Sustainability Commission Work Plan
The Work Plan in Brief
The Sustainability Commission 2018 Work Plan was developed through a series of meetings that included both staff and small groups of Commissioners. In these meetings, Commissioners and staff went through a process of brainstorming potential initiatives that would serve the Bloomington community long-term. Potential initiatives were prioritized based on the “biggest bang for the buck” (projected impact vs Commission and staff effort expended), and the list was narrowed to two to four initiatives for each area of Sustainability.
On Monday, February 12, the City Council approved the Sustainability Commission’s Work Plan for 2018.
Listed below is a summary of the Work Plan along with their page numbers.
Planning and Administration Section
Exclusive to cities in Minnesota, GreenStep Cities is a recognition program to assist in sustainability and quality-of-life goals based on 29 best practices involving data maintenance and implemented actions. The City of Bloomington became a member in 2017, and plans to achieve the title of Step 4 by June of 2019 (page 4).
Marketing and Outreach
Using extensive communication, the Commission intends to influence and change behavior through social media, presentations, video format, and tabling efforts. Presenting such educational outreach also aims to provide the public with updates and volunteer opportunities (page 4).
The Sustainability Commission intends to brainstorm possibilities, research feasibility, and prioritize options in order to determine an ongoing sustainable funding stream for future initiatives and programs (page 5).
GreenCorps Application and/or Intern Assistance, Hiring and Management
The City of Bloomington will hire additional assistance to support City Sustainability goals (page 5).
The Commission may identify grant opportunities that will support and financially enable sustainability initiatives (page 5-6).
Develop Long-Term Sustainability Goals
As a carry-over item from the Commission’s 2017 Work Plan, this initiative plans to determine 10 year goals for each of the areas of sustainability through specific frameworks, objectives, and funding (page 6).
In response to Bloomington youth who are eager to bring about sustainable change in their communities, the Sustainability Commission’s 2018 goal is to have a participating *youth on the Commission in effort to tap into their creative energy (page 6-7).
*Youth is defined as 16-23 years old.
Energy and Carbon Section
Xcel Partners in Energy
Using resources offered through Xcel, the Commission will identify energy objectives, develop a plan, and implement strategies in line with their Energy Action Plan. For more information, please see the Energy Action Plan page (page 7-8).
Solid Waste Section
The Commission established an organics drop-off pilot program in April 2018 with three locations. Regarding the success of the program, the Commission will develop recommendations for maintaining or closing the program (page 8).
Planning and Identifying Sustainable Alternatives to the Spring Clean-up
City Council requested the Commission to review alternative options for the Spring Clean-up Program and make recommendations on more sustainable options (page 8).
The Sustainability Commission intends to develop recommendations for City Council to consider adopting a textile recycling program in order to divert such articles from the waste stream (page 9).
Increase Commercial Recycling
With the intention of prioritizing this in the 2019 Work Plan, the Commission plans to improve recycling participation in Bloomington by researching and developing commercial recycling programs (page 9).
Water Resources Section
The Commission will work with city staff to develop a plan for Council consideration in regards to the conservation of municipal water supplies. To ensure the long term sustainability of this resource, they will also be taking into account the health of the Utilities fund and need for infrastructure maintenance and replacement (page 10).
Adopt a Storm Drain
Developing a program to expand the program outside of Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, the Commission will educate recruited volunteers and community members about what they can do to improve the quality of the run-off into Nine Mile Creek and other watersheds (page 10-11).
Ecological Land Stewardship Section
Prioritize MN River Valley Natural Resources Plan Recommendations
Sections from the Minnesota River Valley Natural Resources Plan found several ecological restoration opportunities. The Commission will review these materials, prioritize the opportunities based on meaningful criteria, coordinate with City staff, summarize top restoration opportunities, and make recommendations for public outreach, 2019 restoration, and maintenance programming (page 11-12).
Create a Framework for Long-Term Natural Resource Restoration
Alongside City staff, the Commission will prepare an overall framework for programming natural resource restoration and maintenance priorities, actions, and costs for the future (page 12).
Consider and Recommend Changes to City Ordinances
In effort to make ecological restoration easier and more encouraged, the Commission will review ordinance revisions, make recommendations to City Council, and identify cities with similar ordinances (page 12-13).