Boundaries: North: 62 Crosstown; East: City of Bloomington, Town Line Road; South: Minnesota River; West: Chanhassen at Chanhassen Road and Dell Road; area: 36 square miles
In 1968, when Eden Prairie consisted of a few streets of houses off Highway 5 and County Road 4, with working farms nearly everywhere else, committees of city residents drafted the Eden Prairie Comprehensive Guide, which planned Eden Prairie's future development and committed it to a balance of business, parks, homes, and shopping facilities. It was just in time. People flocked to the rolling farm fields and cow pasture lakes of this southwestern Hennepin County suburb, and Eden Prairie soon became the most rapidly growing city in Minnesota. It stayed at the top for ten straight years from 1980 to 1990.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is home to the Minnesota Vikings, many corporations, and several upscale neighborhoods, Eden Prairie's commitment to balance includes the development of life cycle and affordable housing. (Life cycle housing is housing that meets people's needs through all the different stages of life.) One of Eden Prairie's goals is to have 25% rental housing stock by 2010 and a total of 43% multiple-family housing. Much of Eden Prairie's residential development has occurred in several Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), with many of the most affordable rental and multihousing units located in southeast Eden Prairie in the Preserve, a 1970s development that includes a commercial area as well as single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and apartments. Nearby recreational amenities include a natural swimming pool, tennis courts, trails, and a community center and library.
The Edenvale PUD in the north-central section of the city incorporates residential, commercial, and industrial uses. With a population of 5,500, Edenvale includes a golf course, trails, and parks. Other PUDs are Bluffs East and West in the southeast comer of the city, Hidden Glen in the northwest corner, Red Rock Ranch on the southeast shore of Red Rock Lake, and Fairfield in the southwest.
The Bearpath neighborhood is one of the most admirable Eden Prairie development. It is an exclusive gated golf-course community. A stunning piece of property with a cranberry bog, ponds, and lakes, Bearpath has expensive single-family homes as well as maintenance-free golf villas, twin homes, and townhomes.
Eden Prairie, with its social conscience and practical attitude, also provides chore and maintenance services to seniors. At the other end of the age range, the city, together with the school district, local volunteers, and various agencies, participate in Project Hope. This group effort pairs young, single-parent families with mentors who help them achieve economic self-sufficiency by completing school and finding steady employment. With little open land left for development and a population right around 65,000, Eden Prairie's growth is slowing. But this is not just a Twin Cities' bedroom community as many of the other suburbs; it is home to over 1,500 businesses, including Eaton Corporation and GE Capital. The carefully planned mix of commercial and residential property is starting to pay off as the city expects to be a metro area leader in employment growth well into this millennium. To meet the transportation needs of its workforce, Eden Prairie has joined with Chaska and Chanhassen to develop Southwest Metro Transit. This system offers express commuting for those who work in Minneapolis and reverse commuting that brings workers out from the Twin Cities to area jobs.
To serve its high proportion of young families, Eden Prairie offers many resources. Eden Prairie School District #272 serves most of the city, although some areas along the northern edge are in the Minnetonka or Hopkins school districts. District #272 has pioneered innovative programs, including the "Freshman Academy" to help students transition into high school, and they offer a separate school for kindergarten students. Eden Prairie youth athletics are supervised by parent volunteers and include baseball, basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, swimming, and more. The Community Resource Center, 8080 Mitchell Road, 952-975-0444, was established to connect families and individuals with education, counseling, recreation, health care, housing, employment, transportation, daycare services, volunteer opportunities, and more.
Eden Prairie youth athletics are supervised by parent volunteers and include baseball, basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, swimming, and more. The Community Resource Center, 8080 Mitchell Road, 952-975-0444, was established to connect families and individuals with education, counseling, recreation, health care, housing, employment, transportation, daycare services, volunteer opportunities, and more. A recent city survey showed that 70% of Eden Prairie's families have access to the internet, so much of the city's communication with residents is delivered via the city's web page www.ci.eden-prairie.mn.us.
