Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:
a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; pollinator/monarch-safe policies.
b. Recycling/compostables collection; use of compost as a soil amendment.
c. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface/rain water, for irrigation.
The Minnesota Recreation and Park Association supports a Parks, Natural Resources and Facilities Committee that meets periodically in different locations where park managers can learn and share ideas and resources for sustainable practices, and emerging trends in the design, construction, maintenance, and operations of indoor and outdoor facilities and natural resource management. See also environmental resources from the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association.
Addressing recent dramatic die-offs of honeybees, Shorewood became the first MN city to adopt in 2014 bee-safe policies and procedures for city land, relating to planting bee-friendly flowers and restricting pesticides thought to contribute to bee deaths, and including education to residents to keep properties in the city safe for pollinators. See adopted and model city resolution language for Pollinator Friendly Cities from Pollinate Minnesota and guidance for pollinator-friendly vegetated stormwater practices in the MPCA Stormwater Manual.
The Mayors' Monarch Pledge is a challenge from the National Wildlife Federation for cities to restore habitat and encourage citizens to do the same in order to help save the monarch butterfly, an iconic species whose populations have declined by 90% in the last 20 years.
Beyond Pesticides has model language for pesticide-free and integrated pest mangement city operations, and the American Green Zone Alliance promotes zero-emission landscape maintenance strategies. Replacement of turf grass with a prairie, for example, pays for itself in about six years due to a reduction in moving costs (as estimated in 2019 by the Met Council).
See action 2.6 for the 2019 Lawns to Legumes program focused on planting residential lawns with native vegetation and pollinator friendly forbs and legumes to protect a diversity of pollinators including the state Rusty Patched Bumblebee.
In 2017 the Faribault city council approved an ordinance allowing prescribed grazing - the application of goats as a landscape management technique for noxious and invasive vegetation - on residential properties. The city itself is planning to use prescribed grazing in some of its parks and trails. See other guidance and funding for invasives' management from MN DNR and a number of other organizations.
Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland; proactively manage invasive species; collect recyclables; install an environmental learning/demonstration garden/site; use compost as a soil amendment. List food garden plots in city parks under BP 27.3; report electric utility vehicles under 13.2; report Lawn to Legumes activity under action 2.6
Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland AND utilize organic or integrated pest management; certify through the MPCA at least one city staff person at Level 1 in turf grass BMPs; collect compostables; plant a pollinator garden and/or adopt a pollinator habitat policy.
Provide sources of non-potable water, or surface/rain water, for parkland irrigation; require all city-licensed turf grass services to have staff certified at Level 1 in MPCA turf grass BMPs; transition to all-electric equipment; introduce sheep/goats to keep grass mowed/invasives at bay; raise honey on city land/buildings; other innovative methods.
Who's doing it
Burnsville - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
The City of Burnsville uses storm water ponds for irrigation at the following sites: Youth Ball Field Complex Sioux Fisher Memorial, Crystal Park and Lac Lavon Park(use lake water).
The City of Burnsville's Civic center converted three acres of turf grass to native grass. City of Burnsville Ice Center converted one acre of turf grass to native grass.
b)Organic or integrated pest management - Council considered the revised Turf Management Plan at the 2-21-12 EEC/Council Work Session. It was approved at the March 5, 2013 City Council meeting.
c)Sources of Non potable water for irrigation is Complete. City well #14 was taken out of service in approximately 2006 due to elevated Radium 226 levels. Well #14 was then repurposed to irrigate Braemar Golf Course.
The City of Fergus Falls is looking into this type of planning for all new projects and converting once manicured grass into natural grasses. Recycling cans have been placed in the downtown areas and we amended our city code to allow for composting in residential areas. Otter Tail County is working with the community college and high school to place recycling containers at their sporting venues. The City of Fergus Falls pumps water from Pebble Lake and uses it to irrigate areas of nearby Delagoon Park.
