Raemisch Homestead Playground Improvements

Project Details

Project Information

The City of Madison is replacing the playground equipment at Raemisch Homestead Park - work is complete!

Parks Construction staff began the process by removing the existing playground equipment and stripping off reusable parts (such as swing seats, chains) before Contractor Madison Commercial Landscapes, Inc. arrived at the site to install construction fence, rock tracking pad and other erosion control measures. Next steps involved removing the old playground surfacing and excavating the floor for the new playground footprint and underdrain system.  Work to install the playground equipment and surfacing occurred in mid-October and was slowed somewhat by rainfall events towards the end of the month.

The playground at Raemisch Homestead Park 11-2-2023
Image credit: Kate Kane/Parks

Project updates, including photos, will be added to this site as work progresses.

All questions and comments regarding this workshop should be directed to Kate Kane, Landscape Architect at kkane@cityofmadison.com or (608) 261-9671.


The City of Madison Parks Division held two meetings to discuss the playground improvements at Raemisch Homestead Park.

The first opportunity for input from the neighborhood was a playground workshop held with two other neighborhoods on November 10, 2022 via Zoom. 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 each individual park playground.

The second public meeting was a neighborhood playground meeting held on January 5, 2023 via Zoom.  At this meeting staff presented two playground designs from the manufacturer chosen during the breakout room session from the workshop and attendees selected their preferred design and color option, shown in the attachments below.

Public Input Meeting #2 - Neighborhood Playground Meeting

Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 6:00 pm - online via Zoom

*Note that these drawings are only intended to reflect the playground equipment designed by the manufacturer, and do not reflect the exact placement and site design.

Public Input Meeting #1 - Playground Workshop

Thursday, October 10, 2022 at 6:00 pm – online meeting via Zoom

Please note: this meeting was not be recorded.

Information on fundraising opportunities will be available at the meeting and also on-line at https://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/about/documents/ParksFundraising.pdf

For additional updates on park projects please visit: https://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/projects

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, 2019.

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