Eden Prairie, Minnesota

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Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie City Center
Eden Prairie City Center
Live, Work, Dream[3]
Location of Eden Prairie within Hennepin County, Minnesota
Location of Eden Prairie
within Hennepin County, Minnesota
Eden Prairie is located in Minnesota
Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie
Location in Minnesota
Eden Prairie is located in the United States
Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 44°51′17″N 93°28′15″W / 44.85472°N 93.47083°W / 44.85472; -93.47083Coordinates: 44°51′17″N 93°28′15″W / 44.85472°N 93.47083°W / 44.85472; -93.47083
Country United States
State Minnesota
IncorporatedOctober 22, 1962[4]
Founded byRobert Anderson
 • MayorRon Case (DFL)
 • City35.25 sq mi (91.31 km2)
 • Land32.52 sq mi (84.23 km2)
 • Water2.73 sq mi (7.07 km2)
886 ft (270 m)
 • City60,797
 • Estimate 
 • RankUS: 568th Minnesota: 12th
 • Density1,995.30/sq mi (770.39/km2)
 • Urban
2,650,890 (US: 16th)
 • Metro
3,524,583 (US: 16th)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (Central (CDT))
ZIP codes
55344, 55346, 55347
Area code(s)952|612
FIPS code27-18116
GNIS feature ID643164[8]
AirportFlying Cloud Airport (Public/Reliever)
U.S. RoutesUS 169.svg US 212.svg
State RoutesMN-5.svg MN-62.svg MN-101.svg
County roadsHennepin County 61.svg
Public transportationSouthwest Transit
Light RailMetro Minnesota icon.svg Southwest LRT (Opening 2023)
WebsiteCity of Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie is a city 12 miles (19 km) southwest of downtown Minneapolis in Hennepin County and the 12th-largest city in the State of Minnesota, United States. It is the seventh-largest suburb in the Twin Cities, with a population of 60,797 at the 2010 census.[9] The city is on the north bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from its confluence with the Mississippi River.

Eden Prairie is a suburb with a mixed-income city model. It is home to 7,213 firms,[10] municipal and regional parks, conservation areas, trails, and recreational facilities.[11]

There are walking trails around Purgatory Creek and Staring Lake,[12] as well as the Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail.[13] The city has more than 170 miles (270 km) of multi-use trails, 2,250 acres (9 km2) of parks, and 1,300 acres (5 km2) of open space. It is home to the headquarters of SuperValu, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, SABIS, and MTS Systems Corporation. It contains the Eden Prairie Center and is the hub for SouthWest Transit, providing public transportation to three adjacent suburbs. The television stations KMSP and WFTC are based in Eden Prairie. The nonprofit news organization Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) also serves the community.

Eden Prairie and nearby suburbs form the southwest portion of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 15th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with approximately 3.6 million residents.

Eden Prairie has been one of Money magazine's "Best Places to Live" in America since 2006;[14] the city earned first place in the 2010 survey[15] and second place in 2016.[16] In 2017, eleven Eden Prairie students scored perfect ACT test scores.[17]


Cummins Cabin, pre-1860
Current photo of the Cummins-Phipps-Grill House
Flailing out beans at Cummins Farm

For most of its existence, Eden Prairie has been a slow-growing, pastoral village on the far southwest fringes of the Twin Cities. Between 1880 and 1960, Eden Prairie's population only grew from about 739 to 2,000.

Native Americans were the first to live in the area. Originally, the land was part of the Great Dakota Nation, but when the Ojibwe arrived from the Great Lakes region, the tribes began to clash over the land. The Ojibwe were armed with knives and guns traded to them by white settlers and fur traders, and after years of bloody warfare the Ojibwe had forced the Dakota to give up all their land east of the Mississippi River, and north of the Crow Wing River, land that did not include what is now Eden Prairie.[18]

In 1853, John H. McKenzie and Minnesota Territory secretary Alexander Wilkins platted the town of Hennepin along the Minnesota River in what is now southeastern Eden Prairie. According to area historian Helen Holden Anderson, topographic disadvantages for the transport of agricultural goods caused Hennepin to be eclipsed by other towns in the region,[19] and the town soon vanished from maps.

