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.
Better lighting has been integrated into multiple buildings along with high efficiency furnaces. Improved lighting has been added to the indoor hockey rink and added to the public works building. This lighting will reduce energy usage. Also increasing longevity of the lightbulbs there by hindering replacement and creating cost savings. A high efficiency furnace has replaced an old furnace in the recreation building also a high efficiency furnace has replaces an old furnace in the water plant. Finally improvements have been made to the city hall building, a new roof was added. All these improvements were financed through an energy bond received from the government three years ago.
These improvements are small. However these improvements are significant. Gilbert has to use money wisely, small improvements are small steps in the direction of change. With stick finances Gilbert cannot implement big changes. These small changes hopefully show the community that the city council is looking out for the peoples best interest. They are trying to make Gilbert a safer and cheaper place to live.
The outcomes are some what obvious. The hopes are a subtle shock and awe champaign. People will hopefully reduce their disposing of harmful products down the drain. Improved flushing habits reduces water pollution, levying pressure off the treatment plant to extract all pollutants. Everyone in a community plays an important role in protecting our natural resources, a vital one being water.
A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan how to achieve these objectives. I would assume this to be apparent during waste water discussions. Multiple Waste water treatment facility meetings were held with many experts on the situation. Also there were members from Stance present. Tiffany Edholm sat in on a meeting and observed Stantec's presence. The two men were very knowledgable and stayed fairly unbiased. Meeting members discussed different options to remedy said problem
The idea of a facilitator is great for meetings that are high stake, with people who have passionate opinions. A third party can keep a level head and see pro's and con's to every side.
The Gilbert Public Works department received new trucks. The old trucks were inefficient, unsafe and incapable of holding regular loads. Financed through a recent energy bond the upgraded 2012 trucks are more capable of withstanding heavy loads. MPG efficiency increased, the old trucks were running around 9-10 and the new trucks are running around 15-17. Also the fleet has been down sized. By reducing the amount of vehicles and increasing vehicle purpose, environmental impact is lessened.
Improvements to the Public Works fleet will have returns to the environment. Older trucks emit more exhaust. A reduction in MPG is a savings on gas. A reduction of gas used is a savings on green house gases. This is a small improvement towards a brighter future.
The city has achieved an overall tree canopy of at least 30% as well as they are continuing to purchase and utilize native trees. Continual effort to plant more trees is being taken.
Native plants are useful to preserve the terrestrial ecosystem of Northern Minnesota. Due to extensive clear cutting in the early 1900's all of Northern Minnesota's old growth forests have disappeared. An active effort to plant and protect native plants will rejuvinate Minnesota's coniferous and deciduous forest.
The outcome of the whole construction process is a more efficient, safer treatment plant. The subset outcome of the stormwater basin is to eliminate unnecessary overflow, reduce system failure, and keep the facility running smoothly. Hopes are to increase water recycling.
Gilbert has come together with many iron range cities to create an extensive multi-use trail. The Mesabi trail stretches from Grand Rapids through Gilbert and past Biwabik. This paved trail is accessible to the public at any time. It can be used for Mountain biking, Road biking, roller blading, running, and much more! The trail is over 130 miles long and many attractions the way. Gilbert is responsible for maintaining the trail within its city limits. Repairing cracks and obscurities are vital to the longevity of the trail.
The hopes for such a trail is to connect towns that might not be otherwise be reachable to each other. Such an expansive trail encourages healthy living and active recreation. Integrating the Mesabi trail through multiple towns encourages community involvement by having a common shared resource.
1 star - Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.
In the city of Gilbert, MN there exists at least 7 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents. There is 8.5 acres of park land. Gilbert has 1,800 residents. Parks get the residents of Gilbert outside.
Children are key in the city of Gilbert. The city needs to grow in population. Parks keep kids active and happy, young couples can bring their children their to play. Parks encourage a healthy active lifestyle and they encourage outside recreation.
The outcome, as stated somewhat above is to prolong the treatment facilities life. The facility is extremely old, if left neglected serious injury could occur to workers or serious pollution could occur unto the surrounding environment. Hopes are to increase efficiency, increase flow rate, and most importantly reduce the amount of mercury entering the water system.
The improved wastewater plant has many implementations to provide longer payback for drinking water and other water uses. The new plant will get Gilbert below the dreaded mercury limit, as well as remove excess phosphorus from the water. Aerobic digestion will be used to alleviate and reduce waste. The new facility will remove many unnecessary chemicals that would eventually inadvertently end up in Lake Superior.
The hopes for the future are that Gilbert will meet the soon to be enforced mercury limit. Many people in Gilbert do not understand why there is a mercury limit, much less why they need to comply to it. This new facility will take the burden off their hands. The technology does the work for the people of Gilbert. Phosphorus and mercury do not belong in the St.Louis river, nor in Lake Superior.
On May 4th 2015 at a city planning meeting, Tiffany Edholm the UMD GreenStep Cities intern for Gilbert lead a discussion about future best practices to implement. A final report of her experience was available as well as a detailed report about what Gilbert has already accomplished.
This meeting gets the city involved so they may carry the torch once the intern is gone. It creates an active decision making process. The meeting leaves the decisions of future projects to the city planning members.