The Complete List
A Report Team of citizen volunteers spent weeks sifting through the hundreds of ideas submitted in each Envision category, then used an affinity analysis process to organize the ideas into related groupings-44 in all. This is the complete list of Environment ideas. For the Vision Guide, the Report Team combined and restated the groupings, and selected ideas that inspired interest and action (see also Current Problems and Other Issues).
Preserves Green Space & Wetlands
- Preserve green space 
- Preserve green space, wetland and wilderness areas 
- Wetlands have been preserved 
- Encourage wildlife friendly green areas (forest) vs manicured parks
- Establish requirements for new building projects to have green space
- Preserve green space including parks, open areas, trails, ballfields, and golf courses
- Preserve the wilderness areas in Golden Valley
- Protection of natural areas, including preservation of General Mills woods/preserve
- Require new building projects and public spaces to include green spaces 
- Preserve green spaces, wetlands 
- A city known for saving the green areas
- Create intentional green spaces and require better landscaping in new developments
- Expand undeveloped natural areas
- Natural beauty is preserved (e.g., Wirth Park)
- Many public spaces have green spaces
- Golden Valley should be visually appealing
- I would like to see cleaner parks
- Keep Golden Valley a tree city and have beautiful landscape in and around Golden Valley
- Lots of trees, flowers, and landscaping
- Promote more City tree planting - species in Golden Valley are aging
- Create a comprehensive green space plan for Golden Valley
- Create a master landscape plan for Golden Valley. Not looking to identify a Golden Valley look or "thou shalt do or not do lists," but an overall approach to city, not just new projects
- Create a unified open space/planting plan for the city - create unique character for Golden Valley
- Increase the requirements for green space and plantings for new development to reduce concrete surfaces and help combat noise and air pollution with new plantings.
- When businesses build they must include a pleasing landscape design
Increase Native Plant Usage
- Fewer lawns- more prairie grasses and rain gardens
- Golden Valley should make a major effort to plow expanses of turf grass in city parks back into natural prairies with low maintenance flowers and grasses
- Seed and maintain areas with native plants
- A healthy environment for all creatures - keep in balance
- More natural landscaping, building corridors for animals, and little to no use of fertilizer. Maintaining areas such as the General Mills hiking area, keeping any air traffic at bay, use of wind energy.
- The environment should be top on our list! We want to see the wildlife of Golden Valley protected. One of the things we love about the city is to see wild turkeys, foxes, raccoons, deer and a variety of animals in our backyard.
Promote Community Gardens
- Creation of community gardens, attracting wildlife (e.g., butterflies), more native vegetation, birdhouses
- Need community gardens
Environmentally Sensitive Methods of Mosquito Control
- Better control of mosquitoes in Golden Valley by considering new methods that are environmentally sensitive. This may include using new biotechnologies in plants that repel mosquitoes. 
- Explore new environmental technologies that may repel mosquitoes and other pests (box elders bugs and buckthorns)
- Elimination of mosquitoes within City limits
- Use bat houses as natural mosquito control
- Invasive Plants
- Increase community awareness and emphasis on native or natural plantings, get rid of invasive plants 
- A memorial garden
- City gardens
- City-sponsored plant sale
- Community vegetable and flower gardens
- Create a "best gardens" incentive for residents and businesses
- Decorate city with flowers, pots, etc, - benches, expand Winnetka Commons and conceal parking (behind/underground)
- Develop a Golden Valley Rose garden
- Encourage neighborhood Garden Clubs
- Establish a "city flower" campaign encouraging all residents to plant and display the selected flower(s), e.g., yellow roses, daffodils, goldenrod, lilacs, etc
- Suburban gardens as a food source
Low Input Lawn Care (LILaC)
- Less grass, more natural green. Become Midwest pilot to test genetically engineered grass that doesn't require continuing fertilization and mowing. If successful, replace lawns citywide and set code for percentage of area for lawn versus natural plantings, prairies grasses, etc. Ban certain lawn fertilizers and chemical use.
- No use/decreased used of herbicides/pesticides/fertilizers on lawns
- Lawn chemical spraying services should be banned. 
- Create more green space and provide incentives for low maintenance lawn care to eliminate the use of fertilizers. New developments should include smart BMP design not including the standard storm water detention ponds.
- I would like to see greater awareness on the part of residents as to their role in preserving and possibly even improving the quality of the environment. More information on the role of fertilizing, use of chemical products, importance of recycling.
