MN GreenStep Schools Appropriation Bills are in progress in March 2023

Winter 2023

In this issue:

Resources Update

U.S. Green Building Council - Minnesota

U.S. Green Building Council - Minnesota has been part of the planning for MN GreenStep Schools for years, and is also a MN GreenStep Schools Resource Organization. They are committed to green schools, and connected to the national USGBC Center for Green Schools website, which is full of valuable resources.

As Steph Leonard describes on their GreenStep page, "USGBC Minnesota is committed to creating healthy, sustainable buildings a reality for everyone in Minnesota. We aim to support, promote, educate, and grow the green building industry in both the state of Minnesota and beyond. Our diverse membership creates a place for everyone in the USGBC Community! Builders, architects, engineers, nonprofit and school professionals, and environmentalists alike provide a depth of knowledge surrounding all areas of the green building industry."

Explore how they can assist your school at their GreenStep Resource Organization page,

Or Contact, Steph Leonard at to learn more. 

The GreenStep Pages of three other resource organizations have been updated recently so you can learn more about their work. And a new Resource Organization Benefits Flyer is available.

Resource Organizations

What is a MN GreenStep School Resource Organization?

MN GreenStep Schools Member Resource Organizations help schools in their efforts to grow. Read about our Resource Organizations and consider being next… Go to the Resource Organizations Page to sign up.

Who can be a resource organization? Any organization or individual that has something to offer to schools trying to green their facilities, operations, or programming. 

MN GreenStep Schools Program News

Holly Swiglo, Ivy Song, and Emilia Gusdal - Seniors at Roseville Area High School Leaders and Founders of Roseville Area High School Students For Climate Action, the first MN GreenStep Schools Green Club

Increasing youth leadership presence 

In summer 2022, a new MN GreenStep Green Club participation category was launched at the Minnesota State Fair with the very first GreenStep Green Club! This participation type recognizes the importance of youth leadership in the school improvement process. Green clubs are youth led, and adult supported. Whether a school has officially joined the GreenStep program or not, Green Clubs offer a connection for youth interested in the best practice areas of MN GreenStep Schools and a way for teams to share their ideas and progress across schools. 

In December 2022, we initiated a youth position on the MN GreenStep Schools Steering Committee, and now Holly Swiglo, a high school senior represents the Roseville Area High School Students For Climate Action, the first MN GreenStep Schools Green Club. 

But MN GreenStep Green Clubs aren't just for high school. In February we welcomed our first Middle School GreenStep club, RAMS Garden Club. "RAMS Garden Club is a student led group looking to increase native plants around our school to help local pollinators thrive. Students spend time researching plants that are native to our planting zone and the benefits of the plants impact on ecosystem. We meet in the spring time to plant new seeds to attract bees and butterflies, while allowing camouflage to other wildlife for nesting." Learn more at their GreenStep club page.

Learn more about how your green club that serves any age, can join, share your good work, and connect to other clubs.

Green STEP into the Future

Strategic planning, and active funding bills

From Fall 2022 through Winter 2023, MN GreenStep Steering Committees from the MN GreenStep Cities and Tribal Nations Program and the MN GreenStep Schools program reflected on the status of the programs and a vision for how MN GreenStep programs could develop in the future. These ideas and scenarios for growth were captured in a Green STEP into the future report. 

Also this winter, two bills were introduced [SF2350 (Kunesh) and HF2626 (Hill, Kraft] that would fund the next strategic step for MN GreenStep Schools: to move from a small pilot program to a full program that can serve schools throughout the state. As of this newsletter they are still in progress, and you can learn more on the strategic planning page.

You can learn more about both of these initiatives at the new Strategic Planning page.

How to Get Involved in MN GreenStep Schools

Youth-led projects (such as these YES! project teams pictured) are one of our favorite kind of Project Stories

7 Ways to Get Involved in MN GreenStep Schools

These are just some of the ways to get involved, with more opportunities to come.

Thanks to the contacts from Districts, Schools, Resource Organizations, and others
who have expressed interest in MN GreenStep Schools!

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