City Walks: Discover Charlotte’s neighborhood stories

Uptown art to ‘Edge City’ growth: Learn Charlotte on foot

  Photo: Nancy Pierce

THE 2018 CHARLOTTE CITY WALKS HAVE CONCLUDED FOR THE YEAR. PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE PLANCHARLOTTE.ORG NEWSLETTER (SEE SIGN-UP AT RIGHT ON THIS PAGE) TO BE NOTIFIED ABOUT 2019 CHARLOTTE CITY WALKS

SEE THE LIST OF 2018 CITY WALKS  

Charlotte neighborhoods have stories to tell – stories many residents have never heard. Explore some of the city’s neighborhoods and hear those stories during a month of City Walks in May.

  • Meander through McCrorey Heights and the campus of nearby Johnson C. Smith University, seeing where many of the leaders of the Charlotte civil rights movement lived – and where a home was firebombed.
  • Visit small businesses – restaurants and bakeries and shops – created and run by immigrant entrepreneurs along Central Avenue, South Boulevard and Sharon Amity Road.
  • See a modest, affordable neighborhood in east Charlotte that’s home to an increasing number of artists and their studios – with some open studio visits.

Those are among 24 walks scheduled so far. More walks will be added in coming days, so check back often.

Or you can organize a walk yourself. Anyone can volunteer to lead a City Walk. You don’t have to be a historian or a professor or a professional organizer. The idea is to encourage everyday residents to get engaged in organizing walks for their neighbors and others. 

WANT TO ORGANIZE A WALK? 

WHAT’S A CITY WALK?

City Walks are public walking tours throughout May that highlight the city’s neighborhoods. They’re intended to inspire people to get better acquainted with their own neighborhoods, to learn about parts of the city they don’t know well, and to meet one another.

The walks are free and open to all. A few walks have limits on how many can participate due to space constraints. Registration is requested so participants can be contacted if the walk is canceled due to weather or other unexpected reasons.

PlanCharlotte, a publication of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, organizes City Walks with assistance from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, janeswalk.org and local partnerships.

Check back often to see what’s in the works. You can follow City Walks Charlotte on Facebook to see when new walks are added.

 

Click here to RSVP to attend a walk

 

IS THIS JUST A CHARLOTTE THING?

Activist Jane Jacobs celebrated the power of everyday people to shape their city.

City Walks are part of a global celebration – known in many cities as Jane Jacobs Walks or Jane’s Walks – of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, a famous neighborhood champion who lived in New York and Toronto.

Born May 4, 1916, Jane Jacobs was a writer, activist and urban thinker who championed a community-based approach, based on what she observed in her neighborhood, Greenwich Village. She saw cities as ecosystems with their own logic and dynamism. She promoted local economies, higher density in cities, short blocks, and neighborhoods that mixed homes, stores and workplaces in close proximity.

Scorned at the time – the 1960s – by many professional planners, architects and city officials, Jacobs’ books and ideas are now routinely taught in planning and architecture schools.

The walks take place around the world during the first weekend in May, to honor her birthday, but in Charlotte they take place throughout May. 

WANT A HAND PLANNING A WALK IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

Anyone can plan a City Walk. You don’t need to be a so-called “expert.” The idea is to encourage residents to get engaged with their neighbors and neighborhood, and to welcome people from other parts of the city.

Contact us for assistance. We can help with planning, research, walk registration and publicity, or give you an experienced walk “mentor” to work with you.

Here’s a quick primer, courtesy of the JanesWalk.org group:

How to Lead a Jane's Walk from Jane's Walk on Vimeo.

Contact us:

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, where PlanCharlotte.org is produced, is organizer for City Walks 2017 in Charlotte, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

 

Click here to RSVP to attend a walk

 

SCHEDULED 2018 WALKS

Munching Tour #1: East Charlotte Sharon Amity Road -THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Tuesday, May 1, 4-6 p.m.

What: In Charlotte, merchants from every part of the globe mingle in older suburban shopping plazas — what Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist Tom Hanchett calls “salad bowl suburbs.” Join Hanchett to visit a Nepali grocery, enjoy an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, eat a Palestinian feast and finish with Syrian pastries — all in a single east Charlotte spot.  

