Support Our Extra Needs For COVID-19

Community News in Middleton & Madison WI

Solar Gift Leads Way 

Thanks to a half-million-dollar donation from Attic Angel residents John and Margo Hansen, all 123 homes in Attic Angel’s Prairie Point neighborhood will eventually be powered in part or completely by renewable solar energy. 

“Attic Angel is a leader in using renewable energy,” explains Margo, who is a member of Attic Angel Association’s Class of 1994. As a longtime volunteer, Margo knew that in 2018, Attic Angel’s senior living community installed solar panels on two wings of its facility, followed by a third array of panels the following year. The generation of solar power significantly reduced other energy consumption. A number of residents in Attic Angel’s neighborhood of homes also requested installation of panels on their own rooftops.

The Hansens, who moved to Prairie Point in 2022, installed an array of 26 panels on their home, providing enough electricity to meet all of their household needs AND fully power their two electric cars. They will even receive a check from the energy company for excess production that will be used by other customers.

As of early 2024, a total of 46 Prairie Point homes are solar-equipped. The Hansens’ gift, now part of the Margo J. Hansen Solar Fund, will allow for another 20 to 30 solar installations. Eventually, all 77 remaining AAPP homes will receive solar. 

Attic Angel Prairie Point will be reimbursed for 30 percent of project costs under the Inflation Reduction Act, allowing for another $150,000 worth of installations. When a solar-equipped Prairie Point unit is vacated and re-leased, AAPP will contribute 50 percent of the cost back into the MJH Solar Fund. Together it will be enough to insure that all 123 Prairie Point units will be powered all or in part by clean solar energy within the next several years. 

Midwest Solar Power, the contractor chosen to install the arrays, estimates that residents of those 77 remaining homes will collectively save over $50,000 per year in energy costs and keep 162 metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution out of the atmosphere. That equates to almost one railcar worth of burned coal per year, or the amount of carbon that 200 acres of forest can sequester annually.

The Hansens’ interest in the environment dates to the 1960s, when John took a between-terms college course on environmental preservation. During the 1970s energy crisis, Margo’s father built his own 20-foot-high solar panels. Both John and Margo enjoyed callings as health care professionals; now in their golden years, their focus is on the health of the planet. 

“Our vision is that the Prairie Point community will be a model for Wisconsin,” says John. “We feel a personal responsibility to do whatever we can to help.”

To read more of their personal story, as published in Second Act Magazine, click here: https://secondactmagazine.com/solar-energy-investment-helps-contain-costs-for-retirees/

Dementia Specific logo
dementia specific logo
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce logo
Middleton Chamber

The Playing Field

The Playing Field Poster

Children affected by trauma such as homelessness and those with special needs such as autism spectrum disorders have different sensory needs for emotional support that helps them learn to manage behaviors. Our dream is to create a play space that allows children to be successful while ... being kids! Some of our plans:

  • A large open space for running (crowded spaces are often a behavior trigger for children)
  • High fencing and an appropriate climbing structure (children impacted by trauma or those on the autism spectrum often take bigger risks and climb higher)
  • Sensory panels that welcome independent play when children are agitated
  • A maze for children to walk through (this helps the brain to organize)
  • Small structures where children can feel safe
  • Specially designed pieces to work large muscle groups

By helping children at this critical point in their development, your gift will be helping the future of our community!

 Visit The Playing Field Website