Rennebohm Park Playground Replacement

Last Updated: 03/22/2023

The City of Madison will be replacing the playground equipment at Rennebohm Park - but it is happening later than originally planned.

During the bid on the project in spring 2022, a series of difficulties occurred including a single bid received at the attempted first opening and the discovery of an unbalanced bid during the award stage of the second round - which resulted in rejecting all bids received.  At that point, re-bidding and constructing two project sites (originally the contract included both Rennebohm and Warner playgrounds) would no longer be possible in 2022.  The Warner Park playground, which was being planned concurrently with Rennebohm, was elected to be re-bid as a single project site in 2022 since it is overall a less-complicated site (Rennebohm included the removal of existing playground equipment & surfacing, along with the removal and re-setting of the rope climber).  As such, Rennebohm was re-bid in early 2023, with construction planned for summer 2023


In late 2021 and early 2022, the City of Madison Parks Division held two meetings to discuss the playground improvements at Rennebohm Park.

The first public meeting was a playground workshop held with the Warner Park neighborhood on November 4, 2021 online via Zoom. At this meeting City staff presented the Madison Parks playground input process, provided background on Madison’s playgrounds, and sought input from each neighborhood on individual park playgrounds during a break-out session.The second public meeting was held on December 2, 2021 also online via Zoom. At this meeting staff presented two playground designs from the preferred manufacturer selected during the workshop session.  Information on both of the public meetings is available at the links, below.

The new playground equipment is anticipated to be installed in 2023.


Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm – ONLINE via ZOOM

All questions and comments regarding this workshop should be directed to Project Manager Kate Kane at or (608) 261-9671.

Information on fundraising opportunities will be available at the meeting and also on-line at

For additional updates on park projects please visit:

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.