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Morris Model Goals

Learn about our past work and our goals!

Morris Model Strategic Plan 

Click the icon below to see the full plan & report.

About the Plan & Goals

The Morris Model Strategic Plan was developed at the Climate Smart Municipality Strategic Planning Retreat held at Camp Ripley from October 29th to 30th in 2018. The retreat was made possible by a West Central Initiative Community Planning Grant. ​Over 30 community leaders and representatives were brought together from city and county government, the Stevens County Economic Improvement Commission (SCEIC), Morris Area Public Schools, UMN Morris, USDA Soils Lab, and WCROC, Denco II ethanol plant, Ottertail Power, Riverview LLP, and Superior Industries. The representatives brainstormed goals and projects for all community partners.

The "Big 3" GOALS:

  1. Produce 80% of the energy consumed in the county by 2030

  2. Reduce energy consumption 30% by 2030

  3. No land-filling of waste generated within the county by 2025

Community goals were discussed and developed in these areas:

  • Energy – Generation, Efficiency, and Integration

  • Transportation – (e.g. Electric and Bio-fuel transition at all levels)

  • Waste Reduction and Recycling

  • Energy and Resiliency Education at all levels


Community Energy Goals:

  1. Reduce energy consumption 5% annually with a minimum reduction of 30% by 2030.

  2. Expand solar generation to 50% of public buildings and 25% of privately-owned homes.

  3. Using renewable energy, produce 80% of the community’s energy needs by 2030 with strong community investment and participation.


City Energy Goals:

  1. 5% annual reduction of city energy consumption

  2. 50% of city buildings utilizing solar generation with at least one publicly visible solar array


County Energy Goals: 

  1. Five new PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) participants per year

  2. 80% of energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2030

  3. Participate in a smart, islandable microgrid which will support community resiliency


University and Public School Energy Goals:

  1. Carbon neutrality at UMM by 2020

  2. Use energy produced from local resources

  3. Reduce CO2 footprint

  4. 5% annual reduction in energy consumption


Industry Energy Goals:

  1. Inventory / aggregate current use - energy consumption assessment

  2. Collaborate with energy efficiency teams

  3. Snowball (spread) successes throughout community


Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Goals:

  1. Eliminate organics in waste streams

  2. Achieve 60% diversion from landfills to recycle and composting

City Waste Reduction and Recycling Goals:

  1. Eliminate organics in waste stream by 2025

  2. No landfill of waste by 2025

County Waste Reduction and Recycling Goals:

  1. Eliminate organics in waste stream by 2025

  2. No landfill of waste by 2025

University and Public School Waste Reduction and Recycling Goals:

  1. 75% combined (UMM and school) recycling by 2030

  2. UMM will have zero waste landfilled by 2025

Industry Waste Reduction and Recycling Goals:

  1. Work with local farmers on using organics

  2. Work with consumers to reduce waste

  3. Work with businesses to target individual behavior (e.g. Train employees to recycle and compost)


Community Transportation Goals:

  1. Reduce fossil fuel consumption 30% by 2025 with strategies for public and private fleets.

  2. Establish baseline fossil fuel consumption and then include on-going monitoring

City Transportation Goals:

  1. Reduce fossil fuel consumption 30% by 2025 with strategy for the city fleet.

  2. Establish baseline fossil fuel consumption and then include on-going monitoring

  3. Purchase and operate one electric transit bus by 2020

County Transportation Goals:

  1. Consider renewables first with vehicle replacement

  2. Electric Rainbow Rider by 2022.

University and Public School Transportation Goals:

  1. School district will adopt community goals

  2. UMM will reduce fossil fuel consumption 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2030

Industry Transportation Goals:

  1. Evaluate fleet for optimization

  2. Enforce fuel usage standards


Community Education Goals:

  1. Raise awareness through a K-12 curriculum

  2. Develop semi-annual scorecard and communicate results

  3. Develop strategies for effective communication and volunteer programs

City Education Goals:

  1. Educate city staff regarding resiliency and sustainability by 2020

  2. Lead by example through developing and releasing a report to community about the city’s energy efficiency, renewable energy, and waste reduction (2020)

