Wingra Park Playground Replacement

Last Updated: 01/20/2021

Construction of the new Wingra Park playgrounds begins at the end of June!

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

The first public meeting was a playground workshop held with two other neighborhoods on October 14, 2019 at Sequoya 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 2, 2019 at Wingra School at 718 Gilmore Street. At this meeting staff presented two playground designs.

The new playground equipment will be installed in the summer of 2020.

Monday, October 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm - Sequoya Library (4340 Tokay Blvd)

Monday, December 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm – Wingra School (718 Gilmore Drive)

  • Playground Equipment Option One
  • Playground Equipment Option Two
  • Final Playground Equipment Design - This design reflects requests from neighborhood representatives to change Option One. Accommodating these requests required slight adjustments to the configuration and elements including the following:
    • Changing Hoopla Bridge to a bouncy bridge (Clatter Bridge) that younger children can use
    • Switching the solo spin to an additional spring rider (Whale)
    • Removing the middle height slide and adding a climbing component (Climbing Net)
    • Keeping the counter panel
    • Changing the overhead bars to ring overhead bars
    • Changing the funwheel overhead to single funwheel (this was changed to accommodate the costs associated with the above requests)

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

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 will be available at the meeting and also online: Parks Fundraising Opportunities

View additional updates on park projects.