We’re winning the war on litter!

We’re winning the war on litter!

First impressions matter, right? That’s why University City Partners recently began paying for weekly litter patrols along our highways. “There’s a huge difference, and I notice it everywhere,” says Tobe Holmes with UCP.   Other groups also are tackling litter, too! The Mallard Creek Initiative hopes you will join them this Saturday, April 27, for a Cleanup Day. The following weekend, Scout Troop 13 will be scouring Clark’s Creek Greenway and nearby trails in University Research Park for old tires, litter and other cast-offs.   About the UCP’s litter cleanup University City Partners began paying a contractor in March to clean up litter along North Tryon Street, W.T. Harris Boulevard parts of other major roadways within University City’s Municipal Service District. The state of North Carolina is responsible for the litter cleanup, but the state cleanup schedule has not kept up with the volume of trash. The contractor, Phoenix Landscape Management, is also working with property owners along these highways to keep their properties clean and mowed.   Mallard Creek Initiative Cleanup Day on April 27 This community group is concerned about the amount of trash on the roads, says one of its leaders, University City resident and Realtor Robin Faison. “We want to see a change in behavior from the citizens,” she says, and the group invites us to help them pick up trash this Saturday, April 27, from 9:30 am to noon. The group will gather at 9:30 in front of Nona’s Sweets, in the Worthington shopping center at W.T. Harris Boulevard and Technology Drive. Directions For more details, contact Faison at robin.faison@gmail.com.   Troop 13 Clark’s...
The time for parks is now!

The time for parks is now!

A message from Darlene Heater: Our campaign for more parks now in University City and Charlotte moves forward. In the past two weeks we have: Addressed our Mecklenburg County Commissioners, who fund our parks, about the crisis of an exploding population and disappearing land for new parks. Helped launch Voices4Parks.org, a website that explains why commissioners must take action now, as they shape the budget that begins July 1. Kept working with parks boosters countywide to light the fire under elected officials.   If you share our passion for parks, join us, now! Visit Voices4Parks.org to learn why there is little time left to act for parks. Read our April 15 call to action to the Mecklenburg County Board. Send your own message for parks to the County Commission. Get contact info here. There is still time. Our commissioners do listen. Let’s make a difference, now!   Thanks. Darlene Heater, Executive Director University City...
Why parks? Why now?

Why parks? Why now?

Darlene Heater, executive director of University City Partners, addressed the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners on April 15, 2019, about the urgent need for funding to buy park land. This is the text of that address. Dear County Commissions, County Manager and Parks Director, Thank you for allowing me time on the Monday evening public comments agenda to share the reasons that parks are important to building livable communities that attract and serve residents. I am sharing them in written format via this email. As I shared, land for parks is disappearing before our eyes–and especially so in high growth areas including University City. I am urging you to plan for our future that will include easy access to parks. We are at a tipping point, and parks make Charlotte livable, inclusive, healthy. And, they strengthen our community fabric.   Parks reflect a community’s quality of life Parks are a tangible reflection of the quality of life in a community. They define the shape and feel of a city and its neighborhoods. They provide identity for citizens and are a major factor in the perception of quality of life in a given community. Parks also ensure the health of families and youth and contribute to the economic and environmental well-being of a community and a region. Access to parks and natural amenities is the foundation of great places – they are what attract people … and investment. Most importantly, public parks can provide rich and equitable opportunities for all residents. Here’s why:   Parks create community People gather to share experiences, socialize and to build community bonds in common...
Where Will They Play?

Where Will They Play?

