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    City of Sartell  


Background Information

County:   Stearns
Population:   16,183
GreenStep City category:   A

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   41

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/15/2016)

GreenStep Coordinator

Nate Keller
City staff
nate.keller@sartellmn.com
320-258-7316

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
www.sartellmn.com

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 Files below summarize completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded each June to cities who report a minimum number of optional (and a few high-priority/core) metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics - see guidance documents for them at http://www.betterenergy.org/step4 - aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement beyond minimum thresholds in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data in the Metrics Files below.

Assessment Files
2018 - click to view assessment
2017 - click to view assessment

 


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars. Mouse over a star for its definition.
Total completed actions: 48     1-star actions: 16     2-star actions: 26     3-star actions: 6    







Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Summarize watering ordinance; provide education/information around lawn watering and home water conservation and rain barrels. Report conservation rate structures and dynamic user feedback under action 20.7, rain gutter disconnects from sewers under action 20.3; education about home water softeners under 20.4
Report residential water use under 75 gal/capita/day; modify and adopt a model landscaping ordinance that encourages low water-use landscaping; assist owners of automatic or underground irrigation systems to install the state-required rain/moisture sensors; report water use reductions; become a WaterSense Partner.
Create and report on a rebate or feebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense- and/or Energy Star-rated appliances; review building water conservation strategies during development reviews; as code allows facilitate household/building site rainwater harvesting/reuse; prohibit city water from supplying lawn irrigation systems.
Action 5: Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a watering ordinance, water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Signal lights go into “flash mode” during certain hours of the day; report synchronized traffic signals, flashing yellow left turn arrow signals, installation of detectors in at least 10% of city signals (operated under traffic actuated/responsive mode). Report roundabouts under best practice action 11.6
Work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect traffic signals and coordinate them in one corridor; install one or more bicycle crossing signal detectors; implement traffic signs over signals in lower-traffic areas to minimize costs
Provide estimates of reduced delays, gas use, stops; work with the county/MnDOT to interconnect/coordinate among traffic signals and synchronize them along several corridors.
Action 4: Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing so as minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install at least one LED/solar-powered flashing sign, for example, warning flashers and wayfinding/signage lighting.
Install PV-powered or LED lighting as a pilot in a street, parking lot or park project. Examples include seasonally used park lighting (ice rinks, lighting in flood-prone areas, etc.).
Install routinely, as matter of policy, LED or solar powered lighting in street, parking lot or park projects.
Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Land Use   Land Use

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

Adopt a comp plan/amended comp plan that is less than ten years old or adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity less than 15 years ago, or Category B & C cities may adopt a city vision that looks at least 20 years into the future.
Include in your plan a sustainability section/chapter, an active living/placemaking/bike-ped section, or integrate sustainability goals and strategies into all chapters of your comprehensive plan, or articulate land development principles for creating a complete, compact and connected community. Report climate protection or energy independence goals and objectives under action 6.5
Adopt a development goal that new/infill projects generate enough tax revenue to pay for the related public infrastructure maintenance/replacement over multiple life cycles; reference a capital improvement plan that catalogues public system maintenance obligations by date and cost; create 'green zones' that focus environmental improvements in under-served areas of the city; adopt the Precautionary Principle.
Action 1: Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Document where in the zoning code or development regulation the comprehensive plan is referenced as a foundational document or that the purpose of the code is to implement the comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive plan referenced in all land use and development ordinances and regulations in addition to zoning code ordinances; zoning decisions are required to reference/be in compliance with the comp plan.
Conduct an audit of ordinances; individual ordinances or ordinance sections should be introduced with a "Purposes" section that includes language such as the following: "The XXX regulations specifically implement the following goals from the Comprehensive Plan:"
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Include plan requirements (in a comp plan or another planning document) on coordinated action with surrounding or overlapping jurisdictions for several of these issues: land use, watershed/groundwater impacts, transportation, sewer and water, economic development, housing and foreclosures, police, fire, health; adopt a wellhead / source water protection plan.
Convene discussions or enter into agreements (joint service or others) with surrounding communities on at least 3 of these issues; adopt a comp plan goal to monitor and/or remediate all LUSTs within the city's DWSMA/SWPA.
Jointly invest in infrastructure to avoid duplication or improve performance; as part of inter-city discussions mentor another GreenStep city.
Action 3: Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


