City Detail

Background Information

City of Lake Crystal
County: Blue Earth
Population: 2593
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 16
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Taylor Gronau
City Staff
507-726-2538
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: 25
1 star actions: 9
2 star actions: 12
3 star actions: 4

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

3 star - Action 1:

Enter/update building information into the MN B3 Benchmarking database, and routinely enter monthly usage data for all city-owned buildings/infrastructure that consume energy/water.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
As part of her MN GreenCorps service with the City of Lake Crystal, Joan Van Grinsven entered nearly 4 years of historical electrical and natural gas usage data for the 14 city owned buildings. Once all of this data was entered she checked for any inaccuracies, and fixed them. During her service time, she will be exploring ways to improve the worst performing buildings.
Joan Van Grinsven will be in charge of updating the data in a monthly basis, until her service term is over in August 2014. Before she is finished with her term, the city will train someone else to enter current data.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Using the B3 database allowed us to figure out which buildings the city should focus on improving. This turned out to be the city's recreation center and maintenance buildings. This program also allows us to notice if there are any spikes in utility usage within the water or power plants that should be addressed, even though these building types are not benchmarked.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
2 star - Action 2:

Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City completed a lighting upgrade in the City Shop. Existing 400 watt Metal Halide fixtures were replaced with 32 watt T8 High Bay Florescent fixtures.
On 12-18-13, six VendingMisers were installed around town. One in the city's Rec Center, one in the elementary school, and 4 in the secondary school. These will cycle the machines off after a period of inactivity, and are able to save about 50% of energy used by the vending machines.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Lighting Upgrade annual savings: 9,546.24 kwh = $859.16
Vending Miser annual savings: 1,613 kWh/machine Vending Miser total annual savings: 9,678 kWh = $871
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

3 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:
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal has introduced a monthly newsletter to be sent with utility bills focusing on energy conservation tips and education about available CIP rebates and programs. This year, we have also visited the schools and presented educational programs about energy usage and energy conservation. In December the city participated in an event in which we gave participants faucet aerators along with tips on winter energy conservation. We also held a drawing for a programmable thermostat and an energy conservation kit.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Each faucet aerator that is given away will save approximately 1,600 gallons of water a year. The programmable thermostat will save one customer up to $180 a year.
The GreenStep Committee is working with the MU to implement an Electric Load Management program. As of 4/21/15 there are 97 households signed up to participate. An open house on 2/22/15 will educate residents about the program. 200 households is the goal. Installation is set to begin in the summer of 2015.
Descriptive File:
Lake Crystal Municipal Utility
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
2 star - Action 6:

Provide a financial or other incentive to private parties who add energy/sustainability improvements, meet the SB 2030 energy standard, or renovate using a green building or energy framework.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city offers a selection of rebate programs as part of CIP. Available residential CIP programs available include: rebates on select types of Energy Star Appliances, central air tune-ups, LED lights. Commercial CIP programs include rebates for select Energy Star appliances, central-air tune ups, lighting upgrades, motor upgrades, and energy audits.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
At this point in 2013, kWh saved through CIP programs has been measured at 57,000 kWh. This includes both commercial and residential programs.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Land Use Land Use

Efficient Highway- and Auto-Oriented Development {BP no.9}

2 star - Action 1:

Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
The City of Lake Crystal adopted a Strategic Plan with design goals for a auto-oriented corridor. An Action Step of the Plan includes, 'Develop industrial park near highway'. The focus areas for achieving this includes: redevelopment of an existing site. The action steps in the strategic plan were developed based on community engagement by the Region 9 Development Commission with a community survey and public open house, as well as meetings with the Economic Development Commission.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
A work plan was developed within the strategic plan that will allow the City to measure success of implementation.
Descriptive File:
City of Lake Crystal, Region Nine Development Commission, Economic Development Commission, Public Surve Participants
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
1 star - Action 2:

Participate in regional economic development planning with representatives from surrounding townships, cities, the county and business interests to:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal participates in the Region Nine Development Commission, and is the Blue Earth County commission representative for cities under 10,000. The community has worked with Region Nine while implementing a Safe Routes to School program. Lake Crystal also participates in Greater Mankato Growth.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

1 star - Action 2:

Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal applied for and was awarded a SRTS Planning grant in 2013. A community assessment, student tally and parent survey were conducted. In April 2015, Lake Crystal was awarded an SRTS grant for $160K for the 2019 Federal budget year. A bicycle rodeo is scheduled for May 2015. New crosswalks were painted around the school.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
A final report due in May 2013 will include Engineering Strategies, Education Strategies, Encouragement Strategies, Enforcement and Evaluation Strategies. The goal is to apply for a SRTS Infrastructure grant. The school implemented a walk to school day for bus riders in the fall of 2013. Students were bused to a nearby Assisted Living Facility and teachers walked the students to school. A SHIP grant was awarded and is working with the school to further promote healthy initiatives.
Descriptive File:
LCWM Elementary School Wellness Committee, PTO, SRTS Committee
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

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:
The Lake Crystal Police Department evaluted the police fleet in determining the most efficient type of new police vehicle. The department selected a hybrid vehicle for the next police car.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The hybrid vechicle is estimated to have a 3 year return on investment. Fuel savings will be measured.
Descriptive File:
City of Lake Crystal, Lake Crystal Police Department
For more information contact:
Gina Cooper (Elected Official) | cptcooper@msn.com | 507-382-7276

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

2 star - Action 1:

Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city council of Lake Crystal established a purchasing policy for the purchase of Energy Star equipment and recycled paper at the September 23, 2013 meeting.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
1 star - Action 2:

Purchase energy used by city government - via the municipal utility, green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city purchases electricity from Heartland Consumer Power District and then distributes it as a municipal utility. In our contract with them it states that 15% of our electricity comes from renewable sources (primarily from wind turbines)
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

1 star - Action 2:

Complete the GreenStep Municipal Stormwater Management Assessment.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal has registered for the Blue Star Award program and had completed its assessment as of January 1, 2014. Lake Crystal is now in the process of improving our practices to be awarded the Blue Star.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
1 star - Action 3:

Adopt by ordinance one or more of the following stormwater infiltration/management strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2014
Implementation details:
With its tree-lined streets, the city of Lake Crystal is beautifully green in the summer and filled with color in the fall. Unfortunately, as the leaves drop, they end up in storm gutters, where the water washes them into the stormwater system. As they decompose, they release phosphorus, which eventually makes its way to Crystal Lake, encouraging algae blooms.

The Adopt-a-drain Program was created by Crystal Waters Project in 2014 to combat this effect . Through this initiative, city residents sign up to "adopt" the storm grates near their homes. This means that they make a commitment to keep the grates clear of organic materials and other debris. To get the program off to a strong start, volunteers went door-to-door explaining the program and asking homeowners to sign a pledge stating that they agreed to monitor nearby storm drains. The program was also presented at community events. During the first season, more than 100 drains were "adopted". The grates that were adopted were sprayed blue with a black water droplet on them.

In 2018 the program was "rebooted", with a Facebook campaign and newspaper articles. Several more drains were adopted at that time. During the summer, a youth group from a local church painted many of the city's grates blue to remind residents that ALL of the stormwater eventually goes to the lake. Black water droplets were added to those grates that were adopted.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
While there is no firm data on the number of drains that are currently monitored or the amount of phosphorus that has been kept out of the lake, it is clear that residents are more aware of the importance of keeping the grates open. Going forward, the group is hoping to find a way to recognize adopted drains without using spray paint.
Descriptive File: view file
City of Lake Crystal, Crystal Waters Project
For more information contact:
Gina Cooper (Elected Official) | cptcooper@msn.com | 507-382-7276
2 star - Action 5:

Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Crystal Waters Project is a Lake Crystal-based organization whose goal is improving the water quality in the city's lakes. Reducing the amount of runoff that makes its way to the lakes is one of the group's goals. Rain gardens and natural shorelines reduce the amount of debris, chemicals and organics that end up in the lakes. With this in mind, Crystal Waters Project launched the "Landscaping for Crystal Waters" program in May of 2019. This project was designed to assist city residents in planting rain gardens and restoring or preserving their shorelines. It was modeled after Dakota County's "Landscaping for Clean Water" program. The components of the program were:
• Raise awareness of the program through social media and a newspaper campaign.
• Host an introductory class designed to explain the program and the designing/planting process.
• Host a design class with qualified instructors for both rain gardens and lakeshore preservation.
• Provide guidance as the projects were undertaken.
• Assess compliance with project guidelines after project completion.
• Provide signage for the project area.
• Reimburse homeowners for a portion of the expenses incurred.

Details for each component:
• Raise awareness of the program through social media and a newspaper campaign.
The program was explained and advertised on Facebook, the Crystal Waters Project's website and in the local newspaper.

• Host an introductory class designed to explain the program and the designing/planting process.
During this session, participants learned about the need for rain gardens and lakeshore preservation. They also got a general idea of how to design and create these plantings. The reimbursements offered, and the steps needed to be eligible for them, were also explained. Most of this information was transmitted through a PowerPoint presentation with experts available to answer questions. Seventeen city residents attended this session.

• Host a design class with qualified instructors for both rain gardens and lakeshore preservation.
During this session, participants were divided into two groups based on their goals. The group interested in planting rain gardens made up one group and those interested in restoring lakeshore were the other. Each group had an instructor who is an expert on those topics. They went through a series of PowerPoint slides and then were given the opportunity to actually put their designs on paper. Each participant also received a book to use as a reference when installing their projects.

• Provide guidance as the projects were undertaken.
The class instructors and the project coordinator were all available to answer questions, inspect potential sites and provide support throughout the process.

• Assess compliance with project guidelines after project completion.
The project coordinator visited each site after it was completed to assess the project's compliance with guidelines. Where needed, suggestions were made for improving the effectiveness of the installation.

• Provide signage for the project area.
Each site was provided with a sign stating the nature of the project and the reason it was undertaken. Photos were also taken of each completed project.

• Reimburse homeowners for a portion of the expenses incurred.
Homeowners completed a grant application and were then reimbursed for a portion of the expenses incurred. Rain garden installations were eligible for up to $150 and lakeshore projects up to $500. Funds from the Crystal Waters Project were used for these stipends.

Other expenses: materials for classes (books, graph paper, brochures, copies, mailings). The class instructors volunteered their time, as did the project coordinator.

Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Three rain gardens were installed and four lakeshores restored/preserved.
Descriptive File: view file
Crystal Waters Project, Aqualogical Solutions, Blue Heron Landscape Design, Blue Earth County SWCD
For more information contact:
Sue Hytjan (Community Volunteer) | suehytjan@gmail.com | 507-340-0007

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

2 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:
In 2017, the City of Lake Crystal received a grant through the MN DNR's Outdoor Recreation Program, which served as a catalyst for a substantial upgrade to Robinson Park. This park is a city landmark, with towering oak trees, a children's playground, and picnic shelters. It is located on the shore of Crystal Lake, and has a public boat access, several rain gardens a shoreline restoration project undertaken in 2017.

In the spring of 2018, work began. More than 6,000 square feet of pollinator garden was planted by community volunteers and the crew from Blazing Start Gardens. Interpretive signs were added, explaining the importance of lakeshore stabilization, pollinator gardens and preserving water quality. An old restroom was razed and a new one built. About 600 feet of asphalt trail was created, connecting parking lots at the top of a slope to the pollinator garden and lakeshore. A 36' fishing pier was installed. All of these park upgrades are ADA-compliant.

Robinson Park has become a destination spot. The gardens are colorful, thriving, and attracting the desired pollinators, the trail is used by walkers and folks with strollers or wheelchairs and the pier by those looking to wet a line!
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
6,000 square feet of pollinator gardens ($10,000 from Crystal Waters Project)
Interpretive signs ($3,000 from Riordan Family Trust)
36' fishing pier ($22,000, joint effort: Crystal Waters Project, Nicollet Conservation Club, Hewitt Docks, Loon Crystal Lake Recreation, Inc.
600' ADA trail ($59,000 MN DNR Outdoor Recreation Program grant)
Restroom ($81,000 City of Lake Crystal)
Descriptive File: view file
City of Lake Crystal, Crystal Waters Project, Riordan Family Trust, Nicollet Conservation Club, Blazing Star Gardens, Hewitt Docks, Loon Crystal Lake Recreation, Inc.
For more information contact:
Gina Cooper (Elected Official) | cptcooper@msn.com | 507-382-7276

Surface Water {BP no.19}

3 star - Action 2:

Conduct or support multi-party community conversations, assessments, plans and actions around improving local water quality and quantity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2013
Implementation details:
2020:
Blue Earth County Ditch 56 flows from south of the City of Lake Crystal, through the city and then into Crystal Lake. It collects water from field drainage tile along the way. The lake has been on Minnesota's Impaired Waters list for years, with a high level of phosphorus as its chief problem. Summer algae blooms are caused by the excessive amount of phosphorus in the water.

In the fall of 2019, the City of Lake Crystal, in partnership with many others, installed an iron-sand filter, within the city limits, at the end of an agricultural tile line. This type of filter is a very efficient way to remove phosphorus. As water from the drainage ditch moves over the filter, the iron in the sand acts as a natural magnet, trapping the phosphorus. A significant portion of the phosphorus is removed by the iron-sand medium, preventing it from making its way to the lake. This will result in better water quality.

While there are other iron-sand filters in Minnesota, this is the first to be installed at the end of a field's drainage tile. The Blue Earth SWCD will be regularly collecting water samples to determine the effectiveness of the filter.

2017:
The Annual Duck Days event hosted by the Lake Crystal Area Chamber of Commerce included an educational event about rain gardens. One June 15, 2013, a rain garden was installed at City Hall as part of the Duck Days events by members of the Crystal Waters Project. A landscape architect was on hand to explain and demonstrate the process of planting a rain garden along with the benefits. The event was attended by the Mayor, a City Council member, youth, homeowners, environmentalists and others. An October 2014 Rake for the Lake event was held and the City accepted the equivalent of over 300 bags of leaves at the City compost site. A Plant the Park Concert was held at Robinson Park in September 2014 to promote lake water quality. The Crystal Waters Project cooperated with the City for an adopt a storm drain whereby residents agree to keep the storm drains clean.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
2020:
Because the filter was installed in November, as winter began, data is not available. The Blue Earth County SWCD will regularly test water samples to determine if the new system is effective.

2017
The installation of the rain garden at City Hall will showcase the benefits of a rain garden. It will be used as an educational outreach tool for the community and anyone visiting City Hall. It will also reduce the amount of rainwater that flows directly into Lake Crystal's storm drains. At the Plant the Park Concert in 2014 over 100 people completed a survey to identify ways they are willing to take action. In 2015, the Crystal Waters Project hosted a meeting on floating islands and how they can be used to help improve water quality. 2017 a storm drain adoption program is in effect with over 70 storm drains adopted. A Rake for the Lake event is held every Fall.
Descriptive File:
City of Lake Crystal, Crystal Waters Project, ISG Engineering, Blue Earth County SWCD, Blue Earth County Ditch Authority, Gustafson Drainage, Sandt Farms
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
2 star - Action 2:

Conduct or support multi-party community conversations, assessments, plans and actions around improving local water quality and quantity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Blue Earth County Ditch 56 flows from south of the City of Lake Crystal, through the city and then into Crystal Lake. It collects water from field drainage tile along the way. The lake has been on Minnesota's Impaired Waters list for years, with a high level of phosphorus as its chief problem. Summer algae blooms are caused by the excessive amount of phosphorus in the water.

In the fall of 2019, the City of Lake Crystal, in partnership with many others, installed an iron-sand filter, within the city limits, at the end of an agricultural tile line. This type of filter is a very efficient way to remove phosphorus. As water from the drainage ditch moves over the filter, the iron in the sand acts as a natural magnet, trapping the phosphorus. A significant portion of the phosphorus is removed by the iron-sand medium, preventing it from making its way to the lake. This will result in better water quality.

While there are other iron-sand filters in Minnesota, this is the first to be installed at the end of a field's drainage tile. The Blue Earth SWCD will be regularly collecting water samples to determine the effectiveness of the filter.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Because the filter was installed in November, as winter began, data is not available. The Blue Earth County SWCD will regularly test water samples to determine if the new system is effective.
Descriptive File:
City of Lake Crystal, Crystal Waters Project, ISG Engineering, Blue Earth County SWCD, Blue Earth County Ditch Authority, Gustafson Drainage, Sandt Farms
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
1 star - Action 4:

Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas; reduce flooding and costs through The National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal adopted a shoreland management ordinance in accordance with the DNR sample ordinance, in February 1992. This ordinance repealed an older shoreland management ordinance that was adopted in 1983.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
2 star - Action 5:

Adopt goals to revegetate shoreland and create a local program or outreach effort to help property owners with revegetation.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
The Crystal Waters Project, together with the City of Lake Crystal established a lakeshore restoration plan for Robinson Park. This was completed in two phases. The first phase included about 2000 feet of lakeshore stabilization and native species along an abandoned beach. This portion of the plan was completed in the spring of 2017, with a city crew grading the site and students from LCWM High School and community volunteers doing the site preparation and planting. Phase two set included another 6,000 square feet of native plants, with an emphasis on pollinator-friendly species. Community members, under the direction of Blazing Star Gardens, did this planting. Interpretive signs explaining the importance of shoreline restoration, water quality and pollinator gardens were added near these plantings. Members of the local Girl Scout Troop, community volunteers and Blazing Star Gardens are responsible for maintaining the vegetation.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Phase 1: $2500 anonymous donor, $2,500 Crystal Waters Project, $5,000 City of Lake Crystal
Phase 2: $10,000 Crystal Waters Project, $3,000 Riordan Family Trust (educational signage)
Descriptive File: view file
Crystal Waters Project, Lake Crystal Parks and Recreation Committee, Blazing Star Gardens, Riordan Family Trust and the City of Lake Crystal
For more information contact:
Gina Cooper (Elected Official) | cptcooper@msn.com | 507-382-7276

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

2 star - Action 5:

Arrange for a residential and/or business/institutional source-separated organics collection/management program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School District with approximately 1,000 students in two buildings implemented an organics recycling program to prevent food waste from entering the waste stream. Instead all organics are sent to Full Circle Organics for Composting. The City of Lake Crystal, joined together with North Mankato and Mankato to be part of a Zero Waste Composting program funded by a grant from the MPCA. Lake Crystal has over 37 households signed up for the free program.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
To date, the household program estimates that 907 pounds of household waste has been collected. Averaging 113 pounds of waste per week. The program estimated 25 households would sign up within the first year and as of 2/22/17 there are 37 households.
A public outreach program includes participating in the 12/3/16 Christmas in Lake Crystal Craft Bazaar. Educational information was distributed and participants were able to sign up for the program. A 2/19 outreach event was held at the Presbyterian Church, and another one is set for 3/26/17 at Zion Lutheran Church. A presentation is also schedule for a Natural Resources class at LCWM on 2/22/17 which will include the composing program. Articles and photos of events were posted on social media and sent to the Lake Crystal Tribune. A 2/22/17 radio interview with KNUJ also highlighted the program, benefits, and information about signing up.
Descriptive File:
Mankato Zero Waste
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
3 star - Action 6:

Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city has entered a contract, and mandates payment from residents for said contract, with Waste Management of Minnesota for collection of refuse and recycling. This mandate is enforced for all properties listed as "residential" which includes multi-unit apartment buildings. This contract and mandate does not have any opt-out option, residents are automatically billed for both refuse and recycling collection. This contract is enacted from 2012-2017, when it will be renewed. Along the lines of waste reduction, the city also has a compost collection site for lawn, tree (branches and sticks), and garden waste that is open from April through October.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

1 star - Action 2:

Regulate outdoor wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city ordinance 228, which was amended by ordinance 263, regulates outdoor wood burning within the city of Lake Crystal. The city explicitly prohibits open burning or use of burn barrels. The ordinances are attached for your reference.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

2 star - Action 1:

Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
A committee has been formed that includes: the MN GreenCorps member (as long as she is serving the city), a city council member, the city administrator, a member from the Parks and Rec Commission, a member from the Planning Commission, and two other community members. The committee will publish an annual report on the city's GreenStep participation, and publish various newspaper articles throughout each year. The committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss GreenStep implementation progress and plan projects.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538
2 star - Action 4:

Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Throughout this year (2013-2014), our MN GreenCorps member has piloted many community education initiatives. Two programs directly involve students. One program has involved the 4th grade students in learning about, and participating in, a water conservation poster contest for MRWA. Another program is a 3 session after school program teaching elementary school students a variety of sustainable habits through experiments and creative activities focusing on energy and water conservation, and reusing resources. She has involved the community by hosting numerous booths at community events. She has hosted a booth publicizing energy and water conservation by handing out faucet aerators and fliers for energy conservation in the winter. She has also hosted a booth at a heath fair educating community members simple ways to change their behavior that will help reduce their environmental footprint and help improve their health. The city will decide which of these initiatives had the greatest impact and will continue those events in the future.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial ISD 2071; Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 star - Action 1:

Grow new/emerging green businesses and green jobs through targeted assistance and new workforce development.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
On April 15, 2014 the Lake Crystal Economic Development Authority (EDA)passed an amendment to their current loan program to include specific 0% interest loans for energy efficiency improvements.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Lake Crystal EDA
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538

Local Food {BP no.27}

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: 2013
Implementation details:
Lake Crystal hosts a farmer's market throughout the growing season, whenever the farmers would like to set up the market. The city allows the set up of the farmer's market for minimal cost to the farmers. The city has also begun a community garden with the school district, the students take care of the garden. The crops from the garden are donated to _____ food shelf. Lake Crystal is also home to the Welsh Heritage Orchard which has a retail store of locally produced apples, cheeses, bakery, and cider.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Taylor Gronau (City staff) | lccity@hickorytech.net | 507-726-2538