About the Midwood Mile
The Midwood Mile is a long-term placemaking initiative to create both an amenity and an attraction for everyone to enjoy on The Plaza between Parkwood Avenue and Central Avenue. This street is both a gateway and main travel spine for our neighborhood, as well as a thruway for our Charlotte neighbors. Our vision is to create a safe, welcoming, vibrant, and people-friendly place that encourages activity, facilitates connections, and builds community. Imagine what beauty and interest might be created with a sustained effort to implement landscaping, art, and more along our neighborhood’s driveway.
If you'd like to support this project, please look for volunteer opportunities, DONATE, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more ways to help!
In the meantime, we hope you'll bike, scoot, skate, stroll, walk, run, and LOVE the Midwood Mile!
Find out more about the various Midwood Mile projects below.
The Midwood Mile's Newest Project: Native Wildflowers and Grasses to Beautify The Plaza
Sharp-eyed residents heading down The Plaza near Central may have wondered about straw on the narrow median in the block before Hamorton. Is something other than grass growing there?
The answer to that puzzle is yes: native wildflowers and grasses.
This is one of two new native wildflower test plots just planted in recent weeks as part of the Midwood Mile effort. The second plot is located in the median a few blocks north, just before Kensington under the Crepe Myrtle trees in that stretch.
Both patches are planted in mixes of native grasses and wildflowers. The idea behind the mixes is to spruce up the median, but also to test which species are best able to adapt to the conditions at each location.
For the Hamorton plot, the seeds were chosen for their ability to thrive despite the often harsh, hot and dry conditions of that narrow median location, especially during summer, according to Brian Bennett, a landscape architect. Bennett is leading this effort along with his wife, Aya Miyakoda, also a landscape architect; and Will Ruark of the Catawba Lands Conservancy.
For the patch near Kensington, the mix was chosen for shade tolerance, to thrive in a section where they will grow beneath the numerous Crepe Myrtles in that stretch of median.
The patches were both seeded on May 18, during a dry spell. Recent rain should help the seeds germinate and begin emerging very soon.
What will you see? The first plants likely to appear will be the oat grasses, long thin stalks of green-blue leaves that grow in clumps. That will be followed by other grasses and flowers of many kinds.
For the Hamorton patch, the seed mix includes native flowering plants such as Blackeyed Susan, Yarrow, two varieties of Coreopsis, Lemon mint, Lupine, Illinois bundleflower and White prairie clover.
For the Kensington patch, the mix also includes other grasses such as Creeping red fescue, Fox sedge and Upland bentgrass. Flowering plants include Coreopsis, Lemon mint, Columbine and Smooth Aster.
Bennett cautions that it could take some months, even a year or more, for all of the species to germinate and flower. That’s because some seeds in the mixes are given special treatment by the supplier to help replicate natural conditions by remaining dormant through the first winter and emerging next spring. This helps ensure long-term hardiness.
Whenever the plants emerge, it will provide a great opportunity to see the beauty of native grasses and flowering plants in each environment. And, according to Midwood Mile Committee leader Larry Nabatoff, provide great examples for homeowners in the neighborhood who are interested in adopting more of the native species themselves.
As their first pilot project, the Midwood Mile team coordinated with the city and over 40 volunteers to plant 9,000 tulips in five sections of the median. The beautiful flowers were a wonderful bright spot in Spring 2020! Thank you to all of our volunteers and partners that helped make this possible.
In 2020, we implemented Charlotte’s first ever bike lane mural, and let’s just say we LOVE it!!! This beautiful mural is located in the bike lanes outside of Holy Trinity Church near Belle Terre. Neighborhood artist, Laurel Holtzapple, designed the mural called "Hearts A Bursting" and was inspired by Holy Trinity's tagline of "loving not judging". Thank you to all the volunteers, your support of PMNA, and the partnership & generous contributions from the following:
- Arts & Science Council
- Sustain Charlotte
- The Whole Blooming Landscape
- Van Landingham Estate Partners
- Ken Riel of Nestlewood Realty
- Fit Atelier
- Bird Scooters
- Charlotte Cycles
- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Bike Lane Planter Refresh
- The color creates the look of natural clay pot, a simple timeless look.
- The color is bright enough to provide contrast against the asphalt for improved visibility and safety.
- The color is part of the city's approved colors for this type of street infrastructure.