For cities adjacent to undeveloped land, establish a growth area with staging criteria that reflects projected population growth (projected no more than ten years in the future) and, if applicable, is subject to an orderly annexation agreement and planned extension of municipal services. OR, conduct a natural resource inventory (NRI) and incorporate the results into your comprehensive plan or long-term city vision. Report adoption of an urban growth boundary under action 10.2; ag/forest preservation zoning under action 27.1
Prioritize the NRI results through a natural resource assessment (NRA) involving the public so as to minimize the fragmentation and development of agricultural, forest, wildlife, pollinator habitat, and high quality open space lands in and around the city.
Identify priority natural resource protection areas in the comp plan and recommend strategies for integrating protection into the development process.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Specify numeric targets (reductions in energy usage, GHG emissions) and target dates for at least city operations (for example, Massachusetts challenges cities to reduce energy use 20% within 5 years); adopt infrastructure resiliency goals; include EV charging stations as a permitted accessory use in select or all zoning districts. Report stand-alone sustainability plans under action 24.5; report stand-alone climate adaptation/resilience plans under action 29.2
Become an EV-ready city, address climate protection in the private sector by, for example, establishing policies with numerical targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled, or setting a percentage renewable energy generation target for the entire city, such as a "25 by 25" goal (generating 25% of a city's electricity, heating and/or transportation fuels from renewable resources by 2025).
Adopt an agressive goal, such as the Rochester, MN mayoral goal of carbon-free by 2031; adopt social resiliency goals around education (STEM curriculum), population mix (retention of millennials, racial/income diversity).
Action 5: Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include transportation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient City Growth
{ BP no. 7 }

Have at least one single-family zoning district or selected area that requires or allows 7-unit/acre (or greater).
A mixed- or single-use zoning district allowing 15+ DUA; a district that sets a minimum density for single family at 7 dwelling units/acre and minimum gross density for multi-family at 15 DUA (a level that supports 1 bus/15 min.). Multi-family housing includes attached housing, apartments and condos.
Allow 2,3,4-plexes by right in most/all residential districts; have a minimum residential gross density of 20 units/acre when adjacent to a permanent transit node or pedestrian-oriented commercial retail district.
Action 1: Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Neighborhood single-family density at 7 units/acre or greater.

b. Multi-family housing at a gross density of at least 15 units/acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit node.


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Explain which attributes are met.
Parking spaces are significantly below the parking standard due to bike/ped/transit access, shared parking, municipal lot.
A public school is located along a public transit line and provides incentives (such as discounted bus passes) for students to use the line.
Action 2: Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Adjacent to an existing employment or residential center.

b. Designed to facilitate and encourage access by walking and biking.

c. Accessible by regular transit service.


Ordinance allows mixed uses.
Ordinance: requires residential-only PUDs to be adjacent to commercial development or to be served by frequent transit; encourages EV charging stations.
Ordinance: requires a mix of uses; requires installation of EV charging stations.
Action 3: Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development or to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Describe to what degree the district used the Minnesota Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development.
Existence of horizontal mixed use; a downtown overlay district; light industrial uses.
Allow mixed use of office, retail, educational, civic, and residential units all located within the same building.
Action 5: Have a downtown zoning district that allows residential and compatible commercial development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Two or more uses in multi-story buildings favored in the comp plan with overall goals or design guidelines.
Adopt incentives (density bonus, development assistance) for vertical mixed use development such as housing above commercial, shared parking in the downtown core.
An incentive and/or requirement for inclusionary (affordable) housing in at least one development; live/work vertical units allowed by right.
Action 7: Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts).     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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

