Skip to main content

District 19

Alder Keith Furman

Image of Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Contact Information

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

District 19 Blog

Dogs in Parks & Upcoming Online Meetings about Odana Area Plan

April 27, 2020 10:51 AM

Sharing some news from the Parks Divison and the Planning Division:

Dogs Allowed On-Leash in Most Madison Parks

In early 2020, Madison Common Council approved the revised dog ordinances (MGO 8.19  and 23.32 , File 59294) which took effect on Friday, March 13. Due to COVID-19 priorities, we were unable to properly promote this important change to the Madison park system. We appreciate your patience during this time and are happy to provide detailed information.
Dogs, on-leash, are allowed at most Madison parks. When visiting a park with your dog, the following rules must be followed.

  • Dogs must have a dog park permit.
  • Dogs must be on a non-retractable leash no more than 6 feet long and held by a person at all times.
  • Dogs must be under the immediate physical control of a person at all times.
  • Dogs must be licensed (purchased through the City of Madison Treasurer's Office) and must have an up-to-date rabies vaccination.
  • Dog handlers are required to pick up the waste and have bags or scoops when in the park.
  • Dogs must not dig, chase or harm wildlife, damage park property, or interfere with other Park users
  • Dogs are prohibited from the designated Dog Free Parks and specific areas, such as near playgrounds, and all conservation parks. See below for more information

Violators may be reported by contacting a Park Ranger (608) 235-0448.

Why did this happen?
Since 1973, a City of Madison ordinance essentially prohibited dogs in Madison parks, school grounds, and City spaces. As the population of Madison continued to grow, so do the number of dogs and dog owners. Recognizing this ordinance as ineffective and unenforceable, in early 2019, the Board of Park Commissioners called for a review of this long-standing ordinance (MGO 8.19).
During the summer and fall of 2019, Parks Long Range Planning Subcommittee (LRP) reviewed the dogs in parks policies. Through its research, and a robust community input process, which included 5 citywide community workshops and an online survey – garnering more than 1,900 responses, Parks LRP drafted an on-leash dog access policy for the Madison parks system. The drafted policy provides greater access for dog owners while balancing the needs of other park users and provided the language to update the long-standing ordinance.
In October 2019, the Board of Park Commissioners approved the policy, which leads the way to updating the long-standing Madison General Ordinances (8.19 and 23.32) that effectively prohibited dogs in most Madison parks. In February 2020, the Board of Park Commissioners approved more than 30 Dog Free Park locations.

Where are dogs prohibited?
Keeping in mind, not everyone has a dog or wants to be around dogs, we have provided designated Dog Free Parks for a place to recreate and relax without the presence of dogs. The Board of Park Commissioners approved more than 30 dog free parks (File 59474). Residents will see new temporary signage this spring at each of the designated parks. In addition to the Dog Free Park locations, a number of prohibited areas continue such as all conservation parks. See for the complete list of locations. Violators are subject to a fine and park users are encouraged to report violators to Park Rangers (608) 235-0448.

Dog Free Sign

In District 19, Kettle Pond, Owen Conservation Park, Stricker's Pond, and Merrill Springs Park will are dog free parks.

How can I purchase a Dog Permit?
A daily or annual Dog Park Permit may be purchased ONLINE. The permit is valid for the City of Madison on-leash dog locations, off-leash dog parks, Dane County Parks (posted areas only), the City of Middleton, and the City of Sun Prairie pet exercise areas. Annual permits for the following year are available for purchase beginning November 15 and valid immediately. Due to COVID-19, onsite kiosks are temporarily unavailable.

Where can I purchase a Dog License?
Madison residents with a dog aged 5 months or older are required to have a dog license, prior to purchasing a dog park permit. A license is available for purchase online through the City Treasurer's Office.

What if I live outside of Madison?
Dogs visiting from areas outside of Madison are always welcome with proper licenses and/or vaccinations from your town/municipality. Be prepared to show proof if asked by a Park Ranger. A daily Dog Park Permit may be purchased online.

Continuing Digital Engagement for Greater East Towne and Odana Area Plans

Upcoming virtual 'lunch and learn' and evening engagements

The City of Madison Planning Division is continuing digital engagement for the Greater East Towne and Odana Area Plan with a series of virtual 'lunch and learn' and evening engagements.  This follows up on Mall Madness, a tournament-style bracket used to better understand the public's thoughts and preferences about how these areas could transform in the coming years.

The weekly series of virtual 'lunch and learn' and evening engagements will discuss different aspects of plan development.  The first week's engagements will focus on issues associated with malls and large commercial areas.  It will also provide an opportunity to discuss how Covid19 presents new challenges for these areas. 

The second week will highlight mall redevelopment examples from around the country, and how those efforts activated stagnant, dead or declining commercial areas.  Subsequent weeks will take an in-depth look at the Greater East Towne and Odana Area Plan boundaries and the unique issues and opportunities present.

These webinars will use Zoom and are accessible via computer, smartphone, or phone (audio only).  Advance registration is required.  Sign up here to participate. 

Schedule of Engagements:

Week 1:  Issues facing malls and potential impacts from Covid19
Monday May 4th 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday May 7th 5:15-6 pm

Week 2:  Case Studies - Mall & Office Redevelopment Examples
Monday May 11th 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday May 14, 5:15- 6 pm

Week 3:  Odana Area Plan Focused Discussion
Monday May 18th 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday May 21th 5:15-6 pm

Week 4:  Greater East Towne Area Plan Focused Discussion
Monday June 1st 12:15-1 pm, and Thursday June 4th 5:15-6 pm

More information about the planning processes can be found on their pages:

As always, if there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out:

-Keith F

Tags: Odana, parks

Email to a friend Email to a friend

Subscribe to Email List

Subscribe to the District 19 – Alder Furman email list:

By participating on this list the Wisconsin Public Records Laws may subject your email address to disclosure to third parties. By selecting "Yes" you are requesting that we treat your email address that you have provided to this list as confidential and you are also stating that you would not participate in this service if the City is obligated to release your email address to such third party requesters.




Basic Services
Road Construction