News

Apply by March 18 to Host a GreenCorps Member

Each year about 10 GreenStep cities host a member, so your chances of being picked to host a member are very good. Members may serve in one of four overarching focus areas: 
1.    Air pollutant reduction 
2.    Green infrastructure improvements 
3.    Waste reduction, recycling, and organics management 
4.    Community readiness and outreach 

Host site application materials, including the application, detailed guidance document, sample workplan, and sample host site agreement are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website at https://direc.to/dWuX

Applications from cities and other eligible organizations interested in hosting Minnesota GreenCorps members are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Please direct questions to mngreencorps.pca@state.mn.us or 651-757-2580.  
 

Post on: 01/28/2020

$250,000 in Climate Adaptation/Community Resiliency Grants

Environmental Assistance Grant Program is now accepting applications!

Focus area: Climate adaptation and community resilience

Apply now for an MPCA grant for community strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications through a Request for Proposal (RFP) for community strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change and improve community resiliency. Eligible applicants are Minnesota not-for-profit organizations, institutions, political subdivisions of the state, and tribal governments. Total funding available is approximately $250,000.

Examples of fundable projects are in the RFP document. Funding for these projects is intended to prevent or reduce the environmental impacts caused by warming temperatures, extreme precipitation, and other climate impacts while protecting public health and well-being. 

Forms and details can be found at the web page above. 

Submit questions to grants-loans.pca@state.mn.us using subject line: EA Question.

Applications are due no later than 2:00 p.m. Central Time, Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

 

Post on: 01/17/2020

Mayor's Water Challenge for Water Conservation

In 2019 residents pledged to save 3 billion gallons of water. This is such great news for so many reasons not least of which is the reduced stress on local water infrastructure. This can save millions of dollars for cities who have been carrying nearly 98% of the cost associated with local water infrastructure maintenance and repair.

How to Participate

Participation in the Challenge takes place at mywaterpledge.com where residents go to select from pre-populated pledges to conserve water and other natural resources on behalf of their city. To begin the pledge, residents select their city and there they see a quote and or video from their mayor or sustainability leader sharing the city's personal message on conservation. Here is what Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti put on the Los Angeles landing page http://www.mywaterpledge.com/map/?mode=&the_campaign=national-campaign&the_location=3224; and here is an example of cities challenging neighboring cities which makes for a lot of fun as seen here in the 2019 Challenge between Gainesville Florida and Athens Georgia https://www.facebook.com/GainesvilleFL/videos/2296637573731555/?v=2296637573731555

Promotion

The Wyland Foundation in partnership with the National League of Cities, the U.S. EPA, and presenting partner Toyota, provide this zero-cost platform for city leaders to communicate with their residents about the importance of conservation. An electronic toolkit is provided containing everything you will need to publicize the Challenge to you residents. Press releases, digital artwork, text for social media, banners for websites, and much more. National and local promotion including display ads, television promotions, live events, and more is also provided by the Wyland Foundation and its partners which also include The Toro Company, ECOS Earth Friendly Product, and Conserva irrigation.

Prizes

Winning city residents are eligible to win thousands of dollars in prizes, including a grand prize of $3,000 for a resident to pay for utilities for a year; and a community grand prize of a 2020 Toyota Hybrid for one lucky non-profit nominated by city residents. 

Sign Up To Participate

The 2020 Challenge takes place April 1st-30th. For more information and to sign up please visit www.wylandfoundation.org/mayors. A written statement of support and videos can be submitted to mayorschallenge@wylandfoundation.org anytime up until about a week before the Challenge begins. If additional information is desired, our team at the Wyland Foundation is available to do a 15- minute Webex presentation.

Related to: Education
Post on: 02/12/2020

Feb 13 EV Webinar

Communities Charging Ahead: Resources for Electric Vehicle Readiness

Join Great Plains Institute for a 1.5 hour webinar to explore the resources to kick start or continue your electric vehicle readiness journey!

Free. register at https://betterenergy.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aWEmV6GzQtWn4FO0tjKZfw

Related to: Education, Energy, Resources
Post on: 02/05/2020

GreenStep Municipal Stormwater Management Assessment LIVE

This assessment is built upon and replaces Friends of the Mississippi River's Blue Star Award Program. 

Your answers to 45 questions assess the degree to which your city is taking both simple and innovative actions to improve stormwater management, improve water quality, and adapt to climate changes in Minnesota. Questions in this Snap Survey cover broad green infrastructure areas that are generally not covered by government regulatory programs. After completing the assessment,, a score between 1 and 100 percent will be immediately reported to you online. A second score, based on your answers to 23 questions related to resilience to climate change, will also be reported.

Taking this assessment and receiving a score can be used in several ways:
(1) To quickly learn about a wide range of stormwater management options, via the questions and associated informational links to the MPCA’s Stormwater Manual site
(2) To see Minnesota cities' collective stormwater management efforts (data visualization of all anonymous answers will be available in late summer 2020)
(3) To gather a baseline measure of actions, and to compare that to a subsequent year (which could be 2 or 3 years later) when you retake the assessment
(4) To report your score, and subsequent improvement, to community members and to your city council
(5) To claim credit for the GreenStep best practice # 17, under BP action 17.2
(6) To claim credit for GreenStep Metric # 9, which is required for recognition at Step 4 and Step 5 in the GreenStep Cities program. Metric # 9 has two data elements, which are calculated for you after you complete this Assessment: the Stormwater Assessment Score based on all 45 questions, and the Climate Adaptation Stormwater Score, based on 23 questions.
 

