scott miller

Robert Stanley | Adopt a Rail Trail

scott miller
Robert Stanley | Adopt a Rail Trail

Story: Tiffany Cooper | Photos: Photos: Ashleigh McPherson

There are plenty of other activities Robert Stanley and his teammates at Bourne Partners could be doing on a Thursday evening. But the last Thursday of each month, they come together after work to clean up the Charlotte Rail Trail.

Stanley, a vice president at Bourne Partners, began to notice the amount of litter this area often collects and wanted to do something about it. Stanley brought up the idea to his teammates to organize together after work to help keep this area clean.

“Everyone was really on board!” he says.

So he reached to a liaison from Keep Charlotte Beautiful which has an “Adopt-a-Street” program. Even though the Rail Trail isn’t a street for cars, the liaison encouraged him to submit a proposal. Nineteen months later, the proposal was finally approved.

The “Adopt-A-Street” program only requires clean-up about three to four times a year. However, the Bourne Partners team has committed to pick up litter every last Thursday because of how quickly the trash tends to collect on this beautiful city trail which expands from E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to 7th Street. They also tend to make it fun and social and sometimes go to happy hour afterward.

“We’re just trying in some small way to keep it looking nice,” Stanley says. “Our hope is that people will notice the effort and begin using trash cans and recycling bins.”

Stanley notes that “this project reaffirmed that it doesn’t take much to make a noticeable difference in the community.”

“I’m really fortunate to work at a company that also encourages civic involvement and community service,” Stanley says. “While picking up trash along the light rail isn’t saving lives or solving problems, hopefully in some small way it makes a positive impact in the Charlotte community.”