By nearly any measure, the Twin Cities Metropolitan area (Metro) provides the highest quality of life for its residents of any area in the nation. As the 16th largest urban area in the country, it serves as the economic and cultural center for the Upper Midwest. With one of the lowest poverty rates in the country, a highly educated populace, and a consistent rank as the one of the healthiest cities in the nation, the Metro is a source of pride for the region. The true character of the Metro, however, lies in its unique natural surroundings that have always been an attraction.
The Metro is centered on the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers near historic Fort Snelling and is bordered by the St. Croix River on the east. These major rivers form the scenic backbone of the Metro area and a large part of the remaining natural areas in the region are found near their banks.
This region was originally characterized largely by limestone river bluffs, flood plains, and surrounding prairies and oak savannas. Within the Metro, there are three historic ecological regions: the oak barrens and upland prairie of the Anoka Sand Plains, the maple–basswood forests of the Big Woods, and the oak and aspen savanna of the St. Baldwin Plains.
Region Leader: Jenna Fletcher, 651-999-5306
Facilitator: Lisa Hinz, 651-480-7734