Eden Prairie is being recognized for its groundbreaking addition of battery-powered police cars to its fleet.
Eden Prairie joins Dakota County and St. Cloud in receiving the Conservation Minnesota Blazing Star Award for implementing initiatives that advance conservation, climate, or the environment.
The award will be presented by Conservation Minnesota at the Dec. 6 Eden Prairie City Council meeting.
The award is named after the perennial flower native to U.S. prairies, known for its hardiness and adaptable characteristics.
The city is being honored for improving fuel efficiency for city vehicles by adding a Tesla Model Y to its fleet in 2021, followed by the addition of three more after testing the vehicle. Ten more are planned to be added in the future.
“Eden Prairie officials specifically targeted police vehicles due to their high mileage within the city’s fleet,” according to a Conservation Minnesota press release. “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.”
“By becoming the first city to transition to electric police cars, Eden Prairie is showing other communities across the state how to transition to new technologies and address pollution head-on,” said John Anderson, local government program manager at Conservation Minnesota.
Sixteen communities from across the state responded to Conservation Minnesota’s request for applications. A panel of four judges reviewed applications and selected Eden Prairie, Dakota County for its bison reintroduction project, and St. Cloud for its significant investments in renewable energy.
“This year’s Blazing Star awardees highlight how cities and counties can significantly leverage their resources to impact conservation,” Anderson said. “By uplifting the work of these local governments, we hope to inspire other communities to implement their own innovative projects.”
Conservation Minnesota is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to “protect 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.”
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