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    City of Eden Prairie  


Background Information

County:   Hennepin
Population:   61,151
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   263

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 4 (06/15/2016)

GreenStep Coordinator

Tania Mahtani
City staff
tmahtani@edenprairie.org
952-949-8413

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.edenprairie.org/community/living-green

City Assessment Files and City Performance Metrics

City councils pass a resolution to join the GreenStep program and are recognized at Step 1. Step 2 and Step 3 recognition levels reflect completed city actions, reported and rated below with stars (1 star = good, 2 stars = better, 3 stars = best). The Assessment Files below summarize completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded each June to cities who report a minimum number of optional (and a few high-priority/core) metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics - see guidance documents for them at http://www.betterenergy.org/step4 - aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement beyond minimum thresholds in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data in the Metrics Files below.

Assessment Files
2017 - click to view assessment

Metrics Files
2016 - click to view Metrics


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars. Mouse over a star for its definition.





Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

Complete the Building Editor for each city-owned building; identify the person responsible for routinely entering data; enter current (at least once/90 days), consecutive monthly energy use data ongoing; also best to enter 12 consecutive months of historical energy use data.
Complete 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; routinely validate newly entered data by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; correct inaccurate entries and identify potential opportunities for energy savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria, routinely ID energy-related operations and maintenance issues and poorer performing buildings for follow-up action; routinely enter current and consecutive (monthly or quarterly as available) water use data ongoing.
Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Implement changes in one poorer-performing building and summarize the actions taken: updating temperature, ventilation and lighting schedules and setbacks; installing building-wide computer and office equipment power management software; assigning responsibility for turning off manual lights and other shared equipment; assuring that routine HVAC maintenance schedules are thorough and implemented at appropriate intervals; revising janitorial schedules to day-time hours; adjusting janitorial responsibilities to include regular cleaning of sensors, lamps and HVAC vents; installing lower-flow faucet aerators, dish sprayers, and showerheads to reduce hot water use.
Complete 1 Star criterion for two buildings. Post the Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one of the buildings with the Energy gauge showing at least a 5% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to implementing changes]. Continue fine-tuning operations and maintenance procedures and monitoring energy usage to identify opportunities for additional savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. Use B3 to report at least a 10% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period.
Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Complete retrocommissioning and/or retrofitting work on one building. Summarize the actions taken. Update the B3 Building Editor as needed and change the Baseline Time Period to report energy/cost savings.
Complete retrocommissioning and/or retrofitting work financed by an energy performance contract, utility rebate or other means on two or more buildings. Post a print screen of B3 data to report energy/cost reductions.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria. In addition, use GESP or implement an internal program or use an external program/vendor that institutionalizes, and provides funding / incentives for, ongoing reductions in energy use by city-owned buildings (e.g. internal loan fund, shared savings with employees, capital budgeting based on energy savings, performance incentives and accountability, etc.).
Action 3: Invest in energy efficiency opportunities through larger financed projects or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install a building management system for city buildings for control via office computer or home laptop; implement power management of computers and other information technology energy saving strategies. Report actions taken and results achieved.
Engage employees to turn off, unplug, enable power management (if not controlled by building-wide IT software), or set timers on equipment, lights and chargers; minimize/use efficient models of personal appliances (personal refrigerators, space heaters, fans, coffee pots, etc.); use task lights instead of ceiling fixtures; optimize active use of windows, doors and interior shading devices to conserve energy. Report actions taken and results achieved.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria.
Action 4: Implement information technology efforts and city employee engagement to reduce plug loads and building energy use.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Program activities include but are not limited to: information/education efforts via newsletters and the like; work with the local utility, local Community Action Program or others; program participation reports. Report a rebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense-rated appliances under action 2.5; report work with businesses under action 25.2; report broad sustainability campaigns that go beyond energy efficiency under action 24.4
