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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

 

Researchers are using satellite data to measure groundwater use and how much is left. A key scientist will talk about the effort tonight in St. Paul.

The state's task force advising Gov. Mark Dayton on high speed Internet access has told the administration it should seek another $200 million in next year's legislative session.

Ramsey District Judge Margaret Marrinan refused to decide by summary judgment whether the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is at fault for the low water levels in White Bear Lake.

Wilder Research in St. Paul has revamped its demographic profiles of Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods, making the information much easier to use.

New student housing at the University of Minnesota includes a system for collecting stormwater from the roof and using it to flush the toilets for 600 students.

A draft of a report by the Metropolitan Council says shifting some suburbs' reliance from groundwater to Mississippi River water could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. It also says piping water from the river to raise levels in White Bear Lake would cost $50 million but leave officials uncertain of the impact.

Minnesotans are becoming more aware of the pressure on the state's groundwater resources. Here are 11 ways to use less water on your lawn.

The recent heavy rains have been a drought-buster, leaving Minnesota entirely drought-free for the first time in a long time. But that’s not the same thing as ending concern about the state’s groundwater, Jim Stark, director of U.S. Geological Survey in Minnesota, told MPR News’ Cathy Wurzer on Morning Edition today. Aquifers — water-containing rock…

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.