This walk is limited to 16 attendees, so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. The walk is free but please bring $20 in cash to pay for food you’ll eat. 

Where: The tour starts and ends outside Nile Grocery, 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road.

Accessibility: This event is accessible to wheelchairs and all ages. Not all curbs have wheelchair cuts.

Parking: Parking is available in the shopping center at 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road.

Transit: If you prefer not to drive, CATS Bus 17 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown travels through Plaza Midwood on Central and Commonwealth avenues. Get out at the Campbell Drive stop, a two-minute walk from 3113 N. Sharon Amity. See more at ridetransit.org.


University City: the Past, Present and Future of a City within the City - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Friday, May 4, 6 p.m.

What:  Learn the vision of its founders, how it grew, and where momentum will take University City on this one-hour walk led by Tobe Holmes, planning and development director at University City Partners. Explore key redevelopment sites that will make University City a more walkable environment, and discuss the challenges and opportunities coming on the heels of the new Blue Line Extension. At the end there will be an option to continue the conversation with fellow walkers over a snack. Co-sponsored with University City Partners.

Where:  Meet outside the Famous Toastery, 8933 J. M. Keynes Drive #2.

Accessibility: This event will potentially traverse active construction areas that may not be as suitable for wheelchairs, bicycles, people with infirmities or young children.

Parking: Parking is available at the Shoppes at University Place, 8929 J. M. Keynes Drive.

Transit:  If you’d prefer not to drive, take light rail to the JW Clay Station. See more at ridetransit.org


What Happened Here? An Urban Cycling Tour and History Talk THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 5, 9:30-12 p.m.

What: Participants will ride a 5.5-mile loop through Historic West End and uptown Charlotte, with three stops along the way. The first will explore the West End, highlighting the architecture of segregation still in existence. The second will be in the old Brooklyn neighborhood, where a former resident will meet the group and discuss the history of the area. The third will be in Third Ward, where the group will meet with another former resident. An end-of-tour debriefing will occur after the ride, and all participants are expected to remain and participate in it. This walk is cosponsored with ASC, QC Family Tree and Charlotte BCycle.

Where: Meet at Five Points Plaza, adjacent to Mosaic Village, 1635 W. Trade St.

Accessibility: Cycling will be at a pace friendly for all levels. Those with other mobility needs, contact organizer to make arrangements.

Parking: Available at Mosaic Village parking deck or on street.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 7, get out at Trade and Fifth streets and walk 300 feet. Routes 1 and 8 also stop at or near Mosaic Village.  See more at ridetransit.org.


NoDa Neighborhood Walking Tour #1 - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 5, 10:30 a.m.

What:  Join us for an hour walking tour of the NoDa neighborhood, an eclectic arts district and community that began as a mill village. The tour will begin at Smelly Cat Coffee House and end at NoDa Company Store, a refurbished mill home at 3221 Yadkin Avenue, immediately behind Smelly Cat Coffee House. This walk is co-sponsored with the Charlotte Museum of History and the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association.

 Where: The group will meet at Smelly Cat Coffee House, 514 E. 36th St. 

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to people of all ages, wheelchairs and bicycles.

Parking: A paid parking surface lot is available adjacent to NoDa Company Store. Free on-street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, particularly on 36th Street.

Transit:  If you prefer not to drive, Smelly Cat is two blocks from the 36th Street Station on the Lynx Blue Line. CATS Bus 23 stops at North Davidson and 36th streets, a 1-minute walk from Smelly Cat. See more at ridetransit.org.


NoDa Neighborhood Walking Tour #2 - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 5, 11 a.m.

What:  Join us for an hour walking tour of the NoDa neighborhood, an eclectic arts district and community that began as a mill village.  The tour will begin at Smelly Cat Coffee House and end at NoDa Company Store, a refurbished mill home at 3221 Yadkin Avenue, which is immediately behind Smelly Cat Coffee House. This walk is co-sponsored with the Charlotte Museum of History and the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association.

