Bee on Blazing Star blooms
Blazing stars are pollinator-friendly native prairie plants

Blazing Star Award Highlights Innovative Municipal Projects 

Press Release

December 2, 2022
Contact: Liz Deering,

Blazing Star Award Highlights Innovative Municipal Projects

Minneapolis—This month, Eden Prairie, Dakota County, and St. Cloud will receive Blazing Star Awards from Conservation Minnesota. The award acknowledges exceptional local government projects that advance conservation, climate, or the environment. Named after the perennial flower native to US prairies, the Blazing Star is known for its hardy and adaptable characteristics. The organization will present each municipality with a plaque during their December council meetings. Council meetings are as follows: Eden Prairie, December 6th; Dakota County, December 13th; St. Cloud, December 19th.

Over the summer, Conservation Minnesota solicited award applications from cities and counties all over Minnesota. In total, sixteen communities applied. A panel of four judges reviewed applications and decided to award three communities from across the state who showed a commitment to conservation and sustainability. 

This year’s Blazing Star Awardees highlight how cities and counties can significantly leverage their resources to impact conservation,” said John Anderson, Local Government Program Manager. “By uplifting the work of these local governments, we hope to inspire other communities to implement similarly innovative projects.”

2022 Blazing Star Award Winners

  • Dakota County

    Dakota County received a Blazing Star Award for reintroducing native bison to the prairies at Hasting’s Spring Lake Park Reserve. Historically, grazing bison have been a critical part of the prairie ecosystem- they trim grass, push seeds into the ground to help new plants grow, and fertilize the soil with their waste.

  • Eden Prairie

    Eden Prairie received a Blazing Star Award for improving their city’s fuel efficiency for city vehicles by implementing Minnesota’s first battery-powered police car. In 2021, the city tested the first electric vehicle in its police department and quickly added three additional vehicles to its growing electric fleet, with ten planned for the future. By switching from a Dodge Charger to a Tesla Model Y, Eden Prairie reduced a single police vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions by 81%, helping protect the environment and community health with fewer toxins in the airways.

  • St. Cloud

    St. Cloud received a Blazing Star Award for its significant advances in renewable energy infrastructure in its wastewater treatment facility—called the Nutrient, Energy, and Water Recovery Facility. By installing solar panels and two Biofuel generators that convert biofuel to electricity, while the heat recovered is used to reduce natural gas demand at the St. Cloud Recovery Facility, St. Cloud reduced electric consumption by the most high-energy-demand city service by 98%.

Conservation Minnesota is a nonprofit organization committed to protecting people and places from the adverse impacts of pollution and climate change while ensuring that everyone who calls Minnesota home has access to the Great Outdoors and opportunities to enjoy it. 

More Info

For more information or to set up an interview with John Anderson, contact Liz Deering at 612.767.2444 or