Webinar 8/12: Urban heat island and trees

Many are now well aware of the inequitable distribution of trees in our urban areas. Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities often face the greatest burden of heat, air pollution, and flooding – all of which urban greening can help to mitigate. These inequitable patterns and the related persistent disparities in human health are an enduring legacy of various forms of housing segregation, which were officially legal through the late 1960s. In this presentation, Dr. Vivek Shandas will provide a summary of one pernicious and federally-sponsored urban planning policy officially begun in the 1930s -- redlining -- and the current day implications on the distribution of tree canopy, extreme urban heat, and the quality of life for those historically underserved communities.

Post on: 08/05/2020

Community Forestry Corps - Apply by 8/15

Apply Now to be a Host Site for the Inaugural Community Forestry Corps AmeriCorps Program!

The Community Forestry Corps (CFC) is a new AmeriCorps program designed to assist governmental agencies and nonprofits in protecting and growing the tree canopy in their communities. This program is part of a larger climate change initiative administered by Reading & Math, Inc. and ServeMinnesota to train AmeriCorps members, enabling them to assist Minnesota in mitigating and adapting to our changing climate…first stop, Urban and Community Forestry!  

AmeriCorps CFC Members will receive training prior to their placement, which begins this fall. This training includes: tree identification, gravel bed management, working with volunteers, emerald ash borer management and preparedness, tree planting and young tree care, as well as community outreach and engagement. Consider them as an additional Lorax working in your community to help you achieve your goals of protecting and expanding your community forest.

The deadline for application is August 15th - apply today!

Position Description
Host Site Application

Post on: 08/03/2020

Conservation Grants for FY21

The CPL grant program is now accepting applications for FY2021

The Conservation Partners Legacy grant program (CPL) funds conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $400,000 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 origin is required. Funding for the CPL program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund

$7.452 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 21, 2020.

$2.5 million is available for the Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP) grant cycle. ECP funds up to $50,000 for eligible activities on public lands and waters. The ECP application is open continuously through May 10, 2021, or until all funds are awarded. Apply by 3:00 PM September 14, 2020 for the first round of ECP funding.

Additional Information:

FY2021 Request for Proposal

FY2021 CPL Funding Schedule

CPL Evaluation Criteria

Questions? Please email for more information.

Post on: 08/03/2020

Webinar 8/19: SE Cities Share About Sustainability Planning

Local governments are invited to learn how their southeast Minnesotan community can incorporate sustainability and resiliency into their planning. Staff and sustainability commission members are invited to join us as the cities of Faribault, Northfield, Red Wing, and Rochester share their lessons learned. This free webinar is hosted by Minnesota GreenStep and Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team (SE CERT).

Date And Time

Wed, August 19, 2020

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM


Post on: 07/21/2020

Webinar 8/11 - Lessons from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission

In this session we will explore how the Commission supports its applicants throughout the facility master planning process. By focusing on telling the story of a given park or trail’s ability to meet real community needs, local jurisdictions have a better chance of creating a vibrant space that is worth the investment. Careful public engagement, research into appropriate demographic, economic and recreation trends and realistic planning boosts the confidence of local leaders who may be making their first major investment into regional parks and trails. Cities and counties with a wide variety of experience and resources in recreation planning are finding success through the Commission’s master planning process.

Post on: 07/16/2020

Off-road Diesel Vehicle Replacement Grant

Diesel equipment owners from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors are encouraged to apply for this Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant opportunity. DERA grant funds reduce emissions from older, diesel-powered off-road equipment by helping owners to replace or improve eligible diesel equipment—improving air quality and public health at the same time.

See the request for proposals (RFP) for full details on eligibility: who may apply, grant match amounts, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal.

  • Application deadline: September 18, 2020
  • Total funding: Approximately $1.1 million

Post on: 07/14/2020

Cities Charging Ahead 2.0 Cohort

Cities Charging Ahead (CCA) is back in 2020 to help cities and Tribal Nations get their electric vehicle (EV) projects ‘across the finish line.’ This cohort will build upon the previous CCA cohort by deepening learning and focusing on taking action to accelerate EV use in Minnesota communities. We will launch the first part of the cohort in September with weekly meetings focused on EV charging. We are anticipating the Request For Proposal (RFP) for level 2 EV chargers to be released in the Fall and hope this cohort will better prepare cities and Tribal Nations to take advantage of the funding that will be available. The cohort will also include subsequent parts on EVs for city fleets and EV standards for private development in the Fall and into Winter.

To join the cohort, complete the survey and share with us your city's past and planned EV efforts. Take the survey here 

 To learn more about Cities Charging Ahead:

Post on: 07/02/2020

Salt Symposium Aug. 4-6 

Salt Symposium shapes the chloride conversation, presenting developments in salt use optimization for people and the environment. Presentations on Day 1 will focus on chloride use in water softening, fertilizer, and dust suppressants. Day 2 will be all about the latest developments in chloride reducing approaches for winter maintenance. Keynote addresses and award presentations will be given both days. 

August 6 - FREE MPCA Smart Salting Certification trainings. 

Go to to register.

Post on: 06/17/2020

Race Equity Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As cities grapple with the impact of COVID-19 on their local communities, cities may wonder how to address race equity. The state and other cities have created helpful resources that may benefit your community.

The League will continue to compile race equity resources, so check here for updates.

Get answers to frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and race equity

  • Are there racial disparities related to COVID-19?
  • Are there racial disparities in Minnesota related to COVID-19?
  • How can cities include race equity in their response to COVID-19?
  • If city residents are looking for multilingual COVID-19 resources, where can the city find them?
  • We hear there may be acts of racial bias or discrimination happening related to COVID-19, but they are not getting reported to our police department. What can the city do to address this issue?
  • What kind of statement could a city make related to race equity and COVID-19?
  • What are Minnesota cities doing to address race equity during this health pandemic?
  • What other local government efforts should cities be aware of related to equity and COVID-19?
Post on: 05/04/2020