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   City of Mankato  


Background Information

County:   Blue Earth
Population:   39,309
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   260

Participating township(s) / school district(s):


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/20/2013)

GreenStep Coordinator

Jon Noerenberg
City staff
jnoerenberg@city.mankato.mn.us
507-387-8571

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
www.mankato-mn.gov/Sustainability/Page.aspx


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 no/low-cost changes to operational practices in one poorer-performing building, then summarize the actions taken, such as updating schedules and setbacks, cleaning dust off sensors, enabling computer power management settings, [temperature setbacks, HVAC and lighting schedules, janitorial schedules and responsibilities (including daytime schedules and cleaning sensors/lamps/vents), computer and office equipment power management, plug load policies (refrigerators, space heaters, power strips, task lights, etc.), water conservation, preventive maintenance, etc. Update the B3 Building Editor, as needed, and change the Baseline Time Period in the Baseline tab for that building so it shows the 12-month period immediately prior to implementing the changes. (See Implementation Tools for ideas, definitions, and database/reporting instructions.)
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 O&M procedures and monitoring energy usage to identify opportunities for additional savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. Annually by May 1st, post the Print Screen of the Baseline tab for each building with the Energy gauge showing at least a 10% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to implementing changes].
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 ]

 


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 of the city in efforts to reduce energy use by: turning off, unplugging, enabling power management, or setting timers on equipment, lights and chargers; minimizing personal appliances in the office; using efficient models of (and substitutes for) necessary personal appliances; using task lights instead of ceiling fixtures; and optimizing 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 ]

 


Report city buildings and schools, county and other government buildings, and which framework was used. For remodels, update the B3 Building Editor, as needed, and change the Baseline Time Period in the B3 Baseline Tab for that building so that it shows the 12-month period immediately prior to starting the remodeling. (See Implementation Tools for Frameworks and B3 instructions.) Report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Complete 1 Star criteria for two buildings, or list the framework under which one building is certified or rated, and at what level. Use B3 to track reductions in energy usage after the work is completed. Post a Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one building showing the actual reduction in energy usage for a full year following completion of the major remodeling compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to starting the remodeling].
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. In addition, show that one of the remodeled buildings has met or been certified at gold-equivalent or better, and that the actual energy use of the building is less than or equal to the MN Sustainable Building 2030 Energy Standards for Years 2010-15 for Remodeling. Post a Print Screen of the Baseline tab for that building AND the number from the MN SB2030 table for that building type. (See Implementation Tools.) Report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Action 5: Document that the new construction or major remodeling of a public building has met or qualifies under a green building or energy framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Geothermal systems should meet a minimum coefficient of performance of 3.3 for closed loop systems.
Use a waste heat stream to heat one or more buildings; create a district energy system/microgrid for several buildings (using waste wood, geothermal energy, gas turbine, fuel cell).
Integrate solar thermal or other renewable production into a combined heat & power system; use the constant temperature of drinking water pipes in a geothermal system.
Action 7: Install for one or more city-owned/school buildings one of the following energy efficiency measures:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

b. A district energy/microgrid system.

a. A ground-source, closed loop geothermal system.


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, business chamber, or others; program participation reports. 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 ]

 


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 changes (which should be in range of 10%); 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 water harvesting / reuse; prohibit city water from supplying lawn irrigation systems.
Action 5: Conserve drinking/groundwater resources by adopting a watering ordinance, water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, or a WaterSense purchasing program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


New Green Buildings
{ BP no. 3 }

Require use of a green building standard or certification or code for some but not all city buildings; third-party verification not necessary. Report existing "green" city buildings under best practice action 1.5, school buildings under 3.2, park buildings under 18.7, and private buildings under 2.4
Require either all buildings to use a green building framework, or that some buildings be certified/rated under a green building framework.
Require all buildings to be certified/rated under a 3rd-party green building framework.
Action 1: Require by city policy that new city-owned buildings built in the future use a green building framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


One or more school buildings exist that were built to a green building standard, or the school board passes a resolution to use a green building standard or certification or code but third-party verification not necessary.
The school board resolution requires that all buildings be certified or be rated under a green building framework.
The school board resolution requires that all buildings be certified or be rated at the highest level under a green building framework.
Action 2: Work with the local school district to ensure that future new schools are built using a green building framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

