July 30, 2014
Contact: Ashley Simmons, Office of the Mayor
(704) 336-3438
A group of Davidson College students recently shared their ideas with Mayor Dan Clodfelter about sustainability efforts in Charlotte.
The Sustainability Scholars represent sophomores, juniors and seniors who believe the growing sustainability movement in Charlotte gives them the opportunity to explore how interactions with the environment can be improved for a viable future in Charlotte.  
“The purpose of Sustainability Scholars is to engage students with the community on three different levels, within the non-profit, government, and private sectors,” Marcus Carson, Sustainability Coordinator & Media Producer for Davidson College. 
Mayor Clodfelter recently sat down with the students for an informal conversation about how Charlotte can improve existing efforts. He praised them for taking an interest in key issues.
“The work you’re doing is essential, not only to our community’s environmental integrity, but also to our economic prosperity,” said Clodfelter. “This isn’t just about what happens in the future, it’s about what we’re doing right now.”
The students were excited to learn more about the city’s past and current efforts to create a sustainable future.  Tommy Fang, a rising senior, said the conversation gave him a better understanding of how organizations are working together.
“Our conversation with the mayor provided insight into Charlotte’s history and local areas that have grown as models for future sustainability, said Fang. “It was great to speak with a Davidson grad in a position of influence and I look forward to seeing how Charlotte’s sustainable future unfolds.”
The students said they recognize City Council’s impact on policy and believe government is essential to moving environmental sustainability forward. Clodfelter asked the students for their ideas, and also shared some of the opportunities and limitations facing city leaders.
“As we threw out our suggestions for improving Charlotte’s sustainability measures, Mayor Clodfelter not only listened but engaged with us,” said Polly Ukrop, a rising senior. “He discussed the challenges and opportunities that present themselves with each of these ideas and encouraged us to help him make the change. He acknowledged the space for these changes to happen and the ways in which he would address it.”
The Sustainability Scholars have internships with several local organizations including Bank of America, Envision Charlotte, Chaquita, Friendship Gardens, Clean Air Carolina, Crescent Communities, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Sow Much Good Market, and Ingersoll Rand. Clodfelter will receive a report from the students with a series of recommendations.
“We were very excited to learn that the mayor has a great interest in the sustainability of the city and that he has many of the same ideals as us,” said Alec Brown, a rising junior.  “We are happy to provide him feedback and hope that our recommendations can help make an impact on the city.”