(June 20, 2014 – St. Paul, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 21 member cities at an awards ceremony held earlier today for completing one of three participation steps in GreenStep Cities, a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices. There are now a total of 68 cities in Minnesota that have completed one or more participation steps since the program began in 2010.
Each of the GreenStep Cities program’s 28 best practices 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 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. Two cities (Minnetonka and Silver Bay) have completed more than one of the three steps within a single year. The cities recognized for Step One completion in 2013-2014 are Coon Rapids, Duluth, Elko New Market, Ely, Forest Lake, Grand Marais, Minnetonka, Pine City, Sartell, Scandia, and Silver Bay.
Cities completing Step Two include Kasson, Lake Crystal, Minnetonka, Pine River, Silver Bay, Victoria, and Warren. A total of five cities completed Step Three in 2013-2014, including Eden Prairie, Mahtomedi, Rogers, Shoreview, and White Bear Lake. A list of completed actions for all 68 cities participating in the program can be found 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 (CERTS), the Great Plains Institute, the Izaak Walton League–Minnesota Division, the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota, and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. This year’s GreenStep Cities recognition program was sponsored by Ameresco, Community Resources Planning, CenterPoint Energy, Engan Associates, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Silicon Energy, Stantec, and The Weidt Group.