Wednesday, November 17, 2021

New Approaches to Parking Management

In this webinar, presented live on November 17, 2021, we learned about the 'new approaches to parking management' and heard from cities addressing parking issues. 

Agenda: 

9:00 am - Welcome

9:05-9:35 - Barb Thoman, RETAP and GreenStep Cities Advisor

  • NEW Approaches to Parking Management Guide

9:35-10:05 - Tony Johnson, Senior Planner - City of Saint Paul

10:05-10:40 - Small Group Discussions

  • Are your municipal parking requirements helping or hindering your city’s ability to meet it’s goals?
  • What changes do you think would make sense?
  • What barriers do you see to improving regulation and management of parking?
  • What resources or technical assistance would be helpful to you?

10:40-11:00 Report Back

11:00 Conclude

View the workshop recording: 



View the slides and additional materials:

 Resources: 

Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 

  • Transportation
    • 14.1 Reduce or eliminate parking minimums; add parking maximums; develop district parking; install meters and charge for parking at curb and city-owned lots/ramps.
  • Land Use
    • 6.2 Demonstrate that regulatory ordinances comply with the comprehensive plan including but not limited to having the zoning ordinance explicitly reference the comprehensive plan as the foundational document for decision making.
    • 6.5 Adopt climate mitigation and/or energy independence goals and objectives in the comprehensive plan or in a separate policy document, and include transportation recommendations such as becoming an EV-ready city.

Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at www.mngreenstep.org.

Monday, November 1, 2021

RETAP Celebrates 20 Years!

The Minnesota Retired Environmental Professionals Assistance Program (RETAP) has been providing free help to Minnesotans for two decades. A virtual presentation on October 27th, co-hosted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota GreenStep Cities, highlighted the program’s achievements.

We celebrated the program’s facility assessments and community sustainability projects. RETAPers have completed 422 facility assessments over that past 20 years. After a facility assessment, the assessors draft a report with recommendations. Reports identify retrofits, equipment upgrades, and behavior changes with payback projections. All the proposed recommendations over the years add up to savings of over $4 million. Facilities are encouraged to address all the “low hanging fruit” opportunities. These are things like lighting retrofits and a prescribed control of indoor temperatures. This mix of behavioral and equipment changes has experienced a high implementation rate.

The community sustainability team has been involved in highly impactful work. Work has ranged from quantifying the true cost of public parking, municipal water, urban trees, bike lanes, and more. Providing metrics and realistic action plans has been their recipe for success. RETAP work has engaged local government staff and elected officials in sustainability. This work has supported better long-term decision-making. It often provides the groundwork for continuous improvements.

Agenda: 

9:00: Welcome & Introductions
9:15-9:20 - RETAP overview - Alison Cameron, MPCA
9:20-9:40 - Community Sustainability - Michael Orange and Barb Thoman
9:40-9:55 - Facility Assessments overview - Don Bailey and Rick Person
10:05-10:20 - RETAP highlight projects - Rick Person
10:20-10:40 - RETAP History - Tom Segar
10:40-11:00 - Who should utilize RETAP services, and why? - Rin Porter and Rick Person

View the recording: 


View the slides and additional materials: 


Resources: 

Best Practice Actions Related to this Topic: 
  • 1.3 Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.
  • 2.4 Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses and not-for-profit organizations located within/nearby the city.
  • 25.2 Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance. 

Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at www.mngreenstep.org.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

How City Commissions can Advance Sustainability

In this webinar, presented live on October 20, 2021, we learned about how city commissions can set goals and work towards sustainable actions.

Agenda:
9:00: Welcome & Introductions
9:15-9:35 - Michael OrangeRETAP consultant
9:35-9:45 - John AndersonConservation Minnesota
  • Environmental Commissioner resources (Conference, email listserve, etc.)
9:45-10:00 - Tina Folch - Contract Manager, City of Red Wing; Council Member, City of Hastings
10:05-10:20 - Carolyn Jackson - Council Member, City of Edina
10:25-10:40 - Tim Sandry - Chair, Sustainability Commission, City of Bloomington
  • Best practices for starting an Environmental Commission
10:40-11:00 - Q&A and open discussion
11:00 - conclusion

View the workshop recording: 

View the slides and additional materials: 

Resources:

        Summary:    
  • Green Team Guide 2021: BP 24- benchmarks and community engagement 

  • Environmental Commissioners email group - share stories, questions, or success with your colleagues on the commissions listserve: eccmn@googlegroups.com. (Email John Anderson to be added)

  • Local community coalitions (source: Resilient Cities & Communities)

  • County Clusters, coordinated by Resilient Cities & Communities, are comprised of leaders from citizen coalitions and public commissions who are advancing equity, sustainability, and resilience in their communities.


Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 

  • BPA 24.1 - Inclusive and Coordinated Decision-Making: Use a city commission or committee to lead, coordinate, report to and engage community members on the identification and equitable implementation of sustainability best practices.

  • And ALL of the GreenStep BPAs :)



Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at www.mngreenstep.org.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Equitable Community Engagement

In this webinar, presented live on September 22, 2021, we learned about conducting community engagement in an equitable and inclusive way. 

