A movement is afoot to rethink the way Minnesota's local governments function. More efficient ways to deliver services could mean collaborations to reduce overhead, doing away with services that don't work or even erasing boundaries on the map.
Many Minnesota cities are stuck with unfinished housing projects and empty industrial parks and infrastructure expansions that once looked promising but now feel burdensome.
Cities and counties across the state are facing tight budgets because of cuts to state aid and a struggling economy. Minnesota communities are scaling back libraries by cutting hours, staff and acquisitions budgets.
Mayors and city managers are being forced to make hard choices while they deal with cuts in state aid, a lagging economy, degraded property values and demands for lower taxes.
As Bemidji builds a stronger local foods reputation, a food cooperative hopes a new incubator kitchen can strengthen the network of local food producers.
MPR News' Ground Level project looks at Minnesota's water pollution challenges and how some residents are tackling them, river by river and lake by lake.
Bruce and Ann Tiffany practice as many water-conserving efforts as they can on their corn and beans farm near Redwood Falls.
The epicenter of Minnesota's cabin country, Crow Wing County has come to agreement on more aggressive shoreline zoning enforcement.
Long a force in cleaning local lakes, lake associations are banding together to become a statewide force.
There is no shortage of scientists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs and regular citizens working to solve problems related to water quality in Minnesota. Here are five ideas that could help, some already in use and others on the drawing board.
Track Minnesota's performance at maintaining and improving its water quality.
Montevideo-based Clean Up the River Environment aims to close the gap between environmentalists and farmers.
Measuring the impact of farm practices and determining how fast to change them have moved to the center of the water quality debate in Minnesota.
Controlling runoff on the hills of Duluth is a tough undertaking, but an unusual coalition is making headway.
Cleaning up Minnesota's waters can come down to individuals trying to make a difference in the community they live in, whether it's on a farm, near a lake or in City Hall. Here are snapshots of a handful of Minnesotans who are taking action.