2016 GreenStep Cities

League of Minnesota Cities recognizes GreenStep Cities participants for completing steps toward environmental sustainability goals

(June 15, 2016 – St. Paul, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 49 member cities and one tribal community at an awards ceremony held earlier today for completing at least one of four 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 29 best practices. There are now a total of 106 cities and two tribal nations in Minnesota that have completed one or more participation steps since the program began in 2010.

Each of the GreenStep Cities program’s 29 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. 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 2015-2016 are Aitkin, Albert Lea, Arden Hills, Barnum, Belle Plaine, Big Lake, Cologne, Faribault, Fergus Falls, Golden Valley, Hastings, Hewitt, Inver Grove Heights, Isanti, Jordan, La Crescent, Lexington, Mayer, Mounds View, New Brighton, New Germany, Red Lake Band of Chippewa, South St. Paul, Stacy, Sunfish Lake, and Winthrop.

Cities completing Step Two include Arlington, Delano, Elko New Market, Ely, Fergus Falls, Grand Marais, Hastings, Isanti, Lauderdale, Lexington, Marine on St. Croix, New Brighton, Mountain Iron, Richfield, St. Louis Park, St. Paul Park, and Sartell. A total of eight cities completed Step Three in 2015-2016, including Arlington, Austin, Hutchinson, Isanti, Marshall, New Hope, North St. Paul, and St. Paul.

To reach Step Four, cities track and submit metrics from a selection of categories, such as energy and water use, vehicle fleet efficiency, community and economic development, and more. A total of six cities achieved this distinction in 2015-2016, including Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Elk River, Hutchinson, Maplewood, and St. Anthony Village. A list of completed actions for all 106 cities and two tribal nations 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 CenterPoint Energy, ICS Consulting, Johnson Controls, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, SEH, Springsted, Inc., The Weidt Group, and USAquatics.

The League of Minnesota Cities is a membership organization dedicated to helping cities throughout Minnesota build quality communities through effective advocacy, expert analysis, trusted guidance, and collective action. The League serves its more than 830 member cities through advocacy, education and training, policy development, risk management, and other services.