GreenStep Cities Quarterly Newsletter

MyLMC MemberLink listserv for GreenStep city coordinators

Small Community Planning Grants for Stormwater, Wastewater, & Resilience - Apply by 10/18

The MPCA has $350,000 available to support climate-planning projects in communities with populations of less than 10,000. This funding will help communities assess vulnerabilities and plan for the effects of Minnesota’s changing climate in three areas:

  • Improving stormwater resilience and reducing localized flood risk
  • Improving the resilience of wastewater systems
  • Reducing human health effects and adapting community services, ordinances, and public spaces

The effects of climate change are being felt across the state, from overwhelmed infrastructure, damaged property, dying trees and culturally important native species, to excessive heat, worsened air quality, and other health threats. Minnesota state government is partnering with local communities to assess needs, develop climate-adaptation plans, and make changes so that we are ready for what lies ahead.

Tribal nations, cities, counties, towns/townships, soil and water conservation districts, water management organizations, and water districts that have or serve populations of less than 10,000 are eligible to apply. Applications are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on October 18, 2022

Webinar to learn more: Thursday, September 8, 2022

Any questions about this grant must be submitted to with the subject line “FY 23 Small Community SWC Resilience Grants” no later than noon on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

*More climate resilience funding for larger Minnesota communities will be made available later in the Fall of 2022. Stay tuned for more details.


Post on: 08/29/2022

Annual City-County Climate Action Conference - 10/6

Experienced cities will share specific high-impact actions they’ve taken. Resource people will share current resources & multi-city teams available to support cities. Together, we’ll brainstorm ways to overcome any barriers that would prevent cities from taking the actions.

Who should attend? City & county staff, elected leaders, commission & community volunteers and community, nonprofit, business, utility, watershed and university implementation partners.

Cities, Counties & Partners Workshop (Afternoon), Thurs Oct 6,

11am to 4:30pm - Virtual (zoom) & in person at the Minneapolis Central Library (300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401)

11:00 am - Networking, Lunch, Vendor Fair, Noon - Keynote & City updates

1:00 pm - Round 1 Break outs

2:30 pm - Round 2 Break outs repeated.

4:00 pm - Wrap-Up & Next Steps

Cities, Counties & Community Partners Workshop (Evening) Thurs Oct 6,

4:30pm to 8pm - Virtual (zoom) & in person at the Minneapolis Central Library 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401

4:30 pm - Social Hour & Vendor Fair,

5:30 pm - Keynote & City updates

6:30 pm - Round 1 Break outs,

7:15 pm - Round 2 Break outs repeated.

7:45 pm - Wrap-Up & Next Steps




Post on: 08/23/2022

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 11/14

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. 

$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 November 14, 2022 for the second round of ECP funding.

Additional Information:


FY2023 Request for Proposal

FY2023 CPL Funding Schedule


Questions? Please email for more information.

Post on: 08/18/2022

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

Rethinking Waste - webinar series July-Feb.

The NRDC Seed Series, launching on July 6, introduces participants to key topics and issues in the world of discard studies; a growing, transdisciplinary field that centers how waste impacts our world. From the role of waste in pop culture to the lifesaving labor of sanitation workers to the relationship between the after-deathcare industry and waste inequity, and so much more. This 10-part webinar series serves as a point of departure for participants to learn more about how they can take steps in their own lives towards climate justice, anti-racism and rethinking waste.

The host of the series is Jesi Taylor – journalist, Discard Studies Co-Editor, philosophy graduate student, and TRUE Advisor. Her work and research lie at the intersection of Black Studies, Genocide Studies, Ethics, and Legal Theory with a focus on how waste mismanagement disproportionately impacts chronically disenfranchised communities.

Each webinar will be recorded and live streamed on NRDC YouTube channel. We will update this blog post with the links to the recordings throughout the series.

The webinar dates, topics, registration link and/or recordings are as follows:

  • July 6: “Waste” as a Construct - Learn about the history of waste and disposability and how excessive waste came to be culturally acceptable. 

  • July 27:  Waste Colonialism and Inequity - Learn how the concept of “waste” perpetuates systems of violence and racism. 

  • August 24: The Myth of “Away” - Examine how disposability politics and waste inequity disproportionately and purposely impact certain communities.

  • September 14: Deathcare and Toxic Capitalism - Learn about how the deathcare industry (after-death services) perpetuates waste colonialism and harms the environment. 

  • October 12: Trashy Art - Learn about how humans have engaged with naturally occurring materials and waste to make art throughout history. 

