Step 1

Ready to get started with GreenStep? Join over 140 communities who have committed to taking steps to achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. 

Build community knowledge and interest.

  • Anyone can start this! A champion could be a city staff person, interested resident, commission or task force member, mayor, council member, business association member, civic association member, environmental or public health group, renewable energy advocate, etc.
  • Talk with key people and organizations in your community, discuss at existing meetings, and convene special meetings to discuss as appropriate. Discussion resources might include:
Join GreenStep! Tips for community leaders and residents. 
10 Years of GreenStep An infographic detailing program and participants accomplishment from our 10-year anniversary.
GreenStep Cities: A Decade of Growth A video to learn more about the program and how it helps cities like Elk River achieve sustainability actions.
Benefits of being a GreenStep City A list of benefits for joining the program. 
Welcome Guide and Public Officials Guide Guides for GreenStep Coordinators and public officials detailing the program. 
League of Minnesota Cities Talk About GreenStep A video featuring many GreenStep cities and their participation in the program. 
2016 State Government Innovation Award GreenStep's award from the University of Minnesota for program excellence. 
  • Invite a GreenStep program representative to discuss participation, visit your community, or present at a commission or council meeting.
  • Discuss with an official body. This could be a city/tribal council, a council committee, a commission or task force, or some other group charged by your government to work on civic improvement.

Gather the details.

  • Determine your City Category. Cities and tribal nations with greater capacity for making civic improvements are able and challenged to implement more best practices and actions. Answer 11 simple questions to determine whether your community is in category A (largest), B, or C (smallest). 
  • Become familiar with GreenStep best practices and how communities are reporting actions.
  • Inventory your completed, planned, and desired best practice actions. You may find it helpful to prepare this inventory before seeking a council resolution.

Pass a Council Resolution. 

  • Use the sample resolution and modify it as needed in discussion with council members or in a council committee meeting.
  • Introduce the resolution to your city or tribal council. Invite a GreenStep program representative to present or answer any questions. 
  • Designate a GreenStep Coordinator in your resolution, or direct city staff to designate a coordinator later. The coordinator could be an existing staff person, an elected official, or community member. The coordinator will be tasked with posting initial background information on the GreenStep Cities website as well as educating other staff, public officials, and the community about the GreenStep program.
  • Email your resolution and contact information to GreenStep staff. This will allow us to set up a web account on the GreenStep website for your community.


Congratulations! Your city is now at Step 1. Formal recognition will take place at the next June GreenStep celebration event at the League of Minnesota Cities conference. Use Step 1 recognition artwork/materials located in your GreenStep account.