GreenStep Cities Quarterly Newsletter

MyLMC MemberLink listserv for GreenStep city coordinators

GreenStep Workshops

All workshops are free and open to anyone. Workshops are online from 9:00-11:00am, unless otherwise noted. 

Can't attend? RSVP anyway and we will send you a workshop recording, slides, and links to resources approximately one week following the workshop event. 

Access past workshops in the GreenStep Archives


Post on: 11/03/2021

Webinars: Climate Planning Grants - 3/22 & 3/23

This month, the EPA announced a new Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program to provide states, local governments, and tribal nations with resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollution. 

The MPCA will host two webinars on Wednesday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to noon and Thursday, March 23 from noon to 1 p.m. to share more details on the federal program and how the state will partner with local governments in Minnesota to secure these funds.

Join the webinar

This webinar will include: 

  • A brief overview of the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants planning process. 
  • An explanation of the state's role in this process and what we know about how local governments can be eligible for implementation funds. 
  • An initial discussion of high priority actions to reduce climate pollution, what you need to be ready to apply for implementation funds, and ways we can collaborate across levels of government on this program. 

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program is an investment of $5 billion to develop and implement strong, local greenhouse gas reduction strategies. This two-stage grant program provides funding of $250 million for noncompetitive planning grants, and $4.6 billion for competitive implementation grants.

For more information, check out this webpage or contact MPCA climate and energy coordinator Faith Krogstad at with questions.

Post on: 03/16/2023

Webinar: The Value of Natural Climate Solutions in MN - 3/21

MCAP Adaptation in Action Webinar: The Value of Natural Climate Solutions in Minnesota

March 21, 12 PM CT, Zoom

Meredith Cornett and Sachi Graber from the Nature Conservancy, and Erin Mackey from Earth Economics will present on a new study completed by Earth Economics for The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota that shows how investing in natural climate solutions pays big economic benefits in addition to producing valuable ecosystem services, such as building rich soil, filtering and storing water and providing habitat for fish and wildlife—that support our society and are vital to life. Natural climate solutions generate a great return on investment, yielding more than $8.00 in public benefit for every $1.00 spent.

Please join us to learn more about the ways in which fully investing in Natural Climate Solutions can benefit all Minnesotans. 

Learn more and register today.

Post on: 03/15/2023

SRTS Boost Grants - Due 5/17

As the name implies, Safe Routes to School Boost grants are intended to help boost Safe Routes to School efforts! These grants allow MnDOT to support communities with existing Safe Routes to School (SRTS) plans, or other comprehensive SRTS approaches, in advancing non-infrastructure strategies for schools. The strategies should support making it safe, easy and fun for students to walk, bike or roll to school. More detailed information on eligibility, funding restrictions/requirements, and the grant application materials are available on the MnDOT SRTS Boost webpage. View past Boost awards to get project ideas and cost.

Two informational webinars are available on:

  • Tuesday March 28 at 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday April 12 at 11 a.m.

Grant application requests may range between $5,000-$50,000 and do not require a match.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, and must be submitted online.

Awardees will be announced in June with funding beginning in September 2023 and ending in June 2025.

Post on: 03/14/2023

MN Rural-Urban Exchange - Apply by 3/10

The Rural-Urban Exchange (RUX) is a movement of individuals who yearn for complex, full, authentic representation of one another. Through exchange we actively commit to addressing the challenges affecting our most distant neighbors as if they lived next door to ourselves.

2023-2024 cohort: 

24 individuals will will travel to Mahnomen County, White Earth Nation, Winona County, and more to build connections across cultural, racial, economic and geographic divides, uplifting a Minnesota story that is as exciting, diverse, and complex as Minnesotans. 

Application due March 10


Related to: Announcement, Education
Post on: 03/03/2023

Getting to Zero Forum - 5/10-12

2023 Getting to Zero Forum in Minneapolis on May 10-12, 2023.

The Getting to Zero Forum, co-hosted by New Buildings Institute and RMI, is the premier event dedicated to building decarbonization.

Scholarship funds available to support local government staff to attend the conference. Fill out this application:

We would like to stretch the funds to accommodate as many people as possible so if there are costs that could be covered through other means, we would sincerely appreciate it. You can learn more about the event on our website: If you have any questions about the conference or scholarship opportunity, please reach out to Leada Fuller-Marashi,

Post on: 02/23/2023

Resilient Communities Project - Apply by 4/30

The Resilient Communities Project (RCP) at the University of Minnesota is currently accepting proposals from cities, counties, tribal public entities, and other local government agencies for partnerships during the University’s 2023–2024 academic year (September 2023–August 2024).

RCP Partnerships support projects designed to advance community sustainability, equity, and resilience. Projects may address a broad range of local issues and needs, from housing, parks and recreation, and transportation to climate change, public safety, and community development. RCP especially encourages projects that address racial or other inequities and disparities in Minnesota. 

Successful applicants will benefit from hundreds of hours of research and technical assistance provided by graduate and professional students and faculty at the University of Minnesota, from departments and disciplines relevant to your project and needs.

