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 2017-2018 series will kick off with a September 6 workshop focusing on community engagement, going deeper on Best Practice Actions 24.6, 24.4, and 24.1. Click here to register and to view materials from the 2016-2017 workshop series.

Timing: These workshops will be 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


Climate Change Conversations

Opportunity: Do you want to have a Climate Change Conversation in your community but aren’t sure where to start? The Metropolitan Council has partnered with The University of St. Thomas’ Sustainable Communities Partnership to help initiate a student-facilitated Climate Change Conversation in a select community. Ideally, the session(s) will assist in goal-setting and visioning for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update. We are seeking to collaborate with a community that is somewhat new to community resilience planning, and the selected community should demonstrate a staff-level and municipal commitment to this project. The project will start this autumn and wrap up in December of 2017. Project outcomes include a summary of the community Climate Change Conversation made available for community use, a presentation of findings and recommendations to the City Council or relevant Commission, and creation of technical resources for other metropolitan communities that want to engage their residents on this topic.

Timing & Contact Information: Please contact Eric Wojchik in Local Planning Assistance at 651-602-1330 or by Thursday, August 24th if you are interested in this opportunity.


Road Salt Trainings

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

Timing: August – November 2017.


10th Metro CERT Annual Event

Opportunity: Join Metro Clean Energy Resource Team (Metro CERT) to celebrate their 10th year of connecting communities to clean energy resources! This year they will have a diverse offering of programming including: a keynote speaker, a panel of clean energy success stories, and small group discussions on requested topics possibly including: Community Solar, Grid Modernization, Home energy efficiency, Benchmarking buildings, Electric Vehicles, Net Zero Energy, Engaging your community, and Increasing access to clean energy.

They will again conduct polling to help provide input to the Metro CERT priorities for 2018. Additionally, they will be expanding the annual networking session with clean energy community members, local government staff, non-profit experts and professionals committed to local, clean energy projects.

Timing: The event will take place on Wednesday, September 13, from 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm at the University of St. Thomas. Click here to register.

Contact: Diana McKeown, Metro CERT Director at


The 28th Annual Energy Fair: Clean Energy + Sustainable Living

Opportunity: Now in its 28th year, The Energy Fair brings people together to learn about sustainable living and renewable energy, connect with others, and take action towards a just and sustainable future. The Fair features interactive workshops, exhibitors, live music, inspiring keynote speakers, family fun, great local food, and more. Organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, The Energy Fair is the longest-running event of its kind in the nation. For the first time, we will be holding a second Energy Fair in the Twin Cities! Join us September 9-10 at Harriet Island Park, in St. Paul to Learn, Connect, and Empower!

80 Workshops and 80 Exhibits are FREE and open to the public! All access passes include music, featured speakers, solar professional workshops, and the pre-fair Solar Professional Day, Sept. 8th.

Timing: The event will take place on September 9-10, at Harriet Island Park in St. Paul. Click here to learn more.


2017 National Walking Summit: Vital and Vibrant Communities – The Power of Walkability

Opportunity: The National Walking Summit is the premier opportunity for community advocates, nonprofit representatives, government officials, and transit, health, and planning professionals to share best practices and stories, increase the visibility of key issues, build support for the walking movement, and create momentum for the work ahead. The power of walking just go more powerful and the creation of vital and vibrant communities more feasible and closer to bridging the divides and disparities that challenge us.

Timing: Join us September 13-15, 2017 at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota. Click here to learn more.


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:
• Extreme Heat Events – August 16, 2017 from 12:00pm-1:00pm Register here!
Extreme heat events in Minnesota are already occurring and expected to become more common, more severe, and longer-lasting as our climate changes. This webinar will cover Minnesota’s warming climate, health issues caused by extreme heat events, and strategies to prevent heat-related illnesses.
• Agriculture and Food Security – September 20, 2017 from 12:00pm-1:00pm Register here!
Climate and weather have a complex relationship with agriculture in Minnesota. Depending on the exact changes, Minnesota may experience significant impacts to food security and health. This webinar will cover climate impacts to food security, crop production, livestock, and culturally important foods.
• Water Quality and Quantity – October 11, 2017 from 12:00pm-1:00pm Register here!
Climate change is expected to impact the frequency, duration, and intensity of rainfall events. This leads to issues with too much or too little water for Minnesotans. This webinar will cover the health impacts of changes in precipitation and water temperatures.
• 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.


2017 ReScape Awards: Minnesota Brownfields Now Accepting Nominations

Opportunity: Minnesota Brownfields is now accepting nominations for the 2017 ReScape Awards. Nominations for redevelopment projects will be accepted until September 21 at noon in these categories:
• Economic Impact
• Environmental Impact
• Community Impact
• Small City Impact
Projects must be completed and ready for use between January 1, 2015 – August 31, 2017. Self-nominations are welcome. Click here to learn more and click here to apply.

Timing: Nomination Deadline: September 21 at noon.


2017 Pollinator Summit

Opportunity: Pollinators and other beneficial insects are in trouble, with multiple stressors such as habitat loss, fragmentation, pesticide use, and disease all contributing to alarming declines in their health and biodiversity. This has serious implications for the health of our landscapes, our food systems, and our communities. There is hope though:through research, innovative land management, and forward thinking policies, we can plant solutions for pollinators in our region. This summit will bring together the newest research and best management practices to inform and inspire your work for pollinators.

For 2017, join Clay Bolt, Sam Droege and local experts to discuss the newly endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee through Clay’s new documentary, “A Ghost in the Making”. In a conversation punctuated by beautiful images and moving clips from the documentary, these experts will talk about what causes the decline of a single species, and why it matters.

Timing: The event will take place on Friday, September 15th, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN. For more information or to register, click here.


Building Green 2017: Engage and Empower

Opportunity: Be engaged with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and other green building professionals at Building Green 2017 in Northeast Minnesota! Be empowered to push the boundaries of green building to forge a more sustainable future!

The USGBC Minnesota Building Green Conference will provide relevant education, a platform for companies to showcase their sustainability products and services, and offer GBCI CE hours for LEED APs. This year’s conference seeks to Empower & Engage design and construction professionals, consultants, building owners and operators, and government representatives about design, construction and operational practices. Attend the 2017 Building Green Conference to learn more about green building best practices, LEED certification and other relevant certification processes.

Timing: The event will take place on OCT 12, 2017 from 8 am – 5 pm at The Inn on Lake Superior, 350 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802. To learn more or to register, 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