On May 25, 1858, a battle was fought between the Dakota and the Ojibwe in the southern part of Eden Prairie, just north of the Minnesota River, an area known as Murphy's Ferry. The Ojibwe wished to "avenge the murder" of one of their people by the Dakota the previous fall. The Ojibwe had 200 warriors and the Dakota somewhere between 60 and 70, but the Dakota proved victorious, wounding the young Ojibwe chief.[18]

The tribes continued to fight over territory well into the 1860s, even after the "Sioux Uprising" of 1862, when most Dakota people were removed from Minnesota.

Among the notable Native Americans who lived in the Eden Prairie area was Chief Shoto. Born into the band of Chief Wabash, he went on to be the chief of the Red Wing Dakota tribe for 15 years, leaving them and becoming Chief of the "Little Six" band of Dakota until the uprising in 1862, during which he became a scout for then Governor Sibley from 1862 to 1870, returning to the Little Six band in 1872. He died in 1899 at age 99 at his home in Eden Prairie.[18]

In 1851, a treaty opened land west of the Mississippi River to settlement allowing pioneers to settle in what is now Eden Prairie. Many early farmhouses remain in the town and can be found on the National Register of Historic Places. One of these early settlers was John Cummins, an Irish-born immigrant who built what is now known as the "Cummins-Phipps-Grill House" with his wife Mattie in 1880.[20] Manuscripts indicate that Cummins was an avid and respected horticulturist, scientist, and farmer; he used his farmland to experiment with different strains of apples and grapes to try to find one that could withstand the harsh climate in Minnesota.[21] The Cummins family sold this property to the Phipps family in 1908.[18]

Eden Prairie's town board held its first meeting in a log schoolhouse on May 11, 1858, the same day Minnesota became a state. Eden Prairie's farming community grew slowly over the years. Flying Cloud Airport was the first sign of big development in 1946. The 1960s and 1970s were decades of growth for the city's parks and recreation system. In the mid-1970s, the community gained a higher profile with the addition of Interstate Highway 494 and the Eden Prairie Shopping Center. Eden Prairie became a village in 1962 and a statutory city in 1974. A popular lake in Eden Prairie is Staring Lake, named for Jonas Platt Staring (1809-1894), who built the first house by the lake.[22]


The city was originally named "Eden" in 1853 by one Mrs. Elliot, who chose the name because of her admiration of the "beautiful prairie" that occupies the southern part of town.[23]


Bryant Lake, in Eden Prairie, originally named Bryant's Lake or one of many "Long Lake" lakes in Minnesota[24]

Eden Prairie is about 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Minneapolis along the northern side of the Minnesota River.

Interstate 494, U.S. Highways 169 and 212, and Minnesota State Highway 5 are four of the city's main routes.

Eden Prairie's land consists of rolling hills and bluffs overlooking the Minnesota River, with zones of prairie and mixed (primarily deciduous) forests. Eden Prairie has parks, such as Staring Lake Park and Bryant Lakes Regional Park, with trails for running and biking.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 35.19 square miles (91.14 km2), of which 32.45 square miles (84.05 km2) is land and 2.74 square miles (7.10 km2) is water.[25]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[26]

Eden Prairie "attracts a very diverse crowd" from many income groups.[27] It is also home to the affluent gated community Bearpath.[28] Eden Prairie is Minnesota's 12th-largest city.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 60,797 people, 23,930 households, and 16,517 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,873.6 inhabitants per square mile (723.4/km2). There were 25,075 housing units at an average density of 772.7 per square mile (298.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.7% White, 5.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 9.2% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.

There were 23,930 households, of which 36.3% had children under age 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.0% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.08.

