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    Tribal Nation of Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe  


Background Information

County:   Cass
Population:   8,000
GreenStep City category:   B

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   2000

Participating township, county, school:
Cass, Hubbard, Beltrami, Itasca

GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/23/2015)

GreenStep Coordinator

Brandy Toft
Community volunteer
air@lldrm.org
218-335-7429

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.llojibwe.org/drm/index.html

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: 58     1-star actions: 39     2-star actions: 14     3-star actions: 5    







Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

Complete the Building Editor for each city-owned building; identify the person responsible for routinely entering data; enter current (at least once/90 days), consecutive monthly energy use data ongoing; also best to enter 12 consecutive months of historical energy use data.
Complete 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; routinely validate newly entered data by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; correct inaccurate entries and identify potential opportunities for energy savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria, routinely ID energy-related operations and maintenance issues and poorer performing buildings for follow-up action; routinely enter current and consecutive (monthly or quarterly as available) water use data ongoing.
Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Implement changes in one poorer-performing building and summarize the actions taken: updating temperature, ventilation and lighting schedules and setbacks; installing building-wide computer and office equipment power management software; assigning responsibility for turning off manual lights and other shared equipment; assuring that routine HVAC maintenance schedules are thorough and implemented at appropriate intervals; revising janitorial schedules to day-time hours; adjusting janitorial responsibilities to include regular cleaning of sensors, lamps and HVAC vents; installing lower-flow faucet aerators, dish sprayers, and showerheads to reduce hot water use.
Complete 1 Star criterion for two buildings. Post the Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one of the buildings with the Energy gauge showing at least a 5% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to implementing changes]. Continue fine-tuning operations and maintenance procedures and monitoring energy usage to identify opportunities for additional savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. Use B3 to report at least a 10% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period.
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 ]  


Complete retrocommissioning and/or retrofitting work on one building. Summarize the actions taken. Update the B3 Building Editor as needed and change the Baseline Time Period to report energy/cost savings.
Complete retrocommissioning and/or retrofitting work financed by an energy performance contract, utility rebate or other means on two or more buildings. Post a print screen of B3 data to report energy/cost reductions.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria. In addition, use GESP or implement an internal program or use an external program/vendor that institutionalizes, and provides funding / incentives for, ongoing reductions in energy use by city-owned buildings (e.g. internal loan fund, shared savings with employees, capital budgeting based on energy savings, performance incentives and accountability, etc.).
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install a building management system for city buildings for control via office computer or home laptop; implement power management of computers and other information technology energy saving strategies. Report actions taken and results achieved.
Engage employees to turn off, unplug, enable power management (if not controlled by building-wide IT software), or set timers on equipment, lights and chargers; minimize/use efficient models of personal appliances (personal refrigerators, space heaters, fans, coffee pots, etc.); use task lights instead of ceiling fixtures; optimize active use of windows, doors and interior shading devices to conserve energy. Report actions taken and results achieved.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria.
Action 4: Implement information technology efforts and city employee engagement to reduce plug loads and building energy use.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Report one city building or school, or county/other government building, that used a green building standard or certification or code (3rd party verification not required) OR that has several sustainability features that were NOT required by city policy. Report city policies that require green building features under action 3.1; report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Report, for 2 or more buildings, use of a green building standard or certification or code or city-determined list of sustainability features buildings; third-party verification not necessary. Report energy use reduction in remodels.
Show that a new or remodeled building has been certified at gold-equivalent or better; report at least one building that meets the SB 2030 energy standard.
Action 5: Document that the new construction or major remodeling of a public building has met the SB 2030 energy standard or has met or qualified under a green building or energy framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 7: Install for one or more city-owned/school buildings one of the following efficiency measures:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] b. A district energy/microgrid system.

a. A ground-source, closed loop geothermal system.

c. A rainwater harvesting system for building water use.