One or more of: provide more in-depth energy use reports; explicitly focus on improved indoor air quality; report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Create a program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Action 1: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Identify examples including building lighting upgrades (including exit lights, lighting equipment and controls), and other building/operational improvements in energy and water use and wastewater reduction. Report renewable energy installations under action 26.6
Identify businesses using a green building framework such as LEED to build, operate and maintain their buildings and operations, or businesses currently using Energy Star's Portfolio Manager or similar energy-tracking software.
Identify examples of extensive daylighting or electrochromic window glass and consequent energy/cost savings, installation of a greywater system, or similar innovative improvements.
Action 4: Describe energy/water efficiency actions and other green building practices at businesses located within/nearby the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Summarize watering ordinance; provide education/information around lawn watering and home water conservation and rain barrels. Report conservation rate structures and dynamic user feedback under action 20.7, rain gutter disconnects from sewers under action 20.3
Report residential water use under 75 gal/capita/day; modify and adopt a model landscaping ordinance that encourages low water-use landscaping; assist owners of automatic or underground irrigation systems to install the state-required rain/moisture sensors; report water use reductions; become a WaterSense Partner.
Create and report on a rebate or feebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense- and/or Energy Star-rated appliances; review building water conservation strategies during development reviews; as code allows facilitate household/building site rainwater harvesting/reuse; prohibit city water from supplying lawn irrigation systems.
Action 5: Conserve drinking/groundwater resources by creating a watering ordinance, water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Summarize the policy or practice for fixtures on city-owned, or school or other governmental buildings.
Summarize policies for fixtures adopted by the city and at least one other entity (the school board, another governmental unit within the city). Aim to limit light trespass to under 1 candle foot at the property line or center of a city street.
Requirements (within State code) for private buildings, OR: installation on public facilities of photosensors on all outdoor light fixtures; installation of timers with seasonal schedules to control when lights turn on and off; score under 4 in the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.
Action 1: Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Have a purchasing practice/policy that specifies EnergyStar traffic signals.
Have a purchasing practice/policy that specifies Dark-Sky street lighting. Streetlights should provide at least 75 lumens/watt (as do LEDs).
Document a purchasing policy that requires LEDs for all new street lighting and traffic signals.
Action 2: Purchase LEDs for all future street lighting and traffic signals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install at least one LED/solar-powered flashing sign, for example, warning flashers and wayfinding/signage lighting.
Install PV-powered or LED lighting as a pilot in a street, parking lot or park project. Examples include seasonally used park lighting (ice rinks, lighting in flood-prone areas, etc.).
Install routinely, as matter of policy, LED or solar powered lighting in street, parking lot or park projects.
Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Address high energy use lighting first, such as any ice rinks/athletic fields, working with the local utility as appropriate. Report relamping of parking lots/ramps under action 4.7
Relamp/improve two-thirds of building/facility lighting.
Relamp/improve all building/facility lighting.
Action 6: Relamp/improve exterior building lighting for city-owned buildings/facilities with energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant lighting.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Replace 1/3 of city's existing traffic signals.
Replace 2/3 of city's existing traffic signals; replace half and document savings.
Replace 100% of city's existing traffic signals.
Action 8: Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Building Redevelopment
{ BP no. 5 }

Complete an historic resources survey of the city to determine which buildings are community assets and have more potential for reuse due to potential access to financial incentives.
Designate a historic district; incorporate historic preservation-friendly language into the city’s zoning code and/or into regulatory ordinances (relating to signs and other design guidelines); adopt an historic preservation ordinance (which typically establishes an historic preservation commission); incentivize historic preservation.
Become a Certified Local Government (CLG) for historic preservation; pair rehab financial incentives with energy and resource conservation, indoor air quality and other green building practices.
Action 1: Adopt an historic preservation ordinance/regulations to encourage adaptive reuse.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Land Use   Land Use

