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 as a way of showing its commitment to long-range, strategic planning to ensure that the community evolves to meet the needs of tomorrow. In 2019, the City received Step 2 recognition and immediately began working to become a Step 3 City.
Since 2019, Staff has implemented a number of new best practices as prescribed by the GreenStep Cities program. Some of the most notable best practices included passing a Complete Streets policy and adopting a native plant landscape ordinance. The City received Step 3 recognition in June of 2020.
South St. Paul achieved Step 4 recognition in 2021 after collecting data about sustainability metrics including energy usage at City-owned buildings, the methods by which city employees commute to work, and the amount of renewable energy that is generated in South St. Paul. The City received Step 5 recognition in 2022 for tracking sustainability metrics and improving in at least three of the metric areas. South St. Paul as a whole increased the number of trees planted, generated more renewable energy, and used less energy in City buildings to achieve Step 5 recognition.
More information about the GreenStep Cities Program or the City’s progress in the program can be found here.