Fwd: NextStep e-Newsletter: MN organic agriculture board seeks 8 new members
From: Shodo Spring (shodo.springgmail.com)
Date: Sat, 26 May 2012 04:53:52 -0700 (PDT)
Members sought for

Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force

Dear all,

I'm just forwarding this where it might be shared usefully. You probably
already have this information, but it seemed important.

If anyone is willing to serve on a state task force for organic
agriculture, please apply here. This seems like an important opportunity.


The following information is modified from the website above.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking members to fill
eight scheduled vacancies on the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force
(OATF). Authorized by Minnesota Statute, the OATF advises the Commissioner
of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota about policies and programs
that will improve organic agriculture in the state.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NextStep <nextstep [at] state.mn.us>
Date: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM
Subject: NextStep e-Newsletter: 5/24/12, issue #301
To: shodo.spring [at] gmail.com

   *May 24, 2012*

*Newsletter #301*
 [image: header cropped]  *In this issue:* NextStep e-newsletter changing
service provider <#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK5> Minnesota
GreenCorps - member applications due May
30!<#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK37> Nextdoor.com
- building communication among
neighbors<#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK42> Hour
Dollars - Service Exchange
Program<#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK43> Members
sought for MN Organic Advisory Task
Force<#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK45> EPA
Competition for Students on Innovative Stormwater
Management<#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK36> 4th
Annual Housing Summit <#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK27> Money
Available <#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK17> Jobs
Available - many
listings!<#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK19> Upcoming
Events <#13788fb43ea5cd46_13780ed4d42aeed3_LETTER.BLOCK21>
Dear Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network (MnSCN),*

Welcome to the May issue of the NextStep e-newsletter!

We continue to post and update resources on the NextStep web site on an
ongoing manner, and welcome your suggestions and inquiries.

Please note that, at the bottom of this e-mail, you can read about MnSCN,
subscribe to the newsletter, send us newsletter content, forward this
e-mail, contact us, and change your e-mail address.

Thanks for your interest!

-- Erin Barnes-Driscoll, NextStep newsletter co-editor
-- Paul Moss, NextStep newsletter co-editor
  * *

NextStep e-newsletter to move to GovDelivery

in June 2012


We wanted to inform NextStep e-newsletter readers that as of the June 2012
issue, we will be moving the e-newsletter from Constant Contact to another
service provider that has become widely used in Minnesota state government:

GovDelivery will allow us to send out formatted newsletters as we do
currently, but we wanted to alert you to a few minor changes:

1) Messages starting with the June 2012 e-newsletter will start to be sent
from "Minnesota Pollution Control Agency" ( mpca [at] public.govdelivery.com )
instead of from NextStep (nextstep [at] state.mn.us ).

2) To reach NextStep staff, you will need to contact us directly at
nextstep [at] state.mn.us instead of responding directly to the e-newsletter.

3) After approximately June 7, 2012, you will not longer be able to click
on links in this or previous NextStep e-newsletters. You can still access
working links by visiting the online archive of previously sent NextStep
e-newsletters at
web page actually contains links to all NextStep e-newsletters back to the
year 2000, which you can access using the drop-down menu at the top right
of the page.

You will still be able to modify your subscription preferences as you did
with Constant Contact, and we are working for a smooth transition to this
new provider.

One of the advantages of sending the NextStep e-newsletter through
GovDelivery is that it will make it easier for NextStep subscribers to also
subscribe to other MPCA and State of Minnesota e-newsletters which you may
be interested in. It also allows for you to subscribe directly through the
MPCA web site and to be able to easily adjust and change your subscriber
information for multiple e-newsletters at the same time.

We'll be interested in learning how this transition works for you
next month!

 * *

Minnesota GreenCorps -

member applications due May 30!


* *


*Members invited to apply: *

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is *now accepting
applications from individuals interested in AmeriCorps service with
Minnesota GreenCorps during the 2012-2013 program year. *

Minnesota GreenCorps is an AmeriCorps program, coordinated by the MPCA,
which *places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to
spend 11 months addressing environmental issues*. More information on the
program is available at the web site above.