Agenda

9:00: Welcome & Introductions
9:15-9:45 - Melissa Birch and Chris Meyer - Central and Southeast Regional Coordinators, Clean Energy Resource Teams

  • Green Team Guide (coming soon!)
  • BP 24 overview and updates

9:45 - 9:55 - Q&A
9:55-10:05 - Kevin Bright - Energy and Sustainability Director, City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center

10:05-10:15 - Jonee Brigham - Senior Research Fellow, Minnesota Design Center

  • D4CR - Design for Community Regeneration

10:15-10:25 - Becky LaPlant - Public Policy Program Associated (Retired), Blandin Foundation 

10:25-10:35 - Wendy Thompson - Executive Director, Beltrami Area Resiliency Team

10:35-10:55 - Q&A and open discussion
11:00 - conclusion



View the PDF and additional materials: 

Resources: 
  • 24.1 - Inclusive and Coordinated Decision-Making: Use a city commission or committee to lead, coordinate, report to and engage community members on the identification and equitable implementation of sustainability best practices.
  • 24.2 - Communicating Progress on Goals: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans (social, environmental, economic) and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.
  • 24.3 - Measuring Outcomes: Engage community members and partners in identifying, measuring, and reporting progress on key sustainability and social indicators/ including energy use/greenhouse gas emissions, social vitality/social inclusion outcome measures.
  • 24.4 - Public Education for Action: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign, building on existing city & community relationships, networks & events involving:
    • a. The entire community, community leaders
    • b. Homeowners, manufactured home communities, landlords and tenants
    • c. Community-based organizations, block clubs, neighborhood associations, front yards/sidewalks
    • d. Congregations.
    • e. Schools, colleges.
  • 24.5 - Planning with a Purpose: Conduct a community visioning and planning initiative that engages a diverse set of community members & stakeholders and uses a sustainability, resilience, or environmental justice framework such as:
    • a. Strong Towns, Resiliency, Transition, Appreciative Inquiry.
    • b. Eco-municipalities, Smart Cities, Healthy Communities. 
    • c. Environmental Justice, Race Equity, Equitable Development.
  • 24.6 - Engaging the Next Generation: Engage wide representation of community youth and college students by creating opportunities to participate in city government (including commissions).
  • 24.7 - Expanding Community Engagement: Engage Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), renters, low-income, new Americans, differently abled and other traditionally under-represented community members by encouragement, and support to participate in current and new opportunities to participate in city government.


Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at www.mngreenstep.org.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Maintaining Green Infrastructure

In this webinar, presented live on September 8, 2021, we learned about the the importance and best management practices of green infrastructure maintenance.

So you installed some green infrastructure (yay!) - but now what?

Green infrastructure is an approach to managing urban wet weather impacts that mimics, restores, or maintains natural hydrology. Green infrastructure includes a wide array of practices, including infiltrating, evapotranspiring, or harvesting and using stormwater. Examples of green infrastructure include: 

  • Vegetated filter strips at the edges of paved surfaces
  • Residential or commercial rain gardens designed to capture and soak in stormwater
  • Porous pavers, porous concrete, and porous asphalt
  • Rain barrels and cisterns; Green roofs
Agenda
9:00: Welcome & Introduction
9:05-9:15: Random Networking
9:15-9:30 - Carlee Kjeldahl - Environmental Specialist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
9:30-9:50 - James Wolfin - Sustainable Landcare Manager: Turf Alternatives, Metro Blooms
9:50-10:10 - Anna Eleria - Planning, Projects, and Grants Division Manager, Capital Region Watershed District
10:10-10:30 - Douglas Snyder - Executive Director, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
10:30-10:50 - Mark Maloney - Public Works Director, City of Shoreview
10:50-11:00 - Q&A and open discussion
11:00 - conclusion

View the PDF and additional materials:

Resources: 


Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 
  • 16.6 Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:

    • a. Having trained tree specialists.

    • b. Supporting volunteer forestry efforts.

    • c. Adopting an EAB/forest management plan or climate adaptation plan for the urban forest.

  • 17.5 Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:

    • a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices.

    • b. Rainwater harvesting practices.

    • c. Green alleys or green parking lots.

    • d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers.

    • e. Green roofs / green walls.

    • f. Tree trenches / tree boxes.

    • g. Incorporate compost and/or native plants into landscape design.

  • 18.4 Adopt low-impact design standards in parks and trails that infiltrate or retain all 2 inch, 24-hour stormwater events on site.

  • 18.5 Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:

    • a. Low maintenance turf management; native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; pollinator/monarch-safe policies.

    • b. Recycling/compostables collection; use of compost as a soil amendment.

    • c. Sources of nonpotable water, or surface/rain water, for irrigation.

  • 18.8 Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration, invasive species management and stewardship projects.

Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at www.mngreenstep.org.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Supporting Minnesota's Pollinators

In this webinar, presented live on May 19, 2021, we learned about the the importance of pollinator species and how communities can help protect them.

Agenda: 9:00 - Welcome & Introductions 9:05-9:15 - Random Networking (trimmed from video) 9:15-9:25 - Rebeca Gutierrez-Moreno - State Pollinator Coordinator, Environmental Quality Board 9:25-9:40 - Dan Shaw, Senior Ecologist/Vegetation Specialist, Board of Water & Soil Resources 9:40-9:55 - Dr. Elaine Evans, Assistant Extension Professor, University of MN Bee Lab 9:55-10:10 - Q&A 10:10-10:25 - South Saint Paul - Deb Griffith, Community Affairs Liaison and Monika Mann, Community Development Support Specialist 10:25-10:40 - Bemidji - Marcia Larson, Parks and Recreation Director 10:40-11:00 - Q&A and open discussion 11:00 - conclusion

View the webinar recording:


View the PowerPoints and additional materials: 







Register for upcoming GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations workshops here. You do not need to be a GreenStep community to attend.

 Visit the GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations program website at www.mngreenstep.org.