Webinar 2/18: Shifting to a carbon-free electric grid

Thursday, February 18, 2021

6-7 p.m.  |  Webex webinar

Join moderator Heidi Roop, PhD, of the University of Minnesota and our panelists for a virtual roundtable about Minnesota's transition to carbon-free energy by 2040. We'll discuss what's needed to make this vision a reality and the potential impacts for utilities, state agencies, and local communities. This event is part of the Our Minnesota Climate forum series.


Mike Bull, director of policy and external affairs, Center for Energy and Environment of Minnesota

David Moeller, senior attorney and director of regulatory compliance, Minnesota Power

Aditya Ranade, deputy commissioner for energy, Minnesota Department of Commerce

Aimee Witteman, director of U.S. state policy, Climate Imperative at Energy Innovation


Meeting details

No advance registration required, but you will need to log in to join the meeting online. Click the link to join: Shifting to a carbon-free electric grid (February 18)

  • Or join by phone: +1-415-655-0003 
  • Conference code: 146 390 9456
Related to: Education, Energy
Post on: 02/04/2021

LEED for Cities Leadership Program 3/15

Two opportunities to learn more about the USGBC LEED for Cities program: 

1. Apply for the LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program – DEADLINE TO APPLY: March 15

With support from Bank of America, USGBC is pleased to announce a call for applications for the LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program: 2021 National Cohort. The leadership program convenes U.S. local governments (cities, towns and counties) committed to certifying in LEED for Cities and accelerating progress on climate change, social equity and resilience.  This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the leadership of your city or community at a regional, national, and global scale!

Through this competitive program, local governments participate as a cohort, collaborating and exchanging ideas with peers as they get organized, set goals, collect data and apply for certification.  Additionally, the Bank of America-sponsored national cohort provides each project with USGBC membership at the Silver level; registration in LEED for Cities; certification review fees; and access to the Arc reporting platform, to encourage continuous improvement and benchmarking.

Learn more by joining our information session: Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST: Webcast for interested applicants

Learn More and Apply Here.


2. Local Government Leaders Forum: Preparing the Workforce for a Clean Energy Economy: A Focus on LEED Cities Advancing a Just Transition.

We also wanted to let you know about this Q1 program that is part of USGBC’s Local Government Leaders Forum.  We hope you can join us!

What: Local Government Leaders Forum | Preparing the Workforce for a Clean Energy Economy: A Focus on LEED Cities Advancing a Just Transition.

Date: Feb 17, 2021

Time: 11:00 AM CT | 12:00 PM ET

Cost: Free

Register Here


Program Info: Local governments are on the front lines of climate change, economic recovery, pandemic response, race and social justice, and so many other critical issues. Our 2021 Local Government Leaders Forum shares the progress that cities and counties engaged in LEED are making on the ground.

Host: Hilari Varnadore, Vice President for Cities, U.S. Green Building Council

Moderator: Lauren Ross, Senior Director of Policy, ACEEE


Sal Martinez, CEO, Employment Connection, St. Louis, MO

Emily Cantrell, Talent Development Senior Manager, Business Recruitment and Retention, City of Charlotte, NC

Elizabeth Babcock, Climate Team Manager, Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency, City of Denver, CO


The quarterly Local Government Leaders Forum is hosted by the LEED for Cities program at the U.S. Green Building Council. Forums will take place on the 3rd Wednesday of February, May, August and November at 12 noon ET.

Register Here

Post on: 02/03/2021

EAB Grants - due 3/22

All cities, counties, and townships, as well as park and recreation boards in cities of the first class, are eligible to apply.

Priority will be given to:

  • Applicants with a known emerald ash borer infestation within their boundaries for removal and replacement of ash trees
  • Projects removing and replacing ash trees that pose significant public safety concerns
  • Projects that benefit underserved populations and areas of concern for environmental justice

Eligible Activities:

  • Removal and replanting of shade trees on public land to provide environmental benefits;
  • Replacement of trees on public land lost to forest pests, disease, or storm;
  • Tree planting on public land to establish a more diverse community forest better able to withstand disease and forest pests

Any tree planted with this grant must be a climate-adapted species to Minnesota.

Application Deadline: Monday, March 22, 2021

Learn more and apply

Post on: 02/02/2021

MnDOT Litter Study Group - 2/17-26

Invitation: MnDOT Litter Study Group Stakeholder Interviews

MnDOT would like your feedback on the issue of litter on highway roadsides on US, State, or Interstate highways across the state of Minnesota. Please join an online discussion on highway roadside litter in your community. Choose from the available slots below and click on the button to sign up for these online discussions hosted on WebEx. Questions? Contact Molly Short at or 651-366-3501.

