Eken Park Playground Improvements

Last Updated: 11/12/2020

YOU’RE INVITED TO A PUBLIC MEETING FOR EKEN PARK PLAYGROUND

The City of Madison Parks Division is improving the playground at Eken Park and we want your input.

The first opportunity for input from the neighborhood was a virtual playground workshop held on November 9, 2020. At this meeting City staff presented the Madison Parks playground input process, provided background on Madison’s playgrounds, and sought input from the neighborhood on the playground replacement at Eken Park.

The second virtual meeting will be held at the below date. At this meeting staff will present two playground concepts based on feedback received at the initial playground workshop.

PUBLIC INPUT MEETING #2 (Via Zoom)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021@ 6pm

Meeting registration: Eken Park Playground Meeting 2 Registration

After registering, attendees will be sent a link to the meeting via email.

The new playground equipment at Eken Park will be installed in 2021.


PUBLIC INPUT MEETING #1 - PLAYGROUND WORKSHOP

Monday, November 9, 2020 at 6:00 pm - Virtual meeting


Background on Madison Playgrounds

The City of Madison currently owns and maintains approximately 180 playgrounds across the park system. This does not include most school playgrounds, which are owned and maintained by MMSD. The 180 playgrounds equates to 7 per 10,000 residents. According to the Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) annual rating of the 100 largest municipal parks systems in the nation, this puts Madison at #1 and by a fairly sizable margin. As a comparison, Cincinnati has approximately 5 playgrounds per 10K residents, and is currently 2nd in the annual ranking in this category. This places Madison at approximately 40% more playgrounds per capita than other leading communities. Of cities reported by the TPL that have the highest playgrounds per capita, the per capita ratio is between 2.4 and 4.7 playgrounds per 10,000 residents. There are only two municipalities with amounts higher, Madison at 7.1 and Cincinnati at 5.0 playgrounds per capital. Madison Parks is certainly proud of this ranking, but such a sizable system of playgrounds does mean there are significant costs to develop and maintain the system in a safe and accessible manner.

In the 1990’s there was a significant reinvestment in playgrounds to move away from wood structures, which were inaccessible, towards equipment that was safer and met ADA guidelines. At this time, the primary surfacing selected for installation was crumb rubber and/or pea gravel. By 2012, there was a significant need to reinvest in our playgrounds again as many were reaching the end of their useful life at similar times. This led to the Parks Division working collaboratively with Alders, the Mayor, and the Board of Park Commissioners to establish a programmatic approach to the replacement of over 120 of the playgrounds over the next decade beginning in 2013. The Council adopted RES-13-00034, Legistar 27854, in January 2013. This called on the Parks Division to develop a replacement program that prioritized playgrounds based on safety, age and condition in a fair and equitable manner. The program was to include a standard playground equipment package, prioritized yearly capital budget plan for the replacements and equitable guidelines that would allow for neighborhoods to contribute financially to the project.

 

Additional history and information on the playground process can be found in this letter from Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp to All Alders on July 28, 2020.