In 1978, the City of Madison, assisted by Federal and State funds, acquired the large, ninety-two acre, Owen Conservation Park on Old Sauk Road. This was once the private retreat of Professor Edward "Buck" Owen. When this property was purchased it contained a restriction that the woodlands were to remain in their natural state. Many plants remain from a former woodland flower garden. It is primarily a naturalist's area with a fifteen acre prairie, a thirty-seven acre meadow, a forty acre wooded area and three miles of marked nature trails. The park has an historical area, and a scenic overlook and provides facilities for cross country skiing.