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

Electric & Clean School Bus Grants - Due 8/15 & 8/22

MPCA Electric School Bus Grant - Due August 15, 2023 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requests proposals from eligible applicants (for-profit, non-profit, and public entities that own 1998-2009 engine model year diesel school busses in MN) to fund electric school buses in the state of Minnesota. The grant reduces diesel emissions and improves air quality and public health by removing older diesel buses and replacing them with new, cleaner electric buses. The primary goals of this project are to improve the health and wellbeing of children and communities by reducing diesel and greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota and promote the use of technology that utilizes clean, renewable energy sources.

Clean School Bus Program Grants - Due August 22, 2023

EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The program is soliciting applications nationwide for a grant competition to fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) school buses and charging equipment. Eligible applicants include: local or state governments, Indian tribes, Tribal organizations, and tribally controlled schools, public charter school districts, contractors, and nonprofit transportation associations. Eligible old school buses to be replaced include: model year 2010 or older diesel-powered that have a GVWR of 10,001+ lbs., be operational at time of application, and have provided bus service to a public school district for at least 3 days/week on average during 2022/23 school year. 

Post on: 05/24/2023

Webinar: Are Your Ponds Serving their Water Quality Function? - 6/1

Title: Are Your Ponds Serving their Water Quality Function?

Featured Speakers:

  • John S. Gulliver, professor emeritus, Civil, Environmental and Geo- Engineering, resident fellow at the Institute on the Environment, and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota.
  • Poornima Natarajan, Research Associate, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota.


Stormwater ponds and wetlands across a wide variety of characteristics (e.g., watershed history, age, size, depth, aquatic vegetation) are used to treat stormwater to remove a significant portion of sediment and associated pollutants in runoff (e.g., phosphorus, nitrogen, hydrocarbons, and metals) prior to the runoff being released downstream. An important contemporary management issue is that some stormwater ponds appear to be less effective than expected or originally intended in phosphorus retention, a key function of these stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in urban environments. There is recent evidence that many old stormwater ponds are releasing phosphorus from bottom sediments at high rates and likely exporting phosphorus to downstream surface water bodies. The potential for phosphorus re-release from accumulated sediments in ponds and factors related to climate, watershed, pond characteristics that regulate phosphorus release or burial are important in controlling phosphorus dynamics in ponds. Retention of phosphorus is critical because phosphate, a dissolved form of phosphorus, sustains algal and cyanobacteria growth and causes a wide range of water quality impairments in the ponds and downstream waters including algal blooms, excess floating plants, taste, and odor problems.

After a short description of our research work since 2016, this presentation will describe two items of interest to watershed managers:

  1. A Pond Assessment Tool, developed to identify and evaluate ponds at risk for poor phosphorus water quality and export of phosphorus to receiving water bodies. It results from data analysis of 230 water bodies and detailed water quality and sediment analysis of 20 ponds, which formed the basis of the Pond Assessment Tool tool with statistical analysis of field data and regression models for predicting pond TP, pond anoxia, and sediment release. 
  2. Recommendations for stormwater pond maintenance and wetland management based on project results and data synthesis of construction and maintenance costs and runoff storage/settling alternatives. 

Date and Time: Thursday, June 1, 2023, 12 - 1pm CDT

Hosted by the City Engineers Association of Minnesota.

Online: Zoom Link


Related to: Water
Post on: 05/22/2023

Find us at the LMC Conference! June 21-23

Registration is now open for the 2023 LMC Annual Conference in Duluth!

June 21-23, 2023  Agenda 
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)
350 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

This summer, join city officials from across the state to develop skills, discover new ideas, and show love for your city. See you in Duluth!

Wednesday, June 21

  • 1-2pm - Attendee Meetups: Join MN GreenStep Cities for a casual space to hang out with program staff and partners, meet other GreenStep Cities participants, and be included in our annual group photo! 
  • 3:30-6:30pm - Exhibit Hall: Find our booths to the right of the entrance (1100) to pick up your award blocks and/or certificate, have a professional photo taken, learn more about the program, and meet with program staff and partners who can help answer your sustainability questions. Bring everyone from your city who is attending and celebrate your success! 

