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GreenStep City Best Practices Environmental Management

Parks and Trails
no. 18

Increase active lifestyles and property values by enhancing the city's green infrastructure.
  Best Practice Action 7      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Document that the operation and maintenance, or construction / remodeling, of at least one park building used an asset management tool, the SB 2030 energy standard, or a green building framework.

  • See a list of green building frameworks, which include codes, standards (including the SB 2030 energy standard), rating systems with certification, and guidelines with verification.
  • See the 2010 City of Saint Paul Public Pools Green Initiative for a moss treatment system.
  • Using Renewable Energy in Minnesota Parks: A Guidebook for Park Managers (Center for Energy and Environment: 1999).
  • Turning on all of your park field lighting in phases can cut electric bills in half due to eliminating electric demand charges that can equal the cost of the electricity used. Also note that you might be paying in the range of $30/month in an individual electric meter fee in small park structures and that a small PV panel and storage could be a cost-effective alternative.
Include green features in at least one park building, such as renewable energy generation capacity, EV charging station, native landscaping, rain gardens, green roofs, composting toilets, and greywater systems.
Highlight and educate visitors of the park building to its green features; report the use of an asset management tool and what level of life-cycle assessment is included (e.g., GHG, toxics, etc.).
Build to the SB 2030 energy standard; obtain a green building certification/rating and post informational plaques or displays that highlight green features.


Date action report first entered:   12/06/2017
Date of last report update:   12/06/2017
Year action initially completed:   2016
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The City of Fridley and the Springbrook Nature Center Foundation reconstructed the Springbrook Nature Center to Minnesota B3 and SB 2030 standards. Sustainable design features features include geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, bird-friendly glass, use of high recycled content materials, use of FSC certified wood, low flow water fixtures, green roof, raingardens, permeable concrete, and use of light and motion sensors to minimize lighting use.

Descriptive links: http://www.springbrooknaturecenter.org/1207/NEW-Interpretive-Center

For more information contact:
Rachel Workin (City staff)   |   rachel.workin@fridleymn.gov   |   763-572-3594

Springbrook Nature Center Foundation

View All Fridley Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/09/2011

Implementation details:
The recently built Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center is one of Rochesters only Green Park Building, it offers a large natural landscape area for people to walk through and enjoy. The Building is LEED certified.

Descriptive links: http://www.cascademeadow.org/what-we-do/our-sustainable-site/our-landscapes.html

For more information contact:
Tony Benson (City staff)   |   tbenson@rpu.org   |   507-280-1534

View All Rochester Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   11/19/2014
Date of last report update:   11/19/2014

Implementation details:
Arlington Hills Community Center, Palace Recreation Center, Lowertown Ballpark - all recently completed, or in progress. All use the state's B3 - Buildings, Benchmarks and Beyond standards, which address Performance Management, Site and Water, Energy and Atmosphere, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Materials and Waste reviews.

For more information contact:
Kurt Schultz (City staff)   |   kurt.schultz@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-6590

View All Saint Paul Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/24/2018
Date of last report update:   01/24/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Bloomington uses a software asset management tools to track work orders, service requests and preventive maintenance activities on all of its park buildings. Each building is assigned a facility condition index that considers building condition and energy efficiency factors. This leads to optimized capital planning by allowing us to quantify and consolidate facility condition data, evaluate and prioritize different improvement project scenarios.

For more information contact:
Mary Hurliman (City staff)   |   mhurliman@BloomingtonMN.gov   |   952-563-8730

View All Bloomington Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/19/2016

Implementation details:
Public Works retrofitted ice arena with energy saving equipment w. Harris Mechanical. Savings and paid off 20-year loan for improvements. The City installed rooftop solar panels on its Wood Lake Nature Center and a grey water system for City Hall. The Wood Lake Nature Center includes an interactive display that offers a variety of educational screens about the benefits of solar energy and how the system operates. It also describes the power output of the system in terms of the electrical demands of everyday electrical appliances.

For more information contact:
Jim Topitzhofer (City staff)   |   JTopitzhofer@richfieldmn.gov   |   612-861-9394

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   05/07/2012

Implementation details:
The Hormel Nature Center Visitor Center and Ruby Rupner Auditorium use solar power and natural lighting

For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Elected official)   |   jkanderson@gofast.am   |   507-433-1081

Nature Center

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Fergus Falls

Date action report first entered:   04/26/2017
Date of last report update:   04/26/2017
Year action initially completed:   2014
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
Rain gardens have been built in two city parks. In Adams Park a smaller raingarden was installed in 2014. This is a hilly park and the raingarden was installed above the stormdrain. In 2016 the city worked cooperatively with the Rotary Club and the West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District to put a large raingarden in City Hall Park. The rainwater from the roof and parking lot of City Hall is filtered through the raingarden prior to it going into the Otter Tail River.

West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District, Rotary Club

View All Fergus Falls Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/27/2016
Date of last report update:   04/27/2016

Implementation details:
Native landscaping utilized in many parks, notably in Levee Park as part of Riverfront Renaissance Phase 2.

For more information contact:
Chris Jenkins (City staff)   |   cjenkins@hastingsmn.gov   |   651-480-6176

View All Hastings Actions

Saint Anthony

Date action report first entered:   05/05/2011

Implementation details:
The Three Rivers Park District Silverwood Park located within the City received Silver LEED certification.

For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff)   |   jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us   |   612-782-3314

View All Saint Anthony Actions

Saint Cloud

Date action report first entered:   05/27/2011

Implementation details:
The City designed and constructed a skate plaza structure at our Heritage Park location. The innovative design allows for the 20,000 square feet of hard surfaces to drain into designed rain water features to take up a minimum of one inch rain in 24 hour period. The facility also uses elements of green and tree plantings to highlight the improvements. Adjacent to this facility is a renovated green roof/earth roof style park shelter for park users that is 100% covered with native plantings.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/Park/SkateProject.aspx             view file

For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff)   |   elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   320-255-7226

View All Saint Cloud Actions

Hutchinson pending

Date action report first entered:   03/02/2016
Date of last report update:   03/02/2016

Implementation details:
As part of a parks upgrade taking place in 2014, an old train depot building was refinished. The project was part of a brownfield redevelopment and utilized the existing building structure for the construction. The project also included the construction of a rain garden on the plot.

For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff)   |   jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us   |   320-234-5682

McLeod County Regional Rail Authority, and the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority

View All Hutchinson Actions

Maplewood pending

Date action report first entered:   03/14/2011
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
Maplewood does not have a park building but is looking forward to adopting one into the Master Plan sometime in the next 5 year. Along with adopting a park building, Maplewood is also looking to have the building be construction with the green building standards and features.

For more information contact:
Audra Robins (City staff)   |   Audra.robins@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2125

View All Maplewood Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Jenna Fletcher, Program Director, Trust for Public Land: 651-999-5306, Jenna.Fletcher@tpl.org, https://www.tpl.org/our-work/minnesota