The median age in the city was 37.6. 26.4% of residents were under 18; 6.5% were between 18 and 24; 27.6% were from 25 to 44; 30.8% were from 45 to 64; and 8.6% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 54,901 people, 20,457 households, and 14,579 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,695.1 inhabitants per square mile (654.5/km2). There were 21,026 housing units at an average density of 649.2 per square mile (250.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.7% White, 2.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 20,457 households, of which 42.6% had children under age 18 living with them, 61.3% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.5% under age 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 35.6% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 4.9% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34. For every 100 females, there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $54,328, and the median income for a family was $105,177. Males had a median income of $59,303 versus $37,196 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,854. About 2.8% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under 18 and 6.3% of those 65 or older.


Eden Prairie is home to more than 2,200 businesses, including many that specialize in logistics/distribution, retail and wholesale trade, health care, industrial equipment, communications, and information technology. The unemployment rate as of 2010 was 5.1%.[10]

Top employers[edit]

According to the city's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[29] its top employers were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Optum 2,984
2 Starkey Hearing Technologies 1,700
3 Eden Prairie School District #272 1,637
4 SuperValu 1,000
5 C. H. Robinson Worldwide 913
6 Optum360, LLC 900
7 Lifetouch 800
7 MTS Systems Corporation 800
8 Eaton 717
9 Abbott Laboratories 617

Video game retailer FuncoLand, which operated in over 400 locations nationwide before its acquisition and merger, was headquartered in Eden Prairie.[30]

Arts and culture[edit]

Eden Prairie Veterans Memorial[edit]

In 2008, Eden Prairie raised over $400,000 from the community to build a veterans memorial. The memorial has two components, service to country and world peace. It was constructed in Purgatory Creek Park near the intersection of Technology Drive and Prairie Center Drive. Sculptor Neil Brodin designed and constructed two bronze sculptures. The service-to-country sculpture represents a wounded airman carried over the shoulders of a soldier in the battlefield.

The world-peace sculpture depicts a woman service member touching a globe, honoring women who have served. Community members could purchase a place on the memorial for the names of loved ones who served in any branch of the U.S. service in any war or conflict. Minnesota-based Cold Spring Granite provided Mesabi black granite for the memorial's walls.


The 2017 USA Rink Bandy League Cannon Cup Playoffs took place at the Eden Prairie Rinks.[31]


Eden Prairie is in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district, represented by Dean Phillips, a Democrat. City council officials include Mayor Ron Case and council members Brad Aho, Mark Freiberg, Kathy Nelson and PG Naraynan. The city manager is Rick Getschow.

Presidential election results
2020 Precinct Results Spreadsheet[32] 2016 Precinct Results Spreadsheet[33]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 36.0% 14,241 61.7% 24,376 2.3% 896
2016 38.5% 13,954 52.6% 19,060 8.8% 3,191


Public schools[edit]

The first school in Eden Prairie was Anderson School, a schoolhouse near a farm. At the time of its construction, it was in the center of the city. The former Eden Prairie Consolidated School, built in 1924, is now the school district Administration Building and is next to Central Middle School.

Eden Prairie operates eight K-12 schools, six elementary (K-6) schools (including one Spanish immersion), one middle school (7-8), and one high school (9-12). Eden Prairie High School is Minnesota's second-largest high school, with about 3,300 students, and is near the grounds of Round Lake Park and the Eden Prairie Community Center.

List of schools[edit]

  • Oak Point Elementary
  • Prairie View Elementary
  • Cedar Ridge Elementary
  • Forest Hills Elementary
  • Eden Lake Elementary
  • Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion
  • Central Middle School
  • Eden Prairie High School

The district has a record of success, with 12 Eden Prairie High School juniors scoring perfect ACT scores in 2017.[17] Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota's open enrollment statute.[34]

Charter schools[edit]

As of the 2017–18 school year, Eden Prairie is home to one charter school, the Performing Institute of Minnesota Arts High School.

