Whitetail Ridge Park Playground Replacement

Last Updated: 10/07/2020

Work to replace (and relocate) the playground at Whitetail Ridge Park is complete*!

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

The first public meeting was a playground workshop held with three other neighborhoods on October 29, 2019 at Lakeview Library. 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 individual park playgrounds.

The second public meeting was a playground meeting held on December 17, 2019 at Lake View Elementary School at 1802 Tennyson Ln.  At this meeting, as at the workshop session prior, turn-out from the neighborhood was relatively low.  As such, attendees at the session kindly offered to share information about the project and encourage others from the neighborhood to weigh-in regarding the vote on the playground surfacing type between rubber and wood mulch.  The leading candidate following the second meeting was wood mulch, which will be the surfacing installed in 2020.

The new playground equipment will be installed in 2020.

The contract to replace the playground at Whitetail Ridge Park was awarded to low-bidder Madison Commercial Landscapes, Inc.; who began work on the contract, which includes 3 other northside playground locations, at Whitetail Ridge the week of 9/14 and completed all installations the week of 9/28, with the exception of the *tire swing, which required a replacement chain from the manufacturer and is expected to be installed on or before10/23/20..

Questions regarding the project can be directed to Kate Kane (kkane@cityofmadison.com).

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 6:00 pm - Lakeview Library (2845 N Sherman Ave)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm - Lake View Elementary School (1802 Tennyson Ln)

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.

Information on fundraising opportunities can be found online: Parks Fundraising Opportunities.

View additional updates on park projects.