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.
Document a purchasing policy the requires LEDs for all new street lighting and traffic signals.
Action 2: Purchase LEDs for all new street lighting and traffic signals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Report synchronized traffic signals, flashing yellow left turn arrow signals, installation of detectors in at least 10% of city signals (operated under traffic actuated/responsive mode). Report roundabouts under best practice action 11.6
Work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect traffic signals and coordinate them in one corridor.
Work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect/coordinate among traffic signals and synchronize them along several corridors.
Action 4: Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing so as minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Use LED/solar-powered lighting for at least one 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 ]

 


Replace 1/3 of city's existing traffic signals.
Replace 2/3 of city's existing traffic signals.
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 Reuse
{ 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.
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 ]

 


For cities with traditional downtown areas, describe city involvement in Minnesota Main Street revitalization and preservation (for example, attend trainings) or describe the participation of business assocations that join Minnesota Main Street as Associate Members.
Main street assistance explicitly addresses green building practices including appropriate rehab of existing buildings, OR city becomes an Associate Member of Minnesota Main Street.
City is a Designated Main Street community of MN Main Street.
Action 2: Implement the Minnesota Main Street model for commercial revitalization.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Incentives/assistance are offered by the city or promoted by the city, AND green building practices are explicitly included.
Take 1-star actions AND provide guidance on how to retain historic architectural elements during remodels.
Take 2-star actions AND the program's successes are well-promoted.
Action 4: Create/modify a green residential remodeling assistance/financing program to assist homeowners in adding space to their existing homes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Adopt design standards that address the downtown core and encourage compatible infill development.
Standards facilitate the evolution of strip/large format commercial areas into more livable/walkable neighborhoods with a mix of land use and including gathering places.
Limit annexations or infrastructure extensions until infill and redevelopment goals are met; encourage building and parking ramp design such that structures can be adapted for different future uses.
Action 5: Adopt development and design standards that facilitate infill, redevelopment, and adaptable buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Land Use   Land Use

Comprehensive Plan and Implementation
{ BP no. 6 }

Adopt a comprehensive plan that is less than ten years old (required for Category A cities) OR, Category B and C cities may simply adopt a land use plan that was adopted by a regional entity or the county less than 15 years ago OR they may adopt a city vision that looks at least 20 years into the future.
Include in your plan a sustainability section/chapter, 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.
Action 1: Adopt/have an adopted comprehensive plan OR, Category B and C cities may simply adopt a land use plan that was adopted by a regional entity or the county.     [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 ]

 


Efficient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

One 7-unit single-family zoning district and one 15-unit multi-family zoning district. Multi-family housing includes attached housing, apartments and condos.
A mixed use zoning district that sets a minimum net density for single family at 7 units per acre and minimum gross density for multi-family at 15 units per acre.
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 seven units per net acre or greater.

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


Use a process/ordinance (planned unit development or other) that allows increased density and approves development on substandard lots through flexible frontage and lot sizes; create a density bonus in one residential or commercial zoning district; allow accessory dwelling units in one single-family zoning district or overlay area.
Have a density bonus in multiple areas in the city; allow accessory dwelling units and/or co-housing developments in multiple single-family districts; allow tiny houses (~400 sq. ft.) on small lots or small (~350 sq. ft.) apartments.
Create an additional density bonus linked to a transfer of development rights program that protects agricultural or natural resource land on the fringe of the urban area. Tie ADUs explicity into a plan for increasing affordable housing and/or reducing homelessness. Allow rooming or boarding houses; uncap the number of roommates who may share a dwelling unit.
Action 2: Encourage higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Incorporate a flexible lot size/frontage requirement for infill development.

b. Use density and floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in selected residential zoning districts.

c. Tie a regulatory standard to comprehensive plan language defining compact city expansion zones that limit low-density development.

d. Allowing accessory dwelling units or co-housing or tiny houses / apartments by right in selected zoning districts.


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Conduct a process that involves community members / stakeholder input. Report mainstreet revitalization and preservation actions under best practice 5.2
Bring in a facilitator to work with the city, community members and other stakeholders.
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 ]

 


Describe to what degree the district used the Minnesota Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development.
Create a downtown overlay district; allow light industrial uses.
Allow mixed use of office, retail, educational, civic, and residential units all located within the same building.
Action 5: Have a downtown zoning district that allows residential and compatible commercial development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient Highway-Oriented Development
{ BP no. 9 }

Work with community members in establishing design goals or designs standards, publish the standards, and ensure that the standards are provided to everyone proposing development in the corridor.
Adopt an overlay district; in the public process to set design standards, use visual preference survey tools to develop both goals and designs.
Require or provide incentives (design assistance, permit fee reductions, etc) for new development and redevelopment to adhere to the goals and designs.
Action 1: Establish design goals for at least one highway corridor.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Conservation Design
{ BP no. 10 }