Where: The group will meet at Smelly Cat Coffee House, 514 E. 36th St. 

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to people of all ages, wheelchairs and bicycles.

Parking: A paid parking surface lot is available adjacent to NoDa Company Store.  Free on-street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, particularly on 36th Street. 

Transit:  If you prefer not to drive, Smelly Cat is two blocks from the 36th Street Station on the Lynx Blue Line. CATS Bus 23 stops at North Davidson and 36th streets, a 1-minute walk from Smelly Cat. See more at ridetransit.org.


McCrorey Heights and JCSU Walking Tour - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 5, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

What: Johnson C. Smith University’s campus is a Charlotte gem. Many professors lived nearby in upscale McCrorey Heights, whose “Mid-century Modern” houses also included key civil rights activists. Tour co-led by neighborhood resident Emiene Wright of JCSU with historian Tom Hanchett.  

This walk is limited to 25 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above.  

Where: The walking tour starts and ends next to the bell tower outside First Baptist Church-West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and all ages. Sidewalks are narrow in some spots and not all curbs have wheelchair cuts.

Parking:  Parking is available in the lot at the First Baptist Church-West. 

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take bus 26 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown and get out at the Mulberry Avenue stop across the street from the church. See more at ridetransit.org.


Grier Heights 2018 Annual Walk for Remembrance - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

What:  The Grier Heights Community Center (GHCC). is a vibrant part of life in the Grier Heights community and the center for a variety of activities and groups in the surrounding community. The walk is a tribute to the late Jonathan Belton, a community member who passed away in 2016; we remember him for his passions in serving the community, especially the youth and the GHCC. Without Mr. Belton’s courageous and perseverance work, the GHCC as we know it today would not exist, and through this walk, we honor his many accomplishments, along with many others in Grier Heights who have paved the way over the years.

Where: The walk will start at Grier Heights Community Center, 3100 Leroy St.

Accessibility: The community center is wheelchair-, walker- or bicycle-accessible. All ages welcome.

Parking: Parking is available at the Grier Heights community center and at Billingsville Elementary School, 124 Skyland Ave.


Munching Tour #2: South Boulevard - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 5, 2-4 p.m.

What: Explore food from three continents in a single block of bustling South Boulevard. Begin with beef-lamb shawarma and a side of hummus (Jasmine Grill, Syria), then a refreshing chilled salad roll (Saigon Palace, Vietnam) and finally roast pork, plantains and creole crab stew (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic). Co-led by Charlotte Observer “Food from Home” columnist Tom Hanchett and residents of the Madison Park neighborhood. 

This walk is limited to 16 attendees, so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. The walk is free but please bring $25 in cash to pay for food you’ll eat.  

Where: The tour starts and ends at Jasmine Grill, 5033 South Blvd.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and all ages. Not all curbs have wheelchair cuts. 

Parking: The Jasmine Grill shopping center has a large lot, 5033 South Blvd.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take the Lynx Blue Line to the Tyvola Station, and walk about a half a mile. Or take bus 12 and get out at Seneca Place and walk about 1 minute to the restaurant. Or take the Lynx Blue Line to Scaleybark Station or Tyvola Station, walk to South Boulevard and catch Bus 12 to Seneca Place. See more at ridetransit.org.


Walk Tall: Wander Among the Trees of University City’s Green Heart, UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Friday, May 11, 9:30 a.m.

What: Join garden director Jeff Gillman for a walking tour through the 10-acre UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, and help celebrate National Public Gardens Day. The walk will start at the McMillan Greenhouse and head into the Van Landingham Glen – a woodland garden of thousands of native plants and rhododendron. We’ll follow winding paths below majestic trees, including a grove of bigleaf magnolia. The tour will continue to the Susie Harwood Garden through the Mellichamp Native Terrace and Asian Garden, and return to the greenhouse to tour its collection of carnivorous plants. 

Where:  The group will meet at the McMillan Greenhouse on the UNC Charlotte campus, 9090 Craver Road.

