Earth Day @ Demetral, 4/21


Image by Aimee Ray

Spring is here and soon there is going to be an explosion of green leaves everywhere; But this also means that our parks are going to need some love to be ready for the warm weather ahead.

The City’s Earth Day Challenge is a way for you to help spruce up our parks for Summer. Held on Saturday, April 21, from 10 am – noon,  volunteers will be assisting in trash pickup, raking, weeding, and removing sticks.

So consider spending two hours of Earth Day with your neighbors and friends and volunteer to clean up Demetral.

Sign up at



Pennsylvania Park Name Poll

A month ago we asked for suggestions for a new name for Pennsylvania Park and we were happily overwhelmed by the response. Thankyou to all that participated in the online discussion. We have collated your suggestions and are now asking you to vote for your favourites.

Please take a minute to vote at


Pennsylvania Park in late winter.

A New Name for Pennsylvania Park

We need your help to rename our park!

As a part of the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Park, EENA is wanting to change the name. The park, on Johnson between First and Second street, is also known as No Name Park. We are motivated to change it because the name is so similar to Penn Park (which is another park in Madison) and feel that this resemblance could cause confusion among Madison residents.

While the choice of new name for Pennsylvania Park is ultimately up to the City of Madison, EENA is wanting to submit a short list of possibilities. This is where you can help! Can you think of a  name for the park? Write your suggestions in the comments section. Also, if you see a name in comments you like, let us know.

Before you get carried away suggesting the park be named after your favorite jazz musician or the name of the paint on your walls, the Madison Park System does have some guidelines for park names. We plan to submit only names that are in line with these guidelines.

The full set of guidelines are here. Basically, they say the park can be  named:

  • for its location (e.g. street, plat)
  • for any geologic, geographic, historical, botanical, horticultural or scientific feature inherent to the area
  • To honor individuals who made a substantial contribution to the advancement, improvement or enlargement of the Madison Park System
  • In memoriam for an individual who devoted outstanding amounts of time, talent and effort to the advancement the Madison Community

Changes at North First Street and East Johnson: More than Safe Commuting

Did you notice that the house on the corner of North First Street and East Johnson Street was demolished in early December? Do you want to know what that has to do with improving the safety and quality of our neighborhood? The demolition of the single-family home is just one of the changes this intersection will see in the next few years.


After the elderly resident moved out of the house at 217 North First Street in 2014, the City started the process of purchasing the property (Picture: Indira Ceylan)

After becoming vacant, the City of Madison purchased the property. Needing a lot of updates and missing a driveway and garage this single-family home on one of the busiest corners of our neighborhood would have been a tough sell. Demolishing the house is one of several improvements of this bicycle and pedestrian corridor. Without the house at 217 North First Street cars turning right from First Street will have a less obstructed view of bicyclists and pedestrians approaching from the east. Already in 2014, the City constructed a two-way trail starting along the now-demolished house. The emerging path is going to be a convenient and safe connection between the Northside and downtown Madison.



The City contractor filled the hole left by the basement after the house and shed were removed (Picture: Derek McRoberts)

By clearing the site, Pennsylvania Park, the green space along East Johnson between North First and North Second Street, has significantly gained in size. This is just one reason the Sustainability Task Force, a committee of the Emerson East Neighborhood Association, is thinking hard about how we can improve this space. At the Neighborhood Association meeting on December 7, many neighbors got together and talked about a vision for Pennsylvania Park. Popular themes were arts, transportation, and ensuring nearby neighbors are protected from noise. Imagine a piece of art or an artistic sign welcoming everyone to our neighborhood – removing the house on the corner made this an ideal spot!

In 2019, this intersection will see further change. City Engineering is working on plans for resurfacing East Johnson from North Baldwin Street to First Street and to widen North First Street. This allows adding car lanes to avoid too long lines of cars waiting at the traffic lights, and improves the overall safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.


Plans presented by City Engineering in November 2016 show further changes to the intersection at East Johnson and North First Street (Source: City of Madison Engineering)

Even more changes are due to the construction and operation of the Madison Public Market. Plans have not been finalized, but the Public Market will be located on or near the current City Fleet Services Building. Most likely, traffic of all kind will increase on North First Street. As neighbors we can play a role so these changes don’t deteriorate safety and quality of life, but have the contrary, positive effect. Personally, I can’t wait to bike across First Street every day on my way to work without being worried I might get hit by an illegal right turn at red. I get excited thinking about strolling to the Public Market to see what’s been made and sold there.