GreenStep Cities participants recognized for taking steps toward sustainability
(June 15, 2017—Rochester, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 33 member cities and one tribal community at its 2017 Annual Conference today for demonstrating commitment to sustainability best practices and advancing to the next step in the GreenStep Cities program. As of 2017, there are a total of 113 GreenStep Cities participants—110 cities and three tribal communities.
GreenStep Cities is a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through the implementation of 29 best practices. These practices can be applied in the areas of transportation, buildings and lighting, environmental management, land use, and economic and community development to achieve up to five “steps.” The actions can be 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 eight or more best practices. Some cities have completed more than one of the first three steps within a single year.
The cities, along with one tribal community, recognized for Step One completion in 2016-2017 are: Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Granite Falls, Morris, St. James, West St. Paul, and Winona.
Cities that completed Step Two in the past year are: Albert Lea, Belle Plaine, Golden Valley, Jordan, La Crescent, Morris, New Germany, Pine City, Sherburn, and Sunfish Lake.
Seven cities completed Step Three requirements in the past year. They are: Albert Lea, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Jordan, Marine on St. Croix, Red Wing, and St. Louis Park.
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 five cities achieved this distinction in 2016-2017: Eagan, Falcon Heights, Oakdale, Red Wing, and St. Paul. Lastly, to reach Step Five, cities must show improvement in their Step Four metrics. The cities that reached Step Five in 2016-2017 are: Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Elk River, Hutchinson, Maplewood, and St. Anthony.
Aside from the League, GreenStep Cities is also administered by eight other organizations: 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.