In this issue
to the March issue of the NextStep e-newsletter.
also are continuing to post and update resources on the NextStep web
site in an ongoing manner, and welcome your suggestions and inquiries.
To contact us, please send messages to firstname.lastname@example.org (instead of replying to this message)
Thanks for your interest!
-- Erin Barnes-Driscoll and Paul Moss, NextStep newsletter co-editors
The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has issued its 2014 Request for Proposal (RFP) for funding from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund beginning July 1, 2014. The Trust Fund represents the money that, since its inception in 1991, has been generated by the Minnesota State Lottery to provide a constitutionally dedicated funding source for protection of the state’s unique natural resources.
Approximately $29.6 million is expected to be available for projects being sought in environment and natural resource areas that will provide multiple ecological and other public benefits. Proposals responding to the 2014 RFP are due Friday, June 7, 2013.
Proposals are being requested in the following seven areas:
1. Foundational Natural Resource Data and Information
2. Water Resources
3. Environmental Education
4. Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species
5. Air Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy
6. Methods to Protect, Restore, and Enhance Land, Water, and Habitat
7. Land Acquisition for Habitat and Recreation
The 2014 RFP contains detailed instructions for submitting a proposal to the LCCMR as well as additional explanation of the LCCMR’s proposal and funding process. Anyone with a project idea consistent with the RFP may submit a proposal for consideration by the LCCMR. LCCMR staff are available to review proposal drafts and assist in proposal development. Lobbying or professional grant-writing experience is not necessary for success.
During September and October, 2013, the LCCMR will consider all proposals received in response to the 2014 RFP and make final selection of projects to include in its recommendations to the Legislature for the 2014 session. Funded projects can begin July 1, 2014.
For more information on the LCCMR funding process or the 2014 RFP, please visit http://www.lccmr.leg.mn.
The Minnesota Pollution
Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from organizations
interested in participating as a host site for the 2013 - 2014 year of the
Minnesota GreenCorps program.
eligible organizations interested in hosting Minnesota GreenCorps
members are due by 5:00 pm on Monday May 6, 2013.
Minnesota GreenCorps is an
environmentally-focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA, which
places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a
year of service addressing critical environmental issues, while gaining
experience and learning valuable job skills.
application packets, including a detailed guidance document and the
application, are only available by e-mailing your request to email@example.com
Please direct all questions to this e-mail.
include public entities (local, regional, state, tribal), school districts,
not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit
organizations. Organizations may apply for Minnesota GreenCorps members who
will serve on projects in the areas of:
- Energy Conservation
- Waste Prevention and Recycling
- Living Green Outreach (including Air Quality
Improvement/Active Transportation and Local Foods)
- Green Infrastructure (including Stormwater
Management and Urban Forestry)
MPCA is planning to place
up to 28 full time members with various host sites for the 2013-2014 year.
Members serve approximately 40 hours a week for 11 months beginning in mid
to late September 2013 through August 2014.
For more information on the
program, including descriptions of host site projects from previous years,
please visit www.pca.state.mn.us/mngreencorps.
materials for individuals interested in serving with the program will be
available online in the coming weeks.
Please note, operation of
the 2013-2014 program year is contingent on receiving funds. Confirmation
of funds may not be available prior to the application deadline.
The MPCA is calling on
residents to check their toilets for leaks this spring, beginning with national WaterSense® Fix a Leak Week March 18-24th (THIS WEEK!). Toward that goal, the agency is distributing a FREE
packet of leak detection tablets to interested households.
In Minnesota, the current drought coupled with growing water
demands is putting a strain on our water resources. Nationally, the U.S. EPA
estimates that 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted each year through
household leaks—enough to supply the needs of Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles
combined. Toilets are especially leak-prone (20% of all toilets leak), but because
they are often silent, these leaks typically go unnoticed.
Experts recommend that toilets be checked for leaks on a
semiannual or annual basis. A silent toilet leak can quietly “rob” a home of 50
to 300 or more gallons of water each day. This can lead to higher water and sewer
bills and the waste of a finite natural resource. Leaks can also shorten the lives of septic
systems and private wells.
Leak detection tablets can be ordered at http://www.livinggreen.org/fixaleak
or by calling or emailing 651-757-2999, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MPCA is a promotional partner of WaterSense®, an EPA
program that promotes the value of water efficiency and water-efficient
products to consumers. For information
on WaterSense® and Fix-a-Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.
The following is adapted from the website above.
Metro Blooms is holding twelve raingarden "how-to" workshops in Minneapolis and several Hennepin County locations this spring.
Raingardens and Beyond: Healthy Yard, Clean Water explores healthy yard care practices combined with the do-it-yourself approach to raingarden design and installation. In some areas, it includes an introduction to shoreline plantings. Participants will learn about watershed management, stormwater runoff, and
raingarden basics including design, installation and maintenance of raingardens
using native plants. In the second half of the session participants will
receive hands-on assistance in planning a raingarden project. The cost to attend this three-hour workshop is $15.
