Sunflower Days: August 12-20, 2017
** Sunflower Field Update **
The Sunflower field looks in rough shape these days. It has been taken over by weeds and very few blooms remain. The golden petals have wilted, and the perky yellow blooms are drooping due to the weight of the ripening seeds.
The sunflowers will remain in the field, allowing the seeds to mature and dry out. We estimate that the wildlife (mainly birds) will eat about 1/3 of the crop before it’s harvested. The farmer will harvest the seeds in late fall and package them for birdseed. The Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy will then sell the seeds to the public sometime in December.
About Sunflower Days
Sunflower Days at the Pope Farm Conservancy has become a beautiful annual event for many thousands of people. Visitors from near and far come to see this visual phenomenon…a 9-acre sunflower field with over a half million sunflowers in bloom! It is truly a magical experience.
The Conservancy is owned by the Town of Middleton and the Town has delegated to the Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy, Inc. the privilege of organizing and supporting the event. Our Goodwill Ambassadors will be present in the evenings and on weekends to greet you and and answer any questions you may have about the sunflowers and the Conservancy. Be sure to stop by and visit the FOPFC booth – we will be selling bottles of water, along with other FOPFC merchandise. We will also have membership forms on hand, as well, if you’re interested in becoming a member or supporting our mission.
We look forward to sharing this experience with you!
Dates: August 12-20, 2017
Times: The Conservancy is open daily from sunrise until sunset.
All parking areas close 20 minutes before sunset. Many of the parking areas fill up in the evenings and on weekends. To avoid traffic and parking issues, we recommend coming to view the sunflowers from dawn to 9am on weekdays.
Cost: This event is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.
Rain Date: In the event of rain, all Conservancy parking lots will be closed to allow the field to dry out.
- Main Entrance on Old Sauk Road
1. The closest parking to the sunflower viewing areas will be the two lower parking lots by the main entrance on Old Sauk Road.
2. The upper parking lot on Old Sauk Road is reserved for the elderly, disabled, and families with small children.
- Blackhawk Road Entrance
Additional parking is available by the Blackhawk Entrance on Blackhawk Road.
- There will be NO parking allowed on Twin Valley Road
- All parking areas will close at sunset
- If it rains, all Conservancy parking lots will be closed
- There is NO parking available for buses, RVs, campers, and other large vehicles
- Carpool if you can – evenings and weekends are the busiest times, and parking lots tend to fill up
Conservancy Rules & Regulations
- There are NO dogs allowed in the Conservancy.
- Equestrian access will be closed during Sunflower Days, as well. We apologize for any inconvenience.
- You may take photos from the edges of the sunflower field and along the paths. Please do not walk out into the sunflower field.
- Drones are not allowed in the conservancy.
- Please do not walk, climb, crawl over or sit on the stone fence. There are two breaks in the fence – one by the lower parking lot and another at the top of the hill.
- You are welcome to enjoy a picnic on top of the hill, but NO charcoal grills!
- Please pick up after yourself – if you brought it with you, make sure you take it home.
Click Here for a full list of rules & regulations. Thank you for your cooperation! We hope to make this a fun and positive experience for all. If you have questions/concerns, please email email@example.com.
Sunflower Days 2017 Q&A
- What will the sunflowers look like when I arrive?
The best way to determine the status of the sunflower field is to go to our FACEBOOK PAGE or WEBSITE. We simply do not know how the sunflowers will bloom into the future because it is so dependent on heat, moisture, and soil conditions. Typically, Sunflower Days are nine days in duration, and typically during the first three days, the sunflowers are getting to peak, during the next three days they are in full bloom, and in the last three days they are past peak as the flowers begin to die. This can change several days either way given the unpredictable force of nature. After Sunflower Days have concluded, the overflow parking will be closed. The sunflowers will be way past their peak, but the conservancy will remain open.
- What hours are you open to view the sunflowers?
The conservancy is open sunrise to sunset.
- When do the parking lots close?
The conservancy hours during Sunflower Days are sunrise to sunset. The gates to the parking areas will close at sunset and all vehicles must exit at that time. Thank you for your cooperation.
- Is there handicap accessible parking available?
Yes, the conservancy has a limited number of handicap accessible parking available in the upper parking lot off Old Sauk Road. During Sunflower Days, it becomes difficult to guarantee availability. Please have your handicap sticker available.
- Where is the location of Sunflower Days?
Pope Farm Conservancy 7440 W Old Sauk Road Verona, WI 53593
- Do you have a lost-and-found location?
Lost-and-found items will be taken to the Town of Middleton Hall (7555 W. Old Sauk Road, Verona, WI 53593)
- Are there any charges or permits for photographers?
There are no required permits or charges for photographers. Our Sunflower Days corresponds with the peak sunflower bloom, and it can often be crowded. Please be aware that this is for the public’s enjoyment so try not to occupy any one spot for a long time. All props must be taken out of the conservancy when you are finished. Do not sit or stand on the stone fence and do not walk into the prairies or fields- this includes the sunflower field. The conservancy is open and accessible to all during daylight hours.
- Are dogs allowed?
No dogs are allowed on conservancy grounds. Please leave pets at home.
- Are drones allowed?
No drone operation is permitted in the conservancy.
- Is there a certain hour of the day that is best for photography?
Early mornings are best as the east-facing sunflowers catch the sun as it rises. It is also less crowded.
- Is there a fee for admittance or parking?
Sunflower Days are free and open to the public. There are no fees for parking. Donations are welcome.
- Is there parking available for buses or limos?
There is no parking available in the conservancy for buses or limos during Sunflower Days. The only parking stalls available are for automobiles. However, passengers can be dropped off at the upper parking lot by the handicap parking areas, and passengers can disembark or load. The buses and limos must park offsite immediately after unloading. Space is available at the Town of Middleton Hall, 7555 W. Old Sauk Road.
- Will there be space available to unload horses during Sunflower Days?
Unfortunately, there is no space to load or unload horses during Sunflower Days.
Sunflower Field FAQs
- Who plants the sunflowers?
A local farmer leases the crop land from the Town of Middleton and plants the seed.
- Are the sunflower seeds harvested?
Yes. In late October or early November when the seeds are dry, they are harvested with a combine and sold to a local mill where they are added to make a bird seed mix.
- How much land is in sunflowers?
This year there will be nine acres of sunflowers. That means approximately 500,000 sunflowers will be planted in this field.
- How much is eaten by birds?
It is estimated that birds will consume one third of the crop before harvest equaling approximately 4,000 pounds of sunflowers seeds, or somewhere around 80 fifty-pound bags.
- Do the sunflowers really follow the sun?
You may notice the young sunflower buds will turn to face the sun. This behavior is known as heliotropism. But after the sunflower blooms, it usually points in a fixed easterly direction.