Comprehensive Plans
{ BP no. 6 }

Adopt a comp plan that is less than ten years old or adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity less than 15 years ago, or Category B & C cities may adopt a city vision that looks at least 20 years into the future.
Include in your plan a sustainability section/chapter, an active living/placemaking/bike-ped section, or integrate sustainability goals and strategies into all chapters of your comprehensive plan, or articulate land development principles for creating a complete, compact and connected community. Report climate protection or energy independence goals and objectives under action 6.5
Adopt a development goal that new/infill projects generate enough tax revenue to pay for the related public infrastructure maintenance/replacement over multiple life cycles; reference a capital improvement plan that catalogues public system maintenance obligations by date and cost; create 'green zones' that focus environmental improvements in under-served areas of the city.
Action 1: Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Document where in the zoning code or development regulation the comprehensive plan is referenced as a foundational document or that the purpose of the code is to implement the comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive plan referenced in all land use and development ordinances and regulations in addition to zoning code ordinances.
Individual ordinances or ordinance sections should be introduced with a "Purposes" section that includes language such as the following: "The XXX regulations specifically implement the following goals from the Comprehensive Plan: "
Action 2: Demonstrate that regulatory ordinances comply with the comprehensive plan including but not limited to having the zoning ordinance explicitly reference the comprehensive plan as the foundational document for decision making.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Include plan requirements (in a comp plan or another planning document) on coordinated action with surrounding or overlapping jurisdictions for several of these issues: land use, watershed/groundwater impacts, transportation, sewer and water, economic development, housing and foreclosures, police, fire, health; adopt a wellhead / source water protection plan.
Convene discussions or enter into agreements (joint service or others) with surrounding communities on at least 3 of these issues.
Jointly invest in infrastructure to avoid duplication or improve performance; as part of inter-city discussions mentor another GreenStep city.
Action 3: Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, economic development and city/regional services.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

Have at least one single-family zoning district or selected area that requires or allows 7-unit/acre (or greater).
A mixed- or single-use zoning district that sets a minimum density for single family at 7 dwelling units/acre and minimum gross density for multi-family at 15 DUA (a level that supports 1 bus/15 min.). Multi-family housing includes attached housing, apartments and condos.
A minimum residential gross density of 20 units/acre when adjacent to a permanent transit node or pedestrian-oriented commercial retail district.
Action 1: Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Neighborhood single-family density at 7 units/acre or greater.

b. Multi-family housing at a gross density of at least 15 units/acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit node.


Offer tax-increment financing, land write-downs or other loan/grant tools. Report infill development/design standards and programs under action 5.5
Offer a building permit fee discount or expedited permit review; use direct purchase & demolition.
Enact graduated density zoning; offer at least one incentive tool for life-cycle housing; report a completed project such as a senior care facility.
Action 4: Provide incentives for infill projects, or for life-cycle housing at or near job or retail centers, or for achieving an average net residential density of seven units per acre.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Summarize the enabling zoning language; score or higher on the Strong Towns Strength Test.
Provide zoning and incentives for such developments.
Add language for meeting the LEED-ND green infrastructure and buildings credit for solar orientation of buildings to maximize passive (and active) solar heating of structures, OR for another challenging LEED-ND credit.
Action 5: Modify the city zoning ordinance and zoning map to allow, without variance or rezoning in at least one district, developments that meet the prerequisites for LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Conduct a process that involves community members / stakeholder input. Report main street revitalization and preservation actions under best practice 5.2; report comp plan civic engagement under 6.1
Bring in a facilitator to work with the city, community members and other stakeholders; use the Equitable Development Scorecard as an evaluation tool.
Participate in a Minnesota Design Team charrette; plan to increase the percent of residents who work within 10 miles of their homes.
Action 1: Organize or participate in a community planning/design process for the city/a mixed use district.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Design for Natural Resource Conservation
{ BP no. 10 }

