As of now, volunteers have adopted 284.43 miles of city-maintained roads, according to Denise Coleman, neighborhood resource liaison for the city and Keep Charlotte Beautiful program manager. Last fiscal year, volunteers contributed 1,798 hours to cleaning up streets and collected more than 871 bags of litter.
Those numbers make adopting a city street seem like a major commitment, but it’s actually quite simple. All it takes to adopt a city street (for free!) is:
(1) Pick an available city street. Here is your handy-dandy interactive map.
(2) Fill out a short application.
(3) Get approved by Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB) staff. KCB is an affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful organization that connects citizens, organizations and government agencies in an effort to sustain Charlotte’s clean and healthy environment. The Adopt-A-City-Street Program is one of KCB’s premier programs and was created at the time of KCB’s inception in 1974.
And there’s no kicker for approval — Coleman said all applications are reviewed and KCB tries to accommodate all potential volunteers.
(4) Complete at least three clean-ups per fiscal year on your street, and submit a clean-up report to KCB each time. Coleman said some volunteers even do this every week.
The stretch of street that was adopted by 24 Hours of Booty in 2011 looked immaculate when I drove by. Details from the interactive map:
Spencer Lueders, founder of the nonprofit 24 Hours of Booty, and his comrades picked this stretch of road in Myers Park because they have what he calls “de facto ownership” of the area’s Booty Loop, which is the setting for the annual cycling event to benefit local cancer organizations,.
Lueders said, “That’s a key stretch of road of the Booty Loop,” featuring the main climb of the course that gathers big crowds and spectator parties during the summer cycling event.
He and 24 HOB staff and volunteers see to it that the area gets periodically cleaned up during the year, in addition to sweeping the course for the annual event.
In return, they are honored by a snazzy sign.
As are other street-adopting volunteers.
“The program keeps growing because more groups are interested in doing something to improve their quality of life,” Coleman said.
Strips of street that are still up for adoption include S. Caldwell Street uptown, Roswell Avenue in Myers Park, Walnut Avenue in West End — and beyond.
KCB Board members will also be accepting ideas for their $5,000 Beautification Grant until Jan. 4.
Stay beautiful, Charlotte.
Photos: Katie Toussaint