Conservation Minnesota

Spring 2017 Newsletter: Bloomington’s Sustainability Commission

Conservation Minnesota’s Community Coordinators are helping local communities take action to protect the Minnesota they love. A great example started back in 2015 when our west metro Community Coordinator, John Anderson, met with Bloomington City Councilmember Dwayne Lowman and asked a basic question, “What can I do to help the city lead the way on conservation issues?” The response was simple, “Create a citizens’ commission to work with the city on these issues.”

Without a formal structure like a commission, it can be hard for many communities to coordinate policy, gather public input, and recommend positive steps forward on an issue. This is as true for conservation issues as it is for other local responsibilities like health, housing, and planning.

But turning a good idea into a concrete reality is never simple. John worked with local residents and organizations to host public meetings, meet with elected officials and city staff, and participate with a “task force” of prominent local residents pushing for the Commission’s creation.

All the hard work paid off on October 24th when the city council voted unanimously to create the new Bloomington Sustainability Commission. Strong community interest was clear from the start with 49 Bloomington residents applying to fill the eight resident positions.

It will still take a lot of hard work to protect the Minnesota we all love, but now Bloomington has an important new tool for success. At Conservation Minnesota, we are excited about the work our team is doing in communities across the state and we value each positive step forward.

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