We’re all trying to do more with less. Cities across Minnesota have been faced with uncertain budgets, uncertain population change, uncertain energy costs. It’s an uncertain time.
Minnesota’s GreenStep Cities program has been in the news recently, as a useful toolbox for uncertain times. The progressive Minnesota 2020 think tank highlighted sustainability aspects of GreenStep’s best practices (graphic above).
GreenStep Cities’ best incentive is a concrete and navigable path to implementing sustainable, innovative ideas, which for many cities is enough to make the commitment worthwhile.
As Andrea Lauer, Royalton’s Mayor wrote in reference to the program, “There are more things that cities can do to impact budgets than cut staff and services. We need to think long-term and make changes that will impact not only the budget, but the environment.”
The MinnPost progressive blog site hitched a ride with the West Central CERTs coordinator on a recent visit to Granite Falls, just north of my region. They sum up the initiative nicely in this quote from the coordinator:
“It’s really a framework for developing initiatives for your city,” he tells the group, later adding, “a lot of it is about getting the policy in place so you can take advantage of it when the time arrives.”
I’ve been working with cities in Southwest Minnesota this year on the GreenStep Cities initative, including Marshall and Luverne. This week, the Pipestone City Council made time on their busy agenda to learn more about the project. There’s a lot going on in Pipestone already, from business development to their cutting-edge Active Living Partnership. GreenStep isn’t intended to add more work for local staff and volunteers. It’s intended to more the work you’re doing already easier and better. It’s another tool in your toolbox for taking your community from Good to Great.
Have a Great, GreenStep day.