*Up to 28 full-time Minnesota GreenCorps members* may be placed with local
governments and nonprofit organizations statewide to serve on projects in
the areas of:

* Energy Conservation
* Waste Prevention and Recycling
* Living Green (includes local foods and active living)
* Green Infrastructure (includes forestry and stormwater)

*Note: It is expected that there will be a number of positions in the
living green area with an active transportation focus*, so bicyclists and
others interested in non-motorized transportation are especially encouraged
to apply (activities in this topic area include: encouraging reduction of
vehicle miles traveled and improving air quality through complete streets
planning and practices, safe routes to school, and increased use of
multi-modal transportation promoted through active transportation and
active living approaches).

*Member activities include but are not limited to*: environmental education
and outreach to people of all ages, mobilizing volunteers, implementing
sustainability-related projects, collecting, benchmarking and analyzing
data, measuring environmental results, field work, collaborating with local
officials and community members, and much more.

*All service positions are for 11 months beginning in mid to late September
2012 through August 2013.* Members must complete 1,700 hours of service
(around 40 hours per week). For information about current GreenCorps host
sites and projects, see

Applicants may choose areas of the state where they are willing to serve,
and if selected will be placed either individually or in teams of two at
host sites that will include cities, counties, nonprofits, schools, etc.
One full time member will be placed with the University of Minnesota,
Morris. Qualified applicants may be contacted for an interview in June or
July 2012.

In addition to gaining valuable skills and experience in the environmental
field, *members receive a living allowance, an offer of health insurance,
and loan forbearance.* Upon completing the program, *participants also
receive an Education Award* which can be used to pay off qualified student
loans, or to finance future education.

*The member application and guidance document are available at:

Completed member applications, along with a resume, must be submitted to
mgcapplication.pca [at] state.mn.us by the *deadline of May 30, 2012*.


Nextdoor.com - building communication among neighbors



The following text is modified from the web site above.

*Nextdoor allows communities to easily create private websites to
facilitate communication among neighbors and build stronger
neighborhoods.*It was created based on the idea that the neighborhood
is one of the most
important and useful communities in a person's life. Nextdoor's mission is
to use technology to help neighbors build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

*On Nextdoor, members can find neighbors in the directory, view a
neighborhood map, ask for advice, exchange local recommendations, and share
neighborhood information with each other.* Residents can choose to see and
respond to updates via e-mail, or only on the website.

*Nextdoor is completely free for neighborhoods. *

Hundreds of neighborhoods, including in Minnesota, are already using
Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

* Find a new home for an outgrown bike
* Track down a trustworthy babysitter
* Quickly get the word out about a break-in
* Find out who does the best paint job in town
* Organize a garage sale
* Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
* Finally call that nice person down the street by his first name.

*Cities can also use Nextdoor as explained at

* *

Some of the functionality available to cities can help them to connect
neighbors to build community, and to broadcast updates to residents across
the city. *Nextdoor costs nothing to the city and its residents, and
requires no technical integration.*

*Roseville, MN is actively promoting Nextdoor *per a May 1, 2012 article
from Lillie Suburban Newspapers * - see
more details about Nextdoor in Roseville.*

Note: This information is being provided by NextStep/MPCA for informational
purposes and is not meant as an endorsement of the Nextdoor.com service.

 * *

*Hour Dollars - Service Exchange Program*


The following information is modified from the web site above:

*Hour Dollars is a service exchange program for residents of the Twin
Cities and surrounding suburbs.* It functions under the umbrella of the
national organization, Time Banks
*The primary purpose of Hour Dollars is to provide a way for neighbors to
easily exchange time and services.* When neighbors exchange services, they
build strong ties within the community, and everyone benefits.

*Hour Dollar members earn hours by providing a service *(such as gardening,
minor home repair, piano lessons, or driving)* to another member who
requested the service. Members then use their earned hours to receive a
service from any member *in the Hour Dollar service directory.

*Members decide what services they would like to offer.* Everyone's time is
valued equally: one hour of actual service is always equal to one hour of
credit in the program, regardless of the type of service provided.

A database keeps track of services that members are willing to provide, the
number of hours they have earned, and the balance of hours in their

*Earned hours can be exchanged only for services within the program. They
cannot be redeemed for cash.*

Hour Dollars is currently operating with over 200 members. *Anyone living
in St. Paul, Minneapolis or surrounding suburbs is welcome to join.*

*Upcoming orientations* for those interested in joining are scheduled
regularly, including on June 2 and July 12 in St. Paul.

For more information, see the web site above.

   * *
*Members sought for *
*Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force *



The following information is modified from the website above.