Accessibility: The outdoor botanical gardens are not wheelchair-, walker- or bicycle-accessible. All ages welcome.

Parking: Parking available at the East Visitor Deck (5-minute walk to greenhouse), or there are six marked spots available directly across from the greenhouse in the lot shared with the Parking Office. Participants who park in those spots must go into the Parking Office to get a four-hour parking tag. Most parking spots at UNC Charlotte are paid parking only on weekdays. 

Transit: To avoid driving and parking, you can take the Blue Line light rail to the UNC Charlotte campus station and walk about 10 minutes or at the station catch the Green Line on-campus shuttle and det off at the Facilities Management building or the Fretwell Building (near the East Visitor Deck). You may also take CATS Bus 11 from uptown or Bus 29 (between Eastland Mall area and UNC Charlotte. Get more information at ridetransit.org.


Munching Tour #3: Central Avenue - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Friday, May 11, 4-6 p.m.

What:  The best sandwich in Charlotte? Many local foodies believe it’s at the Sav/Way Supermarket lunch counter, where Spanish-born Rudy Montero makes his own chorizo sausage. Find out why Charlotte Observer food writer Kathleen Purvis raved about it. That’s just the start of our ramble, which includes Honduran snacks at Lempira and Mexican pastries at Manolo’s Bakery (formerly Las Delicias Bakery). Hosted by Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist Tom Hanchett. This walk is limited to 16 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. The walk is free but please bring $20 in cash to pay for food you’ll eat. 

Where:  Tour starts and ends outside Lempira Restaurant, 4439 Central Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and all ages. Not all curbs have wheelchair cuts.

Parking: Parking is available in the shopping center lot at 4439 Central Avenue

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 9 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown to Central Avenue and Progress Lane and walk about 300 feet.  See more at ridetransit.org.


Dilworth ‘Ghost History’ Biking Tour - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 12, 9:30 a.m.

What: Join Dilworth attorney Chris Hudson for an easy biking architectural tour of late-19th and early 20th-century Dilworth homes, including the 300 block of East Park Avenue with its two homes harboring active ghost habitations. Dom Ristaino, a Park Ave. “ghost house” resident, has agreed to share a bit of history of his house. We will depart Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop at 9:30  a.m., so plan to arrive by 9:15 with helmet and working bike lights (yes, daytime too). We will visit homes (with brief curbside commentary by your guide) north of East Boulevard built in the Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and other styles and return to Pike’s by 10:45.

Where:  Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop, 1930 Camden Rd., Charlotte

Accessibility: The ride/tour is not wheelchair- or walker-accessible. You will need a bicycle. If you need a bike, B-Cycle Charlotte can provide one. Contact mnewsom@uncc.edu or amarcus5@uncc.edu to request a bike. Suggested ages are from 9 up, but all who can safely stay in a bike lane are welcome.   

Parking: Street parking is generally available along Camden Road on both sides of the street.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS light rail south from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown to East/West Boulevard Station stop and walk about 2 minutes. See more at ridetransit.org.


Plaza Midwood “Stroll District” - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

What: Plaza Midwood’s small-scale businesses create the perfect place to stroll and explore. Meet some long-time merchants and learn some history as Clifton Castelloe of Moxie Merchantile co-leads a walk with community historian Dr. Tom Hanchett. 

This walk is limited to 25 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above.  

Where:  Tour starts and ends outside Coaltranes Char & Grill, 1518 Central Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and all ages.  

Parking: Parking is available in the city lot  at 1251 Thomas Ave., adjacent to Coaltrane’s Char & Grill, or on-street parking nearby.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 9 to Thomas Avenue. See more at ridetransit.org.


Rail Trail Art Walk during ‘Art & Soul of South End’ - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 12, at 1 p.m.

What: Explore South End’s Rail Trail, a vibrant, public trail through the heart of South End and uptown. Explore public art, breweries, restaurants restaurants and unique spaces on a colorful, fun tour of the trail’s art and activity areas.

Where: Meet at the Historic South End info tent on Camden Road, near Kingston Avenue, near 1700 Camden Road.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and strollers.