- Increase awareness of natural lawn and garden care
- Less fertilizer on lawns as an ordinance. Encourage wildflowers at corporate level as well as residential.
- Low maintenance yard and park plantings
- Promote environmentally friendly lawn care
- Promote grass alternative landscapes through examples and perhaps contests
- Stop insisting on energy wasting and chemically saturated groundcovers (lawns) everywhere. As Aldo Leopold recommended, let native vegetation grow in open areas rather than clipped European grasses.
- Yard care seminar-what to do with our aging lawns and landscaping at a price we can afford
Trees / Shrubs / Flowers (Landscaping)
- Maintain "Tree City USA" status and educate citizens about appropriate tree selection, planting, and care 
- Bring back the lilacs: along the barriers, in parks, and around businesses. Reconnect with the history of "Lilac Drive" the road and neighborhoods. 
- Keep planting trees - residents as well as city staff 
- More than just lilacs planted in public areas. Half the year trees are bare in this climate so we need a balance of pines and red and yellow twig dogwoods for winter color. Helps with noise, air pollution. Variety of year-round vegetation. 
- Develop, with volunteers, massive plantings of yellow daffodils in public areas as part of an annual spring festival.
- Encourage tree growth and new plantings through incentive program or reduced purchase price.
- Golden Valley become a development site to grow, test, sell native shrubs
- Have boulevard trees and flowers
- Plantings in the parks
- Develop Earth Day observation by Golden Valley's various communities, including schools and children 
- Increase community awareness and emphasis on native or natural plantings 
- Develop a Golden Valley Youth Conservation Corps (an educated group of youth from Golden Valley) that would distribute literature, visit residents in the city to help them identify concerns in regard to lawn and tree care. The group felt that this Corps would be available to man booths at civic celebrations and in addition they would be an activists group to help with Park and green space maintenance.
- Encourage more "ownership" for parks to encourage cleanup
- Help residents become aware of what they can do to help our environment to thrive.
- I can see schools, churches, and organizations getting involved to make our living areas more livable with some encouragement
- More emphasis and encouragement for "groups" to adopt sections of our roadways, bike paths, and parks.
- Create incentives for Golden Valley citizens to beautify the City and neighborhoods.
- Assist with landscaping for curb appeal and environment.
- I like the book on split-level home renovation ideas. Maybe there could be a book incorporating some landscape ideas for homes that are typical of the Golden Valley area to reduce lawn areas by increasing shrub and trees plantings, etc.
- Can walk around city lakes
- Encourage a pedestrian friendly community, with landscaped trails, tunnels and bridges
- Have a trail system linking our city parks
- Improve RR Right-of-way as public space - trails, wildlife corridor
- Upgrade areas around lakes and trails
Softening the Hardscape
- Enhance walkability of downtown
- More attention to the streetscape. Improving how streets look, whether you are driving or walking along them. Better crossing and connection points.
- New and existing businesses have maintained air/water quality/appearances
- Require new building projects and public spaces to include green spaces. (This is a perennial favorite)
- City/neighborhoods/ businesses have upgraded landscape - improved support from City/Planning, e.g., landscape professional assistance to achieve overall aesthetic impact statement
- Develop a green approach to planning and zoning with greater attention to preserving both the canopy and undergrowth; more concern about development on steep slopes, treating runoff at source, changing building and zoning requirements
- Have consistent street lighting theme throughout the city
- Less concrete and pavement - the city needs to be able to breathe
- Parking lots are landscaped
- Reduce road width and increase amount of planted materials in the city
- Identify and implement a plan to create buffer zones between industrial and residential areas. Natural screening for industrial areas. 
- Create berms or other buffers between neighborhoods and major roads
- Improve aesthetics of sound barrier walls by planting with vines and/or landscaping - trees and shrubs - Not murals
- Improve aesthetics of sound barrier walls (Perpich Arts students could do murals) 
- Take out the highway noise blocking walls!
- Create a beautiful green boulevard in the center of Highway 55, all the way through Golden Valley, from existing boulevard near Theodore Wirth to Highway 169. (This could be much like Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston, with a flat "parkway" type feeling and a continuous row of sizeable trees.) If not on this highway, it could occur on Winnetka Avenue, as a strong defining visual city element.
- Improve look and environmental function of Highway 55
- Plant many more trees along Brookview's side along HWY 55
- Tight land use management on environment - smart planning
- Unplanted corner southwest of Winnetka is improved
Creeks & Lakes
- Beautify Bassett Creek 
- Create inviting stops/spots along the (Bassett) creek - a river walk
- Don't hide Bassett creek. Celebrate it in our redevelopment. Make Sweeney Beach accessible.