The City of Fridley places recycling containers during from May through September at all parks with picnic shelters. The Springbrook Nature Center collects recycling year round and began collecting organic material in 2017. The Center also provides visitors that host events discounted compostable plateware to achieve the goal of zero-waste events.
All City of Fridley Public Works staff in the Parks and Street department have a Level 1 certification in Summer Turf Care Best Practices through the MPCA.
The City of Fridley adopted a resolution to be a Pollinator Friendly Community in March, 2018. This resolution included incorporation of pollinator-friendly landscaping into City parks.
Marshall Minnesota was officially designated as a Minnesota Amateur Regional Sports Center in 2008. Since that time the city has successfully lobbied for $4 million in state bonding and passed a 1.5 percent lodging/food & beverage tax as well as a .5 percent general sales tax to fund construction of 4 competition baseball/softball field, improve existing soccer fields and the building of a two sheet ice arena. Keeping the grass on baseball and soccer fields in competition condition requires enormous volumes of water for irrigation. To reduce the use of city water and reduce the amount of water flowing into the stormwater system, a holding pond was constructed near the sports complex that will hold approximately 13.5 million gallons of water when it is filled to the normal water level. Additionally, the newly constructed baseball/softball fields have tiled infields, so the excess water is collected and flows directly into the holding pond, which can be used for irrigation at a later time.
One pond was constructed with capacity for 13.5 million gallons of water up to the normal water level. Up to 10 million gallons of water could be available to baseball/softball diamonds and soccer fields. The City anticipates using approximately 1.7 million gallons of water per month for irrigation at the complex. If the City had to purchase this water from the local utility, it would cost over $10,000 per month to irrigate at the above stated rate.
B) We have separate trash and recycling canisters throughout all the parks as well as every city facility.
C) Lions Park, the newest park in New Brighton includes a soccer/lacrosse field, softball field, and most notably a storm water pond. Through permissions, contracts, contractors, and grants we are proud to say we now have the funding to use the storm water collected as irrigation for these fields.
By utilizing stormwater reuse, it is estimated that 60-70 percent of the average annual irrigation demand for the athletic fields will be met, thus reducing the amount of groundwater needed to irrigate.
A rain garden was installed in 2012 at the city's golf course.
The city constructed an underground water storage tank at Northwood Lake in 2016 that collects rainwater and is used to irrigate the nearby ball fields. The improvements will reduce phosphorous & sedimentation in the water.
The City of St. Anthony has constructed the only multi-source water reuse facility in Minnesota. This included an extensive inter-government collaboration with the following agencies: City of St. Anthony, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, Hennepin County Highway Department, MWMO, and RCWD.
The project has received many environmental awards and accolades.
Reduces potable water needs for irrigation resulting in the preservation of precious groundwater resources.
Reductions in pollutant discharges to the Mississippi River and Rice Creek.
This project has reduced dependency on ground water resources for irrigation by nearly 7 million gallons annually.
City has been adding alternative landscaping around pond/lake perimeters and has added prairie in park open spaces. City hires Prairie Restorations to manage sites- IPM based management. In 2018 the grounds staff replaced their large, aging collection of two-cycle gas-powered landscaping equipment with all electric-powered equipment.
increase in alternative landscaped areas throughout park system. The electric-powered equipment is easy to use, lightweight, quiet, and no-smell.
Ninety percent of the lake shore surrounding the city’s lakes has been preserved in native vegetation and is owned by the city. The city has converted many acres of manicured turf and agricultural land in parks and open space to native vegetation to reduce mowing and maintenance requirement.
The city has a tree management ordinance and also an integrated pest management policy that the park and forestry division follows.
Stormwater has been used for irrigation at the Bielenberg Sports Center since its initial construction in 1995. A rain water reuse system was installed in the Thames Road fire station pond to irrigate the adjacent Windwood Park in 2012. A rain water reuse system is being installed at the Eagle Valley Golf Course and Prestwick Golf Course as part of the stormwater management system for the County Road 19 expansion project in 2013.
a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; pollinator/monarch-safe policies.
