Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm Park Type: Community Acres: 250.82 Restroom: Yes Drinking Water: Yes
Elver Park began in 1968. Its initial fifty-two acres were acquired by the City as the result of a deed in Mr. Charles Elver's will, stipulating that all of what remained of his estate following the passing of his wife and daughter be used to purchase a public park. From 1968 to 1988, subsequent land was acquired primarily through purchase, with the exception of a gift from the First Unitarian Society who contributed ten acres in 1979 to the expanding park. Consequently, Elver Park has grown to a respectable two hundred and twenty acres and currently remains one of the larger parks in the Madison district.
The recreational development of the park was accelerated thanks to financial contributions from independent, outside sources including the First Unitarian Society, and the Madison Metropolitan School District. In 1985, the funds provided by the Madison Metropolitan School District were invested specifically to create recreational softball facilities at Elver. In the same spirit, a generous donation by Mr. Clarence Duwe in 1997 allowed for the construction of a five thousand square foot shelter at Elver Park. It was intended that this building be, in part, erected as a memorial to Mr. Duwe's family, who began farming the northeast corner of Elver Park in 1911. Shortly after the new shelter had been completed, it was awarded the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association Excellence Award in the year 2000.