Action 1: Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources through the subdivision or development process.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Adopt woodland BMPs as performance standards within development regulation, protecting wooded areas during the development process. This action is focused at the subdivision level and protection of tree stands (consistent with best practice planning action 6.4). Individual tree preservation ordinances should be reported under BP action 16.5
Identify high-value woodland areas within the community and adopt performance standards that maintain the natural system integrity of the woodland stands, supporting comprehensive plan action 6.4
Conduct an MLCCS natural resource inventory (consistent with action 1 of this best practice) and write natural resource design standards that protect woodland areas at the subdivision level, ensuring green corridor connections between individual stands or natural resources of different types.
Action 3: For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Have placed at least one conservation easement on a parcel.
Develop or participate with others in a conservation easement program.
Adopt or participate in a purchase of development rights or transfer of development rights program.
Action 5: Develop/fund a conservation easement program, such as a purchase of development rights program, in collaboration with a land trust.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Living Streets
{ BP no. 11 }

A city council resolution to develop standards; a policy governing city-owned streets; routine consideration of complete streets elements in all streets projects; explicit complete streets comp/strategic plan direction, that expresses the city's intent to facilitate multi-modal transportation (at least one route for each mode).
A city-council-adopted complete streets policy and implementation criteria.
A Living Streets policy; modify street design standards/practices according to policy, addressing multimodal transportation, trees and stormwater; possible additional elements include align new streets to give buildings energy-efficient passive solar orientations; address public art in the street right-of-way; use a sustainable infrastructure tool.
Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy that also addresses street trees and stormwater.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Remedy at least one complete street gap, including using alleys. Report green alley interventions under action 17.5
Inspect, evaluate, inventory and map your roadway network for complete streets insufficiencies and develop a prioritized transition plan and timeline for remedying the insufficiencies and gaps. Pay particular attention to multimodal conflict areas and transit connections to serve users and destinations.
Routinely budget complete streets improvements through roadway & bridge capital improvement & maintenance projects; show project cost-savings through innovative/collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions/stakeholders; address street corridor issues by infill, adding bridge liner (retail on a bridge to be rebuilt in a walkable corridor), etc.
Action 4: Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Make functional/recreational walking/biking possible between at least one park/open area and city streets. Report remedies for gaps entirely within your city's system of parks, off-road trails and open spaces under best practice action 18.1
Add a walking/bike trail that significantly improves access between two areas without a full network of streets, e.g., connecting cul-de-sacs within a housing development that has very long blocks.
Fully integrate your street and off-road trail network to facilitate bike/ped commuting; report under action 18.1 a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 5: Identify and remedy street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails to better facilitate walking and biking.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Measures such as streetscaping, bump-outs, raised cross walks, intersection markings, medians and narrower lane widths. Report temporary or permanent parklet installations under action 14.1
Measures such as roundabouts, and road diets where 3 lanes replace 4 lanes of a road with under 20,000 average annual daily traffic counts.
Measures from street reclaiming, naked streets, shared space, woonerfs, and Paint the Pavement approaches; diverging diamond interchange; a multi-modal Level of Service metric developed and applied to road projects; conversion of underused/redundant roads to gravel roads, stormwater management, energy generation, etc.
Action 6: Implement traffic calming measures, including road diets, roundabouts, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

A basic map that shows (by neighborhood if a larger city) key civic/commercial sites, best bike and pedestrian routes, and transit routes and schedules; OR report increases in walk/bike counts.
Installed infrastructure such as designed bike or pedestrian or transit facilities like park and ride lots (report sidewalks/bike lanes under action 11.4), OR document the increase in employeer-offered transportation fringe benefits, OR report a Walk Score of 70+ or an increase in your city's Walk Score.
Be recognized as a Bicycle or Walk Friendly Community, OR require routine installation of infrastructure, such as bike parking, for all new multifamily and non-residential developments, OR allow property owners to substitute bike parking spaces for required car parking spaces.
Action 1: Promote walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Produce/distribute route maps, signage or a web site.

b. Document increased bike facilities, such as racks, bike stations or showers.

c. Add bus infrastructure, such as signage, benches, shelters, park and ride lots, and real-time arrival data-streaming.

d. Increase the number of employers promoting multiple commuting options, including offering qualified transportation fringe benefits instead of only a tax-free parking fringe benefit.

e. Be recognized as a Walk Friendly or Bicycle Friendly Community.


