News

GreenStep 10-Year Anniversary Celebration

Join us to celebrate 10 years of the GreenStep program! This workshop event will bring together our many communities and partners to network, share your story, provide program feedback, and have a slice of cake.

We will be hosting simultaneous events in 6 locations:

  • St. Paul
  • Rochester
  • Marshall
  • Detroit Lakes
  • Brainerd
  • Duluth

Events will be hosted at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regional offices. Locations and directions can be found at: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/about-mpca/mpca-offices. GreenStep staff and partners will be at each location to join you. We will connect each regional office via video streaming to better celebrate together. Please join as at the location that is most convenient to you.

 

RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/greenstep-10-year-anniversary-celebration-tickets-83674022253 

 

Related to: Announcement
Post on: 12/12/2019

Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference

Crossing Boundaries - Sparking Collaboration

Expected changes in Minnesota’s climate and weather require organizations to develop adaptation strategies that are responsive, nimble, and efficient. This annual conference brings together citizens and representatives from the public, private, and non-profit sectors to inspire and encourage greater implementation of climate adaptation practices in communities throughout Minnesota. The focus of this year’s conference will be Crossing Boundaries - Sparking Collaboration.

What is climate adaptation?

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership uses the IPCC's definition of adaptation: "The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects."

CONFERENCE DETAILS

January 22, 2020
University of Minnesota
Continuing Education and Conference Center
1890 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Register for the conference
Early bird registration (100.00) ends January 12, 2020
Late registration (125.00) starts January 13, 2020 

Preliminary agenda

MINNESOTA CLIMATE ADAPTATION AWARDS

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Awards, presented by the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP), recognize and celebrate exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies, and practices that improve resilience and develop, advance, or implement climate adaptation strategies.
Award nomination deadline has passed

AWARD CATEGORIES                                                    

INDIVIDUAL: Any individual who has offered significant leadership, provided education, developed or implemented strategies, conducted research, or otherwise made an impact in the field of climate adaptation in Minnesota. Contributions of emerging or established leaders should demonstrate advancement of climate adaptation, with depth in one focus area or across a breadth of audiences or disciplines.

ORGANIZATION: Any non-profit, team, community of faith, youth group, neighborhood association, or similar entity that has achieved significant progress or implemented practices or projects that advance climate adaptation in Minnesota.

INSTITUTION: Any local government unit, state or federal agency, tribal nation, educational institution, or similar entity that has achieved progress or implemented significant programs, projects, or policies to advance climate adaptation in Minnesota.

BUSINESS: Any private sector, for-profit business or company that has implemented significant practices, programs, projects, or policies to advance climate adaptation in Minnesota.

Climate Adaptation Awards Highlights

Related to:
Post on: 12/06/2019

New MN Heat and Health Planning Tool

Extreme heat events in Minnesota are already occurring and are expected to become more common, more severe, and longer lasting as our climate changes. Understanding local vulnerabilities and taking appropriate environmental and community measures to ensure that people can stay cool and hydrated during an extreme heat event are instrumental to preventing heat-related health impacts. To support this process, the Minnesota Climate & Health Program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota U-Spatial just released an online Heat Vulnerability in Minnesota Assessment Tool. The Tool helps visualize datasets that can contribute to a community’s vulnerability and serves as a launching point for streamlining local solutions to protect health and increase climate resilience.

The Minnesota Climate & Health Program also partnered with St. Paul – Ramsey County Public Health to utilize the Tool and create a model heat vulnerability assessment for Ramsey County. The model assessment serves as an example of how to utilize data from the Tool to understand the people and places that are more susceptible to negative health impacts of extreme heat.

Interested in using the Tool for your community and creating an assessment? Join our hands-on workshop from 3-4:30 p.m. during the MN Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) Conference on Jan. 22, 2020! Workshop participants will gain a deeper understanding about heat vulnerability and leave the workshop with a completed heat vulnerability assessment for their own jurisdiction (participants should bring their own laptop to create a customized assessment).