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Program activities include but are not limited to: information/education efforts via newsletters and the like; work with the local utility, local Community Action Program, local bank, or others; promote utility load management programs (fuel-switching, AC/water heater cycling); program participation reports. Report a rebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense-rated appliances under action 2.5; report work with businesses under action 25.2; report broad sustainability campaigns that go beyond energy efficiency under action 24.4
One or more of: provide more in-depth energy use reports; explicitly focus on improved indoor air quality; partner with others on low-interest loans, assistance to homeowners on weatherization, efficiency improvements; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Participate in Xcel's Partners in Energy program; create a city program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, loans, grants, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Action 1: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


City staff informs applicants of green building practices and resources.
All building permit applicants receive green building information and links to web resources, as well as references to local resources such as certified green builders.
Green building information offered to all applicants along with specific suggestions tailored to applications.
Action 2: Integrate green building best practices information and assistance into the building permit process.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Identify examples including building lighting upgrades (including exit lights, lighting equipment and controls), and other building/operational improvements in energy and water use and wastewater reduction. Report renewable energy installations under action 26.6
Identify businesses using a green building framework such as LEED to build, operate and maintain their buildings and operations, or businesses currently using Energy Star's Portfolio Manager or similar energy-tracking software.
Identify examples of extensive daylighting or electrochromic window glass and consequent energy/cost savings, installation of a greywater system, or similar innovative improvements.
Action 4: Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses located within/nearby the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


New Green Buildings
{ BP no. 3 }

Require use of a green building standard or certification or code or city-determined list of sustainability features for some but not all city buildings; third-party verification not necessary. Note solar orientation requirements. Report under best practice action 1.5 new/existing city buildings with green features that were NOT built under a green building policy; report school buildings under 3.2, park buildings under 18.7, and private buildings under 2.4
Require either all buildings to use a green building framework, or that some buildings be certified/rated under a green building framework.
Require either the SB 2030 energy standard or that all buildings be certified/rated under a 3rd-party green building framework.
Action 1: Require by city policy that new city-owned buildings be built using the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Guidelines allow native vegetation, raingardens and renewable energy installations.
Guidelines allow larger-scale food production areas.
Guideliness allow greywater reuse; dividing large houses into multi-family units.
Action 5: Adopt environmentally preferable covenant guidelines for new common interest communities addressing issues such as stormwater, greywater, native vegetation, growing food, clothes lines and renewable energy.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Summarize the policy or practice for fixtures on city-owned, or school or other governmental buildings.
Summarize policies for fixtures adopted by the city and at least one other entity (the school board, another governmental unit within the city). Aim to limit light trespass to under 1 candle foot at the property line or center of a city street.
Requirements (within State code) for private buildings, OR: installation on public facilities of photosensors on all outdoor light fixtures; installation of timers with seasonal schedules to control when lights turn on and off; score under 4 in the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.
Action 1: Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


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.


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 ]  


Adopt a conservation design guideline or conservation design model appropriate to the natural resources and habitat of your city as a standard for developers and residents to reference and to guide staff in reviewing subdivisions.
Require a pre-proposal meeting as part of the subdivision process where, prior submission of a subdivision or development proposal, a conservation scorecard is discussed with developers and landowners; require a findings of fact be filed by staff or planning commission based on the scorecard or model; scenic viewsheds are explicity identified and protected.
Incorporate a conservation design model or guide into subdivision regulations for greenfield areas with intact or restorable natural systems or resources; entitle a high-quality, multi-functional conservation development.
Action 4: Adopt a conservation design policy and use a conservation design tool in negotiating development agreements in cities with undeveloped natural resource areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

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 ]  


Adopt a policy allowing city government employees to participate in alternative work schedules or telework.
Support an eWorkPlace Minnesota campaign or similar efforts, working with businesses (and transportation management organizations as appropriate).
Help bring telemedicine technology to town via a local health care provider or other organization.
Action 5: Launch telework/flexwork efforts in city government, businesses or at a local health care provider.     [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 }