  • November 2: Waste in Pop Culture - Examine how themes related to waste in popular media impact how we relate to waste conceptually and in our daily lives.

  • November 30: Community Care for Sanitation Workers - Learn about the essential role and labor of sanitation workers and why they need our support. 

  • January 11: Food Apartheid and Food Waste - Learn about the relationship between structural racism, colonialism, and food apartheid in the context of waste inequity. 

  • February 1: Soil, Water, and Pollutants - Examine how waste mismanagement impacts hydrological, agricultural, and soil-based systems on this planet. 

  • February 22: Decolonizing Urban Forest Ecology - Learn about how colonialism impacts urban tree ecology, related planning initiatives, and conversations about urban green spaces. 


Post on: 07/13/2022

9/29 - Lessons from the food crisis

The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP) invites you to join us for a discussion with international board and staff to share an analysis of the crises facing our food systems and how we can do better.  

Join us! After the program, we will gather for a public happy hour and welcome to our new office in the East Side Neighborhood Services’ building in Northeast Minneapolis.  

High and volatile food prices, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, come on the heels of the pandemic, the threat of economic recession and a prolonged drought, symptomatic of climate-related disruptions occurring across the globe. 

Our food systems need not be so fragile. In a world of abundant food, no one should go hungry, nor should our food systems contribute directly to climate disasters and biodiversity loss. 

Communities, regions and countries are taking steps to make our food systems more resilient. At the heart of these actions, we need to strengthen our democracy. Join us to learn more about how crisis can become an opportunity to shift food systems onto more positive, resilient pathways. 

Date:         Thursday, September 29, 2022  

Time:        1:30-4:30 p.m. CT — Panel discussion 
                  5-7 p.m. CT — Happy hour and open house*  

Location:  1700 Second Street NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413 


*Join for one or both. Guests need not attend the panel discussion to attend the open house!  


Post on: 07/11/2022

EPA Clean School Bus Grants

With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over the next five years (FY 2022-2026) to replace existing school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models. EPA is offering $500 million through the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates for zero-emission and low-emission school bus rebates as the first funding opportunity. EPA will continue to update this page with additional Clean School Bus Program funding information and educational resources. Applications open May 20 - August 19, 2022. 



Match Dollars: 

To increase the number of school districts and other eligible entities able to purchase a new electric bus, MPCA will provide match funding for your grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program. 

Step 1. Apply for EPA’s Clean School Bus Grant Program before deadline (Aug. 19, 2022)

The application process is simple, and money is available up front.

Step 2: If you are selected by EPA, you can apply to MPCA for additional money

If you are selected for EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has up to $125,000 for each school district or eligible applicant to match their EPA grant and up to $7,000 available for the charging station.

MPCA is developing the program for this right now. Sign up for our GovDelivery service to learn the details as we release them. If you have questions, e-mail us:


Post on: 05/25/2022

Community Forest Corps

Apply to be a host site for a Climate Impact Corps - Community Forest Corps member for the 2022-2023 service year. 

Preserving and Increasing Tree Canopy

AmeriCorps members add to the capacity of your team by supporting tree inventorying, tree planting events, gravel bed nursery projects, Emerald Ash Borer management plan development, and more.

Educating and Connecting with Residents

AmeriCorps members help advance your mission by leading outreach activities and supporting with volunteer recruitment, training, and utilization.


Reaching Communities Across the State

Climate Impact Corps thrives in a wide variety of contexts. We work with governmental agencies and non-profit organizations across Minnesota in rural, urban, and suburban settings.



Apply Today

Guide to Partnering with the Community Forest Initiative

Site applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The first round of award notifications was announced in late February.



Lizzie Morris Vogt, Director of Partnerships | 612-314-3906


Post on: 03/07/2022

Historic Places and Community Vitality classes

Join a class or webinar with Rethos and learn more about how to connect with historic places and promoting community vitality. 

Offerings include (for example): 

  • Accessibility in Historic Downtowns 
  • Why Old is Green: Sustainability in Older Homes 
  • Racism in Real Estate
  • Maximizing Window Energy Efficiency 
  • Old Home Weatherization 
  • Prairie Garden installations and maintenance


  • NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS who need advice on historic designations or saving important structures.
  • DEVELOPERS who support the need to work with legislators on the historic tax credits and seek us out for investment partnerships.
  • HOMEOWNERS who want to learn more through our unique classes and experiential tours.
  • MAIN STREET COMMUNITIES for a proven path to economic strength - and more.


Post on: 02/16/2022