The City is moving on up when it comes to efforts to go green. In 2022, Coon Rapids reached the top two steps in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program. The voluntary program helps cities achieve sustainability and quality of life goals.
"I think this really shows that Coon Rapids is taking sustainability seriously," Sustainability Planner Olivia Dorow Hovland said. "To get Steps 4 and 5, you have to start collecting data that paints a picture of how you are doing."
Notable performance measures achieved last year include having all housing in the city within one mile of a bike route, decreasing the energy used to treat and distribute drinking water, and an increase in solar power installations on homes and businesses.
I like the GreenStep Cities program because it gives me a good menu of work to choose from," Dorow Hovland said. "It shows me what other cities are doing so I can see what examples there are to go from or what other best practices are, and now with the performance measure aspect, I think it really helps our staff see this is the result of our work."
Another sustainability initiative, the City's Green Homes Program, provides energy efficiency rebates and discounted home energy audits.
"We are really, really prompting residents to do that because it's such an immediate payback to do things like switch the lightbulbs or get a smart thermostat or do weather stripping on your doors and windows," Dorow Hovland said.
One little step that could add up to big savings for your pocketbook and the environment in the long run.
"I think everyone can really benefit from this and we're happy to be leading the way," Dorow Hovland said.
Go to the City's sustainability website for more information.