Overview and History

About the Friends

The Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy (FOPFC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was formed in the spring of 2013. The purpose of the FOPFC is to enhance the educational opportunities at Pope Farm Conservancy (PFC), preserve the balance of its wildlife habitat and historical features, and protect its scenic landscapes and tranquility for the enjoyment of the public. Pope Farm Conservancy is owned and operated by the Town of Middleton. The friends will offer you many opportunities to enhance and enjoy this breathtaking conservancy. We welcome you to join us and be a part of our natural community.

About Pope Farm Conservancy

Pope Farm Conservancy is 105 acres that sits on top of three recessional moraines in the Town of Middleton, Wisconsin, where three different watersheds come together. A 360 degree panoramic view of Lake Mendota, the Capitol and Madison’s west side can be seen to the east, the Black Earth Creek valley to the North, and the terminal moraine to the South and West.

Six different Prairie Restoration projects and seven different crops including a field of sunflowers provide tremendous synergy that attracts wildlife to the conservancy. Forty interpretive signs follow the historical aspects of the land. They start with the Glaciers and land formation, followed by the Native Americans, settlers, the CCC project in the 1930’s, to today’s methods of erosion control. These features and their interpretation have resulted in making Pope Farm an educational conservancy.

The Native American garden is designed to educate the public about the remarkable contribution made by the Native Americans to agriculture. Many of the features of the land are taught as part of local fourth grade curriculum, which has resulted in many lesson plans and field trips.

All of this, combined with eight miles of walking trails and picnic areas provide the visitor with an unforgettable experience.

History of Pope Farm Conservancy

Pope Farm became a park/conservancy as recently as the year 2000. The Art Pope family did not want this scenic property developed. An agreement was reached with the Town of Middleton in which the town would end up with a 105 acre park and protect it from development in the future. In 2004 the Town of Middleton appointed a committee to develop a master plan for the conservancy. The plan leveraged the remarkable features of the land into targeting grade school students for study and field trips. The plan was unanimously approved by town officials in the fall of 2004. In 2005, parking lots, roads, picnic areas, interpretive signage, and trails were established. The Grand opening took place in 2006, and field trips from area grade schools had already begun. Many volunteers came forward to help with the interpretive signs including 6 different professors from the UW Madison, as well as many other prominent historians. Representatives from The State Historical Society, Archeology Department UW Madison, Anthropology Department UW Madison, Wisconsin Geology Museum, and the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey have all participated in educating grade school students at Pope Farm Conservancy.

Today, we would like you to join us as part of the FOPFC to help take Pope Farm Conservancy to new levels. Help us protect, preserve, and enhance this amazing resource for future generations.