Living in Oakdale

Oakdale, MN | Paul Sableman | Flickr

Oakdale, Minnesota is a small city located in Washington County, in the eastern part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. It covers an area of approximately 11 square miles and has a population of around 28,000 people. The city is known for its strong sense of community, excellent schools, and beautiful parks and trails.

One of the key attractions of Oakdale is its natural beauty. The city is home to several large parks, including the 220-acre Oakdale Nature Preserve, which features hiking and biking trails, a fishing pier, and picnic areas. Other popular parks in the area include Tartan Park and Walton Park, which offer a range of recreational activities such as tennis, baseball, and soccer.

Oakdale is also known for its excellent schools. The city is served by the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, which includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The district is known for its high academic standards and has received numerous awards and accolades over the years.

In terms of housing, Oakdale offers a range of options to suit different budgets and lifestyles. The city has a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments, and is known for its affordable housing prices compared to other cities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Overall, Oakdale is a great place to live for anyone who values a strong sense of community, natural beauty, and excellent schools. With its range of housing options, recreational activities, and proximity to the Twin Cities, it's no wonder that so many people choose to call Oakdale home.

1.        Cost of Living

Oakdale, Minnesota offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many other cities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The cost of living index in Oakdale is slightly lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those looking for a high quality of life at a reasonable cost.

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Housing costs in Oakdale are generally lower than in other cities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The median home price in Oakdale is around $300,000, which is below the national average. Rental prices in the area are also reasonable, with the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Oakdale being around $1,400 per month.

Other expenses in Oakdale, such as groceries, transportation, and healthcare, are generally in line with the national average. The cost of healthcare in the area is slightly higher than the national average, but this is offset by the fact that the area has a high quality of medical care.

One area where Oakdale may be slightly more expensive is taxes. Minnesota has a higher state income tax rate compared to many other states, and the property tax rate in Oakdale is also slightly higher than the national average. 

Overall, while Oakdale may not be the cheapest place to live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, it does offer a relatively affordable cost of living, particularly when compared to other suburbs in the region. 

2.        Safety 

Oakdale, Minnesota is a generally safe city with low crime rates. The city has a crime rate that is lower than both the national average and the average for the state of Minnesota. This is due in part to the city's well-funded and effective police department, which is known for its community policing efforts and proactive approach to crime prevention.

File:Oakdale, MN 10-30-2009.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

According to data from the FBI, the total number of crimes reported in Oakdale in 2020 was around 1,000. This includes both property crimes, such as theft and burglary, and violent crimes, such as assault and robbery. The rate of violent crime in Oakdale is significantly lower than the national average, and the rate of property crime is slightly lower.

The city's police department also offers a range of community programs aimed at promoting safety and preventing crime. These programs include neighborhood watch groups, citizen police academies, and community outreach programs aimed at building positive relationships between residents and law enforcement.

Overall, while no city can guarantee complete safety, Oakdale is a relatively safe community with low crime rates and a proactive police department. Residents can feel confident that they are living in a city that values safety and takes steps to prevent crime.

3.        Schools

The schools in Oakdale, Minnesota are part of the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, which serves a population of around 18,000 students across three cities in the east metro area of the Twin Cities. The district is known for its high academic standards, and many of its schools have received national recognition for their excellence.

white and brown wooden table

There are six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school located in Oakdale. The elementary schools in the district are known for their strong academic programs and focus on character education. Middle school students have access to a range of academic and extracurricular programs, including athletics, music, and theater. The high school is known for its rigorous academic programs, with a focus on preparing students for college and career success. 

In addition to its traditional schools, the district also offers a range of alternative education options, including a STEM-focused magnet school, a dual language immersion program, and a K-12 online school.

Overall, the schools in Oakdale offer a high-quality education with a focus on academic excellence, character development, and college and career readiness. With a range of programs to choose from and a commitment to meeting the needs of all students, the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District is a great choice for families looking for excellent schools in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

4.        Job Opportunities

Oakdale, Minnesota is home to a variety of job opportunities across a range of industries. The city is located in the east metro area of the Twin Cities, which is known for its strong economy and low unemployment rate.

man wearing white polo shirt

One of the largest employers in Oakdale is the 3M Corporation, which has a large manufacturing facility in the city. Other major employers in the area include the HealthEast Care System, which operates several hospitals and clinics in the region, and the Maplewood Mall, which is a major shopping destination in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

In addition to these larger employers, Oakdale is home to a range of smaller businesses, including retail stores, restaurants, and professional services firms. The city also has a growing technology sector, with several startups and small businesses located in the area.

Overall, job opportunities in Oakdale are relatively plentiful, particularly in the healthcare, retail, and manufacturing sectors. The city's location in the Twin Cities metropolitan area also offers access to a wider range of job opportunities across the region.

Here are the Top 5 Employers in Oakdale: 

  1. 3M Company: A global science company that produces a wide range of innovative products in areas such as healthcare, electronics, and transportation.
  2. Baldinger Bakery: A family-owned business that produces baked goods for retail and foodservice customers, including bread, rolls, and bagels.
  3. Hy-Vee: A Midwest grocery chain that operates a store in Oakdale, offering a range of groceries, prepared foods, and pharmacy services.
  4. North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District: The public school district that serves the Oakdale community, providing education to over 10,000 students across 14 schools.
  5. Westrock: A packaging solutions company that specializes in paper and cardboard products, with a facility in Oakdale that produces corrugated packaging for a range of industries.

