Pope Farm Conservancy is owned by the Town of Middleton, Wisconsin, near Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin. It is a working farm and ecological restoration project on the eastern edge of the Driftless Area (un-glaciated portion) of southwestern Wisconsin. In 2018, in addition to seven row crops, the Conservancy also grows prairie and other native plant communities among six different restoration projects.
Pope Farm Conservancy seems to me to be a model of sustainable and land use in general and of wise agriculture land use, in particular. It is one of the few exemplary cases, that I know of, in which agriculture and ecological restoration co-exist in harmony and work toward their mutual benefit on the same piece of land.
One point of emphasis for the Pope Farm Conservancy is preventing soil loss through wind and water erosion. The 1938 CCC Spillway is the centerpiece of this land use philosophy and is a model of storm water management best practices.
The terrain is steep. The 105 acre Pope Farm Conservancy sits atop three recessional moraines and straddles the point where three different watersheds come together. Looking south across the agricultural fields.
View of the surroundings from the top of the recessional moraines.
Pope Farm Conservancy invites visitors and provides 7 miles of hiking trails. To learn more about Pope Farm Conservancy, click here.