Describe elements of a SRTS program in which the city is involved; note how many schools are affected, how the program addresses evaluation, encouragement, education, engineering, and enforcement, and whether the city worked in concert with the local community health board. Report shared use agreements between cities and school parks under action 18.1
Describe key elements of your non-SRTS efforts, such as which actions you are challenging which number of people/organizations to take, and how long the campaign is/will run; report collaboration/funding from your local Community Health Board (SHIP funding); host an Open Streets or Ciclovias event to temporarily make a street a pedestrian-only zone.
Report outcome measures, such as increased walking/biking in the community, improved health outcomes, percent student body covered by SRTS programming, and school bus fuel savings.
Action 2: Launch an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient City Fleets
{ BP no. 13 }

Survey each fleet vehicle by type, MPG and use; implement at least one right-size or down-size improvement (for example, use of a sedan instead of a pick-up truck for inspection work, use of a full electric utility vehicle in parks/public works, or one multi-purpose vehicle instead of two vehicles).
Adopt a vehicle purchasing policy/practice; right-size all vehicles in one portion of the city's fleet (for example, police, fire, public works, inspections) and report any vehicle reductions and improvement in the fleet's average MPG.
Right-size all vehicles in the city's fleet and report vehicle reductions and improvement in the fleet's average MPG.
Action 2: Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Monitor fuel usage and costs on a regular basis. Report data to fleet managers and users. Implement maintenance schedules that optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency. Adopt a no-idling policy/practice or conduct training for more efficient driving. Report small electric utility vehicles under 13.2
Achieve a 1-Star rating and complete one or more of: (a) purchase or lease at least one hybrid-electric vehicle (EV); (b) add vehicles (and fueling stations as needed) using lower-carbon fuels (ethanol flexfuel, compressed natural gas, straight vegetable oil, biodiesel above the State-mandated 5%, other advanced biofuels); (c) add other alternative fuel vehicles.
Achieve a 1-Star rating and add a highway-capable full-electric vehicle, and/or install a solar-charging EV station (or purchase renewable electricity for EV charging). Report EV charging stations that the public can use under best practice action 23.5
Action 3: Phase-in no-idling practices, operational and fuel changes, and equipment changes including electric vehicles, for city or local transit fleets.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing
{ BP no. 15 }

Have a written policy/guidelines/practices specifying at minimum the purchase of Energy Star equipment/appliances and recycled-content paper (at least 30% post-consumer). Report street lighting/traffic signal policy/purchases under action 4.2; vehicle policy/purchases under 13.2 and 13.3
Have a formal policy adopted by the city council; note if this includes centralized purchasing into one office/person.
For the city’s top 10 categories of spend, track the purchases of sustainable products/services purchased annually compared to non-sustainable products/services purchased; join with other cities in joint purchasing of environmentally preferable products and summarize EPP purchases.
Action 1: Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. EnergyStar certified equipment and appliances and

b. Paper containing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.


Adopt a policy or adopt practices for meetings and events hosted by city government addressing issues such as solid waste generated (e.g., paperless city council packets), transit/carpooling to meetings/events. This could include distributing educational materials about holding a no-waste event for use at city-supported events such as National Night Out / Night to Unite. Report broad educational material distributed at events under action 24.4
Achieve 1-star rating and also include a policy for meetings and events taking place on city property, including parks and libraries; include healthy/local/organic food elements.
Achieve 2-star rating and work with at least the largest private venue in the city (such as a conference center) to cut waste generation by at least 1/3 and to increase recycling by at least 1/3.
Action 7: Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Urban Forests
{ BP no. 16 }