We need more parks now – YOU CAN HELP A crisis caused by Charlotte’s explosive growth and government inaction threatens one of the most important assets of every truly livable city – public parks.   A recent nationwide study revealed that Charlotte has the least parkland per person of any comparable city in America! Mecklenburg County has added nearly 200,000 residents in 10 years yet provides virtually no more parkland for 1.1 million people than it did a decade ago for 900,000. Now, land prices are soaring while sites suitable for new parks are being lost to development. A University City without parks Nowhere is the situation more dire than within walking distance of University City’s growing community.  University City Partners and the Parks Department staff jointly funded a parks master plan five years ago—anticipating this growth. Nothing in the plan has been done. That radical change can happen – with your help, now! The time is now for all of us to tell commissioners that we demand more and better parks. Our commissioners will respond when enough citizens call for change. Email each of the commissioners. Encourage friends and family to do the same. Together, let’s make that happen. Darlene Heater Executive Director University City Partners Email addresses of decision makers and email copy for easy action. lee.jones@mecklenburgcountync.gov Dena.Diorio@mecklenburgcountync.gov Vilma.Leake@mecklenburgcountync.gov george.dunlap@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov ella.scarborough@mecklenburgcountync.gov pat.cotham@mecklenburgcountync.gov trevor.fuller@mecklenburgcountync.gov elaine.powell@mecklenburgcountync.gov Mark.Jerrell@mecklenburgcountync.gov Susan.Harden@mecklenburgcountync.gov susan.rodriguez-mcdowell@mecklenburgcountync.gov Want a shortcut to writing your emails? Feel free to use any or all of the content below: RE:  More Parks Now for University City Please fund parks so our Future University City will have vibrant, active and safe park spaces...
University City’s bike shop takes a Giant leap

University City’s bike shop takes a Giant leap

The University City bike shop formerly known as Bike Line has a new name, a new line of bikes and a fresh look. What won’t change, says founder and owner Shane Hockensmith, is the skilled staff focused on customer service, quality repairs and cycling advocacy. Shane invites the community to the Grand Reopening of Giant University City on May 4-5. Today (May 4) and Saturday, Giant University City, located next to Toby Creek Greenway and UNC Charlotte, will offer a bike repair clinic for women, a Saturday morning greenway ride, mountain-bike exhibitions by “Trail Boss” Jeff Lenosky and, of course, Grand Reopening special prices on all bikes and accessories. First up is tonight’s “Liv Women’s Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic,” 6:30-8:30 pm at the shop. Leading the workshop will be Liv Cycling ambassador Jen Audia. Details Jen will also lead Saturday morning’s no-drop Greenway Ride, starting at 9 am. Details   20-year journey from Bike Line to Giant University City Hockensmith launched Bike Line of Charlotte 20 years ago in the row of stores and offices directly behind the shop’s current location in Towne Center Plaza. A decade ago, Hockensmith relocated to the much larger current location between Rite Aid and Life Time Fitness. This latest transformation brings the world’s largest bike manufacturer to University City. The “Giant” in Giant University City is Giant Bicycles. While most bike companies outsource their production, Giant makes both its own bicycles and the materials those bicycles require. What does that mean for consumers? “Simply put, lower prices and better bikes for everyone,” Hockensmith says. Bringing in a completely new line of bikes gave...
Need to escape the ‘noise’? Try these 4 refuges in University City

Need to escape the ‘noise’? Try these 4 refuges in University City

The holidays can get so hectic, you just wish you could escape for an hour or two. That escape is close by in University City. Here are four of our favorite places. All are free and open from dawn to dusk!   UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens Ten acres of beautiful year-round flora await you at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. Stroll the Asian Garden, Winter Garden, Water Garden and a native woodland garden daily from dawn to dusk. Or visit the McMillan Greenhouse, offering tropical plants, orchids, desert plants and carnivorous plants. The outdoor gardens will be open throughout the holidays. The Greenhouse will be open 9 am-4 pm Mondays-Saturdays and 1-4 pm Sundays through Dec. 21, and closed Dec. 22-Jan. 1 for the winter break.  704-687-0721  Website UNC Charlotte campus This 1,000-acre center of higher education is also a beautiful place to explore, especially in late December. The official winter break is Dec. 22-Jan. 1, but most students will be heading home this week. Some buildings such as the Pop Martin Student Union will be open through Dec. 21. The campus is pedestrian and bike friendly. Toby Creek Greenway runs through the heart of the campus. Several streets have bike lanes, and you can ride bikes on any campus sidewalk (but watch out for stairs!). You may be able to rent a Gotcha Bike from several outdoor racks around campus. Click on the link for details and rack locations. Get a printable campus map   Toby Creek, Mallard Creek and Clark’s Creek greenways You can hike or bike for hours on these three connected greenways that stretch for about 13...