City Detail

Background Information

City of Winona
County: Winona
Population: 27591
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 170
Participating township, county, school: NA

GreenStep Coordinator

John Howard
City Staff
507-457-8273
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: 32
1 star actions: 6
2 star actions: 13
3 star actions: 13

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

3 star - Action 1:

Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
A MN GreenCorps member serving with the city 2018-2019 updated the Winona B3 with electric and natural gas usage data from 2016 onwards for the majority of city buildings. B3 continues to be updated on a regular basis, and is now being used in making decisions about facility use.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Scoring of buildings entered in the B3 database. # of facilities that improved benchmark score.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
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:
Lights at the City's Central Garage and City Hall are being retrofitted with LED tubes in place of T8 fluorescent tubes. Staff is working on determining feasibility of LEEP and GESP which would address lighting in other facilities.

Lights were converted from T-12 to T-8 in 2011 as part of a performance contracting project in all major city buildings.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Conversion of at least 15 light fixtures to LED tubes.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
2 star - Action 3:

Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Performance contracting with McKinstry for largest city buildings. Began in 2008 and concluded in 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Annual savings of 909 metric tons of CO2 over the course of the project. Approximate annual reduction of 936,402 kWh of electrical use and 49,584 Therms
Descriptive File:
McKinstry
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

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:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona participated in Xcel Energy Partners in Energy program. We are promoting WindSource and Home Energy Squad Visits. Energy efficiency is incorporated into block development grants.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

2 star - Action 5:

Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Two sets of pedestrian crossing signals on Broadway are solar powered as is a speed reader. Two stop signs near a school are powered by solar panels.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

2 star - Action 1:

Adopt an historic preservation ordinance/regulations to encourage adaptive reuse.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona has an heritage preservation ordinance defined in City Code 22.27. A heritage preservation commission meets on a monthly basis to identify, designate, protect, and promote significant historic resources of the City.

The City has two historic districts: Downtown (commercial) and Windom Park (residential).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Luke Sims (City staff) | lsims@ci.winona.mn.us | (507) 457-8250
3 star - Action 2:

Implement the Minnesota Main Street model for commercial revitalization.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Winona is a designated Minnesota Main Street Community.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Myron White (City staff) | mwhite@ci.winona.mn.us | (507) 457-8250

Land Use Land Use

Comprehensive, Climate and Energy Plans {BP no.6}

3 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 most recent comprehensive plan was adopted in 2007 and is available at the descriptive weblink. The comprehensive plan's chapter 7 addresses energy and environmental goals. A pedestrian and bike plan was completed in December 2017.

The City's Capital Improvement Plan catalogs public system maintenance obligations by date and cost.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
2 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 City's unified development code (UDC), which contains the zoning code, states in the "Purposes" section (43.01.11) that one of the goals for the document is to implement the comprehensive plan.

Also, in section 43.01.21, the UDC reads, "The Comprehensive Plan for the City of Winona or “comprehensive plan”, including amendments adopted by the City Council, is the guiding policy document for the UDC. A primary intent of the UDC is to implement the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan while remaining consistent with all applicable requirements of federal and state laws.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Carlos Espinosa (City staff) | cespinosa@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8250
2 star - Action 4:

Include ecological provisions in the comprehensive plan that explicitly aim to minimize open space fragmentation and/or establish a growth area with expansion criteria.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Chapter 7 of the City of Winona's comprehensive plan addresses environmental protection. There are four specific goals and objectives to chapter 7: Protect key resources, maintain and enhance open space connections, protect water quality and aquatic resources, and to foster stewardship. All these goals further ecological protection.

The comprehensive plan goals are expressed through a bluffland protection ordinance (City Code 43.02.32 Bluffland Protection Overlay District) that protects the natural bluffs from development.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

3 star - Action 1:

Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City's Medium (R-2) and High residential (R-3) zoning districts allow 7.25 dwellings per acre. The mixed use district has no lot minimum. Two, three and four plexes are allowed in all but the rural and suburban residential zoning districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Carlos Espinosa (City staff) | cespinosa@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8250
2 star - Action 3:

Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The mixed use and business districts, including the Downtown district, have zero lot line setbacks except if the lot line is adjacent to another district with lot line setbacks.

In late 2018, the City opened a co-working space called the Garage.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Garage Cowork (https://www.thegaragecowork.com/)
For more information contact:
Carlos Espinosa (City staff) | cespinosa@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8250

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 star - Action 2:

Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City Hall is located along two bus routes in Winona, and is adjacent to the downtown business area.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
2 star - Action 6:

Incorporate form-based zoning approaches into the zoning code, in those areas where a diverse mix of uses is desired.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona passed a unified development code in 2017 that is form based. The code applies to downtown and residential areas.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Carlos Espinosa (City staff) | cespinosa@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8250

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

2 star - Action 1:

Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City completed a street and park tree inventory in 2017. Ordinances protecting blufflands and shoreland are actively enforced.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

3 star - Action 1:

