Ground Level: Baldwin Township

February-March, 2010

Like many communities in the fast-growth "collar" around the Twin Cities, Baldwin Township in Sherburne County faces choices: Control growth? Put more housing on smaller lots? Fix more roads? Incorporate? Annex to nearby Princeton? Keep taxes low? Residents' answers may determine whether a place some consider God's country can retain the characteristics that brought thousands to live there.

MPR News conducted a public forum on these issues on March 4 at Princeton High School. Read more on our blog.

Facing the Future

Cattails amid the housing

As housing transformed a piece of exurbia north of the Twin Cities, at least one landowner laid plans for preserving his part of it.

Building identity

Without a downtown or a Main Street coffee shop, Baldwin Township tries to define what exactly it is.

Recession wallops housing

The housing boom screeches to a halt, changing the complexion of a long-running conversation about annexation and incorporation.

Choosing the future

Ideas abound for handling growth if it resumes and for dealing with consequences of growth already here.
About Ground Level Ground Level is a Minnesota Public Radio News project shedding light where residents are seeking ways to improve the communities they live in.
More about the project

Audio: Ground Level Live Forum at Princeton High School
| Download MP3

Video: Baldwin Township: A Portrait

Multimedia: Growing Pains: Costs of Unplanned Development

Slideshow: The people of Baldwin Township

Slideshow: A Tour of Baldwin Township

"Balancing Growth"

MPR's online forum took on the question:
How do you know when the "big box" development is right? More »

Maps and Facts

Case Studies: How Baldwin might learn from its neighbors

The annexation of Becker

Livonia's roadway TLC

Nowthen becomes a city

Big Lake, where city and township get along


Interactive Map: Baldwin's Growth

Map: 1855 Land Survey

From the Blog


Will Baldwin grow again?

More from the blog


Baldwin Area News and Information

Minnesota Data Sources

  • Minnesota Compass
    Wilder Research has pulled together hundreds of ways to measure quality of life in Minnesota communities.
  • Atlas of Minnesota
    The Center for Rural Policy and Development has mapped many social and economic characteristics of the state.

Making Communities Better

A network of non-profit organizations and foundations is working in many ways to help Minnesota residents improve the communities they live in. Here are some of them.