Parking: Park at any of the Blue Line light rail park-and-ride lots and ride the train to the East-West or Bland Stations, and walk to Camden and Kingston. Paid parking is available at 240 Doggett St. (Design Center Parking Deck) and there is free on-street parking throughout the district.  

Transit: If you’d rather not drive, take the Blue Line light rail to the East-West or Bland Station and then walk to Camden. Or take CATS Bus 10 to the Camden and East Boulevard stop or Bus 16 to Tryon Street and Park Avenue. Bike valet provided by Charlotte B-cycle will be available at the Art & Soul of South End event, on Camden near Park Avenue.


Munching Tour #4: Grove Park - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 12, 4-6 p.m.

What: What: Old shopping centers = foodie heaven? Yes! Where Sharon Amity Road meets W.T. Harris Boulevard, stroll and sample Ray Leung’s “real Chinese” menu at Panda’s Den, Greek souvlaki with Kiki Kakavitsa at Parkway House, Ty Noble’s Caribbean flavors at Ty’s Wings & Tings, then coffee & Salvadoran pastries with Estefania Segovia at Salvadoreña. Grove Park neighborhood leader Mimi Davis and Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist Tom Hanchett are your guides. 

This walk is limited to 20 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. The walk is free but please bring about $25 cash to pay for food you’ll eat.  

Where: Tour starts at Ty’s Wings & Tings, 5708 N Sharon Amity Rd

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and all ages. Not all curbs have wheelchair cuts. 

Parking: Parking is available in the shopping center lot at 5708 N Sharon Amity Rd


The Changing Face of Lower South End: Can Local Small Businesses Survive? - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 12, 2:30 p.m.

What: Come along with urban designer David Walters to see changes in this formerly industrial area and discuss what the future might bring for South End and the city as a whole. We’ll go past new townhomes and refurbished 1960s industrial buildings being surrounded by new, upmarket residential development drawn by the nearby light rail transit. We’ll ask: Does it matter in the big picture if the small local businesses go elsewhere if land and rents get too high? What are our urban values? Do the physical attributes of a location matter?

Where: The walk will start and end at C3 Lab, 2525 Distribution St.

Accessibility:  The walk will be on streets and sidewalks and suitable for wheelchairs and participants of all ages.

Parking:  Parking is available at C3 Lab, 2525 Distribution St., with a clearly marked overflow lot about 100 yards away.

Transit: If you’d rather not drive, take the Lynx Blue Line light rail to the New Bern Station, and walk about 8 minutes to C3 Lab. Or take CATS Bus 16 to the South Tryon Street-Remount Road stop and walk about 3 minutes to C3 Lab.


Walking Tour of Hebrew Cemetery and Brightwalk - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Sunday, May 13, 1-2:45 p.m.

What: Hear stories of the notables who rest in one of Charlotte’s oldest cemeteries, including best-selling author and civil rights activist Harry Golden. Then head next door to visit one of Charlotte’s newest neighborhoods, Brightwalk, a national model of mixed-income development. Brian Yesowitch, the Hebrew Cemetery Historical Chair, will co-lead the walk with historian Tom Hanchett.

This walk is limited to 25 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. 

Where: Tour starts and ends at Hebrew Cemetery, 1801 Statesville Ave

Accessibility: The walk will wind through the grassy cemetery, which may be difficult for people with mobility issues.

Parking: Come in through the cemetery gates at 1801 Statesville Ave., then bear left to find parking.

Transit:  If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 21 along Stateville Avenue to the Woodward Avenue stop and walk about 1 minute, or Bus 26 to the Oaklawn Avenue and Spring Street stop, and walk about 4 minutes. See details at ridetransit.org.


Charlotte Liberty Walk Through Uptown: The Revolutionary Period in Charlotte-Towne - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Sunday, May 13, 2:30 p.m.