The *Minnesota Department of Agriculture* (MDA) is seeking members to
fill*eight scheduled vacancies
* on the *Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force* (OATF). Authorized by
Minnesota Statute, the OATF advises the Commissioner of Agriculture and the
University of Minnesota about policies and programs that will *improve
organic agriculture in the state*.

Minnesota is a leader in organic farming in the U.S, with *more than 700
certified organic farms* and more than *200 organic processors*, according
to MDA estimates. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says
this *growing agriculture and food sector* needs and deserves support from
public institutions like the Department of Agriculture and the University.

"*Consumer demand for organic food and other products is surging*,"
Frederickson said. "We need task force members who will share their ideas
and opinions on ways we can help Minnesota's organic farmers and processors
meet that demand."

Members from the following categories or sectors are needed:

   - Two farmers using organic agriculture methods;
   - One organic processor;
   - One organic wholesaler and/or distributor of organic products;
   - One member of the University of Minnesota faculty;
   - One member representing a nonprofit producer organization;
   - One member representing the interests of the public;and,
   - One member representing the interests of consumers.

*All members must be residents of Minnesota willing to serve a one-year term
*. Half-day meetings are held three or four times per year; members receive
reimbursement for travel.

Task force vacancies are filled through the state's Open Appointments
process. *The application form is available online at
* (click the Open Commissions/Appointments icon) or by calling the
Secretary of State's office at 877-551-6767. Applicants should specify the
category/sector they represent and submit a cover letter with their

The *deadline to apply* is *June 26, 2012*. Members will be appointed by
Commissioner Frederickson in consultation with the University of Minnesota.

   * *
* EPA Launches Competition for College Students to Develop Innovative
Approaches to Stormwater Management*
* *
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new* design
competition *called the *Campus RainWorks Challenge* to encourage student
teams on college and university campuses across the country to develop
innovative approaches to stormwater management. *Stormwater is a major
cause of water pollution in urban areas in the U.S.*, impacting the health
of people across the country as well as tens of thousands of miles of
rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, and hundreds of thousands of acres
of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. The competition will help raise awareness
of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities,
and *train
the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in
green infrastructure principles and design*.

Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for
a proposed green infrastru*cture *project for their campus. *Registration
for the Campus RainWorks Challenge opens September 4, and entries must be
submitted by December 14, 2012* for consideration. Winning entries will be
selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a *cash
prize *of $1,500 - $2,500, as well as $8,000 - $11,000 in funds for their
faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. *In 2013, EPA
plans to expand Campus RainWorks* by inviting students to design and
complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure
approaches on their campus.

*"Reducing stormwater pollution requires innovative approaches and
America's college students are incredibly creative and talented*," said
Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water.
"The Campus RainWorks Challenge will engage students across the country in
tackling one of the toughest challenges to clean water and show them the
opportunities in environmental careers."

EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help
manage stormwater runoff. *Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and
natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide
other community benefits, including economic development*. Green
infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for
single-purpose "gray" infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds.
The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green
infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage
stormwater discharges.

For more information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge, see:


Earth Hour City Challenge - helping cities prepare for extreme weather
linked to climate change



The following is adapted from the website above.

*Extreme weather poses significant financial, health and property risks to
cities and their residents.* Across the U.S., dangerous weather events are
becoming more frequent or severe - or both. Multiple studies have linked
these trends to the changing climate.

*To inspire cities* to address the growing threat of climate change, World
Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the *Earth Hour City Challenge, a competition
among cities to prepare for increasingly extreme weather and take steps to
transition towards a 100% renewable energy future.*

The Earth Hour City Challenge offers a platform and benefits package that
will empower *and reward participating cities that take steps to reduce
their carbon footprint and prepare for climate-related severe weather such
as drought, flooding rains, extreme heat, and more intense coastal storms
coupled with sea level rise.*

*Participating cities that implement the most ambitious actions and engage
their citizens will receive public recognition for their leadership and be
eligible to win grants. *

Additionally, cities will better understand their vulnerability to severe
weather, learn best practices from their peers and experts, and be prepared
to make their communities safer, healthier and more livable.

*Entry period is open from June 1 - November 19, 2012. *

For more information on Earth Hour City Challenge, including benefits and
how to apply, visit the website above.
 * *
 *ULI 4th Annual Housing Summit - June 7*
*Boomer Generation Housing: *
*New Preferences, New Responses *
* *


The following is adapted from the website above:

Join Urban Land Instititue on June 7th (7:30 am - 11:30 am) for the launch
of the *Housing & Transportation Cost Calculator* and learn What's Next!