- Downtown - Bassett Creek have more access
- Encourage more life in Bassett Creek
- Greater appreciation, preservation and use of Basset Creek, possibly including a public pathway
- I do not live on Sweeney Lake, but this appears to be a HUGE diamond in our community. I don't understand how or why this lake isn't a treasured resource and given every opportunity to thrive as a lake. Golden Valley doesn't have a lot of lakeshore and it is community advantage/green space.
- Make Golden Valley's lakes and streams "swimmable"
- Perhaps creating some municipal use of Basset's Creek or Sweeny Lake... if people use it and create a culture to take pride in such treasures
- Restore Basset Creek to swimmable water. How did it ever get classed as a drainage ditch?
- We seem to turn our back on Bassett Creek between General Mills and the Library. This is a really wonderful environmental feature, ripe for an unobtrusive nature trail. It could provide residents with a natural, peaceful alternative path.
- Improved wetland awareness; encouragement of "rain gardens" rather than grassy lawns for water runoff retention
- Safeguarding our wetland areas
- Improve control of run-off from yards, roads, parking lots, with storm sewers not dumping directly into Sweeney Lakes, Bassett Creek, etc. Create holding ponds, permeable concrete surfaces, and street design that replace conventional gutters with transition/percolation zones.*
- Improve the water quality of not just ponds, but also lakes and Bassett Creek.
- Mitigate impact of water runoff and create real wetlands
- Storm water retention ponds - water quality and sightful appearance
- Improve Bassett Creek - manage it to a higher standard 
- Improve quality of water/ecosystem in Bassett Creek 
- Plant beneficial "buffer plants" near bodies of water. Encourage natural plantings for all property along Bassett Creek and other surface water to prevent pesticides and fertilizers from entering the water bodies. 
- Active, concerned management of drainage ponds (proactive)
- Clean surface run-off, improve storm drains
- Improve water quality and appearance of storm water retention ponds.
- Reduction of salt and harmful chemicals for snow removal
- Use less fertilizer/more natural grasses and plants.
- Reduce peak summer water usage.
- City contract for one garbage company to service the entire village/eliminating noise and traffic of these large trucks moving through neighborhoods more than once a week/bill to residence just like water bill 
- Streamline garbage services (have the city select one garbage service and lower the cost to all residents). 
- We should consider a single provider based on competitive bids. Seeing garbage cans by the curb every day of the week is unsightly and unnecessary. We did it with recycling, now we need to do it with garbage. 
- City has provided affordable hazardous waste disposal for small businesses
- Provide a hazardous waste drop-off site in Golden Valley OR have periodic hazardous material recycling pickup
- Regular monthly curbside pickups for batteries, all recyclables that are not currently picked
- City drop-off point for hazardous waste 
- Curbside pick up for EVERY regular household recyclable product: paint, batteries, all food packaging, light bulbs, ink jet ink, etc.
- Have a more convenient means to drop off or to have picked up household hazardous wastes, so that more people will recycle or properly dispose of them.
- Include batteries and other recyclables not currently picked up in monthly curbside recycling program.
- Provide city-sponsored, affordable hazardous waste disposal for small businesses.
- Recycling is also very important. Make "green" options more available to residents and educating them on the impact of using chemicals and other hazardous products, not only to themselves, but also to others in the community.
- Conduct an annual community clean up program where dumpsters are available around the community for a limited period so that residents can get rid of any and all junk (allow for separation of hazardous items such as computers, televisions, batteries
- Just as there is a crime watch day perhaps there could be a beautify the neighborhood day-some sort of very local project taken up by volunteers with city support (planting a few trees, painting some park equipment, improving a path, assisting a neighbor
- Does Golden Valley have an "all city dump day" for recycling those bigger items that you don't know what do with? If we do, can it be more advertised and if not, we should have one.
- Have a one-day residential pickup event of large trash, recyclables, reusables like New Hope, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park did in 2002.
- Fabulous recycling plan/system - 50/50 recycle/garbage
- Golden Valley needs to develop a recycling center. As it is now, we have to go to the County facilities or pay to use other cities' facilities. This not only takes time, but also makes us drive more and use extra gas, contributing to the pollution problem.
