Kicking off 2021 and reflecting on 2020 in the rearview mirror are among the more joyous activities I’ve undertaken in some time. I think we are all ready to “turn the page,” “turn over a new leaf,” “round the corner,” and “begin a new day.” Sustainable Stillwater MN is looking forward to a ton of exciting projects in the coming year -- each reinforcing our mission of creating and supporting local initiatives that promote sustainability.
Once again Earth Day, April 22, will be the kick-off for many of our projects. The Green Business Directory will be unveiled publicly, highlighting local businesses that are striving to reduce their carbon footprint. We are accepting business members -- apply now at GreenStillwater.org
Our Natural Resources Team will maintain city rain gardens, cigarette butt boxes, and storm drain cleanups/adoptions. “Plant Identification” activities are resuming on the Browns Creek Trail, and buckthorn removal (the seemingly, never-ending project) will continue throughout the area.
The GreenStep City Team, working with the City of Stillwater staff, is on pace to reach Level 3 by the end of the year -- an accomplishment held by 40+ of the 150+ communities participating in the statewide program.
A Complete Streets resolution was introduced to the City Council this past week to ensure that all forms of transportation are considered when repairing or designing public roadways in the community. On May 15, 2021, we will host a Migratory Bird Day program in Stillwater as part of the quest to become an Audubon Bird City.
And finally, we aim to get a Bicycle Friendly Community designation for Stillwater in 2021. In this endeavor, we are coordinating the installation of more bike racks, route identification, bike training, and education opportunities. Biking represents the most efficient form of transportation ever invented, so the more we can provide the opportunity for everyone to bike, the more we can attain a healthy, resilient, and sustainable community.
Please join us in any or all of these activities, we look forward to seeing you around town.
-- Roger Tomten, SSMN Chair