Boomer generation housing--new preferences, new responses, and new research
on the *boomer generation housing needs...*living longer, living healthier.

*Keynote Speaker:*

*John McIllwain*, ULI Terwilliger Center

*Expert Panel:*

*Dan Cinelli*, Managing Principal, *Perkins Eastman*
*Rodney Harrell*, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, *Public Policy Institute,
**Julie Murray*, Director of Real Estate Development,* Ecumen*
*Polly Nyberg*, Consultant, *University of Maryland School of Architecture*
*Mary Tingerthal*, Commissioner, *Minnesota Housing*
* *
Registration is $35, with pre-registration ending June 4.

The event will be held in downtown Minneapolis.
* *
For more information or to register, visit the website above.

Money and Opportunities Available


* *

*MPCA Environmental Assistance (EA) Grants*


The *Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) *has opened the Fiscal Years
(FY) 2012-2013 Environmental Assistance (EA) Grant Program for
applications. The *deadline for submittal of applications is June 14, 2012,
by 2:00 p.m. CT.*

* *

The 2012-2013 EA Grant Program theme is "*Minnesota Living and Working Green
*".  Approximately *$640,000* is available for EA grant awards to encourage
*outcome-oriented, economically-driven approaches* to pollution prevention,
waste reduction, toxicity reduction, water quality protection, and resource
conservation. Eligible applicants, grant award amounts, and minimum
matching fund requirements will vary by focus areas and preferred proposals.

Applications for financial assistance will be for proposals in the
following three (3) categories:

   1. *Category 1*:  Communities (Focus Areas:  A) Green Building, B) Local
   Government Assistance - Sustainability Measures, C) Polycyclic Aromatic
   Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Contaminated Stormwater Pond Sediment, D)
   Source-Separated Compost, and E) Environmental Volunteering and Service
   2. *Category 2*:  Businesses (Focus Areas:  A) Green Chemistry, B)
   Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, C) Environmental Business Development, D) Electronic
   Waste (e-Waste) Collection, and E) Statewide Compost Organization)
   3. *Category 3*:  Schools (Focus Areas:  A) Schools
   Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, and B) Secondary and Post-Secondary Education

The EA Grant Round is a *competitive application process*. The MPCA will
select those proposals that best meet the environmental outcomes defined in
the RFP.

For more information, including an application or to access the RFP, see
the MPCA web site above.


*CERTs Seed Grants Available *


The following language is adapted from the CERTs web site above.

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) *seeks applications for
limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and/or renewable energy
projects requiring technical assistance. *

*Project funding can support technical assistance services* (i.e. labor
costs only, such as for a consultant, design professional, installer, or
student labor), for projects in all seven Minnesota CERT regions: Central,
Metro, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and West Central.

*Proposals are due Monday, July 2, 2012.*

The primary objectives of this funding are to:

* Encourage the implementation of community-based energy efficiency and
renewable energy projects in Minnesota CERT regions

* Provide a forum for community education about energy efficiency and
renewable energy technologies and their economic, ecological, and community

*Each CERTs region has its own pool of funding - in all regions this is
$10,000 - available for technical assistance* to catalyze community energy
efficiency and renewable energy projects. Each regional team's Steering
Committee will make its own selections and project funding levels will vary
by region.

*Projects can apply for up to the full $10,000 in their region,* but
historically regions have funded multiple projects in each region at
smaller amounts. Projects approved for funding must be completed by August
15, 2013. Due to external constraints, no extensions will be given on

For full details and all materials, visit

Funding for these projects is provided through the MN Department of
Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.


For more web sites of grant/loan programs, see:

* Grant web pages from all Minnesota State Agencies:

* NextStep list of grants/loans:

Jobs Available and Jobs Wanted


*See the NextStep job board
* for a variety of organizational postings including these below, talented
people offering their skills, and other job listings that post jobs in the
field of sustainability.

