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City of Northfield, MN
801 Washington St.
Northfield, MN 55057
Ph: 507-645-8833

GreenStep Cities Program

Northfield's progress to date

Northfield has a long history of implementing environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. A number of these existing initiatives fit into the GreenStep Cities program and for which the Northfield can take credit. Some of the existing programs may require some small changes should the city desire to meet the GreenStep Cities goals.

Northfield completed the steps to become a Level 1 GreenStep City in 2010. We are now working to become a Level 2 city by completing 8 Best Practices (required for a "Class A" city in the program). To become a Level 3 city we must complete 16 Best Practices.

Descriptions of each Best Practice are provided in the table below, along with the city's progress (Best Practices in PDF). Also available is a complete list of Action Steps (PDF) and Northfield's progress. It represents a first-cut at identifying the city departments, Boards and Commissions, and local partners that can contribute to the program.

Best Practice Best Practice Class A Requirement % Complete Bonus BPs Available
1 Efficient Existing Public Buildings - Work with utilities and others to assess and finance energy and sustainability improvements of existing structures. Required 67% 1
2 Efficient Existing Private Buildings - Work with utilities and others to assess and finance energy and sustainability improvements of existing structures. Optional 75%  
3 New Green Buildings - Construct new buildings to meet or qualify for a green building standard. Optional 0%  
4 Efficient Building & Street Lighting and Signals - Improve the efficiency of public and private lighting and signals Optional 50%  
5 Building Reuse - Create economic and regulatory incentives for redeveloping and repurposing existing buildings before building new. Optional 0%  
6 Comprehensive Plan and Implementation and Implementation - Adopt a Comprehensive Plan and tie regulatory ordinances to it. Required 50% 1
7 Higher Density - Enable and encourage a higher density of housing or commercial land use. Optional 0%  
8 Efficient and Healthy Development Patterns - Mix land uses. Optional 0%  
9 Efficient Highway-Oriented Development - Adopt commercial development and design standards for highway road corridors Optional 0%  
10 Conservation Design - Adopt development ordinances or processes that protect natural systems Optional 100%  
11 Complete Green Streets - Create a network of multimodal green streets. Required 33%  
12 Mobility Options - Promote active living and alternatives to single-occupancy car travel. Required 50%  
13 Efficient City Fleets - Implement a city fleet investment, operations, and maintenance plan. Optional  0%  
14 Demand-Side Travel Planning - Use Travel Demand Management and Transit-Oriented Design Optional  0%  
15 Purchasing - Adopt and environmentally preferable purchasing policy Required 0%  
16 Urban Forests - Increase city tree and plant cover Required 0%  
17 Efficient Stormwater Management - Minimize the volume of and pollutants in water runoff. Required 100%  
18 Green Infrastructure - Enhance city parks and trails Optional  0%  
19 Surface Water Quality - Improve local water bodies Optional  50%  
20 Efficient Water and Wastewater Facilities - Assess and improve drinking water and wastewater facilities Optional  50%  
21 Septic Systems - Implement an effective management program for decentralized wastewater treatment systems Optional  0%  
22 Solid Waste Reduction - Increase waste reduction, reuse and recycling Optional  60%  
23 Local Air Quality - Prevent generation of local air contaminants Optional  0%  
24 Benchmarks & Community Engagement - Adopt outcome measures for GreenStep and other city sustainability efforts, and engage community members in ongoing education, discussion, and campaigns. Required 0% 1
25 Green Business Development - Document the use of assistance programs for green business and job development. Required 0%  
26 Renewable Energy - Remove barriers to and encourage installation of renewable energy generation capacity. Optional  0%  
27 Local Food - Strengthen local food and fiber production and access. Optional  0%  
28 Business Synergies - Network/cluster businesses to achieve better energy, economic and environmental outcomes. Optional  0%  


MN GreenStep Cities logo

Jasper Kruggel

City of Northfield
GreenStep Cities Coordinator


Minnesota GreenStep Cities