Minot AFB Community
Welcome to North Dakota, part of the nation’s Great Plains! Ward County, home to Minot Air Force Base, lies in the northwestern quadrant of the state on flat to gently rolling shortgrass prairie starred with wildflowers in spring, summer and fall.
Ward County’s population as of July 2015 numbered 71,275, the third most-populous county in North Dakota, the U.S. Census calculates, and residents of Minot, the county seat about 13 miles south of the base, numbered 49,450.
The region has been an agricultural breadbasket and ranchers’ haven since its settling in the 1880s but also a rich source of mineral wealth, coal first, but later oil and gas. Earlier, buffalo by the millions pounded across the grassland carpet with Plains Indians in pursuit. Outdoor activities still abound, especially hunting and fishing. The Central Flyway from Mexico into Canada arches over Ward County, bringing with it migrating waterfowl, especially geese, and fishing enthusiasts will find northern pike, walleye pike and perch in its lakes and rivers.
There are also museums, cultural parks and 15 structures on the National Register of Historic places, including Minot’s 12-block Eastwood Park Historic District, basically built from Sears-Roebuck mail-order kits. Annual events and festivals range from Minot’s Norsk HØstfest, the biggest Scandinavian festival in North America, to the North Dakota State Fair.