(June 20, 2013 – St. Paul, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 56 member cities earlier today for participation in GreenStep Cities—a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices. Each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more specific actions from a list of four to eight actions in the areas of transportation, buildings and lighting, environmental management, land use, and economic and community development. Those actions are tailored to all types of Minnesota cities, and they focus on cost savings, energy use reduction, and encouraging innovation. Cities were recognized at an awards program today at the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference in St. Paul.
Cities achieve Step One recognition by passing a resolution to become a GreenStep City. Step Two-designated cities have implemented up to eight of the program’s best practices, and Step Three-designated cities have implemented up to 16 of the best practices. A number of cities have completed more than one of the three steps within a single year. The cities recognized for Step One completion in 2012-2013 are Brainerd, Columbia Heights, Lake Crystal, Maple Grove, North St. Paul, Saint Paul Park, Sauk Rapids, Shoreview, and Woodbury.
Cities completing Step Two include Bemidji, Cottage Grove, Grand Rapids, Hoffman, La Prairie, Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi, Mankato, Marshall, North St. Paul, Oakdale, Red Wing, Sauk Rapids, Shoreview, White Bear Lake, Willmar, and Woodbury. A total of seven cities completed Step Three in 2012-2013, including Burnsville, Elk River, Hopkins, Maplewood, Newport, Rochester, and Woodbury.
The League also recognized 28 cities that were honored at Step One or Step Two completion levels in 2011-2012 and continue to work toward fulfillment of the next step. A complete summary of cities’ notable accomplishments is available at: http://greenstep.pca.state.mn.us/allCities.cfm.
In addition to the League, GreenStep Cities partnering organizations include the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Clean Energy Resource Teams, the Great Plains Institute, the Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division, and the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota. This year’s GreenStep Cities awards program was sponsored by Ameresco, CenterPoint Energy, Community Resources Planning, Finance & Commerce, Minnesota Dept. of Commerce - Division of Energy Resources, Stantec, and Sternberg Lighting.
For more information about GreenStep Cities, including a list of completed actions taken by the participating cities, visit http://greenstep.pca.state.mn.us/.