I grew up in nearby New Glarus and fondly recall many childhood trips to Vilas Park for a picnic and visit to the zoo. I have called Madison home since I began college as a journalism major and stayed tofinish law school as a “Double Badger.” My wife and I now live on the near west side (with our two Australian shepherds!) and we could not imagine living in a city other than Madison. There really is no substitute to the beautiful natural spaces we are able to enjoy throughout our city every single day.
We have the Foundation’s predecessors to thank for this legacy. It’s inspiring to think about how 120 years ago, a small group of civic-minded individuals got together to envision how they could make their City a better place for all, and for generations to come. Over time, they privately built the public park system that we know and love today. These founders began simply and humbly. Penning their intentions into an association charter and hosting annual banquets to build and share their vision. Today, Madison Parks Foundation renews this tradition with Picnic in the Park – an event to step back in time and celebrate our history, our parks, and a vision for our city’s future. On October 28th, I look forward to raising a glass with you to toast the legacy of Madison’s parks!
Kyle W. Engelke, Senior Associate at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP & Secretary of the Madison Parks Foundation