Midvale Heights neighborhood

There are also plenty of parks for the kids, he said, and the neighborhood hosts events and activities that appeal to families. There are concerts at Segoe Park in the summer. The neighborhood has a big picnic in Oak Park Heights Park each June. And teams of volunteers work together on neighborhood beautification projects.

In 2000, Sweet said, the neighborhood re-landscaped the fading Tokay Boulevard median, planting trees and flowers using volunteers and some help from the city. Two years later, the neighborhood dedicated the Bison Prairie Gateway at Midvale Boulevard and the Southwest Commuter Path. Sculptor and neighborhood resident Bill Grover designed the two bison, which volunteers helped build. The bison sometimes wear holiday-themed hats.

Today, Midvale Heights is Madison’s largest neighborhood in land area at 857 acres. According to the 2010 census, 3,479 residents lived there. Eighteen percent were 65 or older, making its population among the oldest of city neighborhoods. About 20 percent were under 18. It’s mostly white, at about 84 percent of residents. About 85 percent of homes are owner-occupied.

Crime was a recent concern in the neighborhood. A rash of home burglaries in 2014 re-energized the neighborhood watch program, now led by Steve Fitzsimmons, who said the crimes were “a wake-up call.”

Regular neighborhood watch meetings at the Midvale Community Lutheran Church include presentations not only on crime prevention, but on severe weather preparedness and urban wildlife. Fitzsimmons also keeps neighbors apprised of the latest crime in the neighborhood through emailed alerts.

Just on the horizon, Rogers said, is the fate of Westgate Mall. The mall, which opened as a shopping plaza in 1960 and was enclosed years later, could be razed under a preliminary plan proposed by a developer hired by its owner, HyVee grocery stores, and replaced with four smaller buildings. Housing could be added later.

Rogers said he is hoping that the neighborhood will be involved in the project, and said that a joint Midvale Heights-Westmorland neighborhood plan completed in 2009 envisioned pedestrian-friendly development at Westgate that is less parking lot-centric.

“It’s early days,” Rogers said. “We haven’t heard from all of the neighborhood and everything the developer has had to say.”