Group Leader: Linda Countryman
Stillwater has been designated a Minnesota GreenStep City since 2018, thanks in part to the efforts of the Sustainable Stillwater GreenStep team. The GreenStep program has guidelines to help cities achieve sustainability, resiliency, and a better quality of life for its citizens.
OUR CURRENT INITIATIVES
The GreenStep Group is made up of citizen advocates who work with city officials to coordinate local programs and practices under the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. They pay particular attention to the Plan’s sustainable best practices that address green building, energy efficiency, natural resource conservation, transportation, and much more.
If you are interested in working on one of the following projects, please join the GreenStep Group Meetings. The meetings are every first Monday of the month at 6:30 PM on ZOOM. Email workgroup leader for details.
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT (ADU)
Creating a zoning text amendment to allow an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in a zoning district where it is currently not allowed. ADU's allow for more people to live/reside on less square footage which can lower ecological footprints.
COMPLETE STREETS RESOLUTION
Working with the city to pass a Complete Streets Resolution. Complete Streets are designed, built, and maintained to be safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities — whether they are walking, biking, taking transit, or driving.
The GSC team has discussed multiple different options to up Stillwater's Electric Vehicle (EV) game. Everything from converting the city's different fleets to EVs, installing public EV charging stations, to hosting EV car shows with educational aspects.
Increasing recycling and the introduction of composting for residents and businesses. Increase waste prevention, reuse, and recycling, moving to a lower-consumption, more cyclical, biological approach to materials management.
CHESTNUT STREET PLAZA PROJECT
Working with the City of Stillwater's project manager on creating the best project plan to meet the needs of everyone. We are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and expanding opportunities for economic vitality in Stillwater.
BLUEBIRD RECOVERY PROJECT
Eastern Bluebird numbers declined dramatically during the past century. Loss of habitat and suitable nesting sites and competition with non-native house sparrows and starlings were the main reasons. The program aims to provide habitat via monitored Bluebird birdhouses.
BIRD CITY PROGRAM
Becoming a Bird City will support our community in our efforts of protecting and managing green spaces, educating our citizens, landscaping with native plants, and generally make urban areas both friendlier for birds and people to live and work.
LAWNS TO LEGUMES
The Lawns to Legumes program offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides, and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. View their website for more details
29 BEST PRACTICES
The GreenStep 29 best practices
Cities that implement a minimum number of best practices organized into these five topical areas will be recognized as Step Two and Step Three GreenStep Cities. Cities should claim credit for best practices already implemented. Adding best practices over time will garner additional recognition. For each best practice, and depending on city category (A, B or C), a city needs to complete one or more actions from a list associated with the best practice.
Buildings and Lighting
Benchmark energy and water usage, identify savings opportunities in consultation with state programs, utilities and others to implement cost-effective energy and sustainability improvements.
Provide incentives for energy, water and sustainability improvements in existing residential, not-for-profit and commercial buildings/building sites.
Construct new buildings to meet or qualify under a green building framework.
Improve the efficiency and quality of street lighting, traffic signals and outdoor public lighting.
Create economic and regulatory incentives for redevelopment and repurposing of existing buildings.
Build public support and legal validity to long-term infrastructural and regulatory strategy.
Increase financial and environmental sustainability by enabling and encouraging walkable housing and retail land use.
8. Mixed Uses
Develop efficient land patterns that generate community health and wealth.
Adopt commercial development and design standards for auto-oriented development corridors and clusters.
Adopt development ordinances or processes that protect natural systems and valued community assets.
Create a network of green complete streets that improves city quality of life, public health, and adds value to surrounding properties.
12. Mobility Options
Increase active transportation and alternatives to single-occupancy car travel.
Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.
Implement Travel Demand Management and Transit-Oriented Design in service of a more walkable city.
Adopt environmentally preferable purchasing policies and practices to improve health and environmental outcomes.
Add city tree and plant cover that conserves topsoils and increases community health, wealth, quality of life.
Minimize the volume of and pollutants in rainwater runoff by maximizing green infrastructure.
18. Parks and Trails
Increase active lifestyles and property values by enhancing the city's green infrastructure.
19. Surface Water
Improve local water bodies to sustain their long-term ecological function and community benefits.
Assess and improve city drinking water and wastewater systems and related facilities.
21. Septic Systems
Implement an environmentally sound management program for decentralized wastewater treatment systems.
Increase waste prevention, reuse and recycling, moving to a lower-consumption, more cyclical, biological approach to materials management.
Prevent generation of local air contaminants so as to improve community health.
Resilient Economic and Community Development
Adopt outcome measures for GreenStep and other city sustainability efforts, and engage community members in ongoing education, dialogue, and campaigns.
Expand a greener, more resilient business sector.
26. Renewable Energy
Remove barriers to and encourage installation of renewable energy generation capacity.
27. Local Food
Strengthen local food and fiber production and access.
Network/cluster businesses and design neighborhoods and developments to achieve better energy, social, economic and environmental outcomes in service of a more circular and equitable economy.
Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.