Adopt a complete streets policy, or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona approved a Complete Streets and Pedestrian & Bicycle plan on Dec. 4, 2017. The plan provides guidance for implementing more pedestrian and bicycling features with road construction projects.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Miles of new pedestrian and bike trails. Reduced crashes between cars and pedestrians and bikes.
Descriptive File:
City of Winona Active Transportation Committee
For more information contact:
Luke Sims (City staff) | lsims@ci.winona.mn.us | (507) 457-8250

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

3 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 website features a page on "Bicycling" that lists route maps, rules and other resources. Since 2013, the City of Winona is a bronze level bicycle friendly community: http://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/bfareportcards/BFC_Fall_2013_ReportCard_Winona_MN.pdf

The City's recently approved Pedestrian and Bicycle plan should help improve the infrastructure for human powered transit. The plan is available online here: https://www.cityofwinona.com/city-services/planning-zoning/complete-streets/
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
LiveWell Winona; Winona County; The League of American Bicyclists
For more information contact:
Luke Sims (City staff) | lsims@ci.winona.mn.us | (507) 457-8250
2 star - Action 3:

Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; ridesharing/cab services; rental cars; bikes; airports.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona operates a bus transit service within the City. The routes and timetables are available on the City's website at the descriptive link above. Google maps also has the City bus routes to help with navigation. The City website also describes the cost and fare options. Recently, the City unveiled a dial-a-ride service to expand transit options, and instructions to use the service are on the City website. The Winona Transit service also provides an after-hours Safe Ride available on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm to 1:30am during the local universities school sessions.

The City also has a "Bicycling" page to highlight bicycling routes and other pertinent rules and regulations: https://www.cityofwinona.com/city-services/planning-zoning/bicycling/
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Luke Sims (City staff) | lsims@ci.winona.mn.us | (507) 457-8250
2 star - Action 6:

Add/expand transit service, or promote car/bike sharing.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Starting on Nov. 30, 2017, the City added a Dial-a-ride service to our transit options. The service allows for pick-up 4 blocks or greater from the standard bus stops and expands the service area of transit to 2 miles beyond the city limits of Winona and Goodview.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

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 of Winona has been a Tree City USA member for 22 years.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
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:
The City's tree department is led by a ISA Certified Arborist (Chris Kramer, ISA# MN-4408AM). The city strives for 5-10-15, and is working to plant tree species that will thrive in a warmer climate.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

1 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:
Implementation details:
Winona offers cost-sharing grants for residents to create their own rain gardens. Design standards are built into the application.

In 2018, the City funded the construction of 37 rainbarrels. The project included construction instructions so resident can build their own from reused 55 gallon drums.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Healthy Lake Winona
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

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:
City of Winona has 1873.18 acres of park land, which is equivalent to 69 acres per 1000 residents (2017 population).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
3 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:
Healthy Lake Winona
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Surface Water {BP no.19}

3 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Healthy Lake Winona group
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
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:
Implementation details:
Shoreland overlay district
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Luke Sims (City staff) | lsims@ci.winona.mn.us | (507) 457-8250

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 Citizen's Environmental Quality Committee acts as an advisory to City Planning Commission. This Committee is responsible for the attainment of environmental goals and implementation of environmental policies, of the Winona 2007 Comprehensive Plan along with modifications of the plan as they occur. The committee meets monthly.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 star - Action 6:

Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Winona is in the process of creating a Green Ribbon Commission to encourage sustainable actions in local businesses.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

3 star - Action 3:

Promote financing and incentive programs such as PACE for clean energy:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Winona County authorized PACE for the County in the summer of 2016. The City in partnership with CERTs and the Chamber of Commerce, held a "lunch and learn" for businesses to learn about the PACE program on April 18, 2017. Currently one 39.9 kw PV system funded by PACE exists within City limits. The City and partners will promote PACE through Xcel's Partners in Energy implementation process.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Number of businesses participating in PACE.
Descriptive File:
CERTs, Winona County
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
3 star - Action 4:

Support a community solar garden or help community members participate in a community renewable energy project by:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona will be subscribing to a Community Solar Garden through SolarStone
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273
3 star - Action 7:

Become a solar-ready community, including an expedited permit process for residents and businesses to install solar energy systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Winona is working to become a SolSmart certified city, with a goal of reaching the Gold Certification level.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273

Local Food {BP no.27}

2 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:
Implementation details:
Since 2008, the City has allowed homeowners to keep 12 chicken hens at residential properties. In 2017, the City established a 50 plot community garden at our East Recreation Center. Before the garden opened, all plots were reserved. All plots are reserved in 2018. The East Recreation Center will also be hosting a seed library in conjunction with a WSU student in February 2018.

Redeemer Lutheran Church leases land to gardeners, with a community garden run by the County Master Gardeners (http://winonaeducationgardens.weebly.com/). Produce grown in the Redeemer Lutheran community garden plot is donated to local food shelves, or given to other gardeners.

The City's Unified Development Code, approved in June 2017, allows community gardens in all residential and mixed use zones.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Howard (City staff) | jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us | 507-457-8273