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Fridley, Minnesota facts for kids

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Fridley Civic Campus
Fridley Civic Campus
"Friendly Fridley"
Location of the city of Fridleywithin Anoka County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Fridley
within Anoka County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Anoka
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 10.89 sq mi (28.20 km2)
 • Land 10.17 sq mi (26.35 km2)
 • Water 0.72 sq mi (1.86 km2)
860 ft (262 m)
 • Total 29,590
 • Density 2,909/sq mi (1,123.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
55421, 55432
Area code(s) 763
FIPS code 27-22814
GNIS feature ID 0643953
Website City of Fridley

Fridley is a city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was 29,590 at the 2020 census. Fridley was incorporated in 1949 as a village, and became a city in 1957. It is part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Fridley is a "first ring" or "inner ring" suburb in the northern part of the Twin Cities. Fridley connects with the city of Minneapolis at its southern border. Neighboring first-ring suburbs are Columbia Heights to the south and Brooklyn Center to the west across the Mississippi River.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.89 square miles (28.20 km2), of which, 10.17 square miles (26.34 km2) is land and 0.72 square miles (1.86 km2) is water.

Lakes in Fridley include East Moore Lake, West Moore Lake, and Locke Lake. Rice Creek flows through the central part of the city, Springbrook Creek flows through the northwest section, and the Mississippi River borders Fridley to the west.

The city of Fridley borders the cities of Coon Rapids and Blaine to the north; Spring Lake Park to the northeast; Mounds View and New Brighton to the east; Columbia Heights to the southeast; Minneapolis to the southwest; and Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center to the west.

Fridley shares the Climate of the Twin Cities and Climate of Minnesota.


Interstate 694 Fridley MN 2017
Interstate 694 looking West through Fridley

Interstate 694 and Minnesota State Highways 47 and 65 are three of the main automobile routes in the city. East River Road is one of the oldest roads in the state as a Minnesota Territorial road. It was part of the Red River Trails Woods trail. The I-694 Bridge, joining Fridley to Brooklyn Center, is the only crossing of the Mississippi River within the city.

Fridley MN Station 2017
Platform of the Fridley Northstar station looking South towards Minneapolis

The BNSF Railway main Northern transcontinental Twin Cities to Portland/Seattle double track line passes through Fridley as part of the Staples Subdivision. The Fridley Station is served by the Northstar Commuter Rail line running on the BNSF tracks into Minneapolis. The Amtrak Empire Builder passes through Fridley twice daily on this line, but does not stop within the city. The massive BNSF Northtown Classification Yards are located in the city. The Minnesota Commercial Railway also serves Fridley, with a terminal warehouse located there.

BNSF Northtown Yard Fridley MN 2017
BNSF Northtown Classification Yard

The Mississippi River is non-navigable for barge traffic north of the Canadian Pacific Camden Place Rail Bridge; however, small boats can travel upstream to the Coon Rapids Dam without a portage. There is a boat landing for small boats in the river near Interstate 694 at the Anoka County Riverfront Regional Park.

The Anoka County–Blaine Airport serves the area and is located in neighboring Blaine.


The post-European/American settlement history of Fridley begins with the construction of the Red River Ox Cart Trail in 1844, which traveled through Minnesota Territory from Saint Paul (present day Minnesota) to Pembina (present day North Dakota), now East River Road (also Anoka County Highway 1). The road was used to transport furs to the south and other various supplies to the Red River Valley settlers in the north.

In 1847, John Banfill became the first settler in the area, which was known at the time as Manomin. Manomin is a variant spelling of manoomin, the Ojibwe word for wild rice, a staple of their diet. It comprised the modern-day municipalities of Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, and Spring Lake Park.

The area soon grew quickly in size. In 1851, Banfill platted the actual town of Manomin. There, a general store and sawmill were built next to Rice Creek, named after Henry Mower Rice, a settler who just two years earlier had acquired a lot of land in the area. In 1853, the first town post office was in operation, and a year later, a ferry crossing the Mississippi River was established.

