Dogs in Parks: Madison Parks Seeks Community Input
The City of Madison Parks Division and the Parks Long Range Planning Committee are hosting a series of community engagement meetings and a public survey. At the community meetings, staff will provide background information on the current policy (Madison General Ordinance 8.19) and provide a forum for both dog owners and non-dog owners to voice their opinions.
The ordinance, originally created in 1973, and updated several times since essentially prohibits dogs in most parks and public spaces. Currently, the City of Madison offers 8 off-leash dog parks and 26 parks where dogs, on-leash and on path are allowed. The majority of the more than 270 parks do not allow dogs.
“We recognize that our existing policy is outdated and needs to be revisited. Despite the significant growth in licensed dogs in the city and the growth of multi-family housing, most of our parks are not dog-friendly. We also recognize that not everyone wants dogs to be allowed in Parks. We want to hear from the community and have a goal of finding an appropriate policy balance that enhances the quality of life for residents,” said Eric Knepp, Madison Parks Superintendent.
Information gathered at the community engagement meetings and through the public survey will be the first step in a process of potentially updating or changing the current ordinance. Parks Long Range Planning Committee began considering this project earlier in 2018. With guidance from the public, the LRP will send recommendations for review to the Board of Park Commissioners and Madison Common Council.
*Please park behind Sennett Middle School and enter through Door #2. The auditorium is on the second floor.
- Media Contact: Ann Shea, Parks Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org