Sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


GreenStep City Initiatives

The City of Moorhead became a Minnesota GreenStep City in July 2017. In 2022, we achieved GreenStep 5 City status! Here are some of the initiatives that have moved Moorhead forward: 

Energy-Efficient Lighting
City-owned parking and street lights have been replaced with LED lights.

Efficient Existing Private Buildings
Programs like the Neighborhood Impact Program (low or zero-interest housing rehab loans or grants to address weatherization and efficiency in the City’s older affordable housing stock), Thrifty Watts (low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements support electric programs) and Bright Energy Solutions (rebates for energy reduction and sustainability practices) increase energy efficiency and performance in residential and commercial properties.

The City Insights Newsletter, eNotifications and Bright Ideas from Moorhead Public Service offer the public information on efficiency, renewables, recycling and energy-saving practices.

Comprehensive Planning
The City drafted a comprehensive plan to address sustainable planning, infrastructure and growth management. Moorhead is also a member of the Metropolitan Council of Governments, which enables the City to manage growth in coordination with surrounding communities.

Transit & Mobility Options
MATBUS operates public transit in Moorhead and Fargo. MATBUS also works with the City and major area institutions/employers (such as Sanford and local colleges and universities) to subsidize rides for employees and students. In addition, the FM Area is a rated as a Bicycle-Friendly Community.

Urban Forestry
Moorhead is a Tree City USA and has been for 30 years. In recent years, the average number of trees planted by the city has increased from 400 to 700 annually. Urban woodland-prairie initiatives happen because of strong community partnerships with organizations such as River Keepers and the Audubon Society.

Parks & Trails
The Moorhead City Code requires dedication of open spaces, parks and drainage easements. The City has 64 total parks, equaling 740 acres of park land. 79% of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a public park, and the “Adopt a Park” program helps maintain and clean up area parks.

Solid Waste Management & Recycling
The City’s wastewater treatment plant captures methane gas and returns it to heat the facility. On July 1, 2017, Moorhead launched no-sort recycling for residential properties. Since then, recycling has increased by 56%.

Renewable Energy
Moorhead Public Service’s Capture the Energy program promotes renewable energy with two wind turbines (Capture the Wind – rated at 750 kW produces 1.5M kWh of energy/year) and a community solar garden/solar demonstration (Capture the Sun – solar arrays that convert sunlight directly into consumer electricity, 10.56 kW).