Vilas Dr Closed 3/27/19

posted March 25, 2019 9:56 AM

On Wednesday, March 27, City crews will close Vilas Park Drive to make emergency repairs to failing culverts.  The closure will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The closure will be within the "one-way" portion of Vilas Park Drive.  Bikes and pedestrians will be detoured through the park.  Access to the Henry Vilas Zoo parking lot off Vilas Park Drive will remain open on the east end of Vilas Park Drive (see map) ?


posted March 25, 2019 9:32 AM

The best and ONLY way to know if a park field is open for play is to call the Rainout Line (608) 267-8787. Weekdays the line will be updated by 2:00pm, weekends and holidays the line will be updated by 9:00am. The line will be updated if fields are questionable, if no update by the times listed, fields are open for play. Fields that are closed for maintenance are listed on the website and NOT listed on the rainout line. 
Additionally, a notification will be sent to the email address used to reserve an athletic space when a space is closed due to weather. 


posted March 20, 2019 2:50 PM

March 20th marks the first day of spring. With the warming temperatures and sap running, residents may be thinking of maple tree tapping. However, there are three important reasons why City-owned street or Park trees should not be tapped:

It can harm the tree.

  • City life is hard for trees. There is limited space for terrace trees to grow, and the soil around the roots may be compacted or of poor quality. City trees are also exposed to urban issues like air pollution, heavy salt usage, run-off from homeowners' pesticide and fertilizer applications, etc. All of this tends to place a lot of stress on trees.
  • Tapping introduces two additional stressors – it reduces a tree's energy reserves and it creates a wound in the tree. For a healthy sugar maple tree in a forest, neither of these may cause issues and the tree can be tapped each year. For a city tree, that extra stress may cause decline.

It may spread disease.

  • A taphole is a wound, and just like in humans, it may act as an opening for disease. For instance, Verticillium wilt is a fungal infection that can spread via open wounds. If an infected tree is tapped and the tap is used on another tree without proper sanitation, then the disease can easily spread.
  • Even if the tap is not used on multiple trees, the wound can still be an entry point for opportunistic diseases or pests.

It is against City ordinance.

  • Madison General Ordinance 23.24 (Breaking, Damaging or Injuring Trees, Shrubs) tapping for sap in a maple or other type of tree is not allowed. 
  • The ordinance states that, if a resident damages a terrace tree with a diameter of more than 3", they shall be subject to a forfeiture of $155 per diameter inch.

Please help maintain our urban forest, and do not injure city-owned street or Park trees.

If you witness someone tapping trees, please contact the Forestry Office at 608-266-4816 (M-F, 7am to 3pm) or Madison Police Department, after hours. 

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