Certified for current year.
Certified for 30 or more years, or recent recipient of a Growth award.
Certified for at least 10 years with an annual tree budget (for maintenance, planting, replacements, removals) of at least $8 per resident (4X the Tree City requirement) or have calculated and publicized the financial and other benefits of trees to your city.
Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Street trees are provided on both sides of at least 60% of the main downtown street at intervals averaging no more than about 40 feet, excluding driveways and utility vaults. Report living snow fences under action 9.3
Major effort providing or offering residents / businesses trees to plant on private property.
Maximize tree planting/landscaping on the entire blocks along mainstreet by, for example, funneling money from a business improvement district to alley plantings, pocket/corner parks, parking lot plantings behind buildings, a community depaving party, and the like.
Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Enact requirements such as a tree preservation/replacement ordinance. Report protection of large wooded areas by means of zoning or development review under best practice action 10.3
Address tree preservation on both public and private lands; enact requirements such as removing requirements to establish turf grass (this does not refer to removing maintenance standards for turf grass) and permitting native landscaping throughout the city.
Adopt quantitative performance metrics; require approval of a tree preservation plan before development (tree inventory, tree saving zones, tree replacement for damaged/destroyed trees at a 2:1 ratio or greater).
Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


For smaller cities: at least one volunteer is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector or a Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector.
City has written and begun implementing a community emerald ash borer preparedness plan/climate change adaptation plan for urban forests; city tree canopy follows "10-20-30" rule-of-thumb.
At least one city staff member is a Certified Forester, a landscape horticulture professional, or holds Tree Inspector and First Detector certification; city staff provide free assistance to residents/businesses.
Action 6: Build community capacity to protect existing trees/plant resilient species by certifying at least one or more local staff/volunteers.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

Registered for the Blue Star Award program.
Be recognized with a Blue Star Award.
Be recognized on the Leader Board of the Blue Star Award program.
Action 2: Complete the Blue Star City stormwater management assessment and be recognized for implementing the actions therein.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  





Action 6:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

Remedy at least one connectivity break by, for example, completing a missing trail section, acquiring a high quality natural area, a priority stormwater management area, vacant space in a high amenity/redevelopment area, a rail corridor. Report remedies for street-to-trail gaps (between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails) under best practice action 11.5.
Remedy at least 3 connectivity breaks. Sign at least one shared use agreement with a school that allows public use of school outdoor facilities outside of school hours.
Remedy/plan/budget for 75% or more of the gaps; add a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 1: Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


There exist at least 7 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents.
At least 20% of total city land area is in protected green infrastructure (parks and protected natural resource areas, trails, publicly accessible school green space).
90% or more of residents are within one-half mile of a park or other protected green/blue space.
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Create an annual event or ongoing 'adopt a park' effort for volunteer trash cleanup of open space, buckthorn removal, etc. for parks or selected public open space areas. Event can be in cooperation with other organizations. Report gardens plots in city parks under BP 27.3
In addition to cleanup and removal of exotics (1 Star), engage community members in annual restoration of natural areas (replanting shoreland buffers, restoring prairie, etc.).
Create and fund an annual city-wide event for cleanup and restoration, engaging residents in most neighborhoods and creating a public promotion around the event.
Action 8: Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Surface Water Quality
{ BP no. 19 }

Have a shoreland ordinance approved by the DNR or one consistent with state-wide shoreland standards (MR 6120.2500-06120.3900).
Adopt the Alternative Shoreland Standards or similar alternatives reviewed and consistent with recommendations of the DNR Area hydrologist that exceed the minimum standards of the DNR shoreland rules.
Document 60-75% forested shoreland; achieve 2 Star rating and include one or both of: (1) a menu of mitigation measures, one or more of which to be attached to shoreland variances; (2) provisions for restoration of shore impact area and vegetative buffer with permanent protection for all new shoreland development.
Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems
{ BP no. 20 }