- Golden Valley-sponsored pickup of old electronic appliances like VCRs and TVs
- I am always thrilled that our neighbors are recycling; however, I wish the recycling containers had lids like the garbage containers. Too often, the items put out for recycling end up blown or strewn around the neighborhood.
- It would be great if there were a monthly "junk" pickup, perhaps at a nominal fee, so people can regularly clear their garages, sheds, and yards of old stuff.
- Recycling has improved
- Make recycling bins a part of every park.
- Reduce the use of plastic.
- Businesses and residents increase the use of biodegradable products and will find ways to use reusable products, e.g., take-out containers
- Cleaner Water Tax Incentives for business to recycle
- Create an incentive to get people to recycle
- Golden Valley could enact an ordinance that businesses should use cornstarch bags that are biodegradable, as opposed to plastic or paper bags.
- Help residents use recycling programs to their fullest potential.
- Incentives for more complete recycling, trash compactor rebates from the city
- Nicer, aesthetic garbage receptacles with uplifting, civic-minded messages
- Only do business with recyclers who collect plastic of all kinds, including plastic bags
- Reward individuals and businesses for achievement in recycling and clean up
- Work with retailers to reduce packaging material to minimize waste products.
- Encourage the use of garbage-to-electric plants.
- Organize a better city compost system.
- Provide free citywide pickup of brush - twice per year (Spring and Fall). Provide free citywide pickup of appliances, furniture, and other large objects that won't affect the environment. Do it twice per year.
- Year-round lawn recycling center for grass/twig drop off. Enforce litter laws.
- Exceed government pollution standards including air, water and noise pollution. 
- Light and sound pollution reduced
- Offer energy usage education to citizens.
- Require yard equipment to have pollution controls.
- Strong noise and pollution level controls
- Control noise and air quality (especially by Highway 169)
- I would like to lessen the amount of noise in our neighborhoods-cars, machines...
- Leaf blowers should be required to have some kind of muffler system.
- Limit use of lawn mowers, leaf blowers... to certain days
- Low-noise lawn equipment?
- Maintain quiet areas for recreation natural enjoyment
- No Noise - require electric lawn mowers.
- Noise is a major factor in our quality of life. With major highways criss-crossing our city, mitigation is necessary. The sound walls don't really help... except moving/deflecting the noise a few more blocks away. Here is where technology should be employed.
- Reroute planes (noise pollution)
- Cut down on light pollution
- I would like to see stricter regulation in "overnight" lighting of businesses, especially large car lots and such. As an example, it's bad enough that they built right up against the Westwood Nature area, but to have it lit up at night like a baseball field...
- Limit light pollution, especially in businesses along the highways.
- Promote fusion power as a future energy alternative for Golden Valley. Consider other alternative fuels for cleaner air to replace gas engines for vehicles, lawnmowers, snow blowers, and other home and garden equipment. Offer energy usage education to citizens.
- Position Golden Valley to be a leader in promoting use of electric cars. 
- City vehicles (autos and small trucks) should be electric or hybrids. (This would not include fire trucks or police cars.)
- Consider alternative fuels for cleaner air to replace gas engines for vehicles, lawnmowers, snow blowers, and other home and garden equipment.
- No smog
- Promote fusion power as a future energy alternative for Golden Valley.
- To reduce air pollution, incentivize people to drive electric/hybrid cars by providing reserved parking similar to handicap parking.
- Have van routes around town
- Promote walking/biking to reduce pollution
- Rapid Transit
- With Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) in place, it will mean less run-off of noxious chemicals from cars and less noise and air pollution. It will mean less paved over space.
- Golden Valley is a smoke free environment. When you consider the impact that making our community smoke free you can't find a better return on a decision.
- Smoking will be banned completely at all public and private establishments and all outdoor locations in Golden Valley. Fines will be $1,000 per incident for each person caught smoking.
Wind / Solar / Other Sources of Energy
- Promote wind and solar projects. Golden Valley could distinguish itself by being at energy forefront. 
- Encourage new homes with heated floors that are more efficient.
- Give incentives for lowering the environmental impact of homes - for example: have a tax break for solar panels
- Let's have some local power generation with solar or wind technology in Golden Valley.
- No one uses power lawn mowers - use hydrogen fuel cell mowers and blowers
- Perhaps windmills could be installed to power the city rather than taking so much, mainly derived from fossil fuels, from NSP. This is a clean source of energy, and I would be willing to pay a few extra dollars a month to get that started.
- Use of alternative energy sources for electricity