City Detail

Background Information

City of Faribault
County: Rice
Population: 23352
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 134
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Dave Wanberg
City Staff
507-333-0350
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 2 ( )

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: 21
1 star actions: 12
2 star actions: 5
3 star actions: 4

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

2 star - Action 1:

Create or participate in a marketing/outreach/incentive program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
Faribault created an Energy Action Plan as part of Xcel's Partners in Energy. The offerings for residential energy improvements include Home Energy Squad visits, which are free for income-qualified households, as well as advertising a refrigerator and freezer recycling program. In 2021, Faribault had 7 Home Energy Squad visits completed.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
1 star - Action 4:

Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses and not-for-profit organizations located within/nearby the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: unsure
Implementation details:
Multiple locations within the city have installed EV charging stations, including a Goodwill very close to the highway. This action makes it possible for people to charge electric vehicles in Faribault and encourages EV owners driving on I-35 to make a stop in Faribault.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

3 star - Action 8:

Replace the city's existing traffic signal indications with LEDs.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
The City of Faribault, in coordination with Xcel Energy, replaced all traffic lights with LEDs in 2017.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

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: 1981
Implementation details:
Faribault's Ordinance 81-12 created a Heritage Preservation Committee to protect buildings in Faribault's Heritage Preservation District and Downtown Sign District. This committee reviews any changes to the collection of historic buildings in the downtown in accordance with Ordinance 82-5.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Land Use Land Use

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

1 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: 2020
Implementation details:
The Comprehensive Plan, established in 2003 and updated in 2020, consists of a compilation of policy statements, goals, standards, and maps for guiding the physical, social and economic development of the city and its environs. Through a series of sections, each relating to a major subject of development, the plan presents a vision for the future of Faribault. Intended as a guide, it is a fluid document that is reviewed and updated from time to time as trends and markets change. The plan is used by staff, the Planning Commission, other boards and commissions, and the City Council in all land use, zoning and annexation decisions, and serves as the basis for the Unified Development Ordinance.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
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: 2011
Implementation details:
The City adopted our Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) on Dec. 1, 2011. The primary purpose of the ordinance states it was adopted to implement the policies of the City's Land Use Plan, a component of the Comprehensive Plan. See UDO 1-30 (1).
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
3 star - Action 4:

Include ecological provisions in the comprehensive plan that explicitly aim to minimize open space fragmentation and/or establish a growth area with expansion criteria.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2003
Implementation details:
In 2002, the City of Faribault conducted a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI). The Comprehensive Plan took information from the NRI into consideration when planning for use and preservation of environmental resources. Greenway and habitat corridors were identified and highlighted as areas to be maintained and specific policies outlining environmental resource use and preservation were created.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

1 star - Action 3:

Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1999
Implementation details:
Faribault's Central Business District has zero lot line
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

3 star - Action 5:

Have a downtown zoning district that emphasizes small and destination business, entrepreneurial spaces, and allows or requires residential and residential-compatible commercial development.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
Faribault's central business district zoning allow for both commercial and residential development.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

1 star - Action 1:

Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2002
Implementation details:
The City of Faribault conducted a Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) in 2002 and incorporated this NRI into the Comprehensive Plan in order to protect Faribault's natural resources.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

3 star - Action 3:

Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; ridesharing/cab services; rental cars; bikes; airports.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2012
Implementation details:
Three Rivers Community Action Center Website includes information about bus options through Hiawathaland Transit. This website includes information about schedules, routes, fares, dial-a-ride, and student passes. The City's website also includes a link to this page.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

1 star - 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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Faribault completed a FleetCarma study with 20 City fleet vehicles. Based on the information from the study, Faribault was able to replace two gas-powered vehicles with a Nissan Leaf and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
1 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: 2020
Implementation details:
Faribault has a no-idling policy for City fleet vehicles.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
1 star - Action 4:

Phase in bike, e-bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: unsure
Implementation details:
Faribault police officers travel by bike downtown.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Community Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

1 star - Action 1:

Certify as a Tree City USA.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2009
Implementation details:
The City of Faribault has been a part of Tree City USA for the past twelve years.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

1 star - Action 1:

Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Two Rivers park connections to North Alexander park, Slevin park, Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail, and Straight River State Trail.

Faribault completed an inventory of existing parks, trails, and open space as part of the City's Journey to 2040 Plan. The Plan notes priority areas for park expansion and trail connections.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
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: 2019
Implementation details:
As part of Faribault's Journey to 2040, the City adopted the Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan in 2019. This Plan aims to preserve Faribault's natural assets and provide a framework for expanding on the City's parks and open space and includes an inventory of current parks, trails, and open space as well as intended future park development and trail connection.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
2 star - Action 3:

Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: n/a
Implementation details:
Faribault is home to 39 parks, totaling over 400 acres. With about 24,000 residents, the City has a ratio of about 17 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents. 81% residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Local Food {BP no.27}

1 star - Action 2:

Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily and residential developments.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
In 2017, Faribault updated its bee keeping ordinance and permit application, in order to better facilitate bee keeping within the city. There are several bee keepers within Faribault.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350
2 star - Action 3:

Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1976
Implementation details:
The Faribault Farmers' Market, whose members are local and regional farmers and food producers, meets Saturdays, June through October of each year from 7:00 am until 12:00 noon at Central Park, 6th Street and 3rd Avenue NW, in Faribault, and Wednesdays from July through September from 1:30 pm until 5:00 pm at the same location.

The Cannon Velley Farmers' Market meets at the Faribault West Mall, 200 Western Ave. NW from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm on Specified Saturdays from November through Mark; and at the Rice County Fair Grounds during April and May.

Friends of Buckham Memorial Library Organic Learning center, teaches people how to grow delicious organic food, take care of the earth and our water supply, support pollinators, and make connections with other members of the community. https://www.ci.faribault.mn.us/495/Friends-of-Buckham-Memorial-Library
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
This is a very popular and well used resource for the citizens of Rice County and Faribault
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

2 star - Action 2:

Integrate climate resilience into city or tribal planning, policy, operations, and budgeting processes.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
With support from MPCA, paleBLUEdot worked with the City of Faribault to create a Population Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Adaptation Framework. In 2019, we will be integrating this work into our Comprehensive Plan. We will then integrate this work into our Ordinances.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; paleBLUEdot
For more information contact:
Dave Wanberg (City staff) | dwanberg@ci.faribault.mn.us | 507-333-0350