What: Uptown Charlotte saw plenty of action in the years before and during the Revolutionary War, including the 1780 Battle of Charlotte between local patriots and the forces of Lord Cornwallis, the British commander who spent 16 humiliating days in Charlotte during September 1780. Learn why the hornet’s nest is Charlotte’s symbol. (Hint: It involves an annoyed Cornwallis, after local militia pestered his men relentlessly.) Learn why May 20 is a significant date for Charlotte. Led by local historian and author Scott Syfert, this event will tell you about Charlotte’s Revolutionary history as you follow the Liberty Walk through uptown.  This walk is co-sponsored with the Charlotte Museum of History.

Where: The group will meet in front of the Harvey B. Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St. uptown.

Accessibility: Will walk 1.5 miles so plan accordingly. Wheelchair accessible.

Parking: Parking garages, surface lots and metered on-street spaces (free on Sundays) are available near the Harvey B. Gantt Center.

Transit: Take the LYNX Blue Line to the Stonewall Street station. After exiting the train, walk one block northeast on Stonewall Street toward South Tryon. The Gantt Center is at Stonewall and South Tryon. Multiple CATS bus routes travel nearby. See ridetransit.org for more information.


The Stories of Hebrew Cemetery - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Sunday, May 13, 3:15-4:45 p.m.

What: Brian Yesowitch, the Hebrew Cemetery’s Hilbert Fuerstman Historical Chair, offers stories of notable Charlotteans who rest in Hebrew Cemetery, which dates to 1867. Discover civic leaders, best-selling author and civil rights activist Harry Golden and more.

Where: Meet at the cemetery, 1801 Statesville Ave.

Accessibility: The walk will wind through the grassy cemetery, possibly difficult for people with mobility issues.

Parking: Come in through the cemetery gates at 1801 Statesville Ave. then bear left to find parking.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 21 along Stateville Avenue to the Woodward Avenue stop and walk about 1 minute, or Bus 26 to the Oaklawn Avenue-Spring Street stop, and walk about 4 minutes. See details at ridetransit.org.


Charlotte’s Century-Old Oakhurst Neighborhood: A New World Walk - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Tuesday, May 15, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

What:  Join us for a 1.2-mile walk through Oakhurst, one of Charlotte’s oldest neighborhoods, which became popular as a mill village, where women working for the Hudson Hosiery Co. could walk past fields and woodlands to their $12-per-week jobs. Today, this 103-year old neighborhood, with a lush oak tree canopy, is a melting pot of artists, entrepreneurs, free spirits and dedicated Charlotteans. This neighborhood will make headlines in the years ahead. The walk is co-sponsored with We Walk Together.

Where:  The walk will start and end at the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency, 5009 Monroe Road, Suite 100, behind the Village Creek Apartments.

Accessibility: This walk is wheelchair and bicycle accessible and open to all age groups.

Parking: Please park at the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency lot, 5009 Monroe Road. If questions, call 704-942-4346.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take bus 27 from the Charlotte Transportation Center to the Monroe Road-Ross Moore Avenue stop and walk about 300 feet. See details at ridetransit.org.


Chantilly Neighborhood and Ecological Sanctuary Walking Tour - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 19, 9:30 a.m.

What: Join neighborhood residents on a stroll through Chantilly’s charming tree-lined streets and on the informal greenway along Briar Creek. Learn about the building of Independence Boulevard through the neighborhood and experience how the newly developed Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary and has turned some of the most flood-prone areas in Mecklenburg County into a natural and beneficial urban floodplain.

Where: Meet at the dead end of Shenandoah Avenue (2648 Shenandoah Ave.)

Accessibility: This walk will include an unpaved, grassy dirt pathway, which may be difficult for people with mobility issues.

Parking: Some parking is available at the end of Shenandoah Avenue. On-street parking is also available on the neighborhood streets. Please be mindful not to block driveways.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 27 to Monroe Road and Colonnade Drive. It is a pleasant 15-minute walk from there to the meeting point. See more at ridetransit.org.


