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For years, rural residents have wrung their hands about the loss of young people heading for the big city. University of Minnesota Extension research points to a more nuanced trend that is also identifiable in some places — the movement of people in their 30s and 40s from urban to rural areas.

Jobs can be difficult to find and transportation is an issue, but proximity to the outdoors, an improved environment for children, a sense of safety and a simpler pace of life draw some.

'Brain Gain' :
People in 30s, 40s making the rural choice

The movement of people in their 30s and 40s into some rural areas that otherwise have declining populations has continued in recent years, a new University of Minnesota Extension study shows.


Your Stories: From urban to rural

We're gathering videos from people who have moved back to rural parts of Minnesota after leaving for school or work, or who have moved to rural Minnesota for the first time as adults.

Coming home, more native than her parents

After two years at Bard College, Stearns County native Marna Macgregor is coming home. Her guest post for the Ground Level blog explores the mixed feelings she has about coming home.


Why move to rural Minnesota?

University of Minnesota Extension research shows people in their 30s and 40s continue to move to rural areas otherwise experiencing population declines. So we asked members of Public Insight Network to explain why.


Behind the "brain gain:" moving to a small town has its ups and downs

People who move to rural Minnesota from the city rave about the beauty and personal freedom, but the jobs picture proves more problematic.

We're gathering stories from people who have moved back to rural parts of Minnesota after leaving for school or work, or who have moved to rural Minnesota for the first time as adults. Thanks so much for your contributions.

by Jennifer Vogel, edited by Michael Olson, MPR News

 

A rural Minnesota research group is suggesting that water availability is becoming an economic bottleneck and that development is being threatened by a need to re-build water and sewage systems around the state.

Burnsville and Savage find a water solution that preserves a sensitive environmental area and gives some assurance for a long-time supply of drinking water.

A symposium on water in Minneapolis ended with the question, what would you do with a million dollars to spend on water in Minnesota? It got three different answers that had something in common.

Five takeaways from an online chat about groundwater, irrigation and how everyone can find someone else who's wasting water.

Gov. Dayton joins the call to spend money on broadband infrastructure. So far, the House wants to spend $25 million; the Senate has not approved any spending.

The Minnesota Senate approved legislation that would give the Department of Natural Resources more authority to fine irrigators and others who use large amounts of groundwater without a permit.

Friends of the Mississippi River says a Senate proposal to spend $800,000 studying whether to fill White Bear Lake with river water is a bad idea. It doesn't solve the larger problem and it's already being studied by the Metropolitan Council, the group says.

Broadband adoption continues to rise slowly among Minnesotans, and the gap between rural and urban use is shrinking. But more than 100,000 school-age children do not have access at home.

Ground Level launched in early 2010 focusing on a wide variety of topics, from the growing complexity of Minnesota's local food system to cities preparing for new fiscal realities, from exurban growth in Baldwin Township to the quest to expand broadband access across the state. The Ground Level Blog chronicles the wide variety of topics with over 500

 

We identify topics that are significant and complex and that play out uniquely at the local level. We want to explore those issues in which people taking action in their communities make a difference and can serve as guides for others.

Ground Level launched in early 2010 and shines a light on a variety of topics, from the growing complexity of Minnesota's local food system to cities preparing for new fiscal realities, from exurban growth in Baldwin Township to the quest to expand broadband access across the state.

We experiment with coverage on a variety of platforms. This includes text, audio and video online, of course - the Ground Level blog, a series of topics pages and social networking, for example. It also includes on-air coverage, public forums both virtual and real-world and collaboration with community-based media.

Our audience consists of Minnesotans interested in community life, particularly those who are taking an active part in it or helping others do the same.

Ground Level is very much an experiment -- in finding ways to learn about and tell stories, in working with other organizations, in walking up to the line between providing insight and advocating specific actions. Our goal is to inform and give people the ability and incentive to engage with their community. We invite your feedback and your ideas, via the blog, twitter at @MPRGroundLevel, phone calls, emails, whatever. Join us.

About the team:

Dave Peters

Dave Peters directs MPR's project on community journalism, looking for ways Minnesota residents are making their towns, cities and neighborhoods better places to live. He joined MPR News in 2009 after more than 30 years as a newspaper and online reporter and editor. Contact Dave


Bush Foundation

Support for Ground Level is provided
by the Bush Foundation.