FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2022
Joe Ellickson, Communications and Engagement Director
651-675-5008 (o) | 651-302-0731 (c)
Eagan Receives State Environmental Award Again
The City continues to invest in sustainability efforts to match community priorities.
Eagan, Minn - The City of Eagan received the award for being a Step 5 city in the Minnesota GreenStep program. Eagan is one of 147 participating cities and tribal nations in the 12th year of the program.
The city of Eagan is a unique community in many ways. One very specific attribute is our commitment to preserve, protect, and invest in the natural environment—so much that our residents prioritize the natural environment as much as the economy and public safety. We reflect those values by creating, investing in, and implementing programs, services, and policies that make Eagan the green community our residents desire. We do this in partnership with the community through education, innovation, inclusion, engagement, and empowerment.
These ingredients have led to nearly every Eagan resident rating our natural environment highly, and the City is continually being acknowledged as a leader in green initiatives and protecting and enhancing our natural spaces.
“This award shows our community members and other cities across Minnesota that the City of Eagan is taking great steps in the direction of energy and resource conservation, innovation and environmental awareness initiatives,” said Andrew Pimental, Eagan’s Parks & Recreation director and Eagan’s GreenStep program leader.
View the City of Eagan’s green efforts at cityofeagan.com/green.
The City of Eagan has worked hard to implement best practices to meet its own sustainability goals with support from the GreenStep program and its peers. The program focuses on actions that save money, reduce energy use, conserve resources, fight climate change, and encourage civic innovation. You can learn more about Eagan’s efforts at https://greenstep.pca.state.mn.us/city-detail/11986.
“This award is a great achievement for Eagan,” Andrew Pimental said. “By being part of the program, Eagan and our peers help make Minnesota more resilient for the future while also helping our cities thrive in sustainable ways.”
About GreenStep: Minnesota GreenStep is a voluntary challenge, assistance, and recognition program to help cities and tribal nations achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. Celebrating its 10th year serving Minnesota communities, this free continuous improvement program is based on 29 best practices that are tailored to Minnesota cities and tribal nations. More at MnGreenStep.org.
Eagan’s Green Story
Eagan is a city of trees. They are part of our identity; our city logo is an oak tree. We celebrate their contributions to our quality of life and the environmental benefits they provide our community. Our budget, policies, and services reflect those values through the creation of our Tree Dedication Fund.
Eagan’s commitment to trees has led to one of the most robust urban canopies in the state of Minnesota, and the City being recognized as a Tree City USA for 34 consecutive years. Sustaining the health and diversity of our urban forest involves preservation, management, maintenance, and partnerships between the City, residents, and businesses. For example, with cities across our region are battling emerald ash borer, Eagan’s forestry team is removing more than 2,000 ash trees on public property as quickly as possible. While doing this essential work, we are partnering with residents, businesses, and other organizations to buffer the loss and restore our green roof through education and investments in new replacement trees that will thrive in Eagan.
Eagan residents love planting trees. In fact, we’ve sold over 12,000 trees over the past 30 years at our annual tree sale, which provides trees at a reduced cost and tips on how and where to plant them. This past year, the tree sale sold out in 48 hours, so we are expanding our efforts and the sale to match our community’s passion and needs.
City forestry staff are always available to provide education and consultation both proactively and by appointment on any forestry-related issues including best practices for tree planting, tree maintenance, tree preservation, and invasive plant management.
Eagan’s waters, which consists of 1,200 lakes, streams, wetlands, ponds, and a river, are defining characteristics and significant assets of the community. Our waters help make the city a desirable place to live, work, play, and visit. Water conservation has been integral to our culture, and organized efforts to protect our water began in the 1980s. We are early adopters when it comes to protecting our water, whether it was creating a nationally recognized stormwater management plan and separating our storm sewer in the 1990s or investing in a water resources team to treat and protect our waters.
For over 30 years, the City has funded our water resources management program, which has been successful in protecting and improving natural, aesthetic, and recreational qualities of lakes and wetlands. Eagan’s ongoing success story is attributable to reliable and consistent support and participation by policymakers, residents, volunteers, and City staff, as well as partnerships with other agencies. Through partnerships, education, outreach efforts, and financial investments, our first-class water resources team is a leader in water quality management.
And we are carrying that culture forward. As a part of our recent City Hall campus remodel, we’ve planted trees, created rain gardens, and made permeable parking spaces that drain water through, as natural ways to manage stormwater.
The City has invested in sustainability efforts including community solar development partnership, electric vehicles and charging stations, using goats to fight invasive species, supporting pollinator by adding four acres of pollinator areas to the previous 21 acres in our parks , and creating responsible guidelines for residential and commercial use of alternative energy systems (solar, wind, geo-thermal). In fact, the City signed up for a local wind energy program to provide electricity for all City facilities in 2022.
Eagan continues to be a member of the Minnesota GreenSteps Cities Initiative, which has agencies take steps to reduce energy use, preserve and enhance the environment, and encourage innovation within city operations, and to be green leaders for the community. Eagan has been awarded the highest step of this program the last five years.