Friday, April 15, 2022

Sustainable Built Environment Practices

In this webinar, presented live on April 14, 2022, we learned how you can more easily encourage sustainable building material management in your community.

Agenda

9:00 – Welcome & Introductions
9:10 – Built Environment overview; connections to other city & county plans
·  Melissa Wenzel, Built Environment Sustainability Administrator, MPCA
    o  Implementing best practices to meet climate, sustainability, and solid waste plan goals
·  Riley Gage, Administrative Manager | Policy Associate - Rethos Places Reimagined
    o   MN Main Streets, classes & workshops
·  Sandy Gunderson, Household Hazardous Waste and Recycling Coordinator - Becker County
    o   Waste Diversion and Material Reuse Program
9:40 – Built Environment Best Practices & Waste Management Plan template
·       Melissa Wenzel, Built Environment Sustainability Administrator, MPCA
10:15 – Success stories and examples around Minnesota
·       Olivia Cashman, Environmental Protection Specialist, Hennepin County Environment & Energy
    o   Hennepin County & Ramsey County deconstruction grants
·       Monika Mann, Community and Economic Development Support Specialist, city of South St. Paul
    o   Old bank, new apartments
·       Risi Karim, GreenStep Cities Coordinator & Assistant to the City Administrator, city of Northfield
·       Emily Barker, Executive Director, ReUSE Minnesota
    o   How to host a “building material drop off day” event
11:00 – What YOU can do in your city & future developments
·       Melissa Wenzel, Built Environment Sustainability Administrator, MPCA
    o   How to choose and implement built environment best practices
11:15 – Q & A and Open Discussion
11:30 – Close

View the workshop recording: 


View the PDF and additional materials: 
Resources: 
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.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Community Solar Subscriptions & Green Power Purchasing Programs

In this webinar, presented live on February 16, 2022, we learned all about city procurement for solar subscriptions and green power purchasing programs for your community. 

Agenda: 

9:00am - Welcome and Introductions

9:15Peter Lindstrom, CERTs Manager of Public Sector & Community Engagement - UMN Extension RSDP

  • Overview of Community Solar Gardens and Green Power Purchasing options

9:25 Timothy Denherder-Thomas, General Manager - Cooperative Energy Futures

9:45 - Jen McLoughlin, Sustainability Specialist - City of Woodbury

  • Community Solar Gardens case study

10:10 - Travis Schmidt, General Manager - Moorhead Public Service

10:30 - Lissa Pawlisch, CERTs Statewide Director - UMN Extension RSDP
  • Recent changes to and what's on the horizon for Community Solar Gardens and low income Minnesotans

10:45 - Q&A and Open Discussion

11:00am - Close

View the workshop recording: 


View the slides and additional materials:



Resources:  

Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 

  • 15.2 - Purchase energy used by city government - via the municipal utility, green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.
  • 26.2 Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:
    • a. Promoting a local utility's green power purchasing program that allows residents/businesses to order/buy new renewable energy.
    • b. Creating and sharing a map of the community’s solar resource and/or linking to the Minnesota Solar Suitability App.
    • c. Connecting residents/businesses with the Solar Directory for potential installers.
    • d. Hosting a community-wide solar bulk-buy program or campaign (also called "solarize" programs). 
  • 26.4 Support a community solar garden or help community members participate in a community solar project by:
    • a. Serving as a host site for a community solar garden.
    • b. Facilitating development, by the municipal utility or other entity, of a community solar garden for residents.
    • c. Participating in a community solar garden to ensure accessibility and availability to low-income residents.

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, January 21, 2022

All About B3

In this webinar, presented live on January 19, 2022, we learned all about the Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond (B3) program

Agenda: 

9:00am - Welcome and Introductions
9:15am - B3 Benchmarking overview - Cheri Schneider, Willdan
|9:40am - Using B3 Benchmarking to track 12 buildings - Noelle Bakken, City of Roseville
9:55am - B3 automation support for Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy territories - Leo Ndiaye, GreenCorps member with Center for Sustainable Building Research
10:05am - B3 Guidelines, SB2030 Energy Standard, Energy Efficient Operations, and Post-Occupancy Evaluations overviews - Pat Smith, Center for Sustainable Building Research
10:30am - Using B3 Design and SB 2030 Energy Standard for new construction - Gail HedstromFergus Falls Library
10:45am - Q&A and open discussion
11:00am - Close

View the workshop recording: 


View the slides and additional materials:


Resources:  

Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 


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.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Engaging Green Businesses in Your Community

In this webinar, presented live on December 15, 2021, we learned how cities can promote, support, and engage the green businesses in their community. 

Agenda: 

9:00 am - Welcome

9:15 - Olivia Dorow Hovland, Sustainability Planner - Coon Rapids

9:35 - Wendy Gorski, Sustainable Stillwater

9:55 - Annie Pottorff, Sustainability Specialist - St. Louis Park 

10:15 - Patrick Hanlon, Director of Environmental Programs - Minneapolis 

10:35 - Gabrielle Martin, Associate Engineer - MnTAP 

11:00 Conclude

View the workshop recording: 


View the slides and additional materials:

 

Resources: 

Best Practice Actions related to this topic: 

  • 2.4 Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses and not-for-profit organizations located within/nearby the city.
  • 25.1 Grow new/emerging green businesses and green jobs through targeted assistance and new workforce development.
  • 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.
  • 25.6 Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.
  • 25.7 Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.

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, 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.