Target Field is officially an earth-friendly facility.

That's what the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority announced Thursday morning at a news conference at the new downtown Minneapolis stadium.

Specifically, Target Field has earned LEED certification status. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized certification system, providing independent verification that a building was designed and built with many environmental issues in mind. Those include: energy savings, water efficiency, carbon-dioxide emissions reduction and improved indoor environmental quality.

"Gaining LEED certification has been a longstanding goal for the Twins, Hennepin County and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority as we have collectively shared the responsibility to ensure strong environmental stewardship," said Twins owner and CEO Jim Pohlad. "It's our sincere hope that the sustainability aspects of Target Field will provide inspiration to other local, regional and national projects of this magnitude."

Target Field is the second major-league stadium to receive LEED status. The first was Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., which opened in 2008.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Target Field's "greenness" involves the stadium's ability to be irrigated and washed down with recycled rainwater, a first for any major sports facility.

The recycling system, designed, installed and donated by Minneapolis-based Pentair Inc., collects water from the field's 7 acres and drains it into a 100,000-gallon cistern below ground. The water is then disinfected and treated.

The cistern fills and replenishes a 5,000-gallon holding tank, which pumps out the water for use in the stadium. The system allows the outfield and infield to be watered at the same time for two hours or separately for four hours at 125 gallons per minute. Officials estimate the $200,000 system will save the city of Minneapolis more than 2 million gallons of water annually, about half of what the ballpark will need.

Also, the stadium sits on soil that once was contaminated and has since been treated and replaced. Additionally, the park is a hub for various public-transportation options, including rail, bike and bus routes.

Star Tribune staff writer Kevin Duchschere contributed to this report.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482