(June 26, 2015 – St. Paul, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 26 member cities and one tribal community at an awards ceremony held earlier today for completing one of three participation steps in the GreenStep Cities initiative. GreenStep Cities is 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 83 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 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. The 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. Some cities have completed more than one of the three steps within a single year. The cities, along with one tribal reservation, recognized for Step One completion in 2014-2015 are Brooklyn Center, Chisholm, Crookston, Crystal, Fridley, Gilbert, Hermantown, Hutchinson, Lauderdale, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Marine on St. Croix, New Hope, Pierz, Roseville, St. Paul, Sherburn, and Two Harbors. Cities completing Step Two include Brainerd, Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Crystal, Duluth, Hermantown, Hutchinson, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Maple Grove, New Hope, Northfield, Roseville, St. Paul, and Two Harbors. A total of five cities completed Step Three in 2014-2015, including Apple Valley, Bemidji, Northfield, Oakdale, and Victoria.
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, CenterPoint Energy, Johnson Controls, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Novel Energy, Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) Inc., and Stantec.