Neighborhood & Community Group Park Events

Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm

On January 11, 2021 Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) issued Emergency Order #12, which is in effect on January 13, 2021 and lasts for 28 days. Under PHMDC order #12, outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer people abiding by physical distancing requirements.

If an event meets the criteria to occur under this order or any future orders, organizers must submit detailed plans that show how they will meet PHMDC requirements for physical distancing and cleaning policies, and a plan for monitoring attendance at the event. Please contact us at for additional information.

If this order or any future PHMDC order restricting or prohibiting the size or nature of outdoor events are in place on the date(s) of an event, they supersede and may invalidate any approved street use or park event permits.

It is Madison Parks policy to give special consideration to requests from Neighborhood & Community Groups for small (<250) neighborhood focused gatherings. Be it Fourth of July picnics or fall bonfires, these events bring people together to enjoy their local park. Madison Parks encourages this positive use of neighborhood parks.

To that end, and to establish a consistent/fair process, we have a simplified application process for neighborhood park events. Below are the details:

  • Recognized neighborhood and community groups will be granted one annual event where no application or reservation fees will be charged.
    • Any permits required for this one event (temporary structures, amplification, vending, etc.) will be issued at half the price listed on the Special Events Fee Schedule.
    • After the first event, additional neighborhood events in the same calendar year organized by the same group will be scheduled with the following fees:
      • $50 application fee
      • Half price shelter reservation
      • Half price permit fees
  • For all events, the standard key deposit will be required if a shelter is reserved.
  • A damage deposit will be required only if there have been problems in previous years.
    • If damage or additional clean up is required by parks staff following an event, the group organizing the event will be charged $50/hour for labor, plus the cost of materials and the free reservation for the following year will be forfeited.
  • Two weeks' notice is required if trash barrels and picnic tables need to be delivered for an event.
    • With two weeks' notice, up to 4 barrels and 4 tables will be delivered free of charge.
    • If additional equipment is requested, there will be a $150/ trip charge.
    • Requests made less than two weeks in advance are charged the $150/trip charge for any requested equipment.

Please complete the Neighborhood & Community Group Park Event Application. If you have questions about the application or if you want to check on the availability of a park, you may contact the Community Events Assistant at, (608) 264-9289.