Workshops will be held in the following locations:
- Brooklyn Park Community Center, April 24, 6 PM
- St. Louis Park Recreation Center, April 25, 6 PM
- Audubon Park, Minneapolis, April 27, 10 AM
- Chanhassen Public Works Building, May 7, 6 PM
- Nokomis Park Recreation Center, Minneapolis, May 9, 6 PM
- Longfellow Recreation Center, Minneapolis, May 11, 9 AM
- Brooklyn Center Community Center, May 14, 6 PM
- Brookview Community Center, Golden Valley, May 15, 6 PM
- St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis, May 16, 6 PM
- St. Barnabas Lutheran Church, Plymouth, May 21, 6 PM
- North Regional Library, Minneapolis, June 1, 1 PM
- Staring Lake Outdoor Center, Eden Prairie, 6:30 PM
Metro Blooms is also holding a 90-minute introductory workshop on the do-it-yourself approach to raingardens in Vadnais Heights, MN on May 8th.
For information on these workshops or to register, visit http://www.metroblooms.org/workshop_descriptions.php#anchor3.
Raingardens are designed and planted to capture rainwater so it can penetrate deep into the soil to help
protect and restore water quality. This helps to
reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that would otherwise take pollutants from
the air, our yards, and the streets and carry them into our lakes, rivers, and
wetlands. Typically, raingardens contain deep-rooted native perennial-plants that require little maintenance and can thrive without fertilizer or pesticides.
The following is adapted from the website above.
The Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability hosts an
annual Earth Fest celebration of local traditions and practical resources for
sustainable living on the Iron Range of Northeastern Minnesota. The event offers opportunities to:
options for living more sustainably in our homes and communities, our economy
and our environment
about new and existing technological approaches as well as rediscover some long-standing
into the knowledge of cutting-edge experts as well as local indigenous
knowledge through exhibits, demonstrations, speakers and vendors
local products, services, foods, entertainment, and wilderness
Earth Fest 2013 is happening Saturday, April 6, 2013, 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. at the Mt. Iron Community Center, Messiah Lutheran Church &
Merritt Elementary, all located next to one another on Hwy 169 in Mt. Iron, MN.
Cost: Under 18 – FREE; Over 18 - $2
For more information or to register, visit the website above.
The following is adapted from the website above.
Metro Clean Energy Resource Team is celebrating its
6th year of connecting communities to resources at an event on April 17th,
4-8 PM, at the Science Museum in St. Paul. Come hear about Metro CERT’s work
and exciting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and find out
how you can work to reduce your energy footprint.
Electric Vehicles in Minnesota: Jukka Kukkonen,
Wright-Hennepin Community Solar: Steve Nisbet,
Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative.
Metro CERT Affiliate Action: Jen McLoughlin, City of
Year in Review: Diana McKeown, Metro CERT Director
The program will be followed by a resource fair, cash bar, light
appetizers, and networking.
The event is FREE, but registration is required. For more information or to
register, visit the website above.
is now open for Twin Cities residents who are interested in joining their local
neighborhood gardening network, where they can connect with other gardeners and
get access to low-cost seeds and plants.
is the third year of the Local Food Resource Hubs program. The Hubs are
designed to provide household gardeners and community gardeners the tools and
education they need to grow, preserve, cook and compost their own fresh produce
by offering supplies, classes and connections. Hubs benefit neighborhoods by
increasing community connection and increasing access to healthy food.
Hubs have been established in Minneapolis: North Minneapolis, South
Minneapolis, Phillips/Ventura Village, and Northeast/Southeast Minneapolis, and
three Hubs will be active in St. Paul this year: Midway, East Side, and West 7th/West
Side. The East Side and W. 7th/West Side Hubs are new this year!
will pick up their seeds and seedlings at their local Hub’s distribution events
this spring. Small garden packages include 10 packets of seed and 12 seedlings,
medium garden packages include 20 packets of seeds and 24 seedlings, and large
garden packages include 40 packs of seeds and 72 seedlings. Seed distributions
are scheduled for various weekends in March or April, and all Hubs’ plants will
be distributed May 18. Gardening classes, skill shares, and social events will
also be scheduled throughout the year in each neighborhood. More information
about distribution events will be sent to members and will be available
can join a Local Food Resource Hub and select one of four types of membership.
Prices vary and scholarships are available. Memberships are available on a
first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a membership spot, residents can
contact Gardening Matters at 612-821-2358, download the membership form (in
English, Spanish, or Hmong), or sign up online at www.gardeningmatters.org/hubs.
If questions or for more information, contact Nadja Berneche, Gardening Matters, 612-821-2358 or email@example.com
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced the availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2013 will be up to $25 million.
The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches into NRCS policy, technical manuals, guides, and references, or to the private sector.
Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration.
Funds will be awarded through a two-phase nationwide competitive grants process that will include (1) a pre-proposal process and (2) a full proposal process. The full proposal process will only be open to applicants whose pre-proposal applications are selected by NRCS.
