Campus of Arena, Wisconsin
On November 26 of 2014, 124.48 acres (52 hectares) have been acquired in Arena, Wisconsin, USA, to build the first mini-campus. The picture above presents part of the part of the land that has oak trees and a large river. The campus is centered within Circle City, one of ‘urban constellations’ identiﬁed by UW Emeritus Professor Phil Lewis, which constellations are formed by connecting cities in a way that minimize impacts on the nation’s resources. Around 85% of the U.S. population live in such constellations. Rezoning is being negotiated for a pocket campus of 150 graduate students. The largest part of the land is flat prairie, 5 minutes away from Mazomanie, 35 minutes from Madison and 30 minutes from Dane County airport.
The circle connecting the cities highlights the expanse of rural and natural area within this ring. The Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin is an unglaciated landscape with hilly topography, rock outcroppings, scenic waterways, and mature timber. These important resources are the reason why this area must be protected from the development pressures of a rapidly growing population. A mini campus with a couple hundred students enjoying their studies in this natural environment may enrich the local dynamics while respecting the natural beauty of the site.
Assets. The surrounding area of Arena and Mazomanie has a number of signiﬁcant assets and attractions. These are popular destinations in their own right. Highway 14 goes through Mazomanie and connects the Arena community to Madison to the east and Spring Green and the Driftless area to the west. The active rail line connects the community to Madison and Milwaukee as well as Prairie du Chien to the west. The planned trail network will eventually link Mazomanie to Black Earth, and Madison to the east, and Sauk City to the north.
The adjacent land has a large barn to organize wedding ceremonies. The owner of that land, a member of the local Lions Club, offered to build part of the campus facilities namely for the lodging of international visitors, on his own 77 acres. That would total 197 acres for the forthcoming campus. Sugarland Barn is busy with weddings during week-ends, it may be used for Conferences and courses during the week (see picture below). It was the seat of the First International Conference on Deep Education held from July 7 to 9, 2015.
The Rosevale Farm contains approximately 200 acres of varied terrain including forests, farmland, steep bluffs, and running waters. Plans for the future include community gardens, artist housing, a museum or awareness center site, sculpture garden, and permanent conservancy areas with walking trails passive recreation areas within. The Wisconsin River is nearby to the north of Mazomanie. The nude beach on the river near Mazomanie draws many visitors during the summer. Lake Marion is a beautiful lake formed by a dam of the Black Earth Creek. Its domain has a picnic shelter and piers for ﬁshing, it is the location of community events during the summer. A planned bicycle trail and underpass may soon connect Lake Marion to Mazomanie. Walking Iron is a 288-acre Dane County Park that features miles of hiking, horseback riding, and snowmobile trails winding through restored prairies and woodlands.