Related to: Education, Resources, Water
Post on: 02/03/2020

Aquatic Invasive Species Grant

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Invasive Species Program offers Aquatic Invasive Species Control Grants. These grants are intended to help fund the control of curly-leaf pondweed (CLP), Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) or flowering rush (FR). This offer is an opportunity for local entities such as lake associations, watershed districts, cities, and counties to receive state funding from the DNR for the control of these invasive aquatic plant species.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/aquatic_invasive/control-projects.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term= 

Post on: 01/30/2020

Growing Sustainable Communities Conference

You could be a presenter at the 13th Annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in October 2020!

Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest- standing sustainability conference in the Midwest and will be held again at the Grand River Center located in the Port of Dubuque at 500 Bell Street. The 13th annual conference will be two days of education, inspiration and collaboration on topics of interest to anyone who cares about creating great towns and cities that stand the test of time. Last year, 482 people attended, to learn and share how to grow our sustainable communities.

To submit a presentation proposal click here.

Post on: 01/30/2020

Habitat Friendly Solar Summit

Habitat friendly Solar projects have expanded rapidly within MN over the last few years, creating a need for further collaboration to ensure that ordinances, state standards and installation methods are successful. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Fresh Energy, Great Plains Institute, and the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment would like to welcome you to the first Habitat Friendly Solar Summit to be held on February 19th at Connexus Energy in Ramsey, MN. At the summit, county and city planning staff, solar developers, SWCD staff, and other stakeholders from across the state will learn more about the opportunities for habitat friendly solar development in Minnesota. We will discuss the current status of habitat friendly solar, review ongoing research efforts, collaborate on the incorporation of habitat friendly solar standards statewide, highlight examples of effective local ordinances, and provide a basic level of training on habitat friendly site design and evaluation. Please visit this link to register. We have a limit of 80 people for this event, and would like to prioritize attendance by local government partners before we open it up to other stakeholders.

 

Date/Location: February 19 8:30-3:30 in Ramsey County 
Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/habitat-friendly-solar-summit-tickets-86696388231 

Post on: 01/28/2020

Be an exhibitor at the State Fair!

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Commerce (COMM) seeks proposals from qualified organizations to be an exhibitor in the 2020 Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair (MSF). The Fair opens August 27 and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2020.

Since 2006 the Eco Experience (housed in the Progress Center on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds) has been a venue that has provided engaging environmental messaging through a variety of exhibitors. Approximately 270,000 people visit the Eco Experience building over the 12 days of the fair.

The goals of the 2020 Eco Experience are to provide:

  • An opportunity for agencies, organizations, and communities to showcase Minnesota carbon reduction and climate mitigation/resiliency/adaptation stories and to celebrate related successes.
  • A venue for multiple voices, including indigenous, under-served, and overburdened communities that represent geographic, economic, and cultural diversity from throughout the state.
  • Interaction with fair attendees through high-quality, interactive exhibits and displays that are focused on fact-based messaging as well as achievable actions.
  • Inspiration and resources for visitors and participants to continue their individual and community efforts to address climate change.

Prospective Exhibitors must apply to the Call for Exhibitors (CFE) through an online application for consideration to be an Exhibitor at the 2020 Eco Experience. A limited number of Exhibitors will be selected, based on the selection criteria and available space and resources. Exhibitors may apply as either Full Exhibitors (all 12 days) or Pop-Up Exhibitors (1+ days). Applications are open to qualified organizations including Minnesota state agencies, nonprofits, local units of government or other communities as well as tribal nations that share the same geographic boundaries of Minnesota. This CFE is only seeking self-funded Exhibitors; there is no associated funding with this application.

To apply to this Call for Exhibitors, go to: http://mn.gov/commerce-stat/pdfs/guide-grant-interface-website.pdf

A recording of the past meeting to describe the CFE, application process, and the Eco Experience will be available online at https://mn.gov/commerce/industries/rfp/.

Sustainability Stage Presenters agree to provide a minimum of one 45-minute presentation. Go to Survey Monkey for more information and to apply for the Sustainability Stage.

Post on: 01/21/2020

MN GreenStep Schools launches!

January 16, 2020 marks the pilot launch - at the annual conference of the Minnesota School Boards Association - by the University of MN and allied organizations of this new program based upon the GreenStep Cities program and the national Green Ribbon Schools program.

Picture this: One Step at a Time…, Teams of Schools, Districts, Students, Parents, and a supporting community of volunteers, non-profits, businesses, and local and state government agencies all work together to help schools and their community take actions and build capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future: preparing children for a changing economy, protecting our environment and community health, and harvesting the benefits of a clean energy future—all with guidance, assistance, and recognition from MN GreenStep Schools.  

MN GreenStep Schools is aiming for 50 x 50: 50 schools/districts, and 50 resource organizations (including cities), sign-up on the GreenStep Schools website by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day - April 22, 2020.

Cities and other organizations that can serve as a resource for schools can sign up at https://sites.google.com/umn.edu/mngreenstepschools/participate/resourceorganizations

Schools and school districts can join the pilot launch at the bottom of https://sites.google.com/umn.edu/mngreenstepschools/participate/districts-schools 

Related to: Announcement, Education
Post on: 01/16/2020