A Neighborhood Through Artists’ Eyes - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Sunday, May 20, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

What: See this area through the eyes of five local artists: Deborah Triplett (photographer and Yard Art Day founder), Susan Brenner (painter and recent CATS Blue line artist), Sharon Dowell (painter and recent CATS Blue Line artist), Carmella Jarvi (Charlotte native and glass artist) and Amy Sanders (full-time studio artist who creates with and teaches clay). We’ll walk from Shamrock Gardens Elementary School through the surrounding Country Club and Plaza Shamrock neighborhoods, visiting three artists’ home studios on the way. (If you want more time with the artist, schedule a private studio visit.) The artists will talk about living in the area, having home studios, what it’s like being an artist in Charlotte and about changes happening in the neighborhood.

Where: Shamrock Gardens Elementary School, 3301 Country Club Drive.  (The walk will end at Amy Sanders’ studio on Dade Street, and several cars will be available to drive participants back to the school if they prefer. Want to continue the conversation? Grab a bite at Letty’s across Shamrock Drive from the school, or nearby Lang Van or the new Crispy Banh Mi.

Accessibility: Although there are sidewalks most of the way, this walk is not wheelchair, or walker, accessible. All ages welcome. (Suggest wearing sturdy walking shoes & bringing water, sunscreen, etc..

Parking: Shamrock Gardens Elementary School, 3301 Country Club Drive.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take CATS Bus 23 to Shamrock Drive-Eastwood Drive and walk about 4 minutes, or Bus 4 to The Plaza and Matheson Avenue and walk about 16 minutes. See details at ridetransit.org.


Romare Bearden Park Design Walk THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Tuesday, May 22, 6:15-7:15 p.m.

What: Walk the park and hear about the planning, design, programming, and maintenance of this highly used urban park. If anyone would like to meet for a drink afterward, please meet at Ink n Ivy.

Where: We will meet at the corner of Third and Church streets in Romare Bearden Park.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and all ages.  

Parking: Parking garages, surface lots and metered on-street spaces are available near the park. The on-street parking meters are free after 6 p.m.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take the Lynx Blue Line to the Third Street/Convention Center stop and walk about 7 minutes, take a CATS Bus to the Charlotte Transportation Center and walk about 4 minutes. Also, CATS Bus 2 from the Charlotte Transportation Center stops at Church and Third streets. See details at ridetransit.org.


Charlotte's Belmont Neighborhood- Where Do I Go From Here? - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m.

What: Join us for an hour walking tour of Charlotte's Belmont neighborhood (not the town of Belmont). Learn about the origins as a white mill village, the transition to an under-invested black neighborhood, and now another transition. Charlotte's tale of two cities as noted in the Leading on Opportunity report is playing out in the Belmont neighborhood. As housing prices soar, long-time homeowners are concerned about tax increases, and renters are losing their affordable rates. This begs the question – where do I go if I need to leave my home? See large new homes next to small mill homes, learn about mill village life and current redevelopment, and hear how the community association is working to navigate this change. We will stop mid-way through for light refreshments on a resident's porch. This walk is cosponsored with the Charlotte Museum of History, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and the Belmont Community Association.

Where: Tour starts and ends at Metrographics Printing, 1003 Louise Ave.

Accessibility: This walk is about 1.5 miles and will occur mostly on sidewalks, some of which are narrow and uneven. Attendees using wheelchairs or walkers should consider their comfort level with navigating uneven pavement. All ages welcome (children must be supervised). 

Parking: Parking is available in the Metrographics Printing parking lot.

Transit: If you prefer not to drive, CATS Bus 4 stops at Pegram Street and Belmont Avenue, two blocks from our meeting location. Or take the Lynx Blue Line to the Parkwood Station and walk about 23 minutes. See more at ridetransit.org.


The Development of Prosperity Village THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Saturday, May 26, 9-10 a.m.

What: Learn about one of Charlotte’s newest activity centers and the future development coming our way. This diverse, up-and-coming community is growing thanks to the completion of Interstate 485 and the newly adopted Prosperity Hucks Area Plan.

Where: This event starts and ends at Barista Craft, 5818 Highland Shoppes Dr.

Accessibility: This walk is wheelchair- , walker- or bicycle-accessible and open to all age groups. There will be little shade so we suggest comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hats or umbrellas and bringing water, etc.

Parking: Parking is available at Barista Craft, 5818 Highland Shoppes Dr.