For FY 2013, NRCS will consider Mississippi River Basin Category pre-proposals for projects that will be conducted within the Mississippi River Basin.
The application deadline for pre-proposals is April 1, 2013. For more information on the program, see www.nrcs.usda.gov (click on Financial Assistance).
The following is adapted from the webpage above.
The Minnesota Housing Partnership's
Sustainable Community Engagement Fund (SCEF) helps communities develop
sustainably by linking affordable housing to transportation, jobs, and
services. SCEF encourages collaboration and a comprehensive planning
approach to address local affordable housing needs.
SCEF awardees have access to direct technical assistance, thereby
helping them to become strong, successful affordable housing providers.
To be eligible, projects must be located outside the seven-county Twin Cities metro area and Duluth. The maximum grant amount is $10,000 and requires, at minimum, a 1:1 match.
Remaining application due dates in 2013 are April 29, June 24, and August 26.
See the program guidelines at the webpage above for more information on eligibility and funding criteria.
The following is adapted from the website above.
The NCR-SARE Professional Development Grant Program call for pre-proposals
is now available. Pre-proposals must be submitted by 4pm CDT on May 16, 2013.
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Grant
Program supports state professional development programs and competitive grants
for training agricultural professionals.
Professional Development Program (PDP) competitive grants emphasize training
agricultural educators in extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service,
private and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing
emerging issues in the farm community.
- Professional Development Program awards range from $30,000 to $75,000
- Projects may last up to 36 months.
- About 5-10 projects are funded each year.
Applicants are educators who often represent, but are not limited to,
Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and non-profit groups.
PDP competitive grants are awarded for state and multi-state PDP projects
that emphasize cross-agency training, using farmers as educators and addressing
emerging issues in the farm community.
For more information, visit the website above.
For more details as well as other positions, see http://www.nextstep.state.mn.us/jobs.cfm
Upper Mississippi River Basin Association: Executive Director (deadline March 26)
Cycles for Change: Public
Relations and Community Organizing Assistant (deadline March 26)
Conservation Corps MN and IA: Home Energy Squad Members (deadline April 12)
Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County: Executive Director (deadline April 15)
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: Assistant Superintendent for Environmental Stewardship - Operations
(deadline April 16)
County: Aquatic Invasive Species
Coordinator (deadline April 19)
Fresh Energy: Communications Associate (open until filled)
Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization: Summer Watershed Intern (paid; deadline April 3)
For more details as
well as other events, see http://www.nextstep.state.mn.us/calendar.cfm
Celebration of World Water Day, March 26, Bemidji, MN
Ensia Live: Energy
Expert Peggy Liu, March 27, Minneapolis, MN
Farm to Cafeteria
Workshop, April 3, Staples, MN
Conference and Expo, April 8-10, Minneapolis, MN
Plants, Rain Gardens and Lawn Care for Water Quality, April 10, St. Paul,
Ensia Live: Global Architect Peter Williams, April 11, Minneapolis, MN
Environmental Priorities in 2013, April 12, St. Paul, MN
Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic at South Mpls Housing Fair,
April 13, Minneapolis, MN
Photovoltaics 101, April 13, White Bear Lake, MN
The Truth About Organic Gardening, April 15, Maplewood, MN
Saint Cloud Area
Sustainability Expo, April 21, St. Cloud, MN
Careers in Renewable Energy, April 27, White Bear Lake, MN
Not Just for Scientists Anymore: Why the Public
Should Care About the Connection Between Groundwater and Lakes, Streams
and Wetlands, May 1, St. Paul, MN
email newsletter is sent today to 3506 sustainability professionals
and others interested in building sustainable communities, most of whom
live in Minnesota. It was prepared by staff in the Sustainable
Development Unit of the Resource Management and Assistance Division at
the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
hope that you find this information useful; please send us an e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help using the resources presented
here. (We will not receive replies sent to this e-mail message.) You
are encouraged to enter events and jobs directly onto the NextStep web
NextStep web site has an on-line directory of those who would like to
post their contact information, sustainability interests and expertise
and then subscribe to the newsletter. To add yourself to the directory,
welcome your participation there as part of the Minnesota Sustainable
Communities Network (MnSCN). The goal of MnSCN and NextStep is to
encourage networking, information exchange, and better access to
assistance. This network consists of an even mix of over 3,000
individuals, many of whom are affiliated with local governments,
non-profit organizations, businesses, and educational institutions in
Minnesota (and bordering areas) who are interested in moving toward
For further information and questions about MnSCN, see
Receiving this message forwarded from someone else? To directly receive the NextStep e-newsletter, sign up at http://www.nextstep.state.mn.us/join.cfm.
Contact the NextStep Newsletter editors, Erin Barnes-Driscoll and Paul Moss, at email@example.com
To unsubscribe, to set subscriber preferences, or to subscribe to other MPCA e-newsletters, see the links below.