Provide training and systems for employees to facilitate one or more of trip bundling, car pooling, vehicle sharing and the like. Report vehicle reductions under action 13.2
Install and use video conferencing equipment, automatic vehicle locator technology and the like.
Report more work being done with existing fleet; report total fleet VMT reductions year over year; implement an employee incentive program for reducing city vehicle use.
Action 1: Efficiently use your existing fleet of city vehicles by encouraging trip bundling, video conferencing, carpooling, vehicle sharing and incentives/technology.     [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 ]  


Retrofit several city diesel engines. Report participation of businesses in best practice action 23.4
Retrofit all exhaust systems of city heavy-duty diesel truck models with diesel oxidation catalysts or filters.
Install at least one APU or electrified parking space. Report business participation in U.S. EPA's SmartWay Transport program under best practice action 23.4
Action 6: Retrofit city diesel engines or install auxiliary power units and/or electrified parking spaces, utilizing Project GreenFleet or the like.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Urban Forests and Soils
{ BP no. 16 }

Street trees are provided on both sides of at least 60% of the main downtown street at intervals averaging no more than about 40 feet, excluding driveways, utility vaults and street portions inhospitable to trees. Report living snow fences under action 9.3
Major effort providing or offering residents / businesses trees to plant on private property.
Maximize climate resilient tree planting/landscaping on the entire blocks along mainstreet by, for example, funneling money from a business improvement district to alley plantings, pocket/corner parks, parking lot plantings behind buildings, a community depaving party, and the like.
Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

Install, require and/or provide guidelines for raingardens, rain barrels, parking lots (salt use reduction/alternatives, French drains, etc.) or pervious pavement at sites where the practice was not implemented to satisfy a requirement in an NPDES/SDS MS4 and/or Construction Stormwater permit or Industrial Stormwater permit; report that all city staff are developing guidelines that use the updated precipitation data in Atlas 14 or better, future predicted precipitation; note required use of compost as a soil amendment.
Install, require, incentivize and/or provide guidelines for green roofs, cisterns, neighborhood water storage, rainwater harvesting to supplant irrigation with drinking water, and other stormwater reuse. Report storage and reuse of stormwater for golf course/parkland irrigation under best practice action 18.5c.
Have an ongoing retrofit program to reduce pollutant loads and stormwater volume from existing neighborhoods that requires one or more of the stormwater practices in this action; aim for zero stormwater discharge in a development project.
Action 5: Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices.

b. Rainwater harvesting practices.

c. Green alleys or green parking lots.

d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers.

e. Green roofs / green walls.

f. Tree trenches / tree boxes.

g. Incorporate compost and/or native plants into landscape design.


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 6: Reduce de-icing salt use to prevent permanent surfacewater and groundwater pollution.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland; proactively manage invasive species; collect recyclables; use compost as a soil amendment. List garden plots in city parks under BP 27.3; report electric utility vehicles under 13.2
Introduce low/no mow areas into parkland AND utilize organic or integrated pest management; certify through the MPCA at least one city staff person at Level 1 in turf grass BMPs; collect compostables; adopt a pollinator habitat policy.
Provide sources of non-potable water, or surface/rain water, for parkland irrigation; require all city-licensed turf grass services to have staff certified at Level 1 in MPCA turf grass BMPs; introduce sheep/goats to keep grass mowed/invasives at bay; raise honey on city land/buildings; other innovative methods.
Action 5: Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; pollinator/monarch-safe policies.

b. Recycling/compostables collection; use of compost as a soil amendment.

c. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface/rain water, for irrigation.


