One of the individuals tasked with sustainability for our area has received statewide recognition for her efforts. Mindy Granley - the City of Duluth's Sustainability Officer - recently took home a plaque from the 2023 Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Awards, held January 28 at the Bell Museum in St. Paul.

Granley was honored, winning the Individual Adaptation Award. That award recognizes "someone who has offered significant leadership, provided education, developed or implemented strategies, conducted research, or otherwise made an impact in the field of climate adaptation in Minnesota".

According to details shared by the City of Duluth, Granley has played a large role in climate work for our region. Since 2020, her work has "contributed to securing $32 million in grant money for....initiatives". Some of the programs impacted by that funding include those in transportation, utilities, renewable energy infrastructure, and the Love Your Block blight remediation program.

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson shared the city's appreciation of both Granley's work and the statewide recognition:

"We're thrilled to hear of Mindy being honored by the MCAP, and so happy for her, but we are not a bit surprised about it. Mindy continues to gain momentum in her work, not just at the level of the City as a municipality, but also across her community partnerships in the region. She's a major player in the Climate Sustainability world and an absolute rock star whose work product continually outperforms, and the City of Duluth is lucky to have her with us."

While many might view recognition from an organization as a "peak" in their career, that's not how Granley see it. She explains:

"I'm grateful for this acknowledgement from the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership. To me, the award says 'Great work, now keep going'. I spend a lot of time listening to my colleagues from across different departments, and helping them include climate change in our decision-making. As a City, we're just starting to understand how our infrastructure and operations need to adapt to climate change; there is a lot more to do."

As the Sustainability Officer for the City of Duluth, Mindy Granley "responsible for improvement of City policies, programs, and initiatives in support of local environmental, economic, and social systems". Prior to the assignment with the City, Granley worked for "12 years as Sustainability Director" at UMD. And before that, she spent six years working on watershed management for the Lake Superior Watershed in a variety or local, regional, and state roles.

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