50% Funding for Electric Landscaping Equipment

MPCA is offering approximately $150,000 in grant funding to replace 2-cycle gasoline-powered landscaping and snow removal equipment with electric-powered equipment.

  • Application deadline: November 8, 2019 
  • Eligible applicants: Cities, businesses under 500 employees, other governmental agencies, educational institutions, tribes, or nongovernmental organizations (e.g., nonprofit or association) with any number of employees. Equipment used near populations sensitive to air pollution, in environmental justice areas, and in communities with higher air pollution will tend to score highest. All equipment being replaced must be scrapped or otherwise rendered inoperable.
  • Maximum grant award: $24,000 with a 50% minimum match.
  • See the MPCA grants page for more information.
Post on: 09/12/2019

MN Conservation Design Prototype

Hanover, MN worked with Barr Engineering and the MN Pollution Control Agency to develop a conservation design prototype to guide development of a new neighborhood. The plan features 50% open space with green space adjacent to every back yard, a trail system, habitat creation, distinct neighborhoods with a community park, a natural stormwater management system, minimized paving, a preserved farmstead and windbreak, and passive solar homes orientated to maximize free heating from the sun and cooling from breezes. The prototype was based upon work of Randall Arendt, who published the 2007 Growing Greener , a free 18-page illustrated guide to creating open space networks and traditional neighborhoods through conservation design.

Related to: Conservation, Education
Post on: 10/08/2019

$2.7M for Cleaner Heavy-duty Vehicles

Using funds from Minnesota’s portion of the Volkswagen settlement, MPCA is offering up to $1.5 million in total to help businesses, communities, and organizations purchase new all-electric vehicles or equipment to replace diesel models. Learn more about this frist RFP on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Please join us in the MPCA’s Saint Paul office or online via WebEx. Meeting details are available on the RFP webpage: for this grant are due November 19, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

MPCA is also offering approximately $1.2 million in grant funding for cleaner diesel projects to help reduce emissions from diesel-powered off-road equipment. This grant program will help fund idle reduction, exhaust controls, and vehicle or engine replacements with newer models (diesel or alternative fuels, including electric) in a wide variety of sectors including marine, locomotive, and construction. Learn more about this RFP on Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Please join us in the MPCA’s Saint Paul office or online via WebEx. Meeting details are available on the RFP webpage: for this grant are due December 6, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.


Post on: 10/01/2019

Resilient Communities Project

Types of RCP Partnerships

For cities, counties, tribal governments, special districts, and regional government agencies or collaboratives in Minnesota, there are two ways to partner with the Resilient Communities Project: through a Large-Scale Partnership or a Small-Scale Partnership.

Our partners benefit from research and technical assistance on locally identified projects that advance community resiliency, provided by students and faculty at the University of Minnesota from a variety of departments and disciplines. The selection process is competitive, and partner communities must support the effort through dedicated staff time and a local financial contribution.


Large-Scale Partnership

  • Intended for communities interested in collaborating on 10–25 projects over the course of an academic year (September through May). 

  • Request for Proposals: Issued July 1, 2019 (download Large-Scale RCP Partnership RFP Packet)

  • Deadline to Apply: March 2, 2020 

  • Partnership Period: Initial planning begins April 2020, with student work taking place September 2020 through May 2021.


Small-Scale Partnership

  • For communities seeking to collaborate with RCP on 1–5 projects. The Small-Scale RCP Partnership is designed for communities that prefer to focus on a smaller slate of key projects, do not have the staff or financial resources to sustain a Large-Scale Partnership, or are interested in learning about how RCP works and the value it provides before considering a Large-Scale Partnership

  • Request for Proposals: Ongoing (download Small-Scale RCP Partnership RFP packet)

  • Deadline to Apply: Rolling—applications are accepted at any time. However, to allow sufficient time to identify suitable project matches, priority is given to applications received by July 1 (for work during fall-semester academic term) and October 15 (for work during spring-semester academic term)

  • Partnership Period: Flexible—projects are matched to meet your project timeline, as suitable UMN courses are available 


Benefits of an RCP Partnership

  • A high rate of return on investment, with hundreds of hours of concentrated student work on your projects

  • Data analysis, case studies, concept plans, and policy recommendations that can energize staff, spark community and staff discussions, and get “stuck” projects moving again

  • Expanded breadth of conversations around projects, issues, and solutions—students can explore and innovate in directions that are sometimes unavailable to partner staff or consultants due to constrained project budgets or political feasibility

  • New opportunities for residents and stakeholders to become involved in locally driven conversations, in collaboration with a world-renowned research university

  • Broader community recognition through a network of students, staff, and faculty serving as informal ambassadors for your organization and community by sharing their experiences through conference presentations, community meetings, job interviews, and informal conversations

  • Access to an interdisciplinary group of faculty with first-hand knowledge of innovative and cutting-edge resiliency research and practice who can help your community clarify, understand, and apply resiliency, sustainability, and livability principles

  • Increased publicity in local, state, regional, and national publications and venues, and a reputation as a forward-thinking organization and resilient community

  • Opportunities to foster next-generation local government professionals by providing interested and engaged students with a new understanding of your community and local government in Minnesota


Application Resources


Contact Us

Contact Mike Greco, RCP Director, at or 612-625-7501 to discuss how we can customize our program to meet your needs or to schedule one of the following events in your community: 

  • RCP informational presentations: RCP staff are available to deliver informational presentations about the program to your organization's staff or elected officials. Informational presentations are a good fit for organizations interested in learning about how a partnership functions.
  • RCP Proposal Development Workshop: This workshop is a good fit for organizations who know they want to submit a proposal for a Large-Scale Partnership and would like to host a workshop to assist staff in putting together a proposal.  
Post on: 09/26/2019

Leadership in Planning Webinar

Planning for sustainable, equitable, resilient cities 

Representatives from the City of Baltimore, City of Las Vegas, and Los Angeles County will share their insights into their recent planning efforts. 

