Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. The program outlines 29 best practices that correspond to implementable actions that are tailored to Minnesota cities. The focus of Minnesota GreenStep Cities is to promote cost savings and energy use reduction while encouraging civic innovation.
In 2016, South St. Paul joined the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program which reflects the City’s commitment to long-range, strategic planning to ensure that the community evolves to meet the needs of tomorrow. As of 2018, South St. Paul has been implementing five best practices and is working towards recognition as a Step 2 GreenStep City. The City hopes to make progress towards Step 3 in the coming year. More information about the GreenStep Cities Program or the City’s progress in the program can be found here.
What is South St. Paul doing to get to Step 3?
South St. Paul was reviewed in October of 2019 for its progress in the GreenStep Cities program. At the time of the review, the City needed to complete 5 best practice actions in order to reach Step 3. These actions included:
- 1 public building best-practice action
- 2 Complete Streets best-practice actions including adopting a Complete Street Policy
- 1 Tree Best Practice Action
- 1 City Goals/Outcomes Best Practical Action
Since this review, the City has:
- Adopted a Complete Streets Policy
- Received recognition for remedying a pedestrian trail gap along Wentworth Avenue with the construction of a sidewalk along Wentworth Avenue in the summer of 2019.
- Gained recognition for energy-saving measures that were enacted at City Hall in 2014 which reduced the energy usage by 40,000 to 50,000 MWh a month. This translates to a savings of $500-$5,000 a month.
- Received recognition for the City’s work to make its goals public. This includes the city’s goals (which were created with resident input) that are laid out in Chapter 11 of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
The city is currently working on a Native Landscaping ordinance which is the final action needed in order for the CIty to receive Step 3 recognition in May of 2020.