City Detail

Background Information

City of Sunfish Lake
County: Dakota
Population: 525
GreenStep City category: C
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 4
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Jim Nayes
Contractor
612-803-9033
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: 6
1 star actions: 5
2 star actions: 1

Land Use Land Use

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

1 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: 2002
Implementation details:
On December 27th, 2002, a Conservation Easement was granted by the City of Sunfish Lake to the Minnesota Land Trust to protect and preserve the conservation values of Musser Park in perpetuity.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
This easement preserves the open and natural character of the protected property for scenic enjoyment by the general public, preserves a relatively natural habitat for wildlife and plants and provides an opportunity for the public to experience and enjoy the out-of-doors in a relatively undisturbed and natural setting.
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Land Trust
For more information contact:
Jim Nayes (Contractor) | jim@LSTrees.com | 612-803-9033

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Community Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

2 star - Action 1:

Certify as a Tree City USA.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1989
Implementation details:
Sunfish Lake certifies each year as a Tree City USA and 2016 was the 27th year that the City was certified. The City Forester uses the reapplication process each December to document tree care and forestry activities of the past year and develop Forestry Department plans for the next year.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The recording and planning process each year leads to a more consistent forestry program with a longer term outlook.
Descriptive File:
National Arbor Day Foundation

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: 2013
Implementation details:
Harmon Park in sunfish Lake is managed as a "wild" natural area. It has a rustic trail that loops through the main areas of the park that is mowed up to twice each year plus fallen branches are cleared from the path. In July 2013 an Eagle Scout from a local troop led an effort to clear woody invasive species (buckthorn and honeysuckle) from about .25 acres of the 10 acre park and planted 40 new deciduous and evergreen trees of appropriate native species. Chokecherry, crabapple, and wild plum were included to attract bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Many residents and others learned of the Park because of the project completed by the Boy Scout.
Descriptive File:
Boy Scouts of America; Plantra; Living Sculpture Trees
For more information contact:
Jim Nayes (Contractor) | jim@LSTrees.com | 612-803-9033
1 star - Action 8:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2011
Implementation details:
Musser Park in the City of Sunfish Lake is managed as a "wild" natural area. It has a rustic trail that is mowed up to twice per year and fallen branches are cleared from the trail as needed. In October, 2011, a Green Futures Tree Planting event coordinated by the Tree Trust and the City planted 43 trees (American elm, hackberry, serviceberry, bur oak, Kentucky coffeetree, white spruce). There were 36 volunteers plus 4 Tree Trust staff working together to complete the project. All trees survived and were growing 5 years later.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
All new trees are visible from the main street of the City. More than one resident commented, following participation in the project, that there should be a City-wide potluck in the park next spring.
Descriptive File:
Tree Trust, Plantra, Living Sculpture Tree Care
For more information contact:
Jim Nayes (Contractor) | jim@LSTrees.com | 612-803-9033

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

1 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: 2015
Implementation details:
During winter 2015-16 a Firewise Committee was created to explore the dangers of wildfires in the City. The Committee organized an active educational campaign to alert all Sunfish Lake residents to wildfire dangers. Sunfish Lake is a community with large grassland and woodland areas surrounding individual homes. The educational campaign included: five mailings, articles in the City newsletter, handouts at the Arbor Day Green Fair, a Saturday drive-through with four fire trucks staffed with fire department volunteers and Firewise Committee members, and personal follow-up contacts as needed.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Every residence in the City was visited during the Firewise Drive-Through event and fire safety information was shared with all City residents. Many residents have improved driveway emergency vehicle access following the educational campaign.
Descriptive File:
Fire Department (Mendota Heights)
For more information contact:
Jim Nayes (Contractor) | jim@LSTrees.com | 612-803-9033

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 residential developments.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2010
Implementation details:
There are no restrictions on personal gardens for food. Both chickens and beehives are allowed by permit within the City. The permitting process requires filling out an application, paying the permit fee, an on-site visit by a City representative, and when adjacent property owners' questions have been addressed a permit typically is issued.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
There are personal vegetable gardens throughout the City. Several chicken flocks and bee hives within the city limits have received permits.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jim Nayes (Contractor) | jim@LSTrees.com | 612-803-9033