GreenStep Cities Quarterly Newsletter

MyLMC MemberLink listserv for GreenStep city coordinators

GreenStep Workshops - Monthly

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

Blazing Star Award - Nominate by 10/10

Has your city been working hard on innovative projects related to our environment? If so consider entering them for Conservation Minnesota’s new Blazing Star Award.

Conservation Minnesota’s Blazing Star Award acknowledges local governments for compelling projects that advance conservation, climate, or the environment. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and receive public recognition, a gift, and will be highlighted to other local governments across Minnesota.

submit your entry here before noon on October 10th, 2022. Winners will be announced at the end of November.
If you have any questions check out
Conservation Minnesota’s website.

Post on: 08/18/2022

Conservation Partners Legacy Grants - Due 9/19

The Conservation Partners Legacy grant program (CPL) funds conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $500,000 with a maximum total project cost of $1,000,000. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply, and a 10% match of non-state origin is required. Funding for the CPL program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund

$7 million is available for the Traditional and Metro grant cycles. Projects must be on public lands/waters or on lands protected by a permanent conservation easement. Apply by 3:00 PM September 19, 2022.

$2 million is available for the Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP) grant cycle. ECP funds projects up to $50,000 for eligible activities on public lands and waters. The ECP application is open continuously through May 8, 2023, or until all funds are awarded. Apply by 3:00 PM September 12, 2022 for the first round of ECP funding.

Additional Information:

FY2023 Request for Proposal

FY2023 CPL Funding Schedule

CPL Evaluation Criteria

Questions? Please email for more information.

Post on: 08/18/2022

Survey: to inform the MN Grid Resilience Plan - Due 8/19

The Department of Commerce is seeking your input on the development of Minnesota’s submission for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Section 40101(d) Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid Formula Grants to States and Indian Tribes.  

40101(d) Formula grants will improve resilience of the electric grid against disruptive events, which the US Department of Energy (US DOE) defines as “an event in which operations of the electric grid are disrupted, preventively shut off, or cannot operate safely due to extreme weather, wildfire, or a natural disaster.”   In order to receive the first year of formula funding, the Department of Commerce must submit the Minnesota Grid Resilience State Plan or before September 30th, 2022.   


Please help inform the MN Grid Resilience State Plan so that it is reflective of your organization’s needs and priorities by completing a brief survey by EOB August 19, 2022.


For additional information, please visit the Department’s web page on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Energy Information Center 651-539-1886

Related to: Announcement, Energy
Post on: 08/17/2022

Planning & Assessment of C&D materials management grant - Due 9/15

Eligible projects include three or more individual county participants in the planning and assessment for reuse and end-of-life management of C&D materials and provide a scalable framework replicable throughout Minnesota. 

  • Application deadline: September 15, 2022 (4 p.m. Cemtral Time)
  • Eligible applicants: Minnesota counties. The application must include a minimum of three (3) counties to be eligible to apply.
  • Total funding: Approximately $90,000
  • Match requirement: Applicants must provide matching funds equal to at least 25% of the award. (subject line: “EA Question")


Post on: 08/17/2022

Workshop 8/23: MN Building Material Management Plan tool

Tuesday, August 23, 1:00pm-2:30pm Meeting Link 

MPCA staff have finished a draft version of the MN Building Material Management Plan and are now ready to debut the tool to a wider audience, providing the similar opportunity to provide an overview of the tool. The invite list started with tribal, city, and county staff, and then I chose to invite anyone & everyone we've connected with over the past 3 years that works in or performs a public service.

During this workshop, you will learn:

  • How to customize the tool to work best for you and the scenarios you'd like to use this tool for
  • How to implement this tool for your organization
  • How users of the tool can submit the data that makes sense for you and the users

We'll answer any questions you have about how to implement the tool and we'll learn from you on how you might use it. I can also schedule a 1:1 with you if you want to attend but cannot. 

We're still making slight tweaks to the tool (wording, formatting), so I'll send a copy Monday afternoon to people who accept or tentatively accept by noon Monday, August 23rd. I'm also happy to send the current version to anyone anytime you want. Feel free to forward to interested others. 