County Education Goals:

  1. By 2020, develop conservation ethic programs for staff and citizens to reduce recycling and organics in waste streams

  2. Develop a communication plan for the PACE program

University and Public School Education Goals:

  1. Participate in a community-wide scorecard.

  2. K-12 curriculum on these topics by 2025

  3. By 2020, integrate campus and school resiliency plans

Industry Education Goals:

  1. Leverage experience with individual businesses within the community

  2. Workforce recruitment and retention with energy-focused jobs

Morris Model Resilience Plan 

Click the icon below to see the full plan & report.

About the Plan & Goals

The Morris Model Community Resilience Plan summarizes several resilience challenges facing our community; actions we have taken to prepare for these challenges; and shared goals we have to make our community more resilient in the future. It brings together many conversations, workshops, and meetings held over the past two years into a comprehensive and easy to read plan. Ideally, this plan will bring attention to this important work and foster greater public awareness about the realities of our changing weather. Goal areas are seen below with goals described upon clicking.

Extreme Weather Planning
Extreme Weather Planning

As our weather changes, it is necessary to modify our emergency preparations for more severe tornadoes, floods, lightning storms, and blizzards. The growing frequency and severity of these events alter the way we think about financing, planning, and executing emergency planning. It is a goal for our community to update plans when necessary and adjust emergency planning to the realities of extreme weather change.

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Efficiency Upgrades
Efficiency Upgrades

The energy we use to power our homes, businesses, and public spaces is vital to the health and resilience of our community. To promote energy efficiency practices while also lowering energy bills, it is a goal of our community to implement energy audits of student and low income rental housing. Moreover, we will work to provide access to energy saving strategies and and implement updates to lower our total carbon footprint. Also, to change our zoning code to facilitate ‘green retrofits’.

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Solar LED Street Lights
Solar LED Street Lights

Both the city of Morris and the University of Minnesota Morris have updated street lights to LED lights powered by solar energy.

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Climate Education
Climate Education

Climate education is very important because we need people to understand how climate change is affecting our environment, families, and man-made structures. Climate education for the community can come in multiple forms, including educational events, forums, and meetings. To teach the younger generations about this, we need to incorporate more climate literacy into the public school curriculum.

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Community Garden
Community Garden

Community gardens promote healthy eating, community togetherness, and outdoor activities. Not only do they create public spaces for people to interact with one another, they create educational opportunities for community members of all ages. There are a number of options available for a new garden and a variety of willing sponsors. Currently both UMM and the Morris Area High School have educational gardens for their students, and we would like to see this expand and continue.

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Rain Gardens
Rain Gardens

Although we live in a rural community, Morris experiences many of the same water problems that are common in urbanized areas. City streets, parking lots, densely spaced buildings, and other artificial land coverings all contribute to excessive runoff, flash flooding, and water contamination. To better prepare for greater rainfalls, one goal is the creation of additional rain gardens near public and private buildings.

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Expanding Renewable Energy
Expanding Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is fundamental to promoting resilient practices. Solar and wind energy in particular are viable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels that otherwise pollute our environment and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Morris already has developed significant renewable energy capacity, and new plans are under development to expand this potential. One option is creating a community solar garden which has the added benefit of democratizing green energy access in our community.

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Alternative Transportation
Alternative Transportation

Safe and healthy forms of transportation are essential for creating a resilient community. It is a priority for both our city government and for public health experts in the area to encourage the use of zero carbon or energy efficient vehicles. Walking, biking, and public transportation are current options for our community. In the future, we would like to expand bike paths and to expand the “Safe Route to School” strategy to encourage students to walk to school.

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Healthy Tree Canopy
Healthy Tree Canopy

A resilient tree canopy ensures a healthy community and a sustainable environment. Our city and university are currently dedicated to transitioning away from a singular species canopy and embracing a more diverse planting strategy. Morris is also committed to planting tree species that are more resilient to extreme heat and drought. Planting more of these trees will expand shade coverage, thus reducing the negative effects of extreme heat.

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