Public Works

350 South 5th Street
RM 203 City Hall
Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

Green Initiatives

The City of Minneapolis takes steps everyday to stay on top of environmental issues that affect people who live, work & visit the City. These green initiatives are an example of how everyone can make a difference to improve the water quality of our streams, lakes and wetlands in Minneapolis. Every time it rains, you water your lawn or wash your car, stormwater carries pollutants from your lawn, sidewalk and driveway to the City’s storm drain system.

Green Roofs

Building green roofs is way to create healthier and efficient buildings, providing great environmental, economic, and social benefits. 

Find out more at the Green Roofs in Minnesota website.


Planting trees is another green initiative that helps retain rainwater on their leaves & trunk.  This reduced the amount of stormwater runoff. Trees also soak up water in the soils through their roots, allowing soil more time & holding capacity for filtration. 

Trees retain water and slow water runoff, which reduces the intensity of downstream flooding.

Rain Gardens

A rain garden is an attractive garden with a special purpose — to reduce the amount of rain water and pollutants entering lakes, rivers and streams.  By directly the rain from your roof or driveway to rain garden will keep that rain on your property instead of discharging to the storm drain system. 

Rain gardens are typically landscaped with plant species native to our region that can survive varying wet and dry conditions, that have deep roots to improve soil conditions, and that add beauty. For more information, please see the Rain Gardens web page.

Rain Barrels

Did you know that a moderate storm that dumps 1" of rain produces about 600 gallons of stormwater runoff from a roof surface of 1,000 square feet? Imagine the number of rooftops in your community and you can quickly see how much stormwater runoff is headed toward the storm drains, picking up pollutants along the way, and headed toward our lakes, streams and rivers.


Rain barrels are one way of trapping some of this runoff. They are not only environmentally responsible, but they also help conserve water. For more information, please see Rain Barrels web page.

Pervious Pavements

Minneapolis contains an abundance of the hard surfaces (also know as impervious surfaces). Pervious paving allows the stormwater runoff to infiltrate into the ground, keeping water out of our lakes, rivers & streams.



Find out more information on other green initiatives here:

Heritage park: Treating Stormwater Differently (pdf)

Minneapolis Earth Day Clean Up

Lawn Care Tips

Environmentally Friendly Watershed Practices for Businesses

Rainleader Disconnect Program (see the Minneapolis CSO Solution)

Last updated Mar 14, 2013