Learn more about the conference and register at the MCAP website. Early registration ends Jan. 12, 2020!

Post on: 12/06/2019

Conservation Partners Legacy Grant

The Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant program is now accepting applications for the Expedited Conservation Projects grant cycle.

 

Nearly $1.5 million remains for the third round of ECP funds which is open now until January 21.  

The ECP grant cycle funds eligible activities that restore or enhance forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, and wildlife on public lands/waters in Minnesota. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $50,000, with a maximum total project cost of $575,000. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply, and a 10% match of non-state funds is required. Apply online by 4:00 PM on January 21, 2020. Funding for the CPL program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

Additional Information:

FY2020 Request for Proposal

FY2020 CPL Funding Schedule

Post on: 12/04/2019

Green Team Stories from Scandia & Crosslake

Read about how green teams work in the cities of Scandia and Crosslake.

Related to:
Post on: 11/27/2019

MnTAP Interns

Your city or businesses in your city may be able to address waste reduction and energy efficiency projects sooner and faster with the help of a MnTAP intern. An intern can make suggestions that improve efficiency, save money, reduce waste, or decrease regulatory compliance burden.

Check out how the Cities of Hutchinson and Plymouth really made amazing improvements with the program in the 2019 Solutions publication summarizing the 2019 MnTAP Intern projects. This provides additional examples of project on industrial water efficiency, upstream nutrient reduction and wastewater treatment effluent nutrient optimization. The deadline for interns is come up in January. 

Working on this activity can qualify under the Green Step City - Green Business Development category: "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."

 

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is an outreach program at the University of Minnesota that helps Minnesota organizations develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs to improve public health and the environment.

Post on: 11/18/2019

Upstream Nutrient Reduction

Upstream Nutrient Reduction: MnTAP has launched a project geared towards working with facilities upstream of wastewater treatment plants to help them better-manage wastewater effluent.

Through this project, at no-cost, MnTAP staff and interns can help identify strategies for upstream nutrient reduction, which can:

  • Decrease load to local wastewater treatment ponds and plants
  • Reduce the burden on our local bodies of water and wildlife
  • Minimize pressure and costs for businesses that discharge wastewater

 

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is an outreach program at the University of Minnesota that helps Minnesota organizations develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs to improve public health and the environment.

Post on: 11/18/2019

Measuring Civic Capital

Download The National Civic League Civic Index to score your city on 32 questions grouped under the topics of Engaged Residents, Inclusive Community Leadership, Collaborative Institutions, Embracing Diversity & Equity, Authentic Communication, Culture of Engagement, and Shared Vision & Values. The Index also helps structure discussions on these topics with leaders and community members.

Related to: Resources, Education
Post on: 11/14/2019

Green Team Work Plan

Sustainability Commission. Energy and Environmental Committee. Conservation Commission. GreenStep Core Group. Whatever you call them, effective Green Teams are often at the center of GreenStep successes. 

And now there is a guide to help Green Teams do their work even better! The GreenStep Green Team Work Plan provides guidance on developing and maintaining effective Green Teams. The Work Plan answers questions like “What does a Green Team do?” and “Who should be on a Green Team?” and provides tips on essential aspects of Green Team longevity and usefulness, like structure, leadership, and succession.

In addition, the Work Plan takes a deeper dive into two best practice areas required for Step 3 recognition: Benchmarking Public Buildings (BP 1.1) and Comprehensive and Related Plans (BP 6). The Work Plan suggests resources and provides step-by-step guidance on how Green Teams might move forward on these best practices. 

Check out the 2020 Green Team Work Plan here!

Related to: Announcement, Resources
Post on: 11/12/2019

Game of Zones

Host a Game of Zones: an interactive 2-hr. learning experience, organized by Neighbors for More Neighbors, to structure discussion around who can live in our communities, how far we travel to work, and what our streets and neighborhoods look like.

Related to: Education
Post on: 10/31/2019