Windom Way Park Playground Replacement

Last Updated: 06/22/2020

The City of Madison will be replacing the playground equipment at Windom Way Park!

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

The first public meeting was a playground workshop held with two 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.

A second/ follow-up session was held at the Packer Townhomes in light of the low neighborhood turn-out at the Windom Way Park table during the workshop session.  The session at the Packer Community Center was an opportunity to share information about the project with many school-age children (and several of their caregivers) and to seek out their votes for playground surfacing, equipment type and color options.  The final public meeting was a playground meeting held on December 10, 2019 at Sherman Middle School (1610 Ruskin Street). At this meeting staff presented two playground designs.  As a result of the second meetings, playground equipment Option #1 will be installed at Windom Way Park in 2020!  The final determination for color preference (blue posts with lime green handrails) was made via input received directly from residents of the Packer Townhomes.

The contract to replace the playground at Windom Way Park is currently in the process of being awarded to low-bidder Madison Commercial Landscapes, Inc.; work on the contract, which includes 3 other northside playground locations, is anticipated to begin in mid-July.

The new playground equipment will be installed in 2020.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm – Sherman Middle School (1610 Ruskin St)

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

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5-6pm, Packer Townhomes Community Center (1927 Northport Dr)

A follow-up meeting to the first workshop session (info above) was held onsite at the Packer Townhomes in response to requests from attendees at the workshop who noted that the low turn-out at that session (just two at the table for Windom Way Park) didn't reflect user input from residents at the Townhomes.  Parks staff worked with the members of the city's Brentwood/Northport Corridor Neighborhood Resource Team (NRT) to identify opportunities to gather input from residents at the townhomes and were able to arrange this session as a result.  Results from this session will be shared at the 12/10/2019 meeting and any final decision making will occur concurrently as an email exchange with meeting attendees and continued coordination with residents at the Townhomes.

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.

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

Information on fundraising opportunities is available online: Parks Fundraising Opportunities.

View additional updates on park projects.