Pope Farm Conservancy Site Development

Project Description

The Pope Farm property is unique in Dane County. It is at the center of three distinct watersheds, has spectacular views of the Capitol and Dane County countryside, illustrates geologic history (moraines), agricultural history (only surviving stone fence in the region, rotating active crops are part of the conservancy), pre-settlement vegetation (existing Oak Savanna remnants), and cultural history (Civilian Conservation Corps Spillway built in 1938).

The Vision for the conservancy is to enhance these existing assets and create a site where Town of Middleton residents can go to “see it all”. The visitor’s experience is enhanced through educational opportunities and a variety of trails and natural surroundings. The conservancy land was purchased by the Town in 1999 and master planning for the conservancy was completed in 2006. The Town continues to make improvements to enhance accessibility, add trails and amenities, and provide educational signage. Two stone “amphitheaters” organize outdoor classroom spaces. Interpretative signage throughout the conservancy educates visitors on the conservancy’s unique elements as well as historic crops and related plant communities. The Pope Farm Elementary School was designed and constructed to blend with the adjacent park features in 2020. Ravine bank restoration and stabilization measures were designed and constructed to preserve the historical and functional nature of the major stormwater feature in 2021.

Vierbicher provided engineering, landscape architecture, and signage (interpretative, entrance, and regulatory) graphic services for this project; as well as topographic surveying, staking, and construction administration services.