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Michigan Green Communities Blue Arrows

Michigan Green Communities Challenge

The Michigan Green Communities Challenge:

  • Serves as a guide for communities to measure their progress toward sustainability

  • Encourages friendly and productive competition between Michigan communities

  • Provides a framework for peer-to-peer benchmarking

  • Recognizes communities for their sustainability accomplishments

The Challenge includes four categories – Administration and Planning (AP), Built Environment (BE), Economic Development (ED), and Natural Resources (NR) – each comprised of several action items. Communities earn points through the completion of action items. Points may be awarded for collaborative efforts. The local government need not be the lead entity for an initiative in order to receive credit. In addition, communities can earn bonus points for reporting their performance on metrics, such as energy consumption and recycling percentage. 

Participating in the Challenge takes three steps:

1. Register – Participation is free and open to any local government in Michigan. 

2. Fill out the checklist – After registering, you'll have access to an online form where you can complete the Challenge checklist, indicating which projects and initiatives are underway in your community. Action Guides provide a "how-to" template for getting started with each project in your community.

View a PDF of the Challenge Checklist

Check out the Challenge Action Guides for guidance, tips, and resources for the action items included in the Challenge checklist

3. Submit the final checklist - The deadline for recognition this year is January 15, 2014. You may make changes to your checklist anytime up to this date. Changes made after this date will count towards next year's Challenge.

Challenge Recognition

Press Releases

In the News

All communities that participate in the Challenge earn positive recognition for their sustainability efforts. The four recognition levels – Member, Bronze, Silver, and Gold – acknowledge progressively higher levels of achievement. Point totals are compared to other participants of the same community type. For example, a village will only be compared to other villages when calculating percentile rank. Cities and counties and townships will be compared to peer governments of similar size.

The following table outlines the requirements for each recognition level.

Recognition      Level

Minimum Points in Each Action Item Category

Minimum Percentile

Other Requirements




Submit a formal letter of participation or adopt a resolution


5 points


Organize a Sustainability/Green Team (AP 1.1 OR 1.2)


10 points




20 points



Challenge participants earn a logo to display on their website and in print materials, will be publicized at the annual conference and on the MGC website, and will be included in a press release.

About the Challenge

The Michigan Green Communities Challenge is a partnership of the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of Counties, and Michigan Townships Association.

The original Challenge launched in 2009 and emphasized energy efficiency projects. View a list of communities that participated in the Challenge during this time. From fall 2011 to summer 2012, a team of master’s students from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment worked with Challenge participants and the MGC Advisory Committee to update the Challenge and reflect a broader scope. The updated Challenge launched in summer 2012.





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