Find your local MnDOT District by City: 

Northeast MN: MnDOT District 1: Wednesday, February 24 at 9:00 am   Register

Northwest MN: MnDOT District 2: Monday, February 22 at 1:30 pm   Register

Central MN: MnDOT District 3: Friday, February 19 at 1:00 pm   Register

West Central MN: MnDOT District 4: Friday, February 19 at 10:00 am   Register

Southeast MN: MnDOT District 6: Thursday, February 18 at 12:30 pm   Register

South Central Mn: MnDOT District 7: Thursday, February 18 at 10:00 am   Register

Southwest MN: MnDOT District 8: Wednesday, February 17 at 9:00 am   Register  

Twin Cities Region: MnDOT METRO District: Friday, February 26 at 10:30 am   Register

Post on: 01/29/2021

Webinar: Rural electric transportation 4/13

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 

Electrifying rural communities doesn’t stop at the single-occupancy vehicles. Electrifying the types of equipment (such as tractors, forklifts, pick-up trucks) and the other work vehicles will bridge the gap between the rural and urban clean transportation access divide. 

We will be joined by panelists Erin Galiger, Program Manager at Forth who will highlight Forth’s e-tractor project. Our guest speakers will discuss strategies to electrify rural communities.  


Post on: 01/27/2021

Yale Communities Webinars 2/2,9,16,23, 3/2

Did you know that Minnesota GreenStep is part of a national network with similar programs in 12 other states? The Network is excited to co-convene a series of workshops with Yale School of the Environment, "SUSTAINABLE MUNICIPALITIES: Innovative Practices & Emerging Trends in the U.S." (And featuring our own, Lola Schoenrich and City of  Rochester!) 

Register and Learn More

 Feb. 2 - The Function and Impact of Municipal Certification Programs

  • Lola Schoenrich, Sustainable States Network and MN GreenStep
  • Lynn Stoddard, Sustainable CT

Feb. 9 – Net Zero Communities

  • Natick, MA
  • Santa Monica, CA

 Feb. 16 – Safe Mobility for All

  • Borough of Red Bank, NJ
  • Kingston, NY

 Feb. 23 – Reinventing Greenspaces

  • Meriden, CT
  • Jersey City, NJ

 Mar. 2 – Eco-districts

  • Rochester, MN
  • Borough of Etna, PA
Related to:
Post on: 01/25/2021

GreenStep Podcast

Co-directors Kristin and Lola talked about the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program on the podcast, Wimmer's Wilderness in January. Check out episode #56 at their website or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Related to: Announcement
Post on: 01/25/2021

Smart Salting Trainings 2/24, 3/2, 3/4

Upcoming MPCA Smart Salting Certification Training Opportunities

If you are an MS4 permittee, you can get a head start towards meeting the new chloride requirements in the MS4 permit by having your winter maintenance staff (and those you hire) participate in an upcoming MPCA Smart Salting Certification Training. The training offers practical and technical information on better application and management practices, salt storage, policy examples, and resources for community outreach. Hear the value of getting certified from other maintenance pros who are using less salt and still offering a high level of service at

February 24, 2021: Smart Salting for Parking Lots & Sidewalks Online Certification Training

Participants will learn how to integrate science with practical winter maintenance while minimizing impacts on the environment.

Audience: private maintenance companies, city parks, hospitals, and colleges.

March 2, 2021: Level 2 (SSAt) Online Certification Training

Attendees are shown how to best use the web-based Smart Salting Assessment tool (SSAt). The training also explains the steps required for your organization to become MPCA Smart Salting Level 2 certified and how to utilize the SSAt for MS4 permit requirements (specifically item 22.6 of the 2020 MS4 General Permit).

Audience: winter maintenance leadership, public works managers, supervisors, business owners, superintendents, and other lead staff.

March 4, 2021: Smart Salting for Roads Online Certification Training

Participants will learn how to integrate science with practical winter maintenance while minimizing impacts on the environment.

Audience: city, county, or state plow drivers.

Please visit the MPCA’s Smart Salting training calendar for all upcoming trainings and to register. For questions about the Smart Salting training program contact:

Post on: 01/21/2021

APA Sustainability Award - Submit by 2/28

Honoring projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities.

Empowered planners creating sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities.

The American Planning Association Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) supports planners and related professionals in their efforts to foster a sustainable and resilient future. The Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honor those projects, policies, plans, and people who show exemplary leadership and inspiration in sustainability planning and implementation.

The method for announcement of the winners of the 8th Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability will be determined based on the final format for the 2021 National Conference of the American Planning Association in Boston. Regardless of announcement format, whether virtual or in-person, award recipients do not need to be in attendance to receive an award.

Submissions due 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, February 28, 2021

Learn more and Submit a Nomination

Related to: Announcement
Post on: 01/19/2021

Tree City USA Conference - 2/10,17,24

The Tree City USA Virtual Conference in February 2021 will be a first-of-its-kind event that will foster connection between Tree City USA communities and advance urban and community forestry work around the country. The conference will have educational content to help grow your program, discover innovative ways to manage trees, and connect with community members.

The conference will run 11:00AM-12:30 PM CST on February 10, 17, and 24th. 

Registration is FREE for all Tree City USA communities!

Learn more and register:  


Post on: 01/13/2021