Ground Level: Baldwin Township

Slideshow: Growing Pains

by Curtis Gilbert, Minnesota Public Radio News

Just over 1,000 people lived Baldwin Township 40 years ago. Today, the population is about six times that. When an area grows that much that fast, growing pains are inevitable. It presents problems that didn't exist or weren't nearly as pressing when the place was less crowded. Then the housing bust brought a new set of challenges. But the break in development has given the township some time to plan for the future.

Part 1: The Dog and the Snowmobile

Baldwin's population exploded as people moved out of the Twin Cities in search of peace and quiet, freedom and elbow room. But now Baldwin has more elbows and less room than it used to. And one person's freedom can interfere with another's peace and quiet.

Part 2: Too much road

The building boom that turned Baldwin' farm fields into subdivisions also turned its gravel roads into asphalt. But now the roads are deteriorating and the tax-averse town has discovered repairing them carries a big price tag.

Part 3: Looking to the future

The Great Recession has brought Baldwin's growth to a virtual standstill. That brings its own challenges, but also presents an opportunity to plan for the next wave of growth when -- and if -- it comes.

Slideshow/Audio: Curtis Gilbert