The GreenStep Rush City committee is working to identify areas to focus on. It has begun regular meetings with Rush City Administrator Amy Mell and is in the process of identifying areas where the city is already working on issues.

Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals administered through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Rush City hosted a second community education meeting about water on March 11. They shared a PBS documentary called “Water Rich, Water Poor” about several cities in Wisconsin that were struggling to provide safe and clean water. Topics of discussion included water conservation including conscious water consumption and utilizing rain barrels and rain gardens. Fran Perrault said she collected rain water last year and didn’t have to turn on her outside hose at all last year.

Rush City Mayor Dan Dahlberg attended the meeting and said: “I provided a little information about Rush City’s water treatment facility. Rush City has increased levels of radium, which is present in most ground water around our area. The city is working to reduce the levels of radium by installing a hydrous manganese oxide (HMO) feed system and replacing the media in the filtering system.”

Jacqueline Larson said there are “a million conservation practices — awareness is the key.” One reason that conservation is so important is, as the water levels in wells drop, arsenic levels can increase.

Dahlberg said: “We also had a discussion about sprinkler systems within our community. I was impressed that the GreenStep community wants to educate our community on the amount of water it takes to water our lawns, flush our toilets, and even brush our teeth. I am looking forward to their next session regarding bees on March 26 at the Rush City Community Center starting at 6:30 p.m.”

The committee will host an educational meeting on the importance of pollinators on March 26 and are in the process of planning an Earth Day event for April 22.

The committee continues to work with the city on implementing some of the GreenStep recommended “best practices.” These categories include building and light, land use, transportation, environmental management and resilient economic and community development.

Dahlberg said: “I was impressed and support our local GreenStep group, as they appear to be passionate and dedicated to making Rush City a better place to live now and long into our future. The GreenStep program has no political affiliation or requirements on which projects we participate in or when projects need to be completed. However, they offer help with ideas, planning, and resources to help with our projects. Grants are even available for qualifying projects.”

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