Bugs, bluegrass, and bus stop porch swings

Did you know that Sustain Charlotte staff and volunteers educate thousands of people each year during community events? In addition to organizing our own outreach events and programming, we love to partner with other organizations by participating in their events. It’s an awesome way to reach new audiences and have a lot of fun at the same time!

Spring is typically our busiest time of year for community events, and 2017 has been no exception. This past Saturday, our staff and volunteers educated, engaged, and united area residents at three unique community events.

East Charlotte Spring Celebration

We kicked off the day at 9:00 a.m. by joining the City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood and Business Services staff for the East Charlotte Spring Celebration at of Memorial UMC on Central Ave. Together we celebrated the success of the Front Porch Swings Project, an innovative effort to foster communication among diverse residents and dignify the experience of riding public transportation. Funded through a Knight Cities Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the swings have already begun to inspire children and adults alike to enjoy the simple pleasure of slowing down to enjoy conversation. Sustain Charlotte is honored to have played a partnering role with the city over the past year to help bring the swings to the community!

Swing bus stop

Wouldn’t you love to wait for the bus here? (Photo by Neighborhood & Business Services)

Passersby were invited to enjoy free paletas (Mexican frozen fruit bars) and jump in the inflatable bounce houses. Sustain Charlotte hosted Andrew from The Bike Medics as he provided free bicycle safety checks.

BikeMedics free bike safety checks

Andrew from The Bike Medics provided free bike safety checks!

The Fresh Expo

We invited staff from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services and Charlotte Area NC Air Awareness to join us at our tent during Charlotte’s inaugural Fresh Expo at Symphony Park. Expo visitors examined aquatic bugs, technically known as benthic invertebrates, and learned how Storm Water Services monitors water quality by assessing populations of fish and bugs. Air Awareness educated participants about how to make better transportation and energy choices to protect air quality, and how to protect their health on days when air pollution is high. You can help us clear the air by participating in the Clean Commute Challenge, a collaborative effort of Sustain Charlotte, Charlotte Area NC Air Awareness, and CATS!


We loved participating in Charlotte’s very first Fresh Expo!

Bugs education table

Families learned how Storm Water Services analyzes aquatic bugs as indicators of water quality.

Bluegrass & BBQ Festival

We’d like to give a big shout-out of “THANKS!” to the newly opened Whole Foods Waverly and all who attended the Bluegrass & BBQ Festival on Saturday evening! All proceeds from the event were donated by Whole Foods to support Sustain Charlotte’s work to ensure that all area residents have access to healthy food through our Sustainable Neighborhoods Program and efforts to support community connectivity. With a generous match from Whole Foods, more than $7,000 was raised for our work!

WholeFoods BBQ

What better way to end a busy Saturday than with BBQ and bluegrass music at the new Whole Foods!


We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into how we spent our Saturday reaching the public at events throughout Charlotte. Your support of Sustain Charlotte makes it possible for us to accept an increasing number of invitations to host our educational table at events. Dozens of committed volunteers help us reach a much broader audience by supplementing our efforts at staff. We couldn’t do it without you!

Want to help us reach more people with our mission to inspire choices that lead to a healthy, equitable, and vibrant community for generations to come? Support us through membership or become an event volunteer today!

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