Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. Maplewood has participated in the program since 2010. In participating, the City implements best practices in order to meet sustainability goals with support from the GreenStep Cities program and peers. Best practices taken within the program focus on cost savings, energy use reduction, resource conservation, climate mitigation and adaptation, and the encouragement of civic innovation.
In June 2023 Maplewood received an award for being a Step 4 and Step 5 GreenStep City! To achieve Step 4 a city must measure its best practices yearly. To achieve Step 5 a city must improve on at least three core metrics from year to year.
In 2023 Maplewood improved on 11 sustainability best practices (from reporting year 2021 to 2022) as follows:
Increase in the:
- percent of LED lights owned by the City and utility (from 90 to 100 percent)
- new affordable housing units added as a percent of all new housing units (from 0 to 96 percent - this represents 148 affordable housing units constructed in 2022)
- Municipal Stormwater Management Assessment (from 67 to 70 percent - the assessment measures the degree to which cities take simple and innovative actions to improve stormwater management and improve water quality)
- Climate Adaptation Stormwater Score (from 89 to 90 percent, the score is based on a series of questions to determine how cities adapt to climate change in Minnesota)
- number of City-owned and private renewable energy generation sites (from 63 to 165 new renewable energy sites)
- generation capacity of City-owned and private renewable energy sites (from 868 to 5,635 kW, which reflects the energy generated from the new renewable energy sites)
- annual production at City-owned renewable energy generation sites (from 680 to 754, this is the annual production of the City’s solar subscription only – no on-site solar which the City also has)
- number of local food venues (from 16 to 17, includes community gardens, farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and retail establishments that offer local foods)
Decrease in the:
- percent of impaired waters (from 70 to 62 percent – the MPCAs 2022 impaired waters list has Tanners, Beaver, and Keller Lakes delisted, which reflects improved stormwater management by the City and its partners)
- community-wide greenhouse gas emissions (28.5 percent below 2013 baseline levels)
- City operation greenhouse gas emissions (40.4 percent below 2013 baseline levels)
Suggestions or questions - contact Shann Finwall, Environmental Planner, 651-249-2304 or email.