Establish regular or as-needed meetings to include local chambers of commerce and local governmental units.
Adopt a joint powers agreement or the like that formalizes regional economic development/land use planning.
Document regional estimated needs and staging criteria. Report adopted adequate public facilities ordinances under action 9.4
Action 2: Participate in regional economic development planning with representatives from surrounding townships, cities, the county and business interests to:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Estimate commercial/industrial needs among all jurisdictions.

b. Jointly implement recommendations to stage highway/auto-oriented commercial development in order to avoid overbuilding and expensive low-density development.


Design for Natural Resource Conservation
{ BP no. 10 }

Complete an NRI or NRA and use findings in the decision-making process when evaluating land use options. Report individual tree replacement ordinances in best practice action 16.5
Adopt ordinance language that utilizes findings in the inventory/assessment; adopt an incentive for conservation design in your zoning or subdivision ordinance, in which at least 50% of developable land is permanently protected, or create a conservation design district that requires the use of conservation design practices such as permanent protection of high quality habitat/open space, explicit wildlife corridors.
Create city-wide protections for natural systems/resources (e.g., groundwater, uplands, forest bats), such as mandatory natural resource design standards for priority natural resource and open space areas, or for rezonings of agricultural or other undeveloped land, require a finding of fact that undeveloped residential land in the city is insufficient to meet market demand.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Identify an urban growth boundary on the zoning map and adopt rezoning and annexation requirements that require consistency with capital improvements plan (concurrency ordinance). Report adoption of growth areas with expansion criteria under action 6.4
Adopt an urban growth boundary, accompanying CIP, and collaborate (based on a joint powers agreement) with adjacent township or county to restrict development in sensitive natural areas and urban reserve areas.
Work with adjacent communities to incorporate a cost of public services study/build-out analysis as part of capital improvements planning, and adopt zoning and subdivision standards that consistently protect natural systems that cross jurisdictions.
Action 2: For cities outside or on the fringe of metropolitan areas, conduct a build-out analysis, fiscal impact study, or adopt an urban growth boundary and a consistent capital improvement plan that provides long-term protection of natural resources and natural systems, and agricultural practices outside the boundary.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Living Streets
{ BP no. 11 }

A city council resolution to develop standards; a policy governing city-owned streets; routine consideration of complete streets elements in all streets projects; explicit complete streets comp/strategic plan direction, that expresses the city's intent to facilitate multi-modal transportation (at least one route for each mode); include consideration of EV charging stations.
A city-council-adopted complete streets policy and implementation criteria.
A Living Streets policy; modify street design standards/practices according to policy, addressing multimodal transportation, trees and stormwater; include provisions/performance measures that account for the needs of the most vulnerable users, aiming to deliver benefits to all users equitably, particularly vulnerable users and the most underinvested and underserved communities; possible additional elements include align new streets to give buildings energy-efficient passive solar orientations; address public art in the street right-of-way; use a sustainable infrastructure tool; give consideration to growing use of ridesharing services and shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) by, for example, planning for more drop-off road sections.
Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Remedy at least one complete street gap, including using alleys. Report green alley interventions under action 17.5
Inspect, evaluate, inventory and map your roadway network for complete streets insufficiencies and develop a prioritized transition plan and timeline for remedying the insufficiencies and gaps. Pay particular attention to multimodal conflict areas and transit connections to serve users and destinations.
Routinely budget complete streets improvements through roadway & bridge capital improvement & maintenance projects; show project cost-savings through innovative/collaborative efforts with other jurisdictions/stakeholders; address street corridor issues by infill, adding bridge liner (retail on a bridge to be rebuilt in a walkable corridor), etc.
Action 4: Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Make functional/recreational walking/biking possible between at least one park/open area and city streets. Report remedies for gaps entirely within your city's system of parks, off-road trails and open spaces under best practice action 18.1
Add a walking/bike trail that significantly improves access between two areas without a full network of streets, e.g., connecting cul-de-sacs within a housing development that has very long blocks.
Fully integrate your street and off-road trail network to facilitate bike/ped commuting; report under action 18.1 a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 5: Identify and remedy street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails to better facilitate walking and biking.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Measures such as streetscaping, bump-outs, raised cross walks, intersection markings, medians and narrower lane widths. Report temporary or permanent parklet installations under action 14.1
Measures such as roundabouts, and road diets where 3 lanes replace 4 lanes of a road with under 20,000 average annual daily traffic counts; adopt a traffic calming policy.
Measures from street reclaiming, naked streets, shared space, woonerfs, and Paint the Pavement approaches; diverging diamond interchange, J-turn lane, reverse diagonal parking; a multi-modal Level of Service metric developed and applied to road projects; conversion of underused/redundant roads to gravel roads, stormwater management, energy generation, etc.
Action 6: Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including road diets, roundabouts, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