Private schools[edit]

Eden Prairie has one private school, The International School of Minnesota, which offers a private, non-denominational, college preparatory education for students from preschool through grade 12. The school, founded in 1985, features non-selective admissions and year-round open enrollment, daily world language education beginning in preschool, and 19 AP courses at the upper school level. The student body consists of 85% local residents and 15% international students.[35]


There is one technical college campus in Eden Prairie. Hennepin Technical College (whose main campus is in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota) has an enrollment of roughly 7,000 full- and part-time students. It offers day and night classes.


The city has its own police department.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The city's regional shopping mall, Eden Prairie Center, stood in for the Mall of America in the 1997 comic mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous.[38] Two years earlier, the mall served as the principal filming location of Kevin Smith's Mallrats.[39]

The railroad overpass that lent its name to the 1990 Prince album Graffiti Bridge passed over Valley View Road in the city's northwestern quadrant. It was torn down in 1991 to make way for an expansion of the road[40] and has since been replaced with a bridge carrying the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT rail-to-trail recreational path.


  1. ^ Ernie Shuldhiess. "Eden Prairie History". Eden Prairie History. Retrieved 2008-07-11.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ self. "Google search on "EP" businesses in "Eden Prairie, MN"". Google Maps. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  3. ^ "About Eden Prairie". City of Eden Prairie. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04.
  4. ^ Warren Upham, Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001) p227
  5. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Eden Prairie". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  9. ^ "Census releases population numbers for Eden Prairie [9] Data Set: 2006 Population Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Economic Snapshot - City of Eden Prairie - Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce". Epchamber.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Twin Cities - LISC Twin Cities" (PDF). Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  12. ^ "City of Eden Prairie - Home". Edenprairie.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail - Three Rivers Park District". Threeriversparks.org. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Money Best Places to Live 2006". CNNMoney. Cable News Network. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  15. ^ "Best Places to Live 2010". CNN. Archived from the original on 2010-11-30.
  16. ^ "Best Places to Live 2016". Time.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  17. ^ a b "11 Eden Prairie High School juniors get perfect ACT scores". Fox9.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d Wittenberg, Marie (2010-01-01). Eden Prairie: A Brief History. The History Press. ISBN 9781596299412.
  19. ^ "Ghost towns of the southwest metro".
  20. ^ "Cummins House - The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Historical Society". The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Historical Society. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Historical Society. 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  21. ^ Cummins, John. "JOHN R. CUMMINS: An Inventory of His Papers at the Minnesota Historical Society". Minnesota Historical Society. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  22. ^ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/26452129/jonas-platt-staring
  23. ^ Upham, Warren (1820). Minnesota Geographic Names. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society. p. 221.
  24. ^ "Collections". archive.org. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  25. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  26. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  27. ^ "2. Eden Prairie, Minn". Time.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Gated communities haven't taken off in Minnesota". Startribune.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For the Year Ended December 31, 2016 City of Eden Prairie, Minnesota", City of Eden Prairie, 2017
  30. ^ St. Anthony, Neal (November 17, 2000). "Babbage's appears to be phasing out ex-Funco's Eden Prairie headquarters". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. p. 57 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Rink Bandy". USA Bandy.
  32. ^ "Minnesota Secretary of State - 2020 Precinct Results Spreadsheet".
  33. ^ "Minnesota Secretary of State - 2016 Precinct Results Spreadsheet".
  34. ^ "Open Enrollment". Minnesota Department of Education. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  35. ^ SABIS®. "Private Schools in Minneapolis l International School of MN". internationalschoolmn.com. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  36. ^ "Benjamin HUSABY - Olympic Cross Country Skiing - United States of America". Olympic.org. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  37. ^ "About Charlie Vig". Minneapolis Star Tribune. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  38. ^ "Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) - IMDb".
  39. ^ "City Pages".
  40. ^ "Remembering Prince's Graffiti Bridge".

External links[edit]