The Legacy Society

Our Legacy

The city’s first “park” was created by the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association and its founding fathers, John M. Olin and Edward T. Owen. They built the first such “pleasure drive” in 1894, contributing acres of land and generous easements, building bridges and raising funds to pave their roadways with gravel. A few years later, Madison lawyer Daniel K. Tenney bought a parcel of land near the city’s limits and gave it to the Association, forever changing the face of Madison and adding “park” to the group’s name.

Madison’s most charming public spaces – from Tenney to Brittingham to Hoyt to Olin to Burrows to Vilas – embody the tradition of private support for public parks that grew with each passing year, each dollar donated, and each acre added. Today, that legacy lives in the Madison Parks Foundation.  To find our more about the Legacy Society, click here.

The Madison Parks Foundation would like to express its gratitude to those donors who have left a legacy of giving to our city parks:


  • W. Jerome Frautschi
  • Irwin Goodman
  • Robert Goodman
  • Pleasant T. Rowland
  • Joseph & Stacy Soderholm
  • John Wall & Family


  • Alliant Energy Foundation
  • American Family Mutual Insurance Company
  • CUNA Mutual Group Foundation
  • Dane County Land & Water Resources Department
  • Event Essentials
  • Evjue Foundation
  • W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation
  • Shelley Glover Sports Education Foundation
  • Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation
  • J.H. Findorff & Son
  • Kraft Foods Inc.
  • Madison Community Foundation
  • Madison Mallards
  • MGE Foundation
  • National League of Cities
  • Oscar Rennebohm Foundation
  • Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation
  • Sanger Foundation
  • Spectrum Brands
  • VFW Post 7591
  • Willy Street Coop
  • Zimbrick Inc.
Renewing the Legacy