maker of toxic chemicals like Agent Orange — is also the largest producer of risky genetically modified seeds. Corn with built-in insecticides? Squash impervious to virus? We have a right to know what we’re eating. Many other countries around the world do require GMO labeling — but Monsanto is bringing in the big guns to make sure they can keep hiding that critical information from our families.

Senator Blanche Lincoln used to serve as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She was sometimes called “the Senator from Wal-Mart,” [7] and her other clients have included oil giants Valero and ConocoPhillips, everybody’s favorite cable provider Comcast, and credit giant Experian. She’s clearly an influential figure in Washington, and now she’s ready to cash in for “the world’s most evil corporation.”

Corporations always do this — why fix a problem if you can pay someone to hide it? That’s why so many of us decided to join the SierraRise community. We’re sick of corporate lobbyists running the show — this is a democracy and all of our voices matter. By speaking up now, we can be louder than Senator Lincoln or any other Monsanto lobbyist or executive.

The FDA has the power to enforce labeling and protect our health — but not if we let Monsanto’s lobbyists go unanswered.

We deserve to know what’s in our food. Send your letter to the FDA today demanding customer choice — we need labels on GMO foods!

In it together,

Nathan Empsall
SierraRise Senior Campaigner

P.S. Five signatures are even more powerful than one — after you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends, family, and colleagues!

* Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan – December Update

Thanks to Renee Reese for this update and her work on the planning group! Click below to learn and join the conversation. ??????

The Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan is a joint initiative between Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, surrounding Towns, the Foundation for the Carolinas and our community partners  to develop a unified vision that incorporates community-wide goals centered on how we live, work, and play today and into the future. This collaborative effort provides an opportunity to review existing plans and identify commonalities that encourage and support a vibrant and healthy quality of life of our community.

Discover more about what our citizen workgroups are doing and join the conversation.

Mecklenburg Livable Communities Workgroups​


Kick-off presentation
Workgroup Oct. 2013 Meeting
Workgroup Nov. 2013 Meeting


* Order Your Trees Today and Plant Hope for Tomorrow – Dec 6 Deadline

He who plants a tree
Plants a hope.
~ Lucy Larcom

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.
~ Chinese Proverb

This could be the best $2 you ever spent!

The Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District has announced their 2014 Rain Barrel and Tree Seedling Sale. You can place your order through December 6, 2013.

Click on the chart below to view the Fall Newsletter and view the chart (page 8), pictures (page 9), and order form (page 10). Delivery will be on February 21 and 22, 2014.

For additional information, email Anganette Byrd or call 704-336-2455.

MSWCD 2014 Tree SaleMSWCD 2013 Fall Newsletter

* Google joined ALEC – Tell Google to stop funding climate denial today!

SierraRise -- Why stand apart, when we can rise together?

Google has joined ALEC — right alongside Exxon and Philip Morris.

Demand Google stop funding climate deniers — let’s raise 50,000 voices by ALEC’s conference!

Google's motto used to be Don't Be Evil -- what happened?

Take action today!

Dear Friends,

In February, a Utah slaughterhouse was caught painfully pushing a cow with a forklift. But when the police showed up, they weren’t there to shut things down — they were there to press charges against the citizen filming the cruelty, even though she never left public land. [1]

Many would call Amy Meyer a hero, but Utah called her a criminal. This is due to a new crop of state bills that ban the filming of industrial animal abuse without permission — and even place whistleblowers on a “terrorism registry.” [2]

Shockingly, Google is funding this madness.

Google recently joined ALEC, a shadowy organization that works with state lawmakers to ram through legislation for corporations like Exxon and Philip Morris. [3, 4] Google — a major investor in clean energy — should know better than to fund bills that would also require climate denial education in public schools and oppose fracking disclosure.

Thanks to public pressure, 50 corporations have already quit ALEC — now it’s Google’s turn.

As an Internet user, Google needs to hear from you. Raise your voice and tell the tech giant: Stop funding climate deniers. Quit ALEC now!

For this to work, Google needs to hear from as many of us as possible. After you take action, will you help grow this movement and share the alert with your friends, family, and coworkers? Many of them no doubt use Google products every day, and will surely be as disappointed in the tech giant as you are.

Sign the petition today, and we’ll deliver it to Google during ALEC’s giant December conference, which features speakers like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan. 50,000 names will put Google on the spot!

Funded almost exclusively by major corporations like Koch Industries, ALEC — or the American Legislative Exchange Council — writes “model bills” for right-wing lawmakers to introduce as “grassroots” legislation. From Utah’s “ag-gag” bill to “Stand Your Ground” laws and attacks on our voting rights, about 200 of these corporate scams pass every year.

One of ALEC’s efforts pretends to disclose the chemicals used in fracking. But in reality, the Exxon-backed bill is pure deception, creating new loopholes that would make it even easier to hide the most toxic fracking chemicals. [5]

This agenda is so extreme that, thanks to grassroots pressure, many big-name corporations have already quit ALEC — including McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Wal-Mart. [6] Even Big Oil’s own ConocoPhillips has had enough — but not Google.

Google’s supposed to be one of the good guys. It’s up to us to remind them of their old “Don’t be evil” motto, and bring the same public pressure that led all those other corporations to see the light.

Tell Google to stop funding climate denial today, and then tell your friends — that way we can deliver a petition with 50,000 names during the ALEC conference!

Today’s petition is just the beginning. SierraRise is teaming up with organizations like Forecast the Facts and the Center for Media and Democracy. We’ll use people pressure and digital organizing — much of it with Google’s own tools — to demand the tech giant do the right thing and leave ALEC behind.

It all starts with this show of force — sign your name today.

In it together,

Nathan Empsall
SierraRise Senior Campaigner

P.S. Five signatures are even more powerful than one — after you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends, family, and colleagues!