While we probably don't necessarily need outside recognition to let us know just how great our city is, it doesn't hurt!  Duluth recently picked up statewide honors that also plays well on the national front.

The City of Duluth was recently selected as the winner of the Sustainable City Award for 2022 from the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference.  According to collateral shared by the organization, the Sustainable City Award is "given each year to a city that is working to achieve sustainability goals that align with one or more of the GreenStep Cities programs 29 best practices".

Put in layman's terms, the recognition focuses on "cost savings, energy use reduction, resource conservation, climate change, and the encouragement of civic innovation".

One of Duluth's efforts that was spotlighted was the development and implementation of the city's first Climate Action Work Plan. That plan outlines strategies that the city will focus on from 2022 to 2027, helping the City of Duluth to reach their goal of "carbon neutrality and net zero emissions by 2050".

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Duluth's goals seem to be on track, too.  Since the adoption of that Climate Action Work Plan, recent progress has been made in the following sectors:

  • Adoption of a new Vehicle Replacement Policy, that offers support to lower-emission fleet purchases
  • An MPCA grant for stormwater resiliency planning
  • Funding identified for a City Strategic Facilities Plan
  • A technical assistance award to plan an energy pathway for the Lincoln Park neighborhood through the Development of Energy Communities
  • Community Forestry Grants to replace trees killed by disease
  • Acquisition of 83 acres of undeveloped forest for permanent protection
  • Several pending energy and infrastructure grant proposals

While accepting the award for the city, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson shared that "We are proud of both the Sustainable Cities Award for 2020 and for keeping our GreenStep Step 5 status.  It shows that Duluth is doing its part to help make Minnesota more resilient for the future, while also helping our City thrive economically."

The League of Minnesota Cities gives its award each year to a city for work "that is helping the city achieve its sustainability goals through implementation of one or more of the GreenStep Cities program’s 29 best practices".  To learn more, visit their website by clicking here.

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