Skip to main content


Madison Parks is Now Blogging!

October 26, 2015 8:28 AM

Welcome to the first official Madison Parks blog post!  We are excited to bring you first-hand letters and information from Parks staff. If there is something you'd like to see, just email us.




Fall 2015 - Letter to Dog Owners



Dear Madison Dog Owners:

My name is Eric Knepp, and I have the pleasure of serving as your Parks Superintendent.  I am writing to you to let you know that the City of Madison has begun a pilot project that allows you more access for walking your dog in select Madison Parks.

Parks staff have heard from large numbers of you over the years that our dogs in parks policy (or no dogs, such as it is) is unreasonable, asinine, obtuse, etc.  You have asked for a more inclusive dog positive parks system.  Parks staff have heard you and have reviewed the data and research on both the growth in both the number of dogs in our community and the increased importance of those dogs to people's mental and physical health.   This is why I support the dog park pilot program.  We worked with the Board of Park Commissioners, Alders and the Mayor to approve this pilot program that runs until April 2016.

If you have an interest in maintaining this increased access to the park system for your canine friend, it is important that you understand and abide by the rules of the program. It is your responsibility to make this program work.

  • Obtain the required vaccinations and license your dog.
  • Obtain a dog park permit for your dog, good at all 8 Madison off-leash dog parks, Dane County dog parks (as posted), City of Sun Prairie and the City of Middleton.
  • Pick up after your dog.  Be prepared.  There are no excuses.
  • Leash your dog.
  • Stay on the designated paths.
  • Be a considerate park user.

Failure to abide by the rules will result in citations being issued, as we must ensure the rules are being followed to the extent we can.

I do believe that the role of dogs in our community has changed dramatically over the past fifty years and that it is time to develop a more dog friendly stance in our parks system.   That said, I cannot support dog owners that choose to ignore the rules and common courtesy.   I ask you to please be conscious in accessing our wonderful park system and provide the opportunity for the City to continue increased access into the future.



Eric M. Knepp
Madison Parks Superintendent


 Email to a friend

Posts By Month

Posts By Category