A basic map that shows (by neighborhood if a larger city) key civic/commercial sites, best bike and pedestrian routes, and transit routes and schedules; as needed distribute print materials in different languages; report increases in walk/bike counts.
Installed infrastructure such as designed bike or pedestrian or transit facilities like park and ride lots (report sidewalks/bike lanes under action 11.4), OR document the increase in employeer-offered transportation fringe benefits, OR report a Walk Score of 70+ or an increase in your city's Walk Score.
Be recognized as a Bicycle or Walk Friendly Community, OR require routine installation of infrastructure, such as bike parking, for all new multifamily and non-residential developments, OR allow property owners to substitute bike parking spaces for required car parking spaces.
Action 1: Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Produce/distribute route maps, signage or a web site.

b. Document increased bike facilities, such as racks, bike stations or showers.

c. Add bus infrastructure, such as signage, benches, shelters, park and ride lots, and real-time arrival data-streaming.

d. Increase the number of employers promoting multiple commuting options, including offering qualified transportation fringe benefits instead of only a tax-free parking fringe benefit.

e. Be recognized as a Walk Friendly or Bicycle Friendly Community.


Describe elements of a SRTS program in which the city is involved; note how many schools are affected, how the program addresses evaluation, encouragement, education, engineering, and enforcement, and whether the city worked in concert with the local community health board. Report shared use agreements between cities and school parks under action 18.1
Describe key elements of your non-SRTS efforts, such as which actions you are challenging which number of people/organizations to take, and how long the campaign is/will run; report collaboration/funding from your local Community Health Board (SHIP funding); host an Open Streets or Ciclovias event to temporarily make a street a pedestrian-only zone.
Report outcome measures, such as increased walking/biking in the community, improved health outcomes, percent student body covered by SRTS programming, and school bus fuel savings.
Action 2: Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Page on chamber of commerce site includes links to one or more services.
Page on city web site includes links to one or more services; note discounts for different populations (children, students, elderly, low-income).
Information includes or has easy links to costs, routes, operation hours, etc.; promote interconnections among different services.
Action 3: Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; ridesharing/cab services; rental cars; bikes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Add or expand transit in your city or between your city and other destinations, working with other units of local governments as needed.
Add/expand Saturday or Sunday bus service; add dial-a-ride to regular service; assist in the creation of or promote the existance of a car sharing business or bike sharing business/service; embed a transit station/stop in a transit-oriented/mixed-use district. Report supportive changes in parking requirements under action 14.1
Bike-sharing/scooter-sharing in a small city; schedule transit service for at least every 30 minutes during peak hours so that 75% of city addresses are within 1/2 mile of a transit stop; incorporate payment for both local transit and ride-shares (and connections between the two) on a single smartphone app.
Action 6: Add/expand transit service, or promote car/bike sharing.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient City Fleets
{ BP no. 13 }