Contact: Melissa Wenzel, Built Environment Sustainability Administrator 651-757-2251

Post on: 08/17/2022

Webinar Series: Capitalizing on New Federal Funding Opportunities Aug. - Sept.

Explore key opportunities for cities to act on climate change through energy efficiency investments—including by capitalizing on new federal funding. You can learn more about these webinars—organized in conjunction by the Sustainable States Network (SSN) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)—and register through the links below:

New Federal Funding Opportunities for Affordable Housing Retrofits                                                                             

Thursday, August 4 | 2:00pm-3:00pm ET

This ACEEE webinar will explore how state and local governments can leverage a historic influx of federal funding to increase investments in retrofits for low- and moderate-income housing. Two jurisdictions that are already taking these steps will share early insights.


Taking Advantage of Federal Funds: Local Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs to Consider

Tuesday, September 20 | 2:00pm-3:00pm ET

This ACEEE/SSN webinar will showcase leading energy efficiency programs from across the country that communities can learn from and replicate as they prepare to leverage new federal funding opportunities.


ACEEE’s Self-Scoring Tool: Results from the Community Energy Challenge                                    

Thursday, September 29 | 1:00pm-2:00pm ET

This ACEEE/SSN webinar will show communities how they can use ACEEE’s latest self-scoring tool to measure their energy efficiency and clean energy progress, and highlight results from the most recent cohort of SSN’s Community Energy Challenge.

Post on: 08/04/2022

Eco Experience at the State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is just around the corner, August 25 - September 5. 

GreenStep Cities, Tribal Nations, and Schools programs are excited to be back at the fair this year and YOU ARE INVITED

Join us for GreenStep Days: 

  • Friday, August 26 
  • Thursday, September 1
  • Saturday, September 3 

We are looking for volunteers to fill shifts on these days and interact with fair-goers. Cities and tribal nations are invited to join us for a day at the MN State Fair. In partnership with the MN State Energy Office, we are inviting GreenStep communities to volunteer for a shift in the Eco Experience building.

City/tribal/school staff, elected officials, board/commission/committee members, and other trusted community leaders or partners are invited to help share your community’s sustainability story! If you are interested in a different day, let Kristin know - you could even host your own day! 

Attendees will receive a free fair ticket (good for all day), training, and instructions for transportation and safety. 

Shifts are available from 10:00am-1:00pm, 12:30pm-3:30pm, or 3:00pm-6:00pm. If these times do not work for you, let Kristin know. Please provide your mailing address so that a ticket can be mailed to you. 

If you are interested but need support with travel/lodging/meals, please contact Kristin. 

See more information and FAQs (also attached). 

Related to: Announcement
Post on: 08/03/2022

Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act - energy $

The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, became law on November 15, 2021. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is dedicated to making the most of this historic opportunity to build a stronger, more resilient Minnesota. We look forward to working with local and Tribal governments, utilities, businesses, communities and other entities interested in energy-related partnerships to protect the health, safety and energy security of all Minnesotans.

The IIJA authorized billions of dollars in funding opportunities across a wide variety of infrastructure subject areas, including energy-related infrastructure. Funding opportunities authorized under IIJA include grid modernization, new electric transmission, energy system resiliency and reliability updates, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, improvement to the energy efficiency of buildings, smart manufacturing, carbon capture and carbon utilization projects, renewable energy technologies and demonstration projects and other innovative initiatives.


Post on: 08/02/2022

Regional Indicators Initiative updates - 9/7

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources is supporting local government energy and climate action through an investment in community-wide data collection and analysis led by the Regional Indicators Initiative. This program has provided resources and tools for MN cities for over 12 years through its online public platform. Please join the webinar on September 7th to:

  • See new data through 2020
  • Get updates on available resources
  • Learn from trends that can inform energy/climate action in your community.


Dennis Duffy, Minnesota Department of Commerce

Kristin Mroz, GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations

Becky Alexander, Regional Indicators Initiative


Can’t attend? The meeting will be recorded and shared afterward.

Questions? Contact Kristin, Dennis, or Becky.


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

11:00 AM  |  (UTC-05:00) Central Time (US & Canada)  |  1 hr


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Post on: 07/28/2022