Current* jobs *available include, among others:

   - *Clean Up the River Environment (CURE),* Associate Director (deadline
   May 28)
   - *Minnesota GreenCorps - MPCA*:  Minnesota GreenCorps AmeriCorps
   Members, (deadline May 30)
   - *Isaak Walton League of America*, Agriculture Program Director
   (deadline June 8)
   - *Minnehaha Creek Watershed Association*, District Representative
   (deadline June 30)
   - *Eureka Recycling*,Communications and Advocacy Manager (open until
   - *Environmental Initiative*, Director of Membership and Development
   (open until filled)
   - *Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association*, Communications and Education
   (open untill filled)


Current* internships* available include:* ** *

Paid internships:

   - *Metropolitan Energy Policy Coalition / Association of Minnesota
   Solar Project Summer Internship (paid intern)

Unpaid internships:

   - *Eureka Recycling*, Zero-Waste Education Intern: Focus on Multi-Family
   Building Recycling (open untill filled)
   - *Eureka Recycling*, Communications Intern (open until filled)
   - *Eureka Recycling*, Community Organizing/Outreach Intern (open until


Here are *other job listings and resources*:

*SEEK (environmental education):*

*MN Environmental Partnership:*

*MN Council of Nonprofits:*



*Green Dream Jobs:*

*GreenJob Spider: *

*League of MN Cities, City Job Postings:*

*Association of MN Counties, County Job Postings: *

 *Minnesota State Government Jobs:*

 *Metropolitan Council Jobs:*

 *University of Minnesota Jobs:*

*Federal Government Job Postings:*

 *Forum for Women in the Environmental Field Job Listings:*

*National Green Collar Jobs Board:*


Upcoming Events

*Featured events include:*

 * *Permaculture Workshop: Using Pest Management in the Garden Plot*
- $25, May 26, St. Paul, MN

 ** Healthy Homes Workshops*
- free; May 30, June 4 & 18; Maplewood & Roseville, MN

* *Navigating the "New Normal" - Walking the Development Pathway with New
- $38/SLUC and ULI members,$48/non members,$25/students; May 30;
St.Louis Park, MN

* *Bike Walk Week 2012*
- free, June 2-10, Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding region

* *Trailside Planting*
- free, June 2, St. Paul, MN

* *WaterFest 2012 *
- free, June 2, St. Paul, MN

** Solar Works in St. Paul Workshop and Resource Fair*


- free, June 7, St. Paul, MN

* *Central CERT Event on Finance Opportunities for Energy-Saving *
*Projects for Local Governments & Schools*
- free, June 6, Rothsay, MN

** 2012 Symposium on Small Towns and Leadership Chautauqua: "Reigniting
Community Leadership: Being Bold in the Face of Change*
- $65, June 12 - 14, Morris, MN

* *Help Tend the Crosby Prairie*
- free, June 13, St. Paul, MN

** Solar Works in St. Paul Workshop and Resource Fair*


- free, June 13, St. Paul, MN

* *Explore Urban Wetland Ecology at Crosby Park*
- free, June 16, St. Paul, MN

* *Creating a Toxin Free Home*
- free, June 26, Minneapolis, MN

** DNR Healthy Watersheds, Healthy Communities Workshop*
- Free, June 27, Little Falls, MN

* *Healthy Homes and Communities - Statewide Convening*
- $50 (limited partial scholarships available for nonprofits
and government entities), June 28, Minneapolis, MN

* *Worknight in the Rare Prairie*
- free, June 28, Hastings, MN

 See these and *many* other upcoming events at the NextStep
onto which anyone can post events, for:

   - Other future and past events
   - Links to other web-based calendars for:
      - Sustainable Agriculture
      - Environmental Education
      - Minnesota River Events
      - Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living
      - Transportation
      - Green Buildings

This e-mail newsletter is sent today to 3,420
sustainability professionals and others interested in building sustainable
communities, most of whom live in Minnesota. It was prepared by staff in
the sustainable communities team of the Prevention and Assistance Division
at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). We hope that you find
this information useful; please send us an e-mail if you need help using
the resources presented here. If your e-mail changes, just let us know by
clicking *Update Profile/Email Address* below. And if at some point you
would like to remove yourself from the newsletter list, click *
SafeUnsubscribe* below.

Replying to this e-mail message does not allow you to send a message
directly to all others on the e-mail list. However, these updates typically
include information edited from material sent in by readers. You can submit
sustainability news and new resources by replying to this
newsletter. Please enter
onto the NextStep web site.

The NextStep web site has an on-line
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, visit
welcome your participation there as part of the Minnesota Sustainable
Communities Network (MnSCN).


Receiving this message forwarded from someone else?  To directly receive
the NextStep e-newsletter, sign up at

For further information and questions about MnSCN, see this MPCA web

Contact the NextStep Newsletter editors, Erin Barnes-Driscoll and Paul
Moss, at nextstep [at] state.mn.us

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