Olive Jones Park
In 2010, a dedicated group of parents and neighbors finished raising more than $106,000 in just two years to refurbish Olive Jones Park. The new and innovative playground equipment perfectly serves the 3-5 graders at Randall School and the nearby neighborhood.
In June 2013, the playground and safety surface were destroyed due to fire. Insurance has covered the cost to replace the equipment and the Madison Parks Division worked with the neighborhood to determine that wood chip mulch would be used for the safety surface. To help with the costs of getting Olive Jones Park back in use for the neighborhood kids, Madison Parks was awarded a “Let’s Play Maintenance Grant” from KaBOOM! and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
Carpenter-Ridgeway Neighborhood Park Labyrinth
The idea came from Carpenter-Ridgeway Neighborhood residents who believed the park area had become a place to relax, enjoy nature, exercise, and meet other neighbors. Placing a Labyrinth in the park seemed like the perfect fit for an already peaceful place.
The Madison Parks Foundation, as well as local businesses became partners of the project. A neighborhood fundraiser was held and grants were written to City of Madison Planning Grant, Madison Gas & Electric Foundation and the Madison People for Parks Program (which allowed additional funds to be raised by matching donor dollars). Initial estimates of the funds needed were $5,000 but grew due to the generosity of the residents and businesses. The Carpenter-Ridgeway Park Labyrinth was started and completed within three weeks, and a celebration was held on Saturday, July 25th, 2009.
Period Garden Park
Period Garden Park was dedicated in 1977, but the park’s design seems much older, and blends beautifully with downtown Madison’s most historic residential area, the Mansion Hill district. In the 70’s, concerned local citizens successfully fought off a development project that would have put a poured cement apartment building on the site that once was the front lawn of the neighboring mansion. Much work was done in the beginning to carefully design the small park into a proper Victorian style, and is the city’s only example of a park from that era. The Madison Parks Division had it in their budget to plant and maintain the space, but over time, budget constraints did not allow for its upkeep. In 2007, residents of the neighborhood felt it was time for something to be done. After making some inquires, it was clear that a volunteer effort was needed to privately fundraising so the park could be restored and improved. Through grants and donations from the City of Madison Neighborhood Grant Program of the Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development, local residents and businesses, more than $10,000 was raised for the renovation.
Working closely with Capitol Neighborhoods Inc., [Mansion Hill District], the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Madison Parks Foundation, many improvements were made and additional elements added, such as Victorian style cast iron urns and statuary. All the work has been done by a small group of volunteers, and all funding was by donation from local residents and area businesses. The park is now a joy to spend time in, and it is hoped that this can be an example of what anyone can do in their own neighborhood, if they are willing to make the effort.