Thank you WFAE Ben Bradford

I’ve been meaning to share this WFAE announcement. It’s great to have a public radio station with such strong commitment to coverage of environmental issues and a history of very good reporters. Congratulations Ben and keep up the excellent work!

Ben Bradford Wins National Murrow Award
The Radio Television Digital News Association recognized Ben Bradford, news reporter, with a national Edward R. Murrow award in the Hard News Reporting category for Moral Mondays. This is the station’s fourth national Murrow Award. This winning entry follows one day’s protest from start to finish, its initial organization at a church, the gathering of 1,200 in front of the state capitol in Raleigh, and the arrests of about 80 for civil disobedience inside. Bradford joined WFAE in 2012. His coverage at the station has included the coal ash spill on the Dan River, a three-part series on North Carolina and climate change, the arrest of former Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon. This is his first national Murrow Award.

Tired of cankerworms invading your trees?

Banding Together

On Wednesday, August 6, Neighborhood & Business Services (NBS) will host a tree banding grant information session and roundtable discussion.

  • Hear from local tree banding vendors
  • Learn more about cankerworms from the City of Charlotte’s arborist
  • Learn ways to bring your entire neighborhood together for a fun tree banding event
  • Learn how your neighborhood can apply for grant funding worth up to $3,000, courtesy of the Neighborhood Matching Grants program

The information session will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 6 at 600 East Trade Street. All neighborhoods in Charlotte are eligible to apply for a tree banding grant. For more information, contact NBS Neighborhood Resources Liaison Louise Bhavnani at

Click here for more information about ways you can help control the fall cankerworm population.

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!


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.


Tuesday, Aug 5
10-11 AM


Marshall Park
800 E. Third Street, Charlotte 28202

RSVP for this event!


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


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

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


Triple C Brewing Company
2900 Griffith St, Charlotte 28203

July 23rd Monthly Meeting: Outdoor Treasures of Mecklenburg County

Outdoor Treasures

Please join us on Wednesday July 23rd for a presentation on the Outdoor Treasures of Mecklenburg County.

Stephen Hutchinson, Nature Center Manager at Latta Plantation, will present on the abundant resources of Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation Department. You will be delighted to learn about such great opportunities as kayak tours, canoe rentals, horseback riding, tractor drawn hay rides, cowboy style campfire dinners, Segway adventure tours, GPS treasure hunts, hiking, camping, and more – all nearby.

As usual our meeting is at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. It begins at 6:30pm with free pizza, followed by a short business meeting, and then the formal presentation.

Parking is free. All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you.

Sierra Club NC Chapter – Legislative Update 07-18-14

Protect Enviro Democracy

Dear Friends,

This week in the General Assembly it began to really feel like the end of session with a variety of old proposals resurfacing and quickly moving through committees without much discussion.

Update on the coal ash bill:

On Monday the Senate failed to concur on the coal ash bill – S 729 – which means that House and Senate conferees will negotiate a final bill behind closed doors. Senator Apodaca asked Senators to not concur so that some changes made by the House could be fixed. Apodaca specifically noted that he does not support the variance procedure added by the House that would allow the Secretary of DENR to approve variances to deadlines in the bill and he does not support housing the new Coal Ash Management Commission under DENR. The Senate’s version of the coal ash bill had the Coal Ash Management Commission housed under the Department of Public Safety. We expect to see changes to both of these parts in a final bill. Senate conferees were appointed yesterday – they are: Senators Berger (R – Guilford, Rockingham), Wade (R – Guilford) and Apodaca (R – Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania). House conferees have not yet been officially appointed but Representatives McGrady (R – Henderson), Samuelson (R – Mecklenburg)and Hager (R – Burke, Rutherford) carried the bill in the House so they are very likely be appointed as conferees. The coal ash bill may not come to a final vote until the very end of session (which should be in the next few weeks) because votes on major bills are often held back until the end to encourage negotiation between the chambers.

Opportunity for Action:

As you may recall, the coal ash bill still lacks assurances that groundwater and surface water will be protected from continuing pollution at all sites. Please contact the Senate conferees and ask them to add clear standards to the bill to ensure that any closure method allowed is protective of groundwater near coal ash sites.

Everything old is new again?

  • Last session the House passed H 201, then called “Reinstate 2009 Energy Conservation Codes” to roll back energy efficiency requirements for commercial buildings. But the bill was never brought to a vote in the Senate. This week, the Senate Rules Committee introduced a revised version of H 201 that renames it “Building Reutilization for Economic Development Act” and narrows the impact of the energy efficiency rollbacks but then proposes new exemptions from stormwater rules and the NC Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for some commercial buildings. If passed, the result would be that some commercial buildings would be allowed to be built 30% less efficient and would get exemptions from the NC Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). We understand that the intent of the bill is to help one company redevelop a building, but nonetheless its a statewide bill. Energy use in buildings accounts for 70% of total electricity use. And since buildings have a lifespan of between 50 and 75 years it’s critical that new construction be to efficient standards to reduce our overall energy usage and dependency on dirty energy like coal. H 201 is calendared to be voted on by the Senate on Monday.
  • S 883 “Disapprove/Amend Buffer Rules” would strike a list of environmental rules created to protect water quality that were only recently adopted. The existing rules resulted from a lengthy stakeholder negotiation process in which environmental groups were involved. The new proposed rules were created by a separate stakeholder group that did not include environmental groups. One of many problems we see with this bill includes striking a requirement for those who do mitigation projects to provide funds for long term maintenance. Mitigation projects are meant to make up for the loss of wetlands and habitat to development but if we don’t ensure their long-term success we are not really mitigating our losses. More to follow on this bill. S 883 is on the Senate calendar for Monday evening along with H 201.

