City Detail

Background Information

City of Two Harbors
County: Lake
Population: 3745
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 45
Participating township, county, school: Lake Superior School District 381

GreenStep Coordinator

Dan Walker
City Staff
218-834-8803
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.

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 18
1 star actions: 11
2 star actions: 6
3 star actions: 1

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:
All city-owned buildings have switched from standard fluorescent lights to a more efficient light with electronic ballasts. Some LED fixtures have been installed in city-owned buildings as well.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Stuart Anderson (City staff) | cthelec@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8811

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

1 star - Action 1:

Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
All city-owned buildings have exterior lighting photo eyes or time clocks. This is to ensure the exterior lighting is in use only when necessary.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Stuart Anderson (City staff) | cthelec@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8811
1 star - Action 2:

Purchase LEDs for all future street lighting and traffic signals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
All traffic signals in the city are LEDs. The city plans to purchase LEDs for all future exterior lighting.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Stuart Anderson (City staff) | cthelec@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8811
2 star - Action 7:

Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has been, and will continue to replace the high pressure sodium street lights and parking area lights with LEDs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Stuart Anderson (City staff) | cthelec@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8811
3 star - Action 8:

Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
All of the existing traffic signals in the city have been converted to LED light fixtures.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Stuart Anderson (City staff) | cthelec@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8811

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 of Two Harbors completely updated their comprehensive plan in March 2011. The plan is used to decide how to best use resources and allocate services in the future to achieve a desired community vision. It focuses on what part of the city's land use goals and policies can be improved to ensure an optimistic future for the city.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 star - Action 3:

Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development or to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has a Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance in place to emphasize mixed use development. A Planned Unit Development ordinance is a type of building development and a regulatory process. It allows uses such as housing, commercial centers, or industrial parks to be in one development or area.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

1 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:
The City has a map of its trail system that is distributed at the campground and few local stores and restaurants. The Lake County Historical Society also has a walking tour map of the historic area of the city.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Urban 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:
Implementation details:
The city was certified as a Tree City USA in 2013, but did not renew the certification in 2014. They now plan to renew the certification annually starting in 2015.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803
1 star - Action 3:

Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city spends $2 per capita on tree planting and care every year. The majority of that is spent on planting. The city is also working with residents to start a volunteer planting and care program in 2015.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803
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:
6th Street and Waterfront Drive in the city are the main entryways to Downtown Two Harbors. Both roads have trees on both sides of at least 60% of the street.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803
2 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has a tree preservation ordinance. The two main aspects are that it establishes a tree commission and requires that trees removed during development are replaced by the developer on-site or by a fee-in-lieu payment to the City tree fund.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

1 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 exceeds the 7 acres of park land per 1000 residents. Two Harbors has approximately 3650 residents, and at least 80 acres of park land, not including the golf course. This means the city has approximately 22 acres of park land per 1000 residents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Josh Bergstad (City staff) | jbergstad@ardc.org | 218-834-8803
1 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:
There will be a community clean-up day for Two Harbors' Sonju Trail, the walking path between Burlington Bay and Agate Bay, as well as the forest area around the trail and at Lighthouse Point. Groups of community members will meet to pick up any trash and clear debris from the trails
Outcome measures/metrics:
The cleaning of the trails in the spring will prepare them for the high traffic in the summer. A clean trail and surrounding area will create an inviting atmosphere for residents and tourists alike.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Rachel Nelson (Community volunteer) | revisioningth@gmail.com | N/A

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

1 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for motor maintenance and upgrades so as to assure the most energy efficient, durable and appropriate equipment is available when upgrades or break downs occur.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city is currently undergoing a $3 million upgrade to its Sewage Treatment Plant for the reduction of mercury in its discharge. With this new upgrade, there is money put aside for equipment replacement when upgrades or break downs occur. The plant must be operating and in compliance with all regulations by January 1, 2016.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sven Bergerson (City staff) | berger55@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8814
2 star - Action 3:

Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has done an inflow and infiltration reduction program. A sump pump ordinance has been put in place as well. In 2005, the city built a 2.5 million gallon equalization basin to contain excess flows when wet weather events occur. This excess water is fed back into the water treatment plant when flows subside.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sven Bergerson (City staff) | berger55@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8814
2 star - Action 6:

Implement a wastewater plant efficiency project (co-generation, water reuse) or a program for local private business operations (water conservation, water reuse, business co-location).

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has always used plant effluent water for wash downs in place of city water whenever possible in order to conserve water supplies.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sven Bergerson (City staff) | berger55@frontiernet.net | 218-834-8814

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

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:
Implementation details:
The Marek Fuller Community Gardens are located next to the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency office. There are 35 raised beds being used by a variety of people and groups. Their experience ranges from beginner to master gardeners. The garden yields a variety of vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and different types of beans.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Every person involved in the garden is encouraged to donate some or all of their harvest to the local Two Harbors Area Food Shelf. With the success of the garden in 2014, a new composter, tool shed, and fresh topsoil for the beds are planned to appear for 2015.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cindy Edwards (Community volunteer) | cjedwards2011@gmail.com | N/A