About Us

Mindy Granley - Sustainability Officer

As Sustainability Officer at the City of Duluth, Mindy Granley is responsible for improvement of City policies, programs, and initiatives in support of local environmental, economic, and social systems. She works to incorporate sustainability into decision making, measure and communicate progress, and build partnerships for change. Previously, Mindy served for 12 years as Sustainability Director at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), where she advanced operational improvements and integrated sustainability into the learning experience for all students. She championed campus projects and promoted energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions, all while connecting students to learning opportunities in the community. Before working at UMD, Mindy spent 6 years working on watershed management in the Lake Superior watershed at local, regional, and state levels.


City Sustainability Advisory Team (C-SAT)

Various City department members and leaders – including Planning and Economic Development, to Public Works and Utilities, Finance, Workforce Development, and more – meet quarterly to discuss City-wide sustainability efforts, ensure alignment of actions, and identify synergy between goals as related to the Climate Action Work Plan. The Team first met to participate in the creation of the Work Plan, and membership continues to evolve. Yearly membership details may be found in Climate Action Work Plan progress reports.

Brett Crecelius – Community Resilience Project Coordinator

As the Community Resilience Project Coordinator, Brett is leading the implementation of the City of Duluth’s RACER (Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience) award from the Department of Energy to plot out the City’s solar investment future. The project will allow the City to evaluate solar sites to create a comprehensive technical framework for solar development, as well as gather community feedback to better understand residential solar needs. When completed, Bret’s work will guide City solar deployment strategies in the future and inform resilient energy improvements for other cold climate communities. Brett joins us from his previous position as an Economic Developer within the City’s Housing team. Prior to joining the City, he worked in the construction industry for close to a decade, where he gained invaluable experience in land management, infill site and green space work, and project management.

Alayna Johnson – Geothermal Project Coordinator

As Geothermal Project Coordinator, Alayna will be helping the City contract with partners to analyze the geo-exchange opportunity for recovering heat from wastewater effluent for use in decarbonizing buildings in Lincoln Park. Alayna graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris with degrees in Biology & Environmental Studies. Prior to joining us, Alayna worked for the University of Wisconsin Superior and Duluth Parks. She also served as a Minnesota Green Corps member for Park Maintenance for the City of Duluth, where she evaluated the park-wide waste system and implemented more recycling. She has a background in ecological research, waste systems, and project management with hopes to continue working on infrastructure, especially efforts to make infrastructure more sustainable.

Service Members

Ella Stewart -Ecolibrium3 Energy and Sustainability VISTA

Ella Stewart is serving as the Ecolibrium3 Energy and Sustainability VISTA at the City of Duluth from August 2023-2024. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with degrees in Environment, Sustainability and Geography, Political Science, and International Studies. As a VISTA, Ella will be focused on relieving energy burden and planning for equitable climate solutions for our City that build capacity and reduce poverty. Her work will include implementing actions in the Duluth Climate Action Plan and Imagine Duluth 2035 Comprehensive Plan through community outreach and events, grant applications, accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, data analysis, and more. In her free time, Ella enjoys kayaking, hiking, reading, and live music. She spends most of her free time exploring the North Shore and is excited to spend a full year in Duluth. Ella looks forward to meeting the talented individuals working for and with the City along with making a positive and substantial impact in the community.


Sam Schmall – University of Minnesota Duluth Intern

Sam is in his sophomore year at UMD working towards a bachelors in Environment, Sustainability, & Geography and Political Science. He hopes to work in local government in the future, whether that be in city planning, sustainable development, or an elected position. Currently, Sam participates in UMD's Student Government Association, Political Science Association, and EcoReps, working to increase local participation in both sustainability and politics. He is excited to go out and meet others outside of UMD who are advocating for and interested in sustainable solutions to modern problems. Originally Sam is from Rochester, MN but loved living in Duluth for its breadth of outdoor activities. He spends his free time exploring the city, playing video games, and making music with the UMD percussion ensemble. Sam hopes to see you at one of the Sustainable Duluth events this year!

Emma Hill – University of Minnesota Duluth Intern

Emma is in her junior year at UMD majoring in Environment, Sustainability, and Geography and minoring in GIS. Since May of 2023 she has worked with Waankam: People for the Estuary, a local citizens group working to spread awareness on ecological justice and Rights of Nature. Emma is also very active in Sustainability groups on campus including EcoReps, SEE Change, and Plant the Revolution. Her passion for the environment and sustainability has stemmed from childhood and growing up in the country of southern Minnesota. In her free time Emma loves to hike, kayak, hammock, embroider, and read.

Maddie Gaudette – University of Minnesota Duluth Intern

Maddie is currently a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Duluth, she is studying Environment, Sustainability, Geography, and Political Science. Her favorite part of sustainability is the opportunities to connect with others and engage in meaningful conversations about the climate with others. Maddie will be assisting the team in communications and outreach through writing articles, conducting interviews, and creating content. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and watching Lake Superior sunrises.

Past City of Duluth Sustainability AmeriCorps VISTAs, Green Corps members and Interns

  • Annika Frazer
  • Cassidy Laib
  • Faith Breeden
  • Sydney Schulz
  • Kaleb Montgomery
  • Lily Strehlow
  • Hannah Zahn-Helss
  • Julia Forberg
  • George Masson
  • Nils Hoselmann
  • Caroline Wortham
  • Parker Angelos
  • Lydia Peterson
  • Olivia Goulet