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GreenStep Cities program recognizes Pierz, Crosslake

The League of Minnesota Cities recognized several member cities at an awards ceremony recently for completing participation steps in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.

Crosslake was recognized for completing Step One and Pierz for completing Step Two of GreenStep Cities, a free, voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities meet environmental sustainability goals through the implementation of 29 best practice actions. There are currently 119 cities and three tribal nations making a total of 122 program participants since the launch of the program at the League's 2010 annual conference.

GreenStep Cities' 29 best practice actions are separated into five categories and tailored to all types of Minnesota cities. The actions focus on cost savings, energy use reduction and encouraging innovation.

Cities achieve Step One recognition by passing a resolution to become a GreenStep City. Step Two-designated cities implemented up to eight of the program's best practice actions, and Step Three-designated cities implemented up to 16 best practice actions.

Step Four cities tracked and submitted metrics from a selection of categories, such as energy and water use, vehicle fleet efficiency, community and economic development, and more. Cities achieve Step Five status by documenting and demonstrating improvement on Step Four metrics.

Some cities were recognized for achieving several steps in a single year, and some were recognized for achieving the highest step—Step Five—for a second year in a row.

The cities recognized for Step One completion are Bloomington, Crosslake, Lakeville, Lewiston, Moorhead, North Branch, Saint Francis, Vesta and Wyoming.

Cities completing Step Two include Arden Hills, Big Lake, Bloomington, Crookston, Fridley, Inver Grove Heights, Milan, Moorhead, Pierz and Scandia.

Six cities completed Step Three including Belle Plaine, Bloomington, Golden Valley, Minnetonka, New Brighton and Warren.

The cities receiving Step Four distinction include Edina, Isanti, Rochester, Shoreview and White Bear Lake.

The cities recognized at Step Five — the highest designation — are Eagan, Eden Prairie, Elk River, Falcon Heights, Hutchinson, Maplewood, Oakdale, Red Wing, Rochester, St. Anthony and St. Paul.