The City of Charlotte recently honored local neighborhood organizations, nonprofits and businesses at its annual Neighborhood Exchange & Leadership Awards event. In advance of the event, the City asked members of the local community to nominate Charlotte neighborhood organizations, nonprofits and businesses for awards to recognize their outstanding contributions to embracing neighborhood diversity, transportation choices, sustainability initiatives and more.
With more than 40 nominations received, the following organizations received awards:
- The Winterfield Neighborhood Association received the Community Safety Ambassador award for working closely with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Eastway Division to offset criminal activity in their neighborhood. In addition to fostering positive relationships with local youth by participating in reading and career day events, the community was recognized for maintaining a robust Crime Watch and monitoring a vacant house that was vulnerable to trespassers.
- The Belmont Community Association received the Embracing Diversity award for hosting Belmont Saturdays, a weekly event that promotes community and volunteerism toward creating a better quality of life. The event -- held in cooperation with the City of Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and local businesses -- features family-friendly activities for all ages, including workshops, bike rides and gardening. Participants at Belmont Saturdays include young and older residents as well as new and long-term residents.
- The Historic Camp Greene Neighborhood Association received the Good Neighbors award for keeping their community vibrant through extensive neighborhood cleanup and beautification activities. In addition to participating in the Adopt-A-City-Street and Adopt-A-Stream programs, the neighborhood held a neighborhood cleanup where they collected 38 bags of trash and 10 bags of recyclable materials. The community also recently participated in tree banding training in an effort to help protect the neighborhood’s tree canopy.
- The Madison Park 5k and the Oaklawn Park Community Improvement Organization received the Moving Charlotte Forward award. The Madison Park 5K – established in 2015 to bring communities together and create a culture of wellness – helps to ensure the sustainability of the neighborhood and donates proceeds from the race to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Oaklawn Park Community Improvement Organization was recognized for collaborating with the City of Charlotte and North Carolina state departments of transportation to make a local on-ramp safer.
- The Lockwood Neighborhood Association received the Sustainability Leadership award for choosing new energy-efficient LED lighting to address poorly lit areas that became spots for criminal activities. With assistance from the City’s Neighborhood Matching Grants program and volunteer hours from residents, the community installed Phase I of their lighting plan and has started fundraising efforts for the second phase of the plan.
- The Arrowood Business Association received the Community Service award for businesses. The Arrowood Business Association was recognized for spearheading Alignment SW Charlotte in an effort to positively impact school success, children’s health and the success of local communities. Their efforts included a robotics event with Bosch Rexroth, a UNC Charlotte gaming club at Olympic High School, advanced manufacturing apprenticeships with Siemens and Bosch Rexroth, and annual donations ranging between $10,000 and $15,000 for 21st Century classroom projects.
- McClintock Partners in Education received the Community Service award for nonprofits for their efforts to assist families at McClintock Middle School. This year, they hosted free meals and family nights for homeless students and their families; coordinated the donation of school supplies; hosted a summer STEAM camp for more than 300 students focusing on robotics, math and engineering; and hosted student field trips to locations that included UNC Charlotte’s biology lab and Central Piedmont Community College’s Hendrick Motorsports lab.
- The Winterfield community also won the Neighborhood-School Partnership award for their efforts to partner with Winterfield Elementary School. Their efforts included creating a Garden Buds program, where students used plots in the Winterfield Community Garden as science classrooms; securing a Neighborhood Matching Grant from the City to help support a summer music camp for students; developing a tutoring program and volunteering to assist faculty with school testing at the end of the school year; and collaborating with parents of students on a combined yard and garden sale.
“Charlotte’s neighborhoods are the building blocks of our dynamic city. Collectively, these 41 nominated organizations and eight award winners are improving the quality of life in their communities and are inspiring others through their contributions,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said. “It is an honor to celebrate and recognize the Neighborhood Leadership Award winners and nominees for their hard work and commitment to Charlotte’s communities.”