In an effort to be more sustainable both Park Maintenance and the City’s Golf courses have converted traditional turf areas to native plantings that include a wide variety of flowering plants desired by pollinators. Examples are wetland buffer strips maintained throughout the Park system, rain gardens and the plantings at the Civic Plaza and Public Works Buildings.
b. Recycling/compostable collection.
Bloomington offers garbage and recycling collection containers at all developed park sites and is installing two organic collection stations that will be staffed by volunteers where residents can drop off household organic waste to be recycled.
The Park Department has reduced the area of mowing within parks by approximately 10%, allowing many areas to return their natural condition. The City has installed and manages 30 acres of native prairie within park sites. An unmowed buffer ranging from 10 to 30 is retained around ponds and water bodies.
Ongoing: The City uses rain barrel at the Eagan Art House (at Patrick Egan Park) for some irrigation
The Park Department has reduced the area of mowing within parks by approximately 10%
The City has installed and manages 30 acres of native prairie within park sites.
An unmowed buffer ranging from 10 to 30 is retained around ponds and water bodies.
City staff has adopted management standards to reduce the amount of mowing in city parks including low mow areas, native plants and turf management strategies to reduce the amount of fuel and time required for management. The majority of city parks also have recycling collection including larger athletic complexes and smaller neighborhood parks.
Golden Valley has contracted with a professional consultant to assist in managing 25 native buffer areas using integrated pest management since 1999. The consultant performs monthly site visits and assesses whether an area needs to burned, mowed or treated. Herbicide is only applied as needed (through spot treatment).
Phosphorus-free fertilizer and herbicide are used on athletic fields, Brookview Park, and City Hall campus on an as-needed basis only. All staff that handle fertilizer and pesticide products are certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on an annual basis and all products are applied according to their label recommendations. Herbicide treatment is used on athletic fields if weeds compose over 70% of an area. Milkweed is not removed from any public lands and is included in public planters, medians and along roadways. One staff member is level 1 certified in turf grass BMPs through the MPCA.
Golden Valley has four low-maintenance mowing areas on City parkland including Schied Park hill, Glenview Terrace Park hill, and Brookview Park Tennis hill. These areas are typically non-programmed spaces with steeper slopes. These areas allow the City to reduce inputs, save on labor, equipment and material cost, and diversify the ecology.
Golden Valley has significantly increased park and public event recycling to maximize recycling at higher use facilities (Brookview Park Shelters, the Brookview Park Tennis program, Isaacson Little League Field and the Schaper Softball Complex).
In 2015, phased mowing reductions were introduced to naturalize certain areas of parks that are not programmed for recreation including Schied Park hill, Glenview Terrace Park hill and Brookview Park Tennis hill.
There are currently about 53.5 total acres of native buffer established in Golden Valley (21.7 acres of which is managed by the City). In 2015, about 6 total acres of pollinator habitat were planted in public areas in addition to the 1.6 acres of buffer planted around ponds and along streams. 2.5 acres have been added in 2016. More pollinator habitat and stormwater management vegetation is planned for projects in the community in 2017 and beyond.
Parks in Inver Grove Heights have always been managed by an integrated pest plan. There are also low/no mow areas located throughout the City's park system. Recyclables are collected in the Golf Course and Rich Valley Athletic Complex. All park maintenance staff have received pesticide application licenses. Additionally, the municipal golf course, Inver Wood, and Rich Valley Athletic Complex pump non-treated ground water for irrigation.
The city currently has a turf management plan that address all of these issues including the placement of low/no mow areas. The collection of recyclables is a part of the solid waste management aspect of the City's public areas solid waste management plan. 3M headquarters is currently working with the University of Minnesota to organize and implement bee hives on the open spaces within the 3M campus.
Maplewood has worked on reducing and minimizing the size of turf areas and promoting the usage of native landscaping within public lands.
The City has also tested certain sites with organic products and also trying to promote the usage of organic and integrated pest management. The city currently has a turf management plan that address all of these issues
The Parks Master Plan component of the City's Comprehensive Plan calls for natural resource preservation and environmental sustainability. Also, the City worked with graduate students from the U of M to develop an analysis of vegetation management and low maintenance standards for turf management in the City's parks.
The second study with the U of M looked at improving fishing and recreational opportunities at Taft Lake. With a grant from the Minnehaha Watershed District, Legion Lake and Taft Lake are working to reduce nitrates, flocculation and infiltration systems. Three watersheds: Minnehaha via pipes from Taft Lake to Nokomis. Improve as a fishery with help of DNR. Very deep and accessible.
"No mow" is practiced in several parks and turf strengthening efforts have decreased the need to use pesticides/fertilizers. This has helped park grass/turf become more drought and weed resistant.
Planning and implementation of restored natural areas in many parks, include regional parks which are natural resource based, removal of invasives and planting of appropriate native species. Operations/Parks Maintenance is also experimenting with a clover seed mix which is intended for high activity areas and is supposed to be lower maintenance.
Recyling is implemented in all regularly staff Parks & Recreation facilities. Operations/Parks Maintenence is also recycling at all events and large picnics. All Regional Parks and seasonal picnic facilities have recycling containers and most neighborhood parks have recycling. There are also recycling containers throughout our trail system.
(Design) Como golf course, other golf courses?
The City Council has passed a resolution to participate in and endorse pollinator friendly efforts. In the resolution the City will undertake best efforts to utilize plants favorable to pollinators, use native MN species, and cease the use of pesticides that would impact pollinators
The city also adopted resolution 2015-181 (attached) which endorses the protection of pollinators and enhancement of pollinator habitat for bees and butterflies. It is a commitment to best practices to avoid neonicotinoids, which are toxic for bees and butterflies. The city commits to purchasing only bee/butterfly friendly fertilizer and plantings.
Coon Rapids has planted 15.7 acres of native grasses in various parks throughout the city. As part of a park redevelopment, fescue turf seed was used to reduce water consumption. At one of the city's waste water treatment plants was developed into a native prairie landscape where it had previously been a mowed grass field. Approximately 20 parks in the city have recycling containers, specifically those with athletic fields and high traffic during summer months. Similar practices will be used in the other park redesign plans through the park bond referendum.
The Linda Ulland Memorial Gardens just outside the Crosslake Campground was created to be an environmental, educational and natural destination for all ages. The gardens are divided into several sections, each with different environmental themes and educational aspects. They include areas of deer-resistant plantings, forest foraging gardens to show the woods' bounty, butterfly gardens, a rain garden, a house garden and Paul Bunyan's footprints. The house garden will have houses for all sorts of wildlife placed in the garden, including houses for bees, bats, toads, beneficial insects, and much more. May, 2017
- Low/no mow areas and native landscaping are a part of the parkland maintenance process. Recyclables are collected at each site. There is also one community garden plot in the city and the purchase of electric utility vehicles (EUVs) are under consideration.
The pollinator garden helps us to provide a pollen source for bees and other pollinators which are essential to our ecosystem. In addition, they create an oasis where community members can enjoy the outdoors. As the garden is made of primarily native species, so once it is established the garden will thrive on its own and not require additional watering. We involved community groups and the 4H in planting the garden and UMC students to design the garden, and 3 others, for us.
The City manages a city compost site for residential yard waste. The City will also implement a community garden compost unit in Spring 2016 for garden waste.
The City has an annual clean-up day where residents can bring in recyclables to dispose of.
A specialized management plan for Rasmussen Woods Nature Area was designed and adopted in 2012 after open houses to solicit comments from interested residents and frequent park users. The management plan emphasizes maintenance of the area as a natural area, with only absolute minimal intervention by City staff, such as using recycled wood chips for trail areas, to help keep the woods area as its original donors had intended as a natural area for the community to enjoy in its natural state.
Yes, the City has incorporated native plants into the landscape of our parks, the Community Center, and along significant roadway corridors like Highway 96. The City is looking into capturing more stormwater for irrigation needs in the future.