By Ann Knoedler
In 1941 two visionary women made a decision to preserve their Upham family summer home as an environmental and outdoor education area primarily for youth. But adults benefit as well at the Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center.
The site is located along the Wisconsin River in the southeast corner of Juneau County, about 1.5 miles north of Wisconsin Dells. It’s owned by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and operated by the UW-Extension.
The two sisters set many conditions for what could and couldn’t be done with the land. One of the more interesting conditions states that, “no tax money is to be used for construction of buildings on this property.”
In support of that aim, the UW-Extension has a request for proposals out seeking the services of a Naming Rights/Fundraising Consultant to plan and execute a capital campaign to generate money that will support five major projects slated for Upham Woods. Proposals from consultants are due in March.
The goal of the Upham Woods Legacy Campaign is to raise sufficient money to cover 100 percent of the construction costs for five capital projects totaling $4,000,000. The proposed improvements for this campaign consist of:
• a Cabin Hill bathhouse ($1,084,800);
• an ADA accessible path up to Cabin Hill ($25,830);
• an ADA accessible addition to a cabin ($76,260);
• a Cabin Hill program pavilion ($190,000);
• expansion of the lodge ($1,968,000); and
• ongoing infrastructure upgrades ($655,110).
The money-raising effort for the project runs from June 2013 to June 2016. These projects will require State Building Commission approval before moving on to the construction stage.
However, there is one construction project all set to go affecting the on-site septic system. Bids to replace wastewater treatment systems at Upham Woods, estimated to cost $575,000, will be opened on Feb. 22. View the JobTrac listing HERE.
Upham Woods is comprised of 108 acres of mainland campus with exclusive access to the 210-acre Blackhawk Island, a state designated natural area.
I would imagine that anyone lucky enough to spend time at Upham Woods will treasure that time for years to come.
Ann Knoedler is the lead data reporter at The Daily Reporter. She gives personalized tours of our JobTrac database almost 24/7. For a tour, call her at 414-225-1822 or send her an email.