Abram M. Fridley, for whom the city is named.

In 1855, Abram M. Fridley, for whom the city is named, was elected as the first territorial representative for the area.

In 1857, the area separated from Ramsey County; Manomin County was established, and it became the smallest county in the United States, having only 18 sections. This distinction was short-lived, after it was annexed by Anoka County in 1870 and became a township with the same name.

In 1879, the Minnesota State Legislature, of which Abram M. Fridley was still a member, changed the township's name to bear his last name.

In 1949, the village of Fridley was incorporated. The Fridley Free Press was also established. A lawsuit that challenged the incorporation of the village caused the funds to be frozen. Minnesota state law allowed cities to operate municipal liquor stores. The Fridley Liquor store proceeds were the primary funding for the daily city operations until the lawsuit was resolved in 1950.

In 1957, the village became a "home rule charter city".

On May 6, 1965, Fridley was hit by two F4 tornadoes. One out of every four homes in the city was destroyed or damaged. The second twister that hit was the deadliest storm in Twin Cities history (see 1965 Twin Cities tornado outbreak), which killed a total of 13 people.

In 1970, Fridley began purchasing land which would become the Springbrook Nature Center.

On July 18, 1986, a widely photographed tornado spent 16 minutes in Springbrook Nature Center, destroying thousands of century old trees and extensive areas of mature forest habitat. A KARE 11 television news helicopter passing through the area shot the first aerial video of a tornado.

Medtronic Operational Headquarters is a major employer in Fridley.

On September 21, 2005, Fridley was struck by straight-line winds exceeding 80 mph (130 km/h), toppling many old growth trees as large as 2.5 feet (0.76 m) in diameter and in turn, destroying dozens of homes and several vehicles. Cleanup efforts took as long as a week, leaving hundreds of residents stranded in their homes without power, unable to drive until streets were cleared of debris. This same storm also affected Brooklyn Center, New Brighton, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Spring Lake Park and Blaine, as well as other communities in the surrounding North Metro area.

Fridley has one of the first six stations of the Northstar Commuter Rail line connecting the northwest suburbs and downtown Minneapolis; the line opened in November 2009.

Parks and recreation

Fridley is home to the 127-acre (0.51 km2) Springbrook Nature Center park and nature reserve on its northern border with Coon Rapids. The western border of Fridley comprises the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Portions of islands within the recreation area are within the Fridley city limits.

Fridley has the following Anoka County parks within the city:

  • Manomin County Park (Rice Creek where it enters the Mississippi River and Locke Lake)
  • Rice Creek West/Locke Park and Regional Trail (Rice Creek)
  • Islands of Peace County Park (Mississippi River)
  • Anoka County Riverfront Regional Park (Mississippi River)


Fridley has the nickname "Friendly Fridley". The nickname was spread further by a long-running series of advertisements on various radio stations for a local car dealer. The announcer would direct people to "Friendly Chevrolet up in Friendly Fridley".

The city festival is named "49'er" days, which commemorates the 1949 incorporation. It is usually held in mid June.

Sister city

  • France Fourmies, Nord (France) - Medtronic plc has an assembly plant in Fourmies.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 3,796
1960 15,173 299.7%
1970 29,233 92.7%
1980 30,228 3.4%
1990 28,335 −6.3%
2000 27,449 −3.1%
2010 27,208 −0.9%
2020 29,590 8.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 136
1870 103 −24.3%
1880 257 149.5%
1890 476 85.2%
1900 443 −6.9%
1910 523 18.1%
1920 533 1.9%
1930 693 30.0%
1940 1,392 100.9%
1950 2,279 63.7%
U.S. Census for Fridley Township

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 27,208 people, 11,110 households, and 7,057 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,675.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,032.9/km2). There were 11,760 housing units at an average density of 1,156.3 per square mile (446.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.2% White, 11.1% African American, 1.2% Native American, 4.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.4% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.3% of the population.

