Followup: Go Ape zipline/swing proposal for Lincoln Park – where it stands, and more

July 3, 2012 at 11:59 am | In Lincoln Park zipline proposal, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 137 Comments

(Start of GoApe course in Great Britain’s Delamere Forest. Photo copyright Jonathan Kington; licensed for reuse via Creative Commons)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Go Ape proposal to build and operate a commercial zipline/rope-swing attraction across six-plus acres of 135-acre Lincoln Park‘s treetops did not just swoop in out of the blue.

We’ve been gathering more information in the four days since we broke the news about the proposal – which had not previously been brought to general public attention, though the city and the UK-based company have been working together for almost a year. Our original report is now the third-most-commented-on non-snow story in WSB’s five years of covering West Seattle news, with 235 comments as of this morning.

The comments so far are mostly expressions of concern or opposition. Last weekend, opponents launched a Facebook page – “Stop GoApe Zipline in Lincoln Park.” So far, we have not heard of any corresponding effort by supporters (if there is, please let us know).

In research so far, we found that two other urban-park-based proposals in the U.S., where it has three locations in addition to its two-dozen-plus in Europe, were dropped after opposition similar to what’s being voiced here, while one potential location, on land owned by a California airport, appeared to have been welcomed by the community. Ahead – more on that as well as new information about how the Lincoln Park proposal emerged, and what happens next:

A Seattle Parks document says the city “selected” GoApe as a potential partner last August, as part of its Expressions of Interest process (outlined in this city document), though the policy notes regarding partnerships that “(l)ocal ownership, leadership, and beneficiary participation are keys to success.” (Go Ape is based in the UK, with U.S. headquarters in Maryland.) If you missed it in our first story, here’s where a Go Ape PowerPoint says the Lincoln Park installation would be:

Pursuing more details on what preceded the decision last August to pursue a partnership with Go Ape, we compiled a list of questions for Rebecca Salinas, Parks’ senior manager of partnerships, who supervises Charles Ng, the point person on this project, who we learned in early research is unreachable until next week. We did not hear directly back from Salinas, but received answers Monday afternoon through Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor.

She says that it all started when, through the Expressions of Interest process, a similar organization “came forward and we showed them around … then we didn’t hear back from them. Soon after that, two other organizations contacted us, one of which was Go Ape. We showed them a few of our parks. We decided there was some interest and put out RFPs [Request for Proposals]. We received three (proposals), and selected them.”

(3:33 pm update: O’Connor says she has since learned an RFP was *not* issued:

After further discussion with Rebecca Salinas, our Partnership Manager, I learned that we did not put out a Request for Proposal for the zipline in Lincoln Park.

In June 2010 Parks developed an Expression of Interest form that was posted our Partnerships web page. The purpose is to encourage and welcome interested parties who may want to engage in partnership opportunities with Seattle Parks. As a result, in April 2011, three companies sent in written preliminary proposals to construct and operate a high ropes course on Park