Thursday, June 22 

  • 10:30-11:30am - Educational Session Bank #1: Discover the secret to sustainability that lasts in your city! Based off of the 5 Love Languages, explore how sustainability fits best into your community needs, values, and roots. Like relationships, your city’s “results” will spread across the 5 languages of: community service, purchases, dedicated time, words of success, and physical action. Learn how to improve your city’s relationship with sustainability and how to use the free tools and resources to help you grow.
  • 5:30-7:00pm - Awards Show and Dinner: Join the celebration! GreenStep Cities advancing to a new step and maintaining Steps 4 & 5 will be announced and the Sustainable City Award will be presented. 


Want to join for a part but aren't registering for the full event? Email Kristin at to discuss. 

Related to: Announcement
Post on: 05/15/2023

Local Infrastructure Hub - Apply by 5/31

The National League of Cities is continuing the Local Infrastructure Hub bootcamp series designed to help small and mid-sized local governments take advantage of the grant opportunities available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Applications close May 31st.


Post on: 05/09/2023

EV Charging - Interested Partners

MN Department of Transportation 2023 EV Charging Survey

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is handling the build out of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure on some roads across the state, using federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Minnesota Department of Commerce is aware that Electric Vehicles, and the infrastructure needed to support EV expansion, are topics of high interest to readers of this newsletter; the following items are included here on behalf of MnDOT:

The Minnesota Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Plan identified potential locations for EV chargers along I-94 and I-35. MnDOT will use federal funds from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI) to install EV chargers there first. As thought is given to the next round of charging stations to be funded through the NEVI program, MnDOT is asking for your input through a new survey. This survey also asks questions about the benefits of EV chargers. Your responses will help MnDOT collect the right type of information to evaluate the success of investments in EV chargers. 

Take the survey now through May 31, 2023.


Fast Charging Station Interested Partner List

MnDOT is maintaining an Interested Partner List for organizations and businesses interested in applying for NEVI funds to install fast chargers.  The Interested Partner List is maintained on the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan webpage and provides a way for these entities to find each other. Complete this short form to be added to the list. MnDOT will not actively connect organizations to each other; the information submitted will be shared on the EV Infrastructure Plan webpage in an Excel spreadsheet format and will be updated the 15th of each month.

Post on: 05/01/2023

MN Local Food Purchase Assistance Program - Due 5/30

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is excited to share that the application for the 2023 MN Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program is now available. Approximately $2.125 million is available to fund projects that buy local food primarily from socially disadvantaged and emerging farmers, and distribute that food to underserved communities throughout the state. Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Central Time on May 30, 2023.


Post on: 04/27/2023

Apply to be a MN GreenCorps Member - Due 6/15

Minnesota GreenCorps, an AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA, is looking for motivated, service-minded individuals to improve the environment and build community resilience throughout the state. The MPCA is recruiting 48 full-time members to serve for 11 months, from September 2023 to August 2024. Members are placed at local governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions statewide.

Members serve on projects:

  • Reducing air pollutants by encouraging green transportation, electric vehicles, and building retrofits.
  • Conducting community outreach and education on environmental stewardship practices.
  • Implementing green infrastructure improvements to reduce stormwater runoff and improve habitat.
  • Reducing waste by implementing recycling and organics programs and encouraging material reuse.

MN GreenCorps members receive a living allowance, health insurance, student loan forbearance, and an education award for future education expenses or qualified student loans. As a professional development program, members receive training and the opportunity to develop green job skills, gain professional experience, and network with environmental professionals.

Visit to learn more about the program, review position summaries, and apply online. Applications are due Thursday, June 15. Contact with questions.

Related to: Announcement
Post on: 04/26/2023

Intro to Race Equity - 5/31 or 7/13

Join fellow city officials for an interactive session to explore the history of race and the role of local government in equity for all residents. Come ready to participate as you learn more about implicit and explicit bias, understand your experiences of race, and identify ways cities are eliminating institutional and structural racism.

July 13 – Marshall
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fee: $30


Related to: Education, Equity
Post on: 04/24/2023

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