Police patrols on bike, foot, Segway or horseback.
City inspectors or other staff on bike, e-bike, foot or horseback.
Report outcome measures resulting from actions: decreased costs, reduced vehicle miles traveled, fleet reductions, or other metrics.
Action 4: Phase in bike, e-bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Implement at least two strategies, which can include training drivers in fuel-efficient driving, adopting a no idling policy/practice. Report Safe Routes to School (shifting students from the bus to biking/walking) implementation results under best practice action 12.2
Use of route optimizer software, or city buses, or other techniques to reduce bus usage.
Documentation (including energy and costs) of implementation of actions.
Action 5: Document that the local school bus fleet has optimized routes, start times, boundaries, vehicle efficiency and fuels, driver actions to cut costs including idling reduction, and shifting students from the bus to walking, biking and city transit.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Demand-Side Travel Planning
{ BP no. 14 }

Identify priority transit/density nodes, ensure that retail is a permitted use, require housing projects at these locations to have a mixed use retail component; locate new farmer's markets at nodes.
Identify priority transit/density nodes, ensure that retail is a permitted use, offer financial or regulatory incentives for retail development at those locations that are not offered elsewhere.
Make retail development a conditional use at locations other than transit/density nodes, condition being that retail must demonstrate transit or density connectivity (exempt certain types of retail, such as gas stations).
Action 2: For cities with regular transit service, require or provide incentives for the siting of retail services at transit/density nodes.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing
{ BP no. 15 }

Have a written policy/guidelines/practices specifying at minimum the purchase of Energy Star equipment/appliances and recycled-content paper (at least 30% post-consumer). Report street lighting/traffic signal policy/purchases under action 4.2; vehicle policy/purchases under 13.2 and 13.3
Have a formal policy adopted by the city council; note if this includes centralized purchasing into one office/person.
For the city’s top 10 categories of spend, track the purchases of sustainable products/services purchased annually compared to non-sustainable products/services purchased; join with other cities in joint purchasing of environmentally preferable products and summarize EPP purchases.
Action 1: Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. EnergyStar certified equipment and appliances and

b. Paper containing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.


By practice seek to purchase locally; develop a list of locally-produced products for use by city staff; make the list available to residents and businesses.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND require purchase of a set percentage of city government purchases to be from the list.
Develop list in conjunction with adjacent communities (cities or counties) to recognize regional economic base and increase diversity of goods and products on the list.
Action 3: Establish a local purchasing preference and, working with a local business association, develop a list of locally-produced products and suppliers for common purchases.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Adopt a policy or adopt practices for meetings and events hosted by city government addressing issues such as solid waste generated (e.g., paperless city council packets), transit/carpooling to meetings/events. This could include distributing educational materials about holding a no-waste event for use at city-supported events such as National Night Out / Night to Unite. Report broader multi-topic educational material distributed at events under action 24.4
Have a policy for meetings and events taking place on city property, including parks and libraries; include healthy/local/organic food elements.
Work with at least the largest private venue in the city (such as a conference center) to cut waste generation by at least 1/3 and to increase recycling by at least 1/3; adopt internal departmental carbon fees.
Action 7: Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Urban Forests and Soils
{ BP no. 16 }

Enact an ordinance that preserves/replaces trees and soils and encourages resilient, non-invasive landscaping. Report protection of large wooded areas by means of zoning or development review under best practice action 10.3
Address tree preservation and soils conservation on both public and private lands; enact requirements such as removing requirements to establish turf grass (this does not refer to removing maintenance standards for turf grass) and permitting resilient, non-invasive native landscaping throughout the city.
Adopt quantitative performance metrics; require approval of a tree preservation plan before development (tree inventory, tree saving zones, soil preservation measures, tree replacement for damaged/destroyed trees at a 2:1 ratio or greater).
Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


For smaller cities: at least one volunteer is a Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector or a Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector.
City has written and begun implementing a community emerald ash borer preparedness plan/climate change adaptation plan for urban forests including resilient tree species; city tree canopy goal aims for a "5-10-15" rule-of-thumb.
At least one city staff member is a Certified Forester, a landscape horticulture professional, or holds Tree Inspector and First Detector certification; city staff provide free assistance to residents/businesses, or support volunteer forestry efforts.
Action 6: Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Having trained tree specialists.

c. Adopting an EAB/forest management plan or climate adaptation plan for the urban forest.

b. Supporting volunteer forestry efforts.


