GreenStep Cities

GreenStep Cities Opportunities

This page lists current opportunities for resources, funding, and technical assistance to help cities go deeper with the best practices. This page will be updated as new offerings become available.

GreenStep Cities Workshop Series

Opportunity: These workshops delve into topics related to the best practices of the Minnesota GreenStep Cities Program.

The December workshop will be hosted in St. Cloud, MN and will focus on Benchmarking Wastewater Treatment Plants. Click here to register.

Topics in the 2017-2018 series so far have included Energy and Climate Data and Action Planning, Community Engagement, and Waste Management and Recycling. Materials from previous workshops can be found here.

Timing: The December workshop will be held beginning at 8:45 AM at: 525 60th Street South Saint Cloud, MN 56301.Workshops are usually held the first Wednesday of every month from 9:00am to 11:00am (September through May) at the League of Minnesota Cities building in Saint Paul. Attend in person or via webinar!

Contact: Have questions about the series? Interested in sponsoring a workshop? Contact Abby Finis


Road Salt Trainings

Opportunity: Fortin Consulting, Inc. is providing training on road salt in 2017. Click here for more information.

Timing: August – November 2017.


Minnesota Department of Health: Climate and Health Program Webinar Series

Opportunity: The Minnesota Department of Health Climate and Health Program is hosting a six-part training webinar series from July-December 2017 focused on climate and health issues in Minnesota. Each training webinar will be recorded and made available for future reference, along with a copy of the webinar slides. The slides can be referenced as a general educational tool or as a “train the trainer” module for local professionals.

Missed the Health & Climate Change 101 Training Webinar in July? View the webinar recording at the MDH Climate and Health Program website or download a copy of the 2017 Climate and Health 101 Training Slides (PPT).

Save the Date and Register for Upcoming Webinars:
• Air Quality – November 22, 2017 from 12:00pm-1:00pm Register here!
Climate change may increase exposure to air pollutants, especially from particulate matter, ozone, pollen, and mold. This webinar will cover the health impacts of breathing polluted air, and at risk populations.
• Wellbeing – December 13, 2017 from 12:00pm-1:00pm Register here!
The influence of climate change will extend beyond the physical structures and systems around us, also significantly impacting individual and community wellbeing. This webinar will explore the immediate, gradual, and indirect wellbeing impacts associated with climate change and also offer tips for building resilient communities.


Solar PV Training Program Application for City and County Staff

Opportunity: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in support of the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, is offering a no-cost PV training program for cities and counties seeking to go solar on their facilities (both buildings and land). We expect the application to take 30 minutes to complete.

The training program will help city and county understand: (1) Framing your goals and team, (2) Site Screening and Evaluation, (3) Site Assessment and Permitting, (4) PV Finance (5) PV Policies and Incentives, and (6) PV RFPs.

Timing: To apply for the training program, please fill out the application form and return it to Amy Hollander ( by November 17, 2017. For more information and to apply, click here.


Bikeable Community Workshops

Opportunity: Bikeable Community Workshops are returning in 2018!

At a Bikeable Community Workshop, local, county, and regional staff, community leaders, and advocates are trained on how to plan and support more Bicycle Friendly Communities in order to encourage and empower more people to be on bikes more often in Minnesota. Through discussion, presentations, and a short on-bike mobile workshop, participants assess their community’s bicycle facilities and create an action plan specifically aligned with their community’s goals and timeline.

Timing: The application deadline is December 1, 2017. For more information and to apply, click here. Please contact Kate Matusinec at with questions.


Webinar: The 20 Percent Stretch Code: A New Energy Standard for Cities and States

Opportunity: New Stretch Code to Help Cities and States Fast-Track Building Energy Savings!

With increasing pressure to deliver on energy and climate action goals, cities and states are turning to more stringent building energy codes as an effective strategy to increase building energy efficiency and accelerate progress on outcomes. By adopting forward-looking stretch building codes, jurisdictions can increase the rate at which advances in building energy performance are incorporated into the building stock to meet policy goals.

Timing: The webinar is scheduled for 12 PM CST on Thursday, December 7. For more information and to register, click here.


Smart Cities Council: 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant

Opportunity: Accelerate your smart city efforts with mentoring and benefits from leading experts and organizations!

Move your smart city efforts into the fast lane by applying for a Readiness Challenge Grant. Each of the five winning cities receives a year’s worth of free mentoring, valuable products and services, a custom-designed, on-site Readiness Workshop, membership in the Smart Cities Leadership Circle and worldwide publicity. Past entrants confirm there’s plenty to gain just by filling in the online application, whether or not you win.

Timing: Applications will be accepted no later than December 15, 2017. For more information and to apply, click here.


Safe Routes to School Planning Grant

Opportunity: Minnesota communities and schools wanting to develop safer routes for students to walk and bicycle to school can apply for planning assistance grants through the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. Planning assistance grants are the first step for communities to assess their current conditions for walking and bicycling to school and decide what they need to effectively implement a Safe Routes to School program. After a plan is developed, schools and communities use this assessment to apply for funds to advance infrastructure such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and signage, and non-infrastructure solutions such as educational programming, events. and enforcement.

Timing: The application deadline is Jan. 5, 2018. For more information and to apply, click here.


Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program

Opportunity: The Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) Grant Program funds conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. Funding for the CPL grant program is from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, created by the people of Minnesota. $5,000 – $400,000 are available for projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat.

Timing: Applications will be accepted as late as May 2018. To learn more, click here.


Brownfields + Health Planning Tool

Opportunity: Revitalizing brownfield sites offers an opportunity for communities to spur economic growth, resolve neighborhood blight, increase community connectivity, restore ecological balance and promote public health. The benefits are tremendous, but often the task of transforming these sites into productive community assets can present challenges, including the complicated process of identifying and prioritizing the redevelopment strategies that will best meet the long-term needs of the environment and community. Minnesota Brownfields and the Minnesota Department of Health have developed a Brownfield and Health Indicator Tool to help community planners, landscape architects, developers and community leaders overcome this challenge.

The Brownfield and Health Indicator Tool incorporates a series of indicators that address community health factors and aims to streamline project decision-making process by providing a framework for stakeholders to identify and prioritize redevelopment goals. Designed as a self-guided tool by those who influence and work on brownfield projects, the Brownfield Health Indicator Tool’s framework supports existing project decision-making processes. To access the Brownfield Health Indicator Tool, visit “Brownfield Health Indicator Tool“ or Brownfields and Public Health. To learn more about the tool’s launch and current pilot project by the City of Duluth, click here.

Contact: Natalie Brown, Program Manager at Minnesota Brownfields


Citizens Utility Board Presentation by Request

Opportunity: CUB of Minnesota Outreach Director Carmen Carruthers is scheduling presentations and utility bill clinics for this spring and summer. Our staff can help attendees understand their utility bills, highlight ways to reduce energy costs, explain options to get renewable power, and make people aware of programs and rebates for which they might be eligible. Presentations can be customized to the local utilities and the specific interests of each group.

Timing: Ongoing

Contact: Find out more, and contact Carmen if you’re interested in requesting a speaker: 612-568-5706 or