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Little Sugar Creek - 7th St. to Elizabeth Ave. Project

Stream Restoration, Water Quality Enhancement and Greenway Trail

Near the heart of downtown Charlotte, Little Sugar Creek now sparkles in the sunlight.

Traffic still buzzes overhead on criss-crossing Interstate ramps. But this section of Little Sugar Creek is no longer hidden under brush and trash. Gently-sloping banks hug the restored creek. The stream channel and banks are specially designed to reduce erosion by slowing the flow of the water after heavy rain.

Once neglected, the ribbon of stream is now a picturesque place to enjoy nature near the main campus of Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).

Stream work completed: 2011


  • Reduce levels of pollution in the water
  • Restore stream function and wildlife habitat
  • Create Best Management Practices (BMPs)  
  • Provide educational opportunities for schools and the community
  • Provide a greenway trail and preserve open space

Construction area with skyline in background
 Stream restoration work is at the bottom right of this picture, taken in January 2011.

Final project mailer (March 2012)

     Neglected stream before restoration  During stream restoration  Stream restoration complete 




Cost: $363,000

Sources of Funding:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services: $159,490
NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund: $203,510

The project cost includes construction of a rain garden at CPCC's Culinary Building and a cistern to collect storm water runoff from the roof to be used for irrigation. The cost does not include possible stream-side amenities planned by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation or CPCC.

Project schedule:

Planning and Design: 2005 to 2008
Baker Engineering

BMP construction: 2009
Blythe Development

Stream Restoration: November 2010 to February 2011
United Construction



Concept plan sketch 

 Little Sugar Creek was restored between
CPCC's Culinary Arts Facility (on the left)
and the Duke Energy substation (on the right)

Project Managers:

Crystal Taylor, P.E.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

Gwen Cook
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation