City Detail

Background Information

City of Marine on Saint Croix
County: Washington
Population: 689
GreenStep City category: C
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 3
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Anne Reich
Community Volunteer
651-433-1341
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 3 ( )

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: 15
1 star actions: 4
2 star actions: 8
3 star actions: 3

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

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:
Implementation details:
Per recommendation of the RETAP assessment of the Marine Village Hall (8/13/15), 19 CFL lightbulbs were replaced with LEDs on the main floor of the building and 28 Incandescent bulbs were replaced with LEDs in the upstairs auditorium (1/15).

New American Standard natural gas furnaces were installed (4/8/15) in the Marine Village Hall, one to service the main floor and one for the upstairs auditorium. New furnaces are 97% efficient, as compared with the old 90% efficient.

A new American Standard Gold air conditioner was installed (4/8/15) to service the main floor of the Marine Village Hall. It is a more efficient 15 SEER unit, replacing the old 10 SEER unit.

Programmable thermostats were installed on the two new furnaces.

Janitorial services are done during business hours.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

3 star - Action 3:

Replace the city's existing street lighting with Dark Sky-compliant LEDs, modifying any city franchise/utility agreement and adding smart grid attributes.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Xcel Energy replaced all 58 high pressure sodium street lights with LED equivalents (Feb 2017). 42 100 Watt HPSV were replaced with 39 Watt LED; 16 150 Watt HPSV were replaced with 65 Watt LED. Anticipated kWh savings = 1727/mo; CO2 lbs/kWh avoided = 1820/mo.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

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:
Implementation details:
The City completed a Comprehensive Plan Inventory in 2007. Attention is given to demographics, land use, housing, development regulations, transportation, community utilities and services. Information is intended to represent a data base to be utilized in the comprehensive planning process.

A 2030 Comprehensive Plan Policy Framework also was adopted that builds upon the Inventory... It serves as a foundation for local government decision makers, guides land use and provides the basis for zoning, and documents local priorities and values.

A Comprehensive Plan Addenda was adopted in 2012 addressing the viability and function of the Village Center, focusing on the natural environment (stormwater management), transportation and trails, and community facilities (access and enhancement of public spaces).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341
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:
Implementation details:
The Marine on St. Croix Code: Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations document, approved August 2006, states in Section 1, #105: Relationship to Comprehensive Plan -- It is the policy of the City of Marine on St. Croix that the enforcement, amendment, and administration of this Ordinance be accomplished with due consideration of the recommendations contained in the City Comprehensive Plan as developed and amended from time to time by the Planning Commission and City Council of the City. The City Comprehensive Plan is the guiding document for zoning.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

2 star - Action 1:

Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
From Comprehensive Plan, p. 34: "The City has worked to expand its trail system. A bicycle trail follows Minnesota TH 95 with the exception of the central part of the City, where the trail runs one block west of Minnesota TH 95 along local streets. There is a network of walking trails in the southwest portion of the City, through Jackson Meadow, through the City’s passive parkland located to the southwest of Jackson Meadow, along Nason Hill Road, along Oak Knoll Drive and northward. Trails in the northern part of the City run from the TH 95 trail through the area by the City’s wastewater treatment drainfield and northward to O’Brien State Park."

Footpaths connect the upper and lower village, two DOT crosswalks exist to facilitate crossing Hwy 95, and many residents use footpaths to access businesses and activities in the commercial district, attend church, or walk to school.

The City routinely publishes "Public Trail Announcements" in the city newsletter, such as: "While the City encourages all residents to use and enjoy the City trails, there are a few guidelines to remember which will help improve safety and enhance the beauty of the trail system..." then including details on seasonal trail use rules. A system of Nordic ski trails is maintained by volunteers on public trails in Jackson Meadow.

It is possible for paddlers and recreational boaters to access the Village Center from the St. Croix River via a new official National Park Service canoe landing and improved walking trail maintained by the MN Historical Society and City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Jackson Meadow Association; MN Department of Natural Resources; MN Historical Society
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

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:
Implementation details:
City Council Approved: March 7, 2017

Minnesota GreenStep Cities Program: City of Marine on St. Croix

Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines - Best Practice #15

The City of Marine on St. Croix shall implement environmentally preferable purchasing practices consisting of the following. The city shall:

1) purchase copy paper and envelopes containing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content, and purchase reusable or refillable office supplies when available. Staff will practice paper use reduction strategies (e.g., use less paper where possible, print double-sided).

2) purchase EnergyStar certified (www.energystar.gov) equipment and appliances to ensure energy efficiencies (e.g., lighting systems, exhaust fans, water heaters, computers, exit signs, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwave ovens).

3) purchase water-saving products that meet US EPA’s WaterSense certification standards when such products are available and financially feasible (e.g., toilets, waterless urinals, low-flow faucets and aerators).

4) lower the environmental footprint of city meetings and events by: providing paperless city council packets; providing recycling bins for city events (e.g., Fourth of July, Fireman’s Ball/Street Dance, Marine Art Fair, and Village Hall); and promoting zero-waste events for users of the Village Hall (e.g., Marine Community Library, a city partner, currently hosts zero-waste events in the Village Hall, using washable cups, plates, napkins and utensils).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

1 star - Action 4:

Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
A comprehensive Marine Urban Tree Survey and Report has been completed. Next step is for an Urban Tree Plan to be created that can be implemented by the City Council (target 2017). The survey was done by a professional forester/Marine GreenStep Cities Committee member, with the help of volunteers, as a capstone project for the St. Croix Master Watershed Stewards Certificate Program, which is offered by the St. Croix River Association and St. Croix Valley Association, and is funded through an EPA grant.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
St. Croix River Association, St. Croix Valley Association, EPA
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341
3 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
An Urban Tree Ordinance was adopted by the Marine on St. Croix City Council (Oct 2018). It is the purpose of the ordinance to promote and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare by providing for the regulation of the planting,maintenance, protection, and removal of trees, shrubs, and other woody vegetation within the City to the extent found by the City Council to be practical within available resources. The provisions of the ordinance are enacted to implement the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the City Forestry Plan, and to:
A. Establish and maintain a sustainable amount of tree cover on public and private lands in the City;
B. Maintain trees in a healthy and non-hazardous condition through good arboricultural practices; and
C. Establish and maintain appropriate diversity in tree species and age classes to provide a stable and sustainable community forest.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341
3 star - Action 6:

Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
An Urban and Community Forest Management Plan was approved by the Marine on St. Croix City Council (Oct 2018). The plan is intended to guide decisions related to preserving and enhancing the urban and rural forests of Marine on St Croix, Minnesota, for the benefit of its citizens and the environment. The plan includes recommendations for emerald ash borer management and tree planting (including recommended species for a changing climate) to maintain a healthy urban forest. The City has formed an Urban Forest Task Force, which will have three members to serve as a Forestry Advisory Committee. (Our city relies on volunteers or consultants for forestry expertise, as we have a small city staff.) An application has been submitted (Nov 2018) for Tree City USA recognition. An Arbor Day Celebration was held in May 2018, with a tree planting event at River Grove Elementary School.
Outcome measures/metrics:
A gravel bed will be constructed summer 2019 to grow trees for planting where spaces have been identified as a result of the Urban Tree survey.
Descriptive File: view file
MN DNR, MN Conservation Corps, Michael Orange
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

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:
Implementation details:
The City Comprehensive Plan (pp 18-19) states: Parks, Recreational, or Reserve lands make up a considerable area of the city: 32 percent of the total acres [849 acres of the City's 2,664 acres are park, recreation or preserve land]. William O'Brien State Park makes up the majority of this total with approximately 584 acres... Other open spaces in Marine have a wide variety of uses and owners, including the City of Marine, the Minnesota Science Museum, Minnesota Historical Society, National Park Service, Kiwanis Club, and private property owners. 2010 census population = 689.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Jackson Meadow Association; Minnesota Historical Society; MN Department of Natural Resources; MN Science Museum; National Park Service; Kiwanis Club
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341
2 star - Action 8:

Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Marine Mill Site Committee: An on-going program (started in 2010) where community volunteers maintain the Historic Marine Mill, a 6-acre natural area/Minnesota Historical Society site within the downtown district. Actions = removal of invasive species, planting of 100 native trees, planting of native prairie and woodland species; and continued maintenance of vegetation and interpretive trails. Collaboration with NPS to install interpretive signage for St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Tree survival rate near 95%. Attendance counter shows 4,500 annual visitors to the Historic Marine Mill Site.
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Historical Society; National Park Service
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

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:
Implementation details:
Five businesses received a Ramsey and Washington County grant, with help from Waste Wise, to reduce trash, increase recycling, and implement (new!) compostables pickup. A new enclosure was built, using local contractors, to consolidate waste storage and pickup. Three other Marine businesses have received grant money to start commercial compost pickup, and others are exploring the option.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Waste Wise; Kristen Klemestrud, Stillwater business owner
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

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:
Implementation details:
The Marine GreenStep Cities Committee is comprised of a small group of citizens and a City Council representative. The GSC Committee works with City representatives, City staff, and the community to define and make progress on implementing GreenStep Best Practices.

The GSC Committee submits articles about GreenStep activities and accomplishments for publication in the City's quarterly newsletter.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341
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:
Implementation details:
The Marine on St. Croix GreenStep Cities committee, a small group of residents, hosts community education programs at the Village Hall. Programs to date are a Raingarden Workshop with Washington Conservation District and Master Gardeners, and "Solar Power Hour" with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, co-hosted with Marine Community Library.

Since 1998, the nonprofit Mill Stream Association of Marine on St. Croix has sponsored the annual Mill Stream Day on the third Sunday in May. The event features nature oriented exhibits, a brook trout lunch, local musicians, and culminating in the raising of a Maypole, complete with ribbons and dancing. The Association also supports environmental education and other related projects.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Washington Conservation District, Marine Community Library
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

1 star - Action 1:

Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Marine on St. Croix adopted both the Washington County All-Hazard Mitigation Plan (approved by FEMA in 2012) and the Washington County Emergency Operations Plan in 2013. The county is currently updating the All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, and Marine Public Safety Chief David Denn has been part of this process. Chief Denn and Mayor Glen Mills are responsible for city preparedness, emergency response, and recovery efforts for any event.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Anne Reich (Community volunteer) | reichmn@gmail.com | 651-433-1341