In 2015, Goodwill announced plans to change the trajectory of poverty in our region by building the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, a state-of-the-art facility in west Charlotte that provides the area’s most comprehensive collection of resources and opportunities for individuals facing multiple barriers to employment. Partners such as Charlotte Metro Credit Union, Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Common Wealth Charlotte and the Center for Community Transitions share space on campus to enhance the client experience.

The City of Charlotte has partnered with Goodwill on Project PIECE, which is a job-training and job-opportunities effort and the Safe Home Program, which assists senior citizens, handicapped citizens and low income families to improve their homes in the interest of their health and safety.

Tour type: Bus to meeting space

Charlotte Water treats more than 107 million gallons of drinking water per day in three water treatment plants.  Franklin Water Treatment Plant, one of our region’s largest treatment plants, was built in 1959 and has a treatment capacity greater than 180 million gallons per day.  The tour will provide an overview of our process and approach from raw water storage (0.5 billion gallons) to finished water primary distribution.  We look forward to hosting National League of Cities conference attendees at our award winning facility.

Type: Bus and walking tour

Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) protects and improves the surface water quality of more than 3,000 miles of streams and numerous acres of lakes, ponds and wetlands. CMSWS implements some of the most innovative surface water quality management programs in North Carolina, some which have been awarded national recognition. All of them are focused on the goal of improving the quality and usability of surface waters such as streams and lakes.

Visit several project sites and engage in a discussion of how the different practices used by CMSWS improve water quality.  The discussion will cover the various benefits of these projects, the challenges of working in an urban environment, the regulatory drivers behind water quality improvement initiatives, and project funding mechanisms.  Project experts will be on-hand to guide the tour and answer your questions.

Type: Bus and limited walking tour

Charlotte’s tree canopy is the city’s signature natural resource. In 2011, the city council adopted a “50% Canopy by 2050” goal to preserve and enhance the canopy. Charlotte employs three complementary strategies to accomplish this goal: maintenance of healthy trees on public property, land development regulations balancing tree protection with economic growth, and strong community collaboration that sparked the creation of a very successful public-private collaborative effort called TreesCharlotte. This combination bus and walking tour will teach you the heritage and promise of Charlotte’s canopy efforts. The tour will consist of three parts:

  1. Tree Canopy Preservation Program conservation area tour. See a site that has been purchased by the city for the sole purpose of saving the trees. These purchases are funded by mitigation payments made by developers who cannot meet tree-save requirements at their development sites.
  2. Uptown tree walking tour. Learn about the forward-looking plan to have tree-lined uptown streets. Sidewalks were specially engineered to accommodate tree roots. Learn about the hazards these trees face.
  3. TreesCharlotte planting site. Hear the story of the public/private collaborative that Charlotte has created and see some of the sites where volunteers and the community have come together to plant trees on public or private property.

Type: Bus and walking tour

The City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood Matching Grants program provides financial and technical support to create sustainable public/private partnerships, build neighborhood capacity, and support quality of life improvements in low to moderate income neighborhoods.

Learn how this program engages residents to select projects and allocate funding, and see several completed projects.

The final route and stops are being planned, but they are expected to be among the following:

  • Druid Hills park improvements, including community garden and adult fit park.
  • Reid Park Cathedral, community-driven art and pavilion community meeting space.
  • Plaza Midwood, bike racks, bike repair station and Can Do Signs.
  • No Da, decorative bridge rail and underpass wall mural.
  • McCrorey Heights/Oaklawn Language Academy, mosaic mural.
  • Beatties Ford Road Corridor, community signage.
  • Oaklawn Park, little free library.
  • Belmont, historic preservation/economic development corridor study.

Type: Bus tour