Leadership in Planning webinar
When: Oct 9 from 2 - 3 p.m. EST
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Walker Wells
Principal, Raimi + Associates and Chair, LEED for Cities and Communities Working Group 

Amy Gilder-Busatti
Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner, City of Baltimore 

Kristen Torres Pawling
Sustainability Program Director, Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office 

Marco Velotta
Senior Management Analyst, Department of Planning, City of Las Vegas 


About LEED for Cities and Communities

LEED for Cities and Communities is the leading global rating system and certification program for evaluating the sustainability and quality of life in a city or community. 

It takes a multi-stakeholder approach and serves as a catalyst and transformative tool toward more sustainable, equitable and resilient communities around the world.

Post on: 09/19/2019

EAB Grants

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has grants to help communities manage ash trees for emerald ash borer (EAB). Any local unit of government within Minnesota is eligible including cities, counties, regional authorities, joint powers boards, towns, and parks and recreation boards in cities of the first class.

A pre-application process will be used to determine which projects can submit a final application.

Preparing for EAB in Community Forests Grant

This grant assists communities in managing ash trees on public land for EAB.

Eligible activities include:

  • Tree inventory
  • Develop a management plan that includes an EAB component
  • Ash tree and stump removal and tree replacement

Grant requirements, additional criteria, grant limits, eligible costs, evaluation criterial for the selection process, application process, reimbursement, and important dates can be found in the Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer in Community Forests Grant Request for Application  PDF.

EAB Community Forest Response Tree Planting Grant 

This grant reduces the impact on communities caused by the loss of ash trees on public land to EAB.

Eligible activities include:

  • Tree planting

Grant requirements, additional criteria, grant limits, eligible costs, evaluation criterial for the selection process, application process, reimbursement, and important dates can be found in the Emerald Ash Borer Community Forest Response Tree Planting Grant Request for Application  PDF.


Timeline: Pre-application due by Friday, October 4.

Post on: 09/16/2019

Rosemount Energy Actions

This August 22, 2019 article details residential work propelled by an Energy Action Plan funded in part by Xcel Energy, resulting in a 12 percent increase in residential electricity savings compared to 2018, due in part to 371 new participants in Xcel Energy residential energy programs. Also, a group of volunteers visited area businesses and 37 signed up for energy assessments. The estimate is that Rosemount businesses have saved 1.6 million kilowatt-hours in a year through these efforts, 

This September 6, 2019 article by the mayor reports that 70 percent of city operations' electricity comes from community solar gardens, and that as part of the current Partners in Energy (PIE) program, the city expects residents and business owners will save $1 million on energy costs over the next three years. The PIE goal is to reduce Rosemount’s energy consumption 5 percent by next year and 15 percent by 2030.

Related to: Conservation
Post on: 09/09/2019

Regenerative Urban Developments Are Changing Planning

Regenerative Urban Developments Are Changing Planning

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM 


With cities and the built environment being the spatial dimension of our economy, the way the built environment is planned and designed fundamentally determines urban sustainability performance levels for the next 50 to 100 years, before replacement at the end of the useful life.

Regenerative urbanism plays a formative role in creating a circular economy of inclusive abundance that is the necessary material basis for sustainable and equitable cities and society. Our routine approach to sustainability only slows the rate of impact with net-negative mitigation. 

Regenerative urbanism eliminates impacts at their source and produces inclusive abundance. This is accomplished with ongoing innovation focused on achieving the imperatives of sustainable regenerative systems performance.

The session panelists share and discuss their research and studies on projects in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Canada, and other cities. These multiple projects are pursuing certifications such as Living Community Challenge (Sacramento Valley Station Master Plan), One Planet (Zibi Community, Ottawa, Canada), San Francisco Ecodistrict, etc., to inform and establish the absolutely necessary game-changing rules of 21st century urbanism.



  • Learn about the collaboration, buy-in, and political leadership required to make the transformational change beyond sustainability to regenerative urbanism.
  • Discover programs, initiatives, and pilot projects that are underway, and define the policy changes needed for 21st century regenerative cities.
  • Examine the challenges and aspirations of different rating systems, such as Living Community Challenge, One Planet, Biophilic Cities, San Francisco’s Ecodistrict, and Well.


  • Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, SF Planning Department, San Francisco, CA
  • Geeti Silwal, AICP, Perkins+Will, San Francisco, CA
  • Kirstin Weeks, Arup, San Rafael, CA
  • Greg Taylor, City of Sacramento, CA



Related to: Education, Adaptation
Post on: 09/05/2019

Enabling Better Places: A Users' Guide to Zoning Reform

The Congress for the New Urbanism produced this very readable guide (find it in the future on the GreenStep Ordinance page) in 2018 for communities planning to make incremental changes to their codes, to align their key zoning districts/regulations with their goals for placemaking, incremental development, livability, and economic success.

Post on: 09/03/2019