Adopt woodland BMPs as performance standards within development regulation, protecting wooded areas during the development process (see Conserving Wooded Areas in Implementation Tools). This action is focused at the subdivision level and protection of tree stands (consistent with best practice action 6.4). 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 ]

 


Transportation   Transportation

Complete Green Streets
{ BP no. 11 }

A city council resolution to develop a policy/standards governing city-owned streets, or comp/strategic plan direction, that expresses the city's intent to facilitate multi-modal transportation (at least one route for each mode).
A complete green streets policy and implementation criteria, which addresses synergistic improvements to street trees and stormwater management.
Adopt a Living Street 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; 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 ]

 


Make functional/recreational walking/biking possible between at least one park/open area and city streets. Report remedies for gaps 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. For example, connecting cul-de-sacs within a curvilinear housing development with very long "blocks."
Add 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 offroad 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.
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, depaving, naked streets, shared space, woonerfs, and Paint the Pavement approaches.
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.


Page on chamber of commerce site includes links to one or more services.
Page on city web site includes links to one or more services.
Information includes or has easy links to costs, routes, operation hours, etc.; promote a peer-to-peer taxi service.
Action 3: Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; cab service; rental cars; bikes.     [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, or one multi-purpose vehicle instead of two vehicles).
"Right-size" all vehicles in one portion of the city's fleet (for example, police, or fire, or public works, on 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. And either adopt a no-idling policy/practice or conduct training for more efficient driving.
Achieve a 1-Star rating and complete one or more of: (a) purchase or lease at least one highway-usable electric/hybrid-electric vehicle (EV); (b) add vehicles using lower-carbon fuels (such straight vegetable oil and biodiesel above the State-mandated 5%); (c) add other alternative fuel vehicles.
Achieve a 2-Star rating, add a full-electric vehicle, and 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 ]

 


Police patrols on bike, foot, Segway or horseback.
City inspectors or other staff on bike, foot or horseback.
Report outcome measures resulting from actions: decreased costs, reduced vehicle miles traveled, fleet reductions, or other metrics.
Action 4: Phase in bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Urban Forests
{ BP no. 16 }

Certified for current year.
Certified for 30 or more years.
Certified for at least 10 years with an annual tree budget of at least $4 per resident (twice 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 ]

 


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 preservaton 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.
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 ]

 


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.
At least one city staff member is a Certified Forester, a landscape horticulture professional, or holds Tree Inspector and First Detector certification.
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 ]

 


Innovative 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 ]

 


Have a stormwater utility with variable fees.
Achieve 1-star rating and reward property owners with decreased fees based upon decreased runoff.
Achieve 2-star rating and use 100% of fees for stormwater program.
Action 4: Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize enhanced stormwater management, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


For non-MS4 permittees, adopt and implement an erosion and sediment control ordinance. For regulated MS4 permittees, this ordinance is required and only 2- and 3-star ratings are awarded.
Erosion sediment control ordinance must be followed for sites smaller than one acre.
On-site inspections are performed by the city during all land-disturbing activities.
Action 6: Adopt an ordinance with erosion and sediment control provisions as well as requirements for permanent stormwater treatment.     [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 amentiy/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.
Remedy at least 75% of gaps and prepare a plan for remedies to address the remaining gaps.
Action 1: Identify and remedy gaps within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Have in the city's subdivision chapter code language requiring dedication of open spaces, parks, and drainage easements or, in lieu of that, cash with each new subdivision.
Create and adopt a conceptual parks and green connections plan for greenfield areas having or planned to have urban services or redevelopment areas; integrate into existing Park/Open Space/Trail Plan if one is in place.
Achieve 2 star rating AND require demonstration of bike/ped trail connections for all new housing to existing trail network as part of the subdivision submittal.
Action 2: Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.     [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 and trails).
90% or more of residents are within one-half mile of a park or protected green space.
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city greenspace.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland; collect recyclables. List gardens plots in city parks under BP 27.3
Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland AND utilize organic or integrated pest management; certify through the MPCA a staff person at Level 1 in Turfgrass Maintenance Best Practices; collect compostables; adopt a bee-safe policy.
Provide sources of non-potable water, or surface/rain water, for parkland irrigation; introduce sheep to keep grass mowed; raise honey on city land/buildings; other innovative methods.
Action 5: Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; bee-safe policies.

b. Recycling/compostables collection.

c. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface/rain water, for irrigation.


