Vilas (Henry) Park Master Plan

Last Updated: 07/17/2019

Parks is beginning the master planning process for Vilas Park!

Aerial of Vilas Park, showing Lake Wingra beach.
Vilas Park, with beach and fishing access on Lake Wingra, lagoons, and other park amenities.

Step 1: Community Input Meeting

Step 1 of the process was a Community Input Meeting held on 6/26/2019 at the Vilas Park Shelter (1602 Vilas Park Drive) to introduce the project team, timeframe, discuss goals and objectives and describe the process.

Materials promoting the session are followed by the items that were presented during  the session, below. 

Please contact if you have any questions regarding the meeting or would like to send comments/input to the project staff.

Step 2: Vilas Park Master Plan Survey

Step 2 of the process: please take the Vilas Park Master Plan survey; email your thoughts & ideas to, submit a Comment Card, subscribe to receive updates on the project, and encourage friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues to do the same!

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Project Objective

Throughout the master plan process, which is expected to continue through fall 2020, Parks will be asking for input on questions such as, “What do you love most about Vilas Park?”, “What would you change?” and, “How can the park best serve our whole community as Madison grows?”

The Vilas Park Master Plan will be a framework plan that will help to inform improvements at the park over the next 15-20 years. It will be a starting point for the development of future capital improvement projects that could add to, replace or improve amenities at the park including sport courts, playgrounds, fields, lagoons, beaches, parking, roadways, pedestrian paths and more! The plan document, along with a master plan report, will go through several stages of design driven by community input that will be reviewed by other city and county agency staff, working groups comprised of neighborhood, community and environmental affiliates, and eventually go to the Board of Park Commissioners for approval prior to being implemented.


The City of Madison Parks Division issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) through Finance/Purchasing in September 2018 to select a consultant team to begin the Vilas (Henry) Park Master Planning process in early 2019.  Consistent with City of Madison Purchasing guidelines, the RFP was located on the Demandstar and VendorNet websites under the "Vilas Park Master Plan" title and was posted for 4 weeks, with proposals due on October 3, 2018.  Following the submission deadline, the proposals (a total of six were received) were reviewed and scored by an interagency staff team and four of the proposals were selected to move forward to in-person interviews.  MSA Professional Services, Inc. received the highest score following the interview component and will be starting in earnest on the project in late May 2019. 

The master planning process for James Madison Park was greatly informative to Parks and its result, as well as lessons learned throughout the consultant selection process, public input meetings, and schematic and final design development phases helped to inform the Vilas (Henry) Park master plan RFP.

Prior to issuing the RFP, Parks worked with other city staff and a small group of citizen stakeholders to utilize the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI) Tool to help to analyze and inform the public engagement process for the master plan efforts and to help to inform the selected consultant(s) with its findings.  The results of the tool will be reviewed with the consultant selected through the RFP process.

It is anticipated that following successful selection of a consultant firm and contract signature through City of Madison Purchasing procedure, the first of a series of public meetings will be held in early 2019.

Notices regarding these meetings will be posted on signboards at the park, sent via USPS mail to addresses within a 1/2 mile radius of the park and posted to Parks social media accounts (Facebook / Twitter) as well as on this page. 

Please check back to this site for updates regarding the project as they become available.

Questions or comments regarding the Vilas Park Master Plan project can be sent to: