City Detail

Background Information

City of Carver
County: Carver
Population: 4,800
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 15
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Erin Smith
City Staff
952-448-8743
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 1 ( )

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 File below summarizes completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded to cities who report a minimum number of core metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data for Steps 4&5. Additional city data can be found by reviewing information on B3 Benchmarking and Regional Indicators Initiative.

Assessment File

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 8
1 star actions: 2
2 star actions: 5
3 star actions: 1

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

2 star - Action 5:

Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
The City has an ordinance that restricts the time of day and creates a schedule for watering. Watering is not permitted from 10AM-6PM to limit the amount of strain on the City's water system during the hottest time of day. The City actively monitors watering throughout the summer to ensure ordinance compliance. The City additionally partnered with Carver County to allow City of Carver residents to purchase Rachio 3 Smart Irrigation Controllers at a discounted price.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Carver County
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

2 star - Action 1:

Adopt an historic preservation ordinance/regulations and encourage adaptive reuse.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2013
Implementation details:
The City of Carver's Historic Downtown is designated through the State of Minnesota's Historic Preservation Office. We have an active Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) that reviews all exterior projects that have a historic designation. The City has adopted both residential standards as well as commercial standards that apply to buildings in the downtown.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
State of Minnesota Historic Preservation Office
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743

Land Use Land Use

Comprehensive, Climate and Energy Plans {BP no.6}

2 star - Action 1:

Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a future land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
The City of Carver is required to adopt a Comprehensive Plan every 10 years.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743
1 star - 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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
From Carver's Zoning Ordinance:

Sec. 50-5. - Relation to the city's comprehensive plan.

It is the policy of the city that the enforcement, amendment, and administration of this Ordinance be accomplished consistent with the recommendations contained in the city comprehensive plan, as developed and amended from time to time by the planning commission and city council. The city council recognizes the city comprehensive plan as the official policy for the regulation of land use and development in accordance with the policies and purpose herein set forth. In accordance with M.S.A. § 473.858, as amended, the city will not approve any rezoning or other changes in these regulations that are inconsistent with the city comprehensive plan.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

2 star - Action 5:

Preserve environmentally sensitive, community-valued land by placing a conservation easement on city lands, and by encouraging/funding private landowners to place land in conservation easements.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
Throughout recent single family home development in Carver, we have placed several conservation easements over City owned property to ensure that environmentally sensitive habitat will not be disturbed. We are proactive in our approach of these areas and require that developers place conservation easement signage at each lot corner that abut sensitive areas. Examples of this in Carver are in the Meridian Fields, Oak Tree, Meadows and Spring Creek, and Hawthorne Ridge neighborhoods.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743

Transportation Transportation

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

2 star - Action 3:

Phase-in operational changes, equipment changes including electric vehicles, and no-idling practices for city or local transit fleets.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
We purchased a PHEV for our Building Inspections team in 2021! We went with the Mitsubishi Outlander and we are so happy with the purchase.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

1 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
We drafted and implemented a Parks Master Plan in 2018. Throughout the plan we both have updated programming in existing parks as well as planned parks in our orderly annexation area. We have executed design and development of one of the parks in the plan and are working towards another downtown park that will be a community gathering space.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743
3 star - Action 5:

Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
C. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface water, for irrigation.

Ironwood Park is Carver's largest parks and has requires extensive irrigation. The park is home to multi use fields that are primarily used for soccer and la cross. In developing the park, the City worked with the Carver County Water Management Organization (CCWMO) to establish a water reuse system both for the park as well as the adjacent Copper Hills neighborhood for irrigation. The park uses surface/rain water for irrigation throughout the watering season. It has been an asset for the community due to the irrigation not being subject to a watering ban we had to put in place this summer due a well being out of service for several days. Since the park does not require water from our system, the park was able to continue to be irrigated and was not damaged by drought. We were able to communicate the program this park is part of because there was great concern about why the City was able to water during a watering ban... because it is non potable water!
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Erin Smith (City Staff) | esmith@cityofcarver.com | 9524488743