Create an annual event (can be in cooperation with other organizations) or ongoing 'adopt a park' effort for volunteer trash cleanup of open space, buckthorn removal, etc. for parks or selected public open space areas. Report gardens plots in city parks under BP 27.3
In addition to cleanup and removal of exotics (1 Star), engage community members in annual restoration of natural areas (replanting shoreland buffers, restoring prairie, etc.).
Create and fund an annual city-wide event for cleanup and restoration, engaging residents in most neighborhoods and creating a public promotion around the event.
Action 8: Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.     [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 ]  


Work with other organizations to determine quantitative/qualitative targets for lakes, streams, wetlands.
Report at least annually to community members on targets - which must include more than TMDLs - and the status of achieving them. Report use of citizen volunteer lake/stream monitors and the Wetland Health Evaluation Program volunteer monitors.
Report % of lake, river, wetland and ditch shoreline with at least a 50' vegetation buffer; report at least three years improvements toward the targets.
Action 3: Adopt and report on measurable, publicly announced surface water improvement targets for water bodies, including the percent of lake, river, wetland and ditch shoreline with at least a 50-foot vegetation buffer.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Have a shoreland ordinance approved by the DNR or one consistent with state-wide shoreland standards (MR 6120.2500-06120.3900).
Adopt the Alternative Shoreland Standards or similar alternatives reviewed and consistent with recommendations of the DNR Area hydrologist that exceed the minimum standards of the DNR shoreland rules.
Document 60-75% forested shoreland; achieve 2 Star rating and include one or both of: (1) a menu of mitigation measures, one or more of which to be attached to shoreland variances; (2) provisions for restoration of shore impact area and vegetative buffer with permanent protection for all new shoreland development.
Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems
{ BP no. 20 }

Calculate your waste water plant's benchmark by dividing average daily energy use by typical flow in MGD (millions of gallons per day); report energy use for drinking water produced and delivered in kWh per 1,000 gallons (typically between 0.25 to 3.5 kWh). Report water system losses under action 20.3; report protection efforts that sustain facility function during extreme weather under action 29.7
Use B3, Portfolio Manager or the like to report several years of historic data; note how your water and waste water facilities compare to similar plants.
Report that the Sewer, and Drinking Water, Enterprise funds (using data from https://www.auditor.state.mn.us/maps ) have had 5+ years Positive Net Income; rank in the best 25% of Upper Midwest peer plants.
Action 1: Compare the energy use and financial performance of your facilities with other peer plants using standardized, free tools.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Septic Systems
{ BP no. 21 }

Periodic or ongoing tracking, inspections, report review, and/or outreach to system owners.
Require inspections on a set timetable, at time of sale or when a building permit is pulled; require failing systems to be upgraded within 12 or fewer months.
Provide financial assistance for bringing systems into compliance; bring all remaining septic owners voluntarily into central sewer system.
Action 1: Report to landowners suspected noncompliant or failing septic systems as part of an educational, informational and financial assistance and outreach program designed to trigger voluntary landowner action to improve septic systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Participate in a county, state or federal program or use one-time grant or loan financing.
Base homeowner upgrade repayments on the value of the property rather than on the credit-worthiness of the owner.
Use a city revenue bond, repayable through taxpayers' property taxes.
Action 5: Create a program to finance septic system upgrades.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Promote/assist in the design and construction of clustered/shared septic systems; extend central sewer system service.
Constructed wetland treatment, recirculating ozone system in place.
Composting toilets and greywater system in place.
Action 6: Work with homeowners and businesses in environmentally sensitive areas and areas where standard septic systems are not the least-cost option to promote innovative waste water systems, including central sewer extensions.     [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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 2: Address concerns over consumer products and packaging through encouragement/implementation of one or more of:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Education on needless consumption, waste prevention and alternatives, including product stewardship / producer responsibility.

b. Reuse options.

c. Recycling / composting options.

d. Credits, fees.

e. Mandates, bans.