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

Remedy at least one connectivity break by, for example, completing a missing trail section, acquiring a high quality natural area, a priority stormwater management area, vacant space in a high amenity/redevelopment area, a rail corridor. Report remedies for street-to-trail gaps (between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails) under best practice action 11.5.
Remedy at least 3 connectivity breaks; fund trails out of adjacent street assessments; sign at least one shared use agreement with a school that allows public use of school outdoor facilities outside of school hours.
Remedy/plan/budget for 75% or more of the gaps; add a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 1: Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Adopt a Parks/Trail plan; have in the city's subdivision chapter code language requiring dedication of open spaces, parks, and drainage easements or, in lieu of that, cash with each new subdivision. Report conservation design to create wildlife corridors under action 10.1
Dedication required for new developments over 1 acre; create and adopt a conceptual parks and green connections plan for greenfield areas having or planned to have urban services or redevelopment areas; integrate into existing Park/Open Space/Trail Plan if one is in place.
Achieve 2 star rating AND require demonstration of bike/ped trail connections for all new housing to existing trail network as part of the subdivision submittal.
Action 2: Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


There exist at least 7 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents.
At least 20% of total city land area is in protected green infrastructure (parks and protected natural resource areas, trails, publicly accessible school green space).
90% or more of residents are within a 10-minute walk, or within one-half mile of, a park or other protected green/blue space; report your ParkScore
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Surface Water
{ BP no. 19 }

A high-level elected city official or city staff person participates in at least 1 community event that includes a variety of stakeholders (farmers, other business people, environmentalists, recreation users, and other government staff, one of whom has scientific expertise). The conversation should be outside the TMDL process and include more than just impaired waters. Report an adopted wellhead protection plan under action 6.3
The city cosponsors at least 4 water quality conversations that explicitly focus on significant water quality improvement.
The conversations are intentionally facilitated/mediated to influence changes in public/private actions that are likely to improve local water quality, quantity and surface-groundwater interactions; residents work with city to determine specific projects within a city-established Storm Sewer Improvement Taxing District.
Action 2: Conduct or support multi-party community conversations around improving local water quality and quantity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Sustainable Consumption and Waste
{ BP no. 22 }

Measure/audit waste generated; adopt goals for reducing the generation of overall solid waste; goals for diverting a percentage of overall solid waste into recycling or compostables collection; goals for specific waste streams such as public works waste, disposable cafeteria ware, waste from parks. Note that some cities entered, before 2018, completion of this action under action 22.2
Describe actions taken, such as refurbishing office equipment, reusing building materials, increasing e-commerce, getting off junk mail lists, collecting organic material and beverage containers from parks.
Report measures that show goals were met by the reduced amount of waste generated, the increased amount of waste diverted into recycling and compostables collection.
Action 1: Improve city operations and procurement to prevent and reuse, recycle and compost waste from all public facilities (including libraries, parks, schools, municipal health care facilities), and minimize use of toxics and generation of hazardous waste.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Require by license (and ideally also ordinance) the provision of recycling services in multi-unit residential buildings; report implementation of at least 3 "good" recycling BMPs (e.g., mandatory separation of residential recyclables, email/text recycling reminders) from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-sw1-11.pdf Note that pre-2018 organized collection entries are listed under this action, and that post-2017 organized collection entries are under 22.7
Report the city recycling rate prominently on the city's web site (by only licensing haulers that report their data); provide as requested larger carts/2nd recycling container at no added cost to resident; collect co-mingled fiber/containers; report implementation of 3 “better” recycling BMPs from the webpage above; in greater MN, require collection of recyclables from commercial entities.
Require that each tenant in multi-unit housing has a recycling container; assure multi-unit recycling during routine city building inspections; report implementation of 3 “best” recycling BMPs from the webpage above.
Action 6: Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Require trash haulers to follow the city-organized recycling collection schedule; require organized collection of residential recyclables; publish hauler rates on city's web site & require waste/recyclables tonnage reports as a condition of licensing; assist residents on X % of city blocks to arrange for 75%+ of houses to contract with 1 trash hauler; set at least a 25% price differential among 3 cart size/frequency categories (~30, 60, 90-gallons); provide a financial or other incentive (e.g. larger container) for recycling. Report compostables collection under action 22.5 Note that pre-2018 entries of cities organizing their solid waste collection service are found under action 22.6
Offer bi-weekly trash collection, ideally paired with weekly recycling (and organics); organize city-wide collection of recyclables, yard waste, source-separated organics via RFP.
Organize trash collection; contract with one/multiple, zoned haulers for trash & multi-materials, either via RFP (if previous contract) or via hauler negotiations; note estimated cost savings to residents and to city (from decreased truck traffic); note if trucks use compressed natural gas (as city license condition?); achieve 50% recycling & 10% composting rate.
Action 7: Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 8: Adopt a construction and demolition ordinance governing demolition permits that requires a level of recycling and reuse for building materials and soil/land-clearing debris.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Air Quality
{ BP no. 23 }