Institute a consumption-based fee for sanitary sewer service rather than a flat fee; study potential cost-savings from deferring water supply additions by demand reduction actions; report ratio of 5-yr. average peak day water use to 5-yr. av. day use (should be under 2.6); report water supply leak % under action 20.3
Adopt a conservation water rate structure (with 25-cent minimum increments between blocks or normal rates), and/or arrange for water users to see their water use history compared to similar users. Report water efficiency achieved through development review/incentives under action 2.5, and report water conservation connection fees under action 3.4
Modify rate structures to target peak-use times and discourage or defer use, OR create a sustainable water use plan that at least verifies that there is enough water to meet projected needs out 25 years in the metro area and out 10 years in greater MN.
Action 7: Create a demand-side management program to reduce demands on water and wastewater systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Solid Waste Reduction
{ BP no. 22 }

Identify and list relevant businesses; promote events such as fix-it clinics.
Publicize and promote reuse/repair/rental businesses on your city website, in newsletter articles; facilitate neighbor-to-neighbor reuse of large items before annual 'curbside cleanups.'
Document increased use of these businesses; organize volunteers (or support others) to run at least one "fix-it" clinic for community members.
Action 4: Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods in the city/county.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Provide participant numbers and/or tons managed of one or more programs: food-to-people, food-to-animals, compostables collection, and backyard composting. Yard waste, though organic, does not count, as it it banned by state law from landfills and is typically chipped/composted and reused.
Achieve 1-star rating and include a public outreach program to prevent food waste.
Manage organics via anaerobic digestion, and/or set and meet an aggressive program goal, such as % residents/businesses participating or profitability of program.
Action 5: Arrange for a residential or business/institutional source separated organics collection/management program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Require organized collection of residential recyclables, OR publish hauler rates on the city's web site and require waste/recyclables tonnage reports as a condition of licensing, OR assist residents on a percentage of city blocks to arrange for at least 75% of the houses to contract with the same hauler. Report compostables collection under action 22.5
Require garbage haulers to follow the city-organized recycling collection schedule; report the city recycling rate AND either mandate collection of recyclables from multi-unit residential buildings OR mandate collection of 3 or more recyclable materials from commercial entities.
Organize garbage collection; note estimated cost savings to residents and from decreased truck traffic. Also note if trucks use compressed natural gas (and if CNG is favored/required as a city license condition).
Action 6: Implement one or more city-wide solid waste collection/recycling systems:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Require collection of recyclables from multi-unit residential buildings.

b. Require collection of 3 or more recyclable materials from commercial entities.

c. Organize regular, ongoing residential solid waste collection by private and/or public operations to link one (or more) geographic district(s) to only one hauler.


Local Air Quality
{ BP no. 23 }

Regulate outdoor wood burning using nuisance ordinance language, referencing the MN Fire Code. Note that burning household garbage, such as in a burn barrel, is generally against the law in MN.
Regulate outdoor wood boilers using the MPCA model zoning language.
Ban (on a permanent or interim basis) or enforce performance standards for specific types of burning.
Action 2: Regulate outdoor residential wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Recreational burning.

b. Outdoor residential wood boilers.


Economic and Community Development   Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks & Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

A staff green team, or small working group (e.g., city manager, council member, citizen commission chair) exists; annual news article/media to community members referencing GreenStep (& other programs as relevant); city web has a link to city's GreenStep web page.
A citizens commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's GreenStep accomplishments.
A committee of city staff/officials and community members (business, education, religious) exists; annual report includes some metrics, such as dollars spent/saved, energy saved, and any sustainability indicators measured, and energy/carbon inventory data or ecological footprint data if gathered.
Action 1: Use a committee to lead, coordinate and report to community members on implementation of GreenStep best practices.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Report goals/outcomes annually from plans such as comprehensive, parks, library, housing, stormwater, drinking water, transportation, economic development, energy, sustainability. Issue a city Performance Management Report; use a simple form at http://tinyurl.com/24-2template
Achieve 1 Star rating AND identify specific steps from city departments on how to improve performance or meet goals that were not met in the previous year.
Integrate goals/outcomes reporting explicitly into the city capital improvement planning process, identifying how public dollars are targeted to meeting sustainability goals in the plans.
Action 2: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Involve an existing city council committee or community task force, or create an energy, environment, or sustainability city council subcommittee, advisory commission or task force.
Adopt and commit to measure and annually report on sustainability indicators, generally related to or directly tied city's work on GreenStep best practices; may include community-wide energy and water use, vehicle miles traveled, and waste generated (Regional Indicators Initiative).
Adopt and commit to measure and annually report on broad sustainability indicators such as covered by the STAR Community Rating System.
Action 3: Engage community members in a public process that results in city council adoption of and commitment to measure and report progress on sustainability indicators.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Green Business Development
{ BP no. 25 }

