Long before suburban homes were built here, Richfield was characterized by its abundance of rich farmland (hence the name) as the Minneapolis and St. Paul area was beginning to grow. In 1908, Richfield officially became a city by adopting a President/Trustee form of government. However, residents of Richfield held town meetings dating back to May 11, 1858 - the date on which Congress admitted Minnesota into the Union. On November 7, 1950 residents voted for a village manager form of government, meaning the City had a Mayor, four council members, and one City Manager. This is the form of government still used today. Richfield's first Mayor was Clarence Christian who began serving in 1951, but had served as President under the old format dating back to 1948.
Richfield experienced a major population boom following World War II. As a first-ring suburb to Minneapolis, Richfield quickly became a popular home for returning war veterans in the late 1940s and 1950s. From 1940 to 1960, Richfield's population grew from under 10,000 to 42,500. The City's population topped out at nearly 50,000 in 1970. However, airport expansion, highway expansion, and decreasing household sizes resulted in Richfield's population leveling off around 35,000 people.
Richfield's 35,000 residents live within seven square miles of neighborhoods, parks, schools and businesses. A variety of housing options are available from single family homes to condominiums, apartments, and senior living. In order to remain vital, the community is focusing on commercial and residential redevelopment. Richfield's proximity to Minneapolis, MSP International Airport, Mall of America, and the surrounding region offers limitless opportunities for Richfield residents and businesses for recreation, learning, culture, and entertainment.
Although located in the middle of a large urban area, Richfield retains a small town atmosphere. The pace is easy, the streets are clean, City government is accessible, and community spirit runs high. Strong residential neighborhoods, an excellent public school system, established infrastructure and amenities make it a community attractive to all ages.
The City of Richfield's park system offers more than 460 acres of parkland, 21 neighborhood and community parks, a nature center, and many community and athletic facilities well distributed across the community and highly accessible to residents. Richfield's parks provide diverse recreational amenities including walking trails, picnic facilities, children's play areas, skating rink, a swimming pool, a skateboard park, and more. Community facilities include a community center for senior activities, mini-golf, a farmers market, ice arena, outdoor pool, and arts center.
Named for the fertile farmland that once occupied the area.
7 sq. miles
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Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre nature preserve and one of the first municipal nature centers in Minnesota.
Streets 142 mi.
Sidewalks 40 mi.
Water System 122 mi.
Sanitary Sewer 120 mi.
Visit http://www.richfieldhistory.org for additional information on Richfield's history.