Regulate outdoor wood burning using nuisance ordinance language, referencing the MN Fire Code. Note that burning household garbage, such as in a burn barrel, is generally against the law in MN.
Regulate outdoor wood boilers using the MPCA model zoning language.
Ban (on a permanent or interim basis) or enforce performance standards for specific types of burning.
Action 2: Regulate outdoor residential wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Recreational burning.

b. Outdoor residential wood boilers.


Participate in the Air Aware Employers program; OR report the dimensions of and results from your vehicle-idling actions: for example, no idling in the downtown core. Report no-idling policies for city and school fleets in best practice 13 and for business fleets under 23.4
Adopt a non-smoking ordinance for parks; report on your campaign with retail stores OR gasoline-replacement efforts; work with food trucks to decrease noise/pollutants.
Report on the reach of your smoking-free policy; decrease pollutants from back-up generators by shared generators, fuel cells, etc.
Action 3: Conduct one or more policy or education/behavior change campaigns on the topics below and document:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Decreased vehicle idling, pollutants/noise from stationary engines/back-up generators.

b. Participation in the Air Aware Employers program.

c. Adoption of a smoking-free policy at one or more multi-unit housing buildings, private or public.

d. Replacement of gasoline-powered small equipment with lower polluting equipment.

e. Increased sales by retail stores of low and no-VOC household products.


Resilient Economic & Community Development   Resilient Economic & Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

A staff green team, or small working group (e.g., city manager, council member, citizen commission chair) exists; city participation in a multi-city/regional green team; annual news article/media to community members referencing GreenStep (& other programs as relevant); city web has a link to city's GreenStep web page.
A citizens group, city task force/commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate sustainability/GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's sustainability accomplishments.
A committee of city staff/officials and community members (business, education, religious) exists; annual report includes some metrics, such as dollars spent/saved, energy saved, and any sustainability indicators measured, and energy/carbon inventory data or ecological footprint data if gathered; participation in a county/multi-city green team.
Action 1: Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Report goals/outcomes annually from plans such as comprehensive, parks, library, housing, stormwater, drinking water, transportation, economic development, energy, sustainability. Issue a city Performance Management Report; use a simple form at http://tinyurl.com/24-2template
Achieve 1 Star rating AND identify specific steps from city departments on how to improve performance or meet goals that were not met in the previous year.
Integrate goals/outcomes reporting explicitly into the city capital improvement planning process, identifying how public dollars are targeted to meeting sustainability goals in the plans.
Action 2: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