Report implementation of at least 3 "good" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., license haulers, designate a preferred waste processing facility) from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-sw1-11.pdf Promote use of resource management contracts (RMC-covering recycling and trash) by businesses in your city; report city use of a RMC for government operations.
Report implementation of at least 3 "better" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., develop administrative solid waste standards, cap # of residential trash hauler licenses, require haulers to offer bulky waste/yard waste services) from the web page above; report waste reduction (% or tons, per year) via a RMC with schools, libraries, parks, municipal health care facilities.
Report implementation of at least 3 "best" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., min. market share to maintain hauler license, roll-off licensing, fees, ID, placement) from the web page above; report waste reduction (% or tons, per year) via a RMC with at least one larger venue, such as a manufacturer or a conference center. Document business energy/water efficiency under best practice action 2.4
Action 3: Improve profitability, legal compliance and conserve resources through adoption of ordinance language, licensing and resource management contracts.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Provide participant numbers and/or tons managed of one or more programs: food-to-people, food-to-animals, compostables collection, and backyard composting. Mention any yard waste collection program (note that it it banned by state law from landfills).
Organics collection by one hauler; facilitate multiple businesses to collect compostables; include a public outreach program to prevent food waste; assist with or directly manage yard waste so as to produce and sell a value-added wood chip and/or compost product.
Manage organics via small site composting, drop-site composting, or anaerobic digestion, and/or set and meet an aggressive program goal, such as % residents/businesses participating or profitability of program.
Action 5: Arrange for a residential and/or business/institutional source-separated organics collection/management program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


Local Air Quality
{ BP no. 23 }

Conduct an education campaign (including website information and other media releases or outreach techniques) on the health risks of wood burning, including the steps needed to mitigate those risks; conduct a similar campaign on "smoker" cars.
Conduct an education campaign (1 Star rating) and offer financial assistance for decommissioning older fireplaces or wood-burning equipment.
Achieve a 2-Star rating AND document quantitative environmental outcomes.
Action 1: Conduct an education/financial assistance campaign around one of the following residential wood burning/auto exhaust issues:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Indoor and outdoor wood burning behavior, to ensure that wood burning is only done with seasoned wood and in a manner that lessens the impact on neighbors.

b. Indoor wood burning technology, to result in community members upgrading from inefficient/more polluting fireplaces and wood stoves to pellet/gas/biogas devices, air source heat pumps, or the most efficient certified wood stoves.

c. Smoker cars - older model/high polluting vehicles, to result in repairs spurred by repair vouchers.


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 ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city 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 ]  


Produce a city environmental / sustainability report/summary; update your city council periodically during 'open mike' time; involve an existing city council committee or community task force.
Adopt (ideally after a public process and city council review) and commit to measure and annually report on sustainability indicators, generally related to or directly tied to the city's work on GreenStep best practices; may include community-wide energy and water use, vehicle miles traveled, and waste generated (Regional Indicators Initiative).
Adopt and commit to measure and annually report on broad sustainability indicators such as covered by GreenStep Step 4/5 metrics (which include a city operations GHG inventory), the STAR Community Rating System, LEED for Cities, GARE's race & equity measures.
Action 3: Measure and report progress on sustainability indicators including energy use/greenhouse gas emissions, social vitality/social inclusion outcome measures.     [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.


Green Business Development
{ BP no. 25 }

Promote business assistance providers on your city web site on an ongoing basis, or identify how the city has promoted business assistance to at least 5 for-profit or non-profit organizations about audit/assistance programs within the past year. Report outreach to just tourism businesses under action 25.3; report work on business operations related to water under action 20.6; report promotion of PACE financing under action 26.3
Participate on a 1-time basis in a campaign organized by an assistance provider; report outcomes from these visits (# of businesses assisted, by whom, sampling of results/improvements made, such as energy or waste reductions). Report assistance to businesses on water conservation and wastewater pretreatment (could be from a city utility) under actions 20.6 and 20.7
Create an ongoing city-organized business assistance program AND report results (financial/environmental outcomes).
Action 2: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Identify how area tourism is featuring green aspects of the area/their business, and/or how the city has contacted businesses (and how many) about making internal green changes within their business.
Create or participate in an ongoing green tourism initiative; facilitate follow-up with at least 5 businesses to assist them/arrange for assistance to them in greening their business.
Document the financial and environmental outcomes from these green tourism efforts on your city web site. Report any green tourism business certifications earned in action 25.6.
Action 3: Promote sustainable tourism in your city, and green tourism resources to tourism and hospitality businesses in/around the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Document steps beyond regulatory requirements to remediate a brownfield, using MPCA/other best practices.
Document how the redeveloped parcel has created jobs; is redeveloped as a mixed-use site.
Document the "green" nature of businesses locating on the redeveloped parcel; add renewable energy generation capacity on a brownfield; finalist/winner of MN Brownfield's Rescape award. Note if a land bank was used for site acquisition/parcel assembly and redevelopment.
Action 5: Lower the environmental and health risk footprint of a brownfield remediation/redevelopment project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Collaborate with local organizations, such as a local business group or a business assistance provider, to produce a multi-pronged branding effort (beyond just information on a city or chamber web site) promoting diverse businesses located in/nearby the city. Report local tourism, local purchasing by the city, and local food under action 25.3, and best practices 15 and 27, respectively.
Compile a list of locally owned businesses located in/nearby the city and promote them and their products (such as compost, books, arts & crafts).
Create incentives for buying and investing locally; create a local currency or (discounted) local dollar gift certificates; report results of your buy local efforts, including specific benefits to the local economy; enact policies that support emerging and existing locally-owned businesses.
Action 7: Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