Promote business assistance providers on your city web site on an ongoing basis, or identify how the city has promoted business assistance to at least 5 for-profit or non-profit organizations about audit/assistance programs within the past year. Report outreach to just tourism businesses under action 25.3; report work on business operations related to water under action 20.6; report promotion of PACE financing under action 26.3
Participate on a 1-time basis in a campaign organized by an assistance provider; report outcomes from these visits (# of businesses assisted, by whom, sampling of results/improvements made, such as energy or waste reductions). Report assistance to businesses on water conservation and wastewater pretreatment (could be from a city utility) under actions 20.6 and 20.7
Create an ongoing city-organized business assistance program AND report results (financial/environmental outcomes).
Action 2: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Recognize and promote (for example, on your city web site) businesses whose environmental actions are recognized by a local, regional or statewide program, such actions as recycling, reducing materials use, lowered toxicity in products, energy efficiency, etc.
Recognize and promote businesses that are certified under a GreenStep-linked or national green business program.
Provide a city preference for support and use of certified green businesses.
Action 6: Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

Promote PACE financing to local businesses; partner with a local utility or with firms that lease and finance energy systems to offer a renewable energy/energy efficiency loan product.
Partner with a financial institution (local bank, investment firm) to create a renewable energy/energy efficiency loan product, or leverage heating-assistance funds for renewables installation.
Create or join a commercial PACE program. Report number of participants, funding sources, dollars lent and installed capacity in kW.
Action 3: Create/participate in a renewable energy financing program such as PACE for commercial property owners to install generation capacity/energy efficiency equipment.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

Remove restrictions to food gardening/raising of chickens/bees in residential areas. Report beehives on city property under action 18.5
Proactively zone for & allow by right food gardening/raising of chickens/bees; report one or more developments that have dedicated, permanent and managed growing space, such as resident garden space, and/or related facilities (such as greenhouses). Report under GreenStep action 3.5 adopted city guidelines that prevent the restriction of food production through homeowner (HOA) agreements (CC&Rs).
Work with a rental building owner to establish a community garden, farmer's market or CSA/food buying club drop-point within 1/2 mile; establish tax incentives to use vacant lots for urban agriculture.
Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Summarize what exists in the city: a farmer's market, urban ag businesses, etc.
Report on supportive actions taken by the city such as use of city land for a farmer's market, garden plots in city parks, hiring a garden/market coordinator, supporting season extension techniques such as hoop houses or greenhouses; donations from markets/gardens to food shelves.
Report on percent of housing units within a 1 mile of a healthy food source (farmer's market, community garden, CSA drop point, and stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 445230); convert top level of a parking ramp for a local food growing business.
Action 3: Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. A farmer's market or co-op buying club.

b. An urban agriculture business or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement between farmers and community members/employees.

c. A community or school garden, orchard or forest.


Business Synergies
{ BP no. 28 }

Action 3: Require, build or facilitate at least four of the following in a business/industrial park project:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Shared parking/access OR shared recreation/childcare facilities.

b. Green product development, manufacturing or sales OR a green job training program..

c. Buildings located within walking distance of transit and/or residential zoning.

d. Renovated buildings OR buildings designed for reuse.

e. Green buildings built to exceed the Minnesota energy code by 20% OR renewable energy generated on-site.

f. Combined heat and power (CHP) generation capacity OR shared geothermal heating/cooling.

g. Low-impact site development.