Because of Eden Prairie's commitment to affordable, high-density housing, the city has retained more than 10,000 acres of parks, public right-of-way, and open space. A community sports complex with hockey and skating rinks, beaches, fishing piers, community gardens, and paved bike trails are among the many amenities the city offers. Also available to Eden Prairie residents, an antique lodge conference center set in a nature preserve on the shore of Starring Lake. Agriculture, Eden Prairie's link to the past, is still practiced here but on a minimal basis and mainly along the Minnesota River or in the southwestern comer of the city. Woodbear Stable on Eden Prairie Road still has horses and room to ride them; you'll find a seasonal roadside produce stand on the corner of Eden Prairie Road and Pioneer Trail, and Halla Nursery still operates on Highway 101. But these are mere remnants of the city's not-so-distant agricultural past. In many ways, the highway is king now. Girded by 1-494, highways 169 and 212, and Highway 5, the arteries that caused Eden Prairie's wildfire growth are now giving rise to Eden Prairie's most serious problem yet, traffic congestion.
Post Offices: 8725 Columbine Road; Little Red gas section, County Road 4 at Duck Lake Trail; Jerry's New Market, 9589 Anderson Lakes Parkway
City Hall, 8080 Mitchell Road, 952-949-8300, TDD 952-949-8399, 24-Hour Prairie Line, 612-949-8561
Police non-emergency: 952-949-6200
Fire non-emergency: 952- 949-8361
Hospital: Fairview Southdale, 6401 France Avenue, 952-924-5000, www.fairview.org
Library: Hennepin County Library, 479 Prairie Center Drive, 952- 829-5460, www.hennepin.lib.mn.us
School: District #272, Eden Prairie Schools, 8100 School Road, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344, 952-975-7000, www.edenpr.k12.mn.us
Community Publication: Eden Prairie News, 952-934-5045, www.edenprairienews.com; Eden Prairie Sun Current, 952-829-0797, www.mnsun.com
Bus Transportation: the Southwest Station is at the southwest intersection of Highway 5 and Prairie Center Drive; parking lot access is from Technology Drive. For the latest information, call SW Metro Transit at 952-949-28US. For complete bus schedules, contact the MCTO at 612-349-7000 or visit www.metrocouncil.org and go to Southwest Metro Transit. You can buy a bus pass electronically on this site by charging it to your credit card.
Airport Park and Fly Service: hourly service is provided daily, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., from Southwest Station in Eden Prairie to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport; 24-hour advance reservations are required for service to the airport, 952-827-7777. Parking at SW Station is free; Pick-up times are scheduled at 30 minutes past the hour, with arrival at the airport at 10 minutes. Catch the return shuttle at the airport's Ground Transportation Center, one level below baggage claim. Shuttles depart every 30 minutes daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from the Scheduled Shuttle/Hotel Shuttle loading area. Tickets may be purchased at the Express Shuttle USA desk or directly from the driver. Vanpools to St. Paul: Service to downtown St. Paul and the Capital area, Monday-Friday, from Southwest Station in Eden Prairie, costs around $3 per day. Call 952-974-3102.
Service to Mall of America and the Airport: buses run approximately every ninety minutes, daily, to and from the Mall of America and Airport from Southwest Station. The bus stop at the Mall of America is located at the lower level on the east side at Cate 2. The bus stop at the airport is located on the upper-level roadway, adjacent to the parking lot. Dial-A-Ride Service: the bus can pick you up in the front of your building and take you anywhere in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, and Chaska, Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required, 952-949-2BUS. Connecting Service to Popular Destinations: Dial-A-Ride can connect customers at Southwest Station in Eden Prairie to Southdale, Downtown Minneapolis, Mall of America, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Service to Southdale & Minneapolis: hourly midday service to/from Southdale and downtown Minneapolis from Southwest Station, Monday-Friday. At Southdale, the bus stops at the lower level entrance at Carousel Lane. In downtown, the bus drops off passengers along 2nd Avenue and picks up passengers along Marquette Avenue. Commuter Service to Minneapolis and Reverse Commuter Service: SouthWest MetroTransit provides express service to commuters going into Minneapolis to work or coming out to Eden Prairie/Chanhassen/Chaska to work, and evening returns.
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