Greenfield stretches over 20 square miles, but its 2,700 friendly residents make it feel more like a small town. At the same time, its sparse density affords peace and privacy.
The city is voting on a new slogan. Amongst the choices are “Green Fields and Beautiful Waters,” “Experience the Beauty, Discover the Life,” and perhaps most fitting, “Greenfield…Home at Last.” It’s just 45 minutes from downtown Minneapolis for those times when commuters and even the most steadfast homebodies need to hit the big city.
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Greenfield is part of Hennepin County, which was established in 1852 and named after Father Louis Hennepin, a Belgian missionary who explored the area west of Lake Superior back in the late 1600s. Before that, this was the land of the Dakota Nation. Europeans first came in search of furs and established trading posts in the area along several Minnesota rivers. The Crow River, which naturally forms Greenfield’s eastern border, was one.
Settlers began arriving in the mid-1800s and established a farming community. Agriculture has been a prominent industry since. Today, about half of Greenfield’s land usage is still devoted to farming, with the other half, to rural and park lands. This slow-paced town was not incorporated until 1958. As late as 1970, less than 1,000 people called Greenfield home.
Parks and Recreation
Greenfield’s main park, the 2,200-acre Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, is shared with its neighboring town, Independence. The reserve is home to woodlands, wetlands and protected wildlife. The gorgeous Trumpeter Swan, for example, the largest water bird on Earth, is recovering here.
The park has amenities for people, too: 25 miles of biking, hiking, horse and dog trails, a beach, fishing piers, boat launches, playgrounds and picnic areas. Lake Rebecca is one of six large lakes in Greenfield that are open to water skiing, swimming, fishing, boating and more. In the winter time, there’s ice fishing and snowmobiling.
Greenfield prides itself on a unique volunteering spirit. The Thousand Hearts Crow River Serve Day pulls together over 1,000 volunteers who devote their time to helping neighbors in need and overall municipal improvement.
Greenfield has access to three independent school districts, but most residents attend the Rockford Public School District, ISD 883. Delano (ISD 879) and Buffalo (ISD 877) are the other two and are within a nine-mile radius. Greenfield has one public elementary, middle and high school each. There’s also a private Lutheran-affiliated academy that goes up to grade eight.
A number of Greenfield’s residents are independent farmers. Locals also work at McCormick Construction, Buffalo Bituminous and Dick’s Foods. Construction is Greenfield’s biggest industry, followed by professional and technical services, finance and heath care.
Most Greenfield workers commute to Minneapolis-St.Paul, home to some of the biggest corporations in the country – Target, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Ameriprise Financial and Ecolab are just some of the firms headquartered here.
According to the 2010 Census, Greenfield’s median age was 44.1 and its median household income was over $93,000.
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