And why should we have to choose between education and transit?

H 1224 “Local Sales Tax for Education/Econ Dev Changes” was revised by the Senate this week to add a cap on the total sales tax a county may levy and disallow counties from using local sales tax revenues to fund both public education and public transit (thereby forcing a choice between the two). The Senate changes to this bill received negative attention from a number of groups this week, including Sierra Club. H 1224 was removed from the Senate calendar Thursday and sent to Senate Finance Committee where there will likely be revisions proposed on Monday evening. We created an action alert on this bill for Wake County residents since we know that Wake County is considering a transit tax; but again this is a statewide bill so if this concerns you please contact your Senator.

Thank you for your interest and volunteer advocacy! Be on the lookout for more frequent updates and action alerts as the legislative session comes to a close.  The end of session always brings surprises.


Cassie Gavin, Director of Government Relations

Sierra Club – NC Chapter

Recycle it! Get your new recycling list and pick up calendar here!

Great resources!

Recyclables are collected every-other-week on the same day as garbage and yard waste collection.  To find your collection day and recycling week, visit the GeoPortal system, enter your address in the Search box, and then click on Services. If you already know your collection day and your recycling collection week (Orange or Green), you can refer to the Recycle It! Collection Calendar to stay up-to-date on your collection schedule.

NEW ITEM NOW ACCEPTED FOR RECYCLING COLLECTION … PIZZA BOXES. Residents may now recycle pizza boxes in their recycling cart. Pizza boxes are also now accepted at the County’s recycling centers.

For more information go to Charlotte Waste Services.

New List of Recyclable Items

Recycle List July 2014

 July 2014 to June 2015 Pick Up Schedule

Recycle Calendar 7_14 to 6_15


Community Meetings on Park and Rec Projects


MeckPark & Rec

Community Meetings Set for Park, Greenway and Nature Preserve Projects

Over the next several months, Park and Recreation will host several community information sessions to update residents on the design and enhancement of various parks, nature preserves and greenways throughout the County. Below is the meeting schedule, which is also available at if you or your constituents want to attend. All meetings begin at 6 p.m.:





June 9

Campbell Creek Greenway Information Session #2 (Design Phase for 1.0 mile greenway extension from W.T. Harris Boulevard to Lockmont Drive)

Hornet’s Nest Girl Scout Council Office, 7007 Idlewild Road

June 10

Reid Neighborhood Park Information Session #3 (Design Phase for a new neighborhood park)

Reid Park Academy, 4108 West Tyvola Road.


June 11

Evergreen Nature Preserve (Design Phase for Phase 1 development of a new nature preserve)

Winterfield Elementary School, 3100 Winterfield Place

June 18

Flat Branch Nature Preserve

(Design Phase for Phase 1 development of a new nature preserve)

Polo Ridge Elementary School, 11830 Tom Short Road

July 15

Veterans Park Shelter (Design Phase for renovation of existing indoor shelter)

Veterans Park, 2136 Central Avenue

July 29

West Charlotte Recreation Center (Design Phase for renovation of existing facility)

West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2401 Kendall Drive

August 4

Southwest Community Park (Design Phase for 2 ball fields, parking, shelter)

Southview Recreation Center, 1720 Vilma Street

August 11

Long Creek Greenway Information Session #2 (Design Phase for 1.0 mile greenway from I-77 to Dixon Branch at Northlake Target store)

Hornet’s Nest Park, 6301 Beatties Ford Road

August 19

Hornet’s Nest Park Shelter (Design Phase for new large indoor shelter)

Hornet’s Nest Park, 6301 Beatties Ford Road

September 8

Irwin Creek Greenway Information Session #2 (Design Phase for .5 mile greenway extension from Remount Road to West Blvd)

Revolution Park Sports Academy,1225 Remount Road

September 15

Cordelia Park Shelter/Charles Park Shelter/Cordelia Underpass (Design Phase for new indoor shelter at Cordelia Park , an open-air shelter at Charles Park and an extension of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway under Parkwood Avenue to Cordelia Park)

Belmont Center, 700 Parkwood Avenue

September 18

Ramsey Creek Swim Beach (Design Phase for new swim beach at Ramsey Creek Park)

Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue



For more information, contact Jim Garges, Park and Recreation director, at 704-335-5470 or via email.