Who Is Eligible: Cities, counties, tribal public entities, special districts (e.g., watershed, transit, park, school), and regional government agencies or collaboratives in Minnesota are eligible to apply. The selection process is competitive. Successful applicants must support the effort through dedicated staff time and a local financial contribution.

Program Cost: For the 2023–2024 academic year, costs are $6,000 per project for partnerships that involve 1–4 projects, or $5,000 per project for partnerships that involve 5 or more projects. For large-scale partnerships involving 10 or more projects, please contact us for individualized pricing. 

Deadline for Proposals: Proposals are accepted at any time. However, for projects intended to begin fall 2023 academic term (September to December), proposals must be received by April 30, 2023. Communities selected for participation will be notified by the end of May 2023. Proposals must be submitted by email as a single PDF file to

For More information or to Apply

RCP staff are available to help with development of your proposal at any stage—from introducing the RCP program and model to your staff, elected officials, and other stakeholders to helping brainstorm ideas for projects. Contact to get started!

Post on: 02/23/2023

Climate Impact Corps - Open now

Ready to Partner with Climate Impact Corps? The Climate Impact Corps site application for the next service term is now open! 

Community Resilience Initiative - Supporting sustainability projects, encouraging local environmental action activities, and providing education to help households and organizations make sustainable choices. 

Community Forestry Initiative - Helping communities mitigate and prepare for climate change by preserving and increasing the tree canopy.

Home Energy Initiative - Supporting Minnesotans who are eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program by helping households through education and services that create an immediate impact on their quality of life and cost of living. 


Our goal for the coming year is to use the power of national service to help communities mitigate and prepare for climate change.  

  • Multiple Initiatives, One Goal – Climate Impact Corps offers three different initiatives with a specific focus, all working towards creating a positive impact on our environment: Community Forestry, Home Energy, and Community Resilience.  
  • Reaching Communities Across the State – Climate Impact Corps thrives in a wide variety of context. We work with governmental agencies and non-profit organizations across Minnesota in rural, urban, and suburban settings.  
  • Building a Pipeline of Climate Leaders – Climate Impact Corps members participate in a variety of trainings designed to grow their understanding of climate change mitigation and resilience, while building specific skills for their service and beyond. AmeriCorps members with our Community Forestry and Home Energy initiatives earn credentials during their service they can use to help them launch their careers in the field.   

Let’s Make It Happen – Apply Today

Prospective sites are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Site applications are accepted on a rolling basis and award notifications are sent via email. 

We’re Here to Help! 

Need more information? Check out our Guide to Partnering with Climate Impact Corps. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions about our programs or application process. 

Post on: 02/16/2023

Summer Impact Corps - Apply by 4/14

Nonprofit, government, tribal, and educational organizations across Minnesota are invited to apply to partner with Summer Impact Corps, an AmeriCorps program operated by Ampact and developed in partnership with ServeMinnesota. Summer Impact Corps will hire 450 AmeriCorps members who will be assigned to complete 12 weeks of service at a partner organization. In 2023, Ampact is seeking partners to host the following types of AmeriCorps members:

Youth Learning and Enrichment Fellow

Youth Language and Enrichment Fellow

Housing Stability Fellow

Climate Resilience Fellow

More information about Summer Impact Corps is available in our Guide to Partnering with Summer Impact Corps and on our websiteThe deadline to apply for Summer Impact Corps is Friday, April 14th. 

Post on: 02/16/2023

Forest Pest First Detector Workshops - March

Forest Pest First Detectors is back, live, and in person! Registration for the 2023 Forest Pest First Detector workshop is now open. Space is limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged! Cost is $75, and includes the online course and in-person workshop, including lunch and refreshments. Register online

How It Works

All registrants will complete an online training course in preparation for the in-person workshop. The online course should take approximately three hours to complete and should be completed prior to attending the in-person workshop. The in-person workshop is seven hours, and lunch and refreshments are provided. Both online and an in-person workshop are required for successful completion of the program. 

In Person Workshops

  • Wednesday, March 8, Oakdale Discovery Center, 4444 Hadley Ave N, Oakdale, MN 55128, USA
  • Thursday, March 9, Northland Arboretum, 14250 Conservation Dr, Baxter, MN 56425, USA
  • Thursday, March 23, Cascade Township Hall, 2025 75th St NE, Rochester, MN 55906, USA

What You’ll Learn

Forest pest first detectors are trained to quickly detect and diagnose early invasive forest pests so that state and federal agencies can control the spread. Species of concern that will be included in 2023 are spotted lanternfly, tree-of-heaven, round leaf bittersweet, Asian longhorn beetle, emerald ash borer, oak wilt, vining milkweeds including rough potato, pale and black swallowwort, Russian and autumn olive, European mountain ash, stilt grass, yellow archangel and periwinkle.

Become part of the award-winning Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector volunteer program to help the public find new invasive species affecting Minnesota’s trees and forests, or attend as a refresher if you are already active as a Forest Pest First Detector.

Register online

Post on: 02/16/2023