Describe any public sector project and report installed capacity in kW. Report purchase of green tags, community solar garden subscriptions, and 3rd party solar under action 15.2; report wastewater biogas projects under 20.6; solid waste anaerobic digestion under 22.5; geothermal under 1.7
Install at least two different RE technologies and report installed capacity in kW; show that a RE installation has shaved off peak energy demand and allowed the monthly utility demand charge to be decreased; report installed battery storage.
Install RE capacity in excess of 100 kW; report combined heat and power generation, parking lot PV canopies.
Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally-owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), biomass, solar hot water/air, micro-hydro or wind.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

Zone ag/forest land in a staging plan until priority development areas are built out to appropriate urban densities and the ag/forest land is needed for development.
Create (have) at least one permanent agriculture or forest district.
Set entreprenural targets and assist in their achievement for employees/sales in resulting ag and forestry businesses.
Action 1: Incorporate working landscapes - agriculture and forestry - into the city by adopting an ordinance for one or more of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. An agriculture and forest protection district.

b. A local food production district.

c. Performance standards for minor and major agricultural retail.


Remove restrictions to food gardening/raising of chickens/bees in residential areas. Report beehives on city property under action 18.5
Proactively zone for & allow by right food gardening/raising of chickens/bees; report one or more developments that have dedicated, permanent and managed growing space, such as resident garden space, and/or related facilities (such as greenhouses). Report under GreenStep action 3.5 adopted city guidelines that prevent the restriction of food production through homeowner (HOA) agreements (CC&Rs).
Work with a rental building owner to establish a community garden, farmer's market or CSA/food buying club drop-point within 1/2 mile; establish tax incentives to use vacant lots for urban agriculture.
Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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.


Business Synergies and EcoDistricts
{ BP no. 28 }

pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 3: Require, build or facilitate at least four attributes in a business/industrial park project:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Shared parking/access OR shared recreation/childcare facilities.

b. Green product development, manufacturing or sales OR a green job training program..

c. Buildings located within walking distance of transit and/or residential zoning.

d. Renovated buildings OR buildings designed for reuse.

e. Green buildings built to Minnesota's SB2030 energy standard OR renewable energy generated on-site.

f. Combined heat and power (CHP) generation capacity, shared geothermal heating/cooling, microgrid OR energy storage.

g. Low-impact site development.


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 ]  


Install clean energy systems for city-owned buildings and facilities, including islanding capability (with storage) for a redundant source of back-up power that can sustain function during extreme weather events.
Ensure innovative and equitable delivery of energy saving and renewable energy programs to low-income residents (including mobile-home owners, among others), through coordination with non-profit organizations, the local utility company, and the State Energy Office.
Assess opportunities to utilize city rights-of-way for innovative technology and systems to improve energy resiliency, in coordination with local utility companies.
Action 8: Improve local energy resilience by minimizing fuel poverty, installing distributed renewable energy systems, and developing microgrids that can improve energy system resiliency.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]