Transit: No transit service is available.


Uptown Wall Poems: North Carolina Poetry as Public Art THIS WALK IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE HIGH POTENTIAL FOR THUNDERSTORMS

When: Tuesday, May 29, 6-7:30 p.m.

What: Tour the seven existing Wall Poems in uptown and discuss the words and designs, the support for the program, and the (sometimes hilarious) hurdles in creating public art with a mission: to take poetry to people. Get the scoop on the two Wall Poems in Uptown that have been erased (gasp!) or recently demolished as part of planned development. Led by Amy Bagwell, poet, Wall Poems co-director, and Central Piedmont Community College instructor. 

Where: The group will meet outside Seventh Street Public Market, East 7th Street.

Accessibility: This tour will range up to 1.5 miles on city sidewalks.

Parking: Parking garages, surface lots and metered on-street spaces (free after 6 p.m.) are available near Seventh Street Public Market. Or park for free at one of the Blue Line parking lots (for instance, Scaleybark or Sugar Creek stations) and ride the Blue Line light rail to 7th Street Station.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take the Lynx Blue Line light rail to the Seventh Street Station. Most CATS bus lines go to the Charlotte Transportation Center, and it’s a two block walk to the Seventh Street Station. See details at ridetransit.org.


The Changing Landscape of Transportation Equity in the West Boulevard Corridor - THIS WALK IS OVER

When: Wednesday, May 30, 6-7:30 p.m.

What: Join resident volunteers from the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition’s Equitable Transportation Team and staff from Sustain Charlotte for a walk on Clanton Road and West Boulevard as we explore the transportation challenges and opportunities of this historic area. You’ll get a first-hand look at the difficulties facing pedestrians and learn about a multiyear partnership that has built resident power and social capital to advocate successfully for better street lighting, safer crossings, intersection improvements, and more. 

Where: The walk will start and end at Arbor Glen Outreach Center, 1520 Clanton Rd

Accessibility: The walk will occur mostly on sidewalks, some of which are narrow and uneven. Attendees using wheelchairs or walkers should consider their comfort level with navigating uneven pavement. All ages welcome (children must be supervised).

Parking: Parking is available at Arbor Glen Outreach Center, 1520 Clanton Rd.

Transit: Attendees are encouraged to carpool, bike, or ride the bus if possible; CATS Bus 25 stops at Clanton Rd & Caronia St.


Inside | Out Charlotte Walking Tour - THIS WALK IS CANCELLED DUE TO A TORRENTIAL RAINSTORM

When: Thursday, May 31, 6-7:45 p.m.

What: Inside|Out is a community activated art project that places high quality reproductions of artworks in neighborhoods across selected cities and is generously funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Inside|Out Charlotte joins this national effort and features replicas of artworks that are currently on display at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Join the Inside|Out Charlotte team for a guided tour of the newest installations along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.

Where: The group will meet at Captain James Jack of Charlotte Statue located at 100 N. Kings Dr. Charlotte, NC 28204. The route will start at the Captain James Jack of Charlotte Statue off of 4th and Kings. Dr. and will continue down the Little Sugar Creek Greenway to the corner of E. Morehead and S. Kings Dr. before heading back to our starting point.

Accessibility: This walking tour is approximately 0.8 miles each way and is open to all ages who are comfortable walking or biking the distance.

Parking: Parking is available at the Captain James Jack of Charlotte Statue across from Thompson Park off of 4th and Kings Dr. Participants may also park in the CPCC Lot #3 off of Elizabeth Ave (1128 Elizabeth Ave).

Transit: If you prefer not to drive, our starting location is less than a block away from several bus stops. CATS bus 9 and 27 both stop at Elizabeth Ave before it crosses N. Kings Dr. CATS Bus 14, 15, 20, 45x, 61x, and 62x stop at 4th & Kings Drive. See details at ridetransit.org.

 
 
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Participants in the 2017 Munching Tour in the Grove Park neighborhood area eye baked goods at Salvadoreña bakery. This walk will be offered again in 2018. Photo: Ashley Williams Clark