5.        Weather

The weather in Oakdale, Minnesota is characterized by distinct seasons, with cold winters and warm summers. The city is located in the upper Midwest, which means that it experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year.

How much snow fell in Minnesota during this week's winter storm? - Bring Me  The News

In the winter months, temperatures in Oakdale can drop well below freezing, with an average low temperature of around 9°F in January. Snow is common during the winter months, with an average annual snowfall of around 45 inches. The cold temperatures and snowy conditions can make travel difficult, but the city's well-maintained roads and sidewalks help to mitigate the impact of winter weather.

In the summer months, Oakdale experiences warm and humid conditions, with an average high temperature of around 83°F in July. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, and tornadoes can occasionally occur in the region. The fall months are generally mild and pleasant, with cool temperatures and colorful foliage.

Overall, the weather in Oakdale is characterized by a wide range of conditions throughout the year. While the winter months can be cold and snowy, the city's residents are well-prepared for the conditions and enjoy a range of winter sports and activities. The summer months offer warm and humid conditions, which are perfect for outdoor activities like swimming and hiking. 

6.        Transportation

Transportation in Oakdale, Minnesota is primarily focused on private vehicles, but the city is also served by a range of public transportation options. The city is located in the east metro area of the Twin Cities, which has a well-developed transportation infrastructure that includes highways, public transit, and bike and pedestrian trails.

Oakdale, Minnesota | Oakdale is a city in Washington County,… | Flickr

The main highway serving Oakdale is Interstate 694, which provides easy access to downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as well as other suburbs in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Other major roads in the area include Minnesota State Highway 36, which runs through the southern part of the city, and County Road 13, which connects Oakdale to neighboring communities.

Public transportation options in Oakdale include the Metro Transit bus system, which provides service to downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as well as other parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The city is also served by several local bus routes operated by the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority.

For those who prefer to bike or walk, Oakdale has a growing network of bike trails and sidewalks. The Gateway State Trail, which runs through the northern part of the city, offers a scenic route for bikers and walkers.

Overall, while private vehicles remain the primary mode of transportation in Oakdale, the city also offers a range of public transportation options and active transportation infrastructure to meet the needs of all residents.

7.        Culture and Community

The culture and community in Oakdale, Minnesota is one that is known for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere. The city has a diverse population, with residents from a range of backgrounds and cultures.

people laughing and talking outside during daytime

Oakdale is home to a range of community events throughout the year, including a popular summer festival that features live music, food vendors, and a range of family-friendly activities. The city also has several parks and recreational areas, which offer residents the chance to enjoy the outdoors and connect with their neighbors. 

In addition to community events and outdoor activities, Oakdale has a thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to several art galleries and studios, as well as a range of cultural organizations that celebrate the diversity of the community. 

The city also has a strong sense of civic engagement, with many residents volunteering their time and resources to support local organizations and community initiatives. The city's local government is responsive to the needs of residents, and works closely with community groups to ensure that Oakdale remains a vibrant and welcoming place to live.

Overall, the culture and community in Oakdale is one that is characterized by its diversity, warmth, and strong sense of community. Residents of the city are proud to call it home, and are dedicated to making it an even better place to live.

8.        Healthcare 

The healthcare system in Oakdale, Minnesota is well-developed and offers residents access to high-quality medical care. The city is located near several major healthcare providers, including hospitals and clinics, that offer a range of services.

person holding baby's index finger

The largest hospital in the area is Regions Hospital in nearby Saint Paul. This hospital is a Level 1 trauma center and offers a wide range of specialized medical services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, and neurological care. Other hospitals in the area include Woodwinds Health Campus in nearby Woodbury and St. Joseph's Hospital in nearby Maplewood.

In addition to hospitals, Oakdale has several clinics and medical centers that offer primary and specialty care services. These include Allina Health Oakdale Clinic and HealthPartners Oakdale Clinic.

The city also has a range of senior care facilities, including assisted living facilities, memory care centers, and skilled nursing facilities. These facilities offer residents access to specialized care services and support for seniors who require assistance with daily activities.

Overall, the healthcare system in Oakdale is comprehensive and offers residents access to a range of medical services. The city's healthcare providers are committed to providing high-quality care and helping residents maintain their health and well-being. 

9.        Distance from Friends and Family 

The distance from friends and family while living in Oakdale, Minnesota will vary depending on the location of one's loved ones. Oakdale is located in the east metro area of the Twin Cities and is a suburb of Saint Paul, the capital city of Minnesota. As such, it is well-connected to other cities in the area and beyond, with several major highways and public transportation options available.

man in gray sweater sitting beside woman in black and white floral long sleeve shirt

For residents who have family and friends in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the distance may not be significant, and frequent visits may be possible. However, for those who have loved ones living further away, such as in other parts of Minnesota or in neighboring states, the distance may be greater and require more planning and effort to maintain regular contact.

Fortunately, advances in technology have made it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family, regardless of where they are located. Video conferencing, social media, and instant messaging platforms allow people to stay connected in real-time, while phone calls, email, and traditional mail can help bridge the physical distance between loved ones.

Overall, while living in Oakdale may mean being separated from friends and family for some residents, the city's location and transportation options make it possible to maintain strong connections with loved ones, regardless of where they are located.

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