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June 2024 Workgroup Updates

As we stride into the heart of 2024, Sustainable Stillwater MN continues to catalyze positive change across our community through a diverse array of initiatives. Each workgroup within our organization has been diligently advancing toward a more sustainable and inclusive Stillwater.


Bike Rodeo - SSMN Volunteers
Bike Rodeo - SSMN Volunteers

Here’s a glimpse into the impactful projects shaping our city's future:


Bicycle Friendly Community

Led by Rick Heidick, our Bicycle Friendly Community workgroup achieved notable milestones in May. Initiatives such as Bike to School Day and the Bike Rodeo garnered enthusiastic participation from local schools and families, reinforcing our dedication to promoting cycling as a sustainable transportation option in Stillwater. With our Bicycle Friendly Community certification secured until 2025, we're well-positioned to continue advocating for cycling infrastructure improvements and community engagement.


Bird City Stillwater

Under the leadership of Allison McGinnis, Bird City Stillwater has thrived with robust community engagement activities. Highlights include the successful planning of the Browns Creek Community Event/Bird Fest and a well-attended Bird Hike at Browns Creek Trail. Allison's proactive involvement in community events, such as the Croixwood Habitat Planting Party, underscores our commitment to local conservation efforts and fostering valuable partnerships with organizations like the Wild Rivers Conservancy.


Climate and Energy

Roger Tomten attended the City's Code meeting, where it was discussed that the city is in the process of revising its codes. Several topics have been approved for discussion over the next four months. Of particular note, SSMN is slated for revisions concerning sustainability aspects. Public comments on these revisions are expected around December. Additionally, Tim Gladhill requested the application for Green Business Directory application to incorporate relevant criteria into the updated code.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives

Led by Ami Voeltz and Aimee Van Ostrand, our DEI efforts are gaining momentum with monthly meetings and collaborations. We've been actively participating in city-sponsored training sessions and engaging with United Way Washington County East DEI meetings. Our focus is set on forming a task force for community engagement, aiming to translate our learning into actionable steps by next year.


Green Business Directory

The Green Business Directory saw significant updates last month, with several businesses, including C Schuld Studio, Green Guardian Wealth Management, and One23 Events (JX Venue & the Loft), receiving recertification for their commitment to sustainability. New features like a review section encourage client feedback, while "The Green Scene" newsletter keeps subscribers informed about directory businesses and their eco-friendly practices. Additionally, our "Special Deals" page promotes sustainable consumption through exclusive discounts, reinforcing our mission to support green initiatives within the local economy.


Protect Our Waters

Under the leadership of Meghan Lavelle Peterson, our initiative has evolved to better reflect its expanded mission. Renamed "Protect Our Waters," the program aims to raise awareness and enhance participation. Discussions are underway to forge an official partnership with the City of Stillwater, which would bolster our efforts to promote and support drainage adoption rates throughout the community.


Rain Garden Program

Our recent rain garden workshop and cleanup event, held in collaboration with the Washington County Watershed District, marked a significant success. Looking ahead, we're focused on increasing the visibility and understanding of rain gardens through improved signage and potential QR code integrations. Volunteers continue to play a pivotal role, and efforts are underway to better capture and quantify their contributions.


Solar for Cimarron

In collaboration with Cooperative Energy Futures and Family Means, Sustainable Stillwater MN is spearheading the "Solar for Cimarron" project. Designed to promote renewable energy adoption in the Cimarron Community, this initiative invites residents to attend upcoming dinner events where they can learn about the benefits of solar energy, enjoy a meal, and explore opportunities for involvement.


At Sustainable Stillwater MN, our commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and community engagement remains unwavering. As we look forward, we invite you to join us in shaping a greener, more vibrant Stillwater. Whether through volunteering, attending events, or spreading the word, together we can create a sustainable future that benefits all. Join us in making a difference today!


For more information on how to get involved, including becoming a board member, click here.


 

Note: Starting in July, Sustainable Stillwater MN's board meetings will be held every third Wednesday at Family Means (1875 Northwestern Avenue South, Stillwater, MN 55082) from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, with an option for remote attendance.

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