The Town of Westport appointed a new member to its Historic Preservation Commission last week. The job was given to former Friends of Schumacher Farmer Park president Rosa Ropers.
Town Administrator Tom Wilson said she was the most qualified candidate to apply.
“Rosa is involved in a lot of different groups,” Wilson said, “and is very familiar with historical items. She’s gone to conferences and done a lot of work…That’s what our ordinance requires – some kind of background in the field. And she’s got that.”
Ropers has been involved with historic preservation since moving to the area eight years ago, when she first joined the Friends of Schumacher Farm Park’s board of directors.
“We moved here in 2011,” Ropers said. “And it was to serve on the commission I really wanted to be a part of – the Friends of Schumacher Farm Park. I just felt this unexplainable connection, so I got involved with the group my very first summer here. And I’ve been involved ever since.”
Wilson praised the work Ropers did for the Friends as president of their board.
“She’s a worker,” Wilson said. “I can’t tell you the difference in the Friends of Schumacher Farm Park and their board from the time she started to where it is now.”
Ropers said she has long hoped that Schumacher Farm Park and Westport could work together, and that a desire for collaboration between the two is what ultimately inspired her to apply for the town’s Historic Preservation Commission.
“I just felt there needed to be a connection between the two historical groups,” Ropers said, “Talking to each other and connecting is a good way to share information about the area.”
She said one thing she hopes to collaborate on is the future Ella Wheeler Wilcox Park.
“At one time,” Ropers said, “there was talk of a bike trail between Schumacher Farm Park and the Ella Wheeler Wilcox site. There’s a bike path in Westport. If they could connect that bike trail from Ella to Schumacher and other historical sites in Wisconsin, it would be really nice.”
As a member of both the Dane County Historical Society and the Wisconsin Historical Society, Ropers said it’s also important for preservation groups to know the resources available to them.
“One of the things is what the county and state can do for Westport and Schumacher Farm Park,” Ropers said. “There’s only a couple historical parks within the county park system. So being aware of the information the Historical Society has for us is important, so we can do research.”
Westport’s town administrator said such insights are what make Ropers an ideal candidate.
“She’s a person of high quality,” Wilson said, “very involved in the community. And she will assist the Historical Commission in a great way.”
Ropers said she is hoping to make a difference when she joins the commission in August.
“I enjoy history and recognize its importance and relevancy to future generations,” Ropers said. “I have great interest in promoting the history of Westport and look forward to working on the Commission as they continue the historical preservation efforts in our town.”