There were 11,110 households, of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.5% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age in the city was 37.1 years. 23.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 14.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.


Fridley is home to the Operational (formerly World) Headquarters of Ireland-based Medtronic plc. Medtronic also has a substantial Rice Creek business campus. Other major employers in Fridley include BAE Systems (formerly United Defense), Cummins, Unity Medical Center, part of the Allina Healthcare system, part of the Mercy Hospitals, Minco Products, Inc, Kurt Manufacturing Company, and Park Construction Company. Fridley is also home to a Target Stores retail distribution center. Magnum Research, a company that produces the Desert Eagle firearm, had its headquarters in Fridley until 2010.

Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul draw their municipal water supplies from the Mississippi River at Fridley, which is upstream. The City of Minneapolis Waterworks plant and Fire Department training facility are within the city of Fridley.

In the 2000 census data, there were 11,542 more jobs in Fridley than the number of workers age 16 and over. However, most Fridley residents work outside of Fridley. The most common place of employment for Fridley residents is not Fridley. It is other cities in Hennepin County and, secondly, Minneapolis. Only 21% of the 15,221 Fridley residents in the work force in 2000 were actually working in Fridley's borders. Fridley saw a decline in the number of jobs from 26,763 in 2000 to 23,845 in 2006 according to the city economic plan report.

Largest employers

According to the city's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Medtronic 3,003
2 Cummins 1,700
3 Unity Hospital 1,037
4 Target 842
5 BAE Systems 637
6 Minco Products 517
7 Walmart 294
8 Kurt Manufacturing 233
9 Lofthouse Bakery 215
10 Parsons Electric 100


The public schools in Fridley are governed by Fridley Independent School District 14. Fridley High School, Fridley Middle School, Hayes Elementary School, and Stevenson Elementary School comprise the district. In 1978, Fridley closed three elementary schools due to declining enrollment: Gardena, Riverwood, and Parkview. The Riverwood Elementary school was demolished and single family homes were developed. The Parkview Elementary school became the Fridley Community center. The Gardena Elementary school location is now the Al-Amal school. The Rice Creek Elementary school was a fourth school closed later and demolished like Riverwood, single family homes were developed. After the 1965 Tornado, students at Parkview had to double up at the Riverwood school while it was being rebuilt.

Totino-Grace High School, a private Roman Catholic high school, Calvin Christian High School, a private Christian high school, and Al-Amal School, a private Islamic K-12 school, are also located in Fridley.

A small portion of the northern part of Fridley lies within the Anoka-Hennepin School District 11. Students living in an area of eastern Fridley are in the Columbia Heights School District 13. North Park elementary school is located in Fridley. Most of the students living in the north-northeastern part of the city are in Spring Lake Park School District 16. A District 16 Elementary School, Woodcrest Spanish Immersion, is located within Fridley.

Notable people

  • Bill Antonello - Major League Baseball player
  • Gordon Backlund -Minnesota State Politician
  • Connie Bernardy -Minnesota State Politician
  • Don Betzold - Minnesota State Politician
  • Satveer Chaudhary - Minnesota State Politician
  • L. Joseph Connors - Minnesota State Politician
  • Chris Dahlquist -Professional Hockey NHL Player
  • Brooke Elliott - actress
  • Mike Erlandson - Businessman
  • Abram M. Fridley - Minnesota State Politician and namesake of the city
  • Larry Hosch - Minnesota State Politician
  • Jon Melander - Professional Football NFL player
  • Donald Savelkoul - Minnesota State Politician and Lawyer
  • Don Simensen - Professional Football NFL player
  • Wayne Simoneau - Minnesota State Politician
  • Tom Tillberry - Minnesota State Politician
  • Rose Totino - Businesswoman
  • Warren Johnson - Former NHRA Drag Racer and Champion
  • Cory Wong - Guitar Player

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Fridley para niños

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