When newcomers arrive to Charlotte, one of the first things many notice are the trees. Just a stroll down Queens Road West will have you looking up for multiple miles. We are a city with plenty of green, boasting a tree canopy – or the area shaded by trees – of 45 percent. But that number is shrinking much faster than TreesCharlotte would like.
If you live in the Charlotte region you’ve heard plenty about our area’s rapid growth. With new homes, apartment complexes and businesses springing up every week, the region’s natural places are disappearing quickly. That is where your local land trust, Catawba Lands Conservancy, comes in.
The Conservancy is a community-based, nonprofit organization that permanently protects or preserves and manages land for public benefit in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. Its mission is to save land and connect lives to nature.
In an era when things feel more divided than ever, it's a relief to know the Carolina Thread Trail is weaving us together. The "ribbon of green" encompasses 300 miles across 15 counties, two states, and 2.9 million people.
Such are the challenges of COVID-19, mental health advocate Kathy Rogers doesn’t hesitate when asked which of these emotions are casting a shadow over many lives. “All of the above.”
The reality is stark: The U.S. Census reports that more than one-third of Americans have shown clinical signs of anxiety, depression or both since the pandemic started. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly three times as many Americans considered suicide in June compared to the same period two years ago.
Air and water pollution, global warming, and wildfires are just a few of the environmental issues that we are facing right now as a globe.
The GOOD news is that there are nonprofits working every day not only to protect and improve our environment here locally, but to go the step further and educate our community about the importance of being environmentally conscious. Small changes at a local level can lead to a bigger impact for our globe if communities around the world all do their part. So, let’s do ours.
In October, we will be turning our #SpotlightOnCLT on our nonprofit partners who work to protect and conserve our environment as well as those that serve to educate our community about the environment and renewable, sustainable energy.
Learn more about how these organizations and how YOU can support their work, below.
Glenn Smith heard the same thing over and over in the life skills classes he led at the Mecklenburg County Jail: If I had learned this stuff when I was younger, I probably wouldn't be here.
After hearing this refrain for six years, Glenn proposed a youth prevention program to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, the group that decides which organizations get money from the crime prevention funds the NC Department of Public Safety gives the county each year. Glenn ended up getting his program funded, and he set to work, inspired by those words from the inmates at the county jail: If I had learned this stuff when I was younger, I probably wouldn't be here.
Written by Amy Andrews, Photograph by Lindsay Kappius
Changed Choices was created to empower currently or recently incarcerated women to achieve lasting positive change in their lives. It began in 1999 when founder Ruth Snyder was contacted by her friend at the chaplain’s office at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (MCSO). He had come across two women who were brought in on charges, “they were terrified and feeling very much alone.” Ruth went to MCSO Detention Center to meet with the women, encourage them and eventually mentor them - and Changed Choices was born.
According to Katie Gauntner, Development Associate for Changed Choices, “the concept behind Changed Choices is straightforward - provide supportive relationships and walk beside clients so that their life looks different once their time is served.”
We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!