At least two informational/educational activities or creation of a group to work on such; promotion of/assistance with Friendly Front Yards, block clubs, neighborhood associations. Report under action 2.1 marketing & outreach programs that are limited to promoting/achieving residential energy use reduction and energy efficiency; report business outreach campaigns under BP 25; report youth/student engagement in city government under 24.6; report other targeted campaigns under topic-specific actions, e.g. 23.3
Sustained activities covering a range of topics (active living, food, water, energy, etc.) that have some challenge, assistance and/or measurement elements; documented accomplishments such as Green Ribbon School recognition, Friendly Fronts apartment building certification (coming in later 2017); city work that supports schools/youth to improve their schools (through an ecology club, school green team, IPL youth team).
Sustained activities and multiple reported outcomes such as increased multi-modal commuting, reduced water and energy use, increased local food production, increased business vitality, etc.
Action 4: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. The entire community.

b. Homeowners.

c. Front yards/sidewalks, block clubs, neighborhood associations.

d. Congregations.

e. Schools, colleges.


Host a community meeting/event that explictly uses a sustainability framework.
Create or support an on-going local effort around one of these sustainability frameworks.
Achieve 2-star rating and adopt a sustainability plan or other implementation plan and/or goals and document concrete actions taken toward achieving them; work with LMC on race equity training & planning. Report adopted energy or climate plans under action 6.5
Action 5: Conduct or support a community education, visioning and planning initiative using a sustainability framework such as:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Strong Towns, resiliency, transition.

b. Eco-municipalities, Smart Cities.

c. Healthy communities, environmental justice, race equity.


3 or more youth/students involved in an iMatter youth group working directly with your city council; separate youth/student committee or commission that includes at least one city staff or council member; regular student interns to work on sustainability issues.
Student involvement in a city green committee / commission; separate youth/student committee or commission (note to what extent it focuses on sustainability issues); high school student internships offered in city government; formal city volunteer program focused on youth.
Student involvement in Youth in City Government Day; student group engaged with city on a project; student/intern help with GreenStep action entry. Report under action 24.4e city staff efforts to support schools/youth to improve their own schools.
Action 6: Engage community youth and college students by creating opportunities to participate in city government.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

Summarize what exists in the city: a farmer's market, urban ag businesses, etc.
Report on supportive actions taken by the city such as use of city land for a farmer's market, garden plots in city parks, hiring a garden/market coordinator, supporting season extension techniques such as hoop houses or greenhouses; donations from markets/gardens to food shelves.
Report on percent of housing units within a 1 mile of a healthy food source (farmer's market, community garden, CSA drop point, and stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 445230); convert top level of a parking ramp for a local food growing business.
Action 3: Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. A farmer's market or co-op buying club.

b. An urban agriculture business or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement between farmers and community members/employees.

c. A community or school garden, orchard or forest.


Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
{ BP no. 29 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Comprehensively assess options to reduce urban heat and improve air quality in advance of planned maintenance, repair or construction of local roads. Take preventive action to complete at least one installation (such as: cool/pervious pavements, higher albedo coatings, increased road-side vegetation including resilient tree species, or efficient timing/sensors for stoplights), also incorporating stormwater BMPs as applicable.
Comprehensively assess options to reduce urban heat and improve air quality in advance of planned construction, maintenance or replacement of roofs, sidewalks/patios, parking lots/ramps, and landscaping/vegetation for new and existing city-owned buildings, structures and sites. Take preventive action to complete at least two installations (such as: cool or vegetative "green" roofs, cool/pervious pavements, or a meaningful increase in vegetative cover including resilient tree species), also incorporating stormwater BMPs as applicable.
Use observation and data to identify specific locations of heat vulnerability in the community (such as large areas of asphalt pavement, multi-family buildings with minimal shade, lack of boulevard tree canopy, high-traffic heavily-paved areas with lots of vehicle exhaust).
Action 6: Reduce the urban heat impacts of public buildings, sites, and infrastructure and provide resiliency co-benefits.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]