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 cooperaton 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 }

A high-level elected city official or city staff person participates in at least 1 community event that includes a variety of stakeholders (farmers, other business people, environmentalists, recreation users, and other government staff, one of whom has scientific expertise). The conversation should be outside the TMDL process and include more than just impaired waters.
The city cosponsors at least 4 water quality conversations that explicitly focus on significant water quality improvement.
The conversations are facilitated/mediated using Art of Hosting and Network Weaver/Leadership techniques to influence changes in public/private actions that are likely to improve local water quality.
Action 2: Support a multi-party community conversation around improving local water quality.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Work with all entities to jointly raise money, fund work and measure progress.
Schedule work aimed at completing the TMDL plan within 10 years.
Convene on a regular basis all entities that have been assigned waste load allocations (for point and non-point pollution sources) to coordinate action on reducing waste loads.
Action 6: Implement an existing TMDL implementation plan.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Efficient Water and Wastewater Facilities
{ BP no. 20 }

Create a motor replacement plan for key motors, to at least maintain efficient operation and preferably improve it.
Upgrade SCADA systems to use existing flow and amperage or kilowatt measurements as a real-time efficiency measure for key equipment.
Review energy use for proposed plant upgrades at current volumes of water treated as well as at design capacity to verify the plant will run efficiently over the range of expected flow rates.
Action 2: Plan and budget for motor maintenance and upgrades so as to assure the most energy efficient, durable and appropriate equipment is available when upgrades or break downs occur.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Create a program for inspecting household/business gutters, foundation drains, sump pump connections, drain tile, lateral service lines, and/or inspections of city-owned sewer lines; report types of water system preventive maintenance.
Make sewer inspections mandatory at the time of property transfer; require repairs or provide incentives such as reimbursement to property owners to make repairs or enact surcharges for owners who are non-compliant with I&I standards; report types of water system leak detection.
Report outcomes from I&I and water loss programs, such as % clearwater reduction, money saved at the wastewater treatment plant, capital costs avoided by being able to defer capacity additions.
Action 3: Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Assist local businesses and institutions with water conservation measures; assist in pre-treating and lowering volumes and toxicity of sewer inflows.
Reuse water (sell reclaimed water) from a wastewater plant for nonpotable ag-processing, irrigation, cooling or power plant uses.
Co-generate electricity and heat through anaerobic digestion at the wastewater treatment plant/system.
Action 6: Implement a wastewater efficiency project/program: pretreatment, water conservation, co-generation or water reuse.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Economic and Community Development   Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks & Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

Report goals/outcomes at least annually from plans such as comprehensive, parks, library, housing, stormwater, drinking water, transportation, economic development, energy, sustainability.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND identify specific steps from each city department 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 ]

 


At least two informational/educational activities or creation of a group to work on such. Report under action 2.1 marketing and outreach programs that are limited to promoting/achieving residential energy use reduction and energy efficiency. Report targeted campaigns here unless they fit under other best practices, for example 23.3
Sustained activities covering a range of topics (active living, food, water, energy, etc.) that have some challenge, assistance and/or measurement elements.
Sustained activities and reported outcomes such as increased multi-modal commuting, reduced water and energy use, increased local food production, increased business vitality, etc.
Action 4: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

a. The entire community

b. Homeowners

c. Block clubs/neighborhood associations

d. Congregations

e. Schools and youth


Green Business Development
{ BP no. 25 }

Provide incentives such as targeted loans, grants, streamlined permitting processes, OR participate in coordinated marketing and business assistance efforts, OR provide similar such support.
Provide or link businesses to incubator space, local/MN suppliers, or other tangible assests.
Utilize an economic gardening approach; support the creation of co-operatively owned businesses (report retail food co-ops under action 27.4); develop workforce training opportunities with community colleges and job training centers to credential, for example, energy auditors.
Action 1: Support new/emerging green businesses and green jobs through targeted assistance and new workforce development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


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.
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 ]

 


Document steps beyond regulatory requirements to remediate a brownfield, using MPCA/other best practices.
Document how the redeveloped parcel has created jobs; is redeveloped as a mixed-use site.
Document the "green" nature of businesses locating on the redeveloped parcel.
Action 5: Lower the environmental footprint of a brownfield remediation/redevelopment project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]

 


Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

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 and promote 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: farmer's markets, 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 residents within a 1/4 mile of a healthy food source (farmer's market, community garden, CSA drop point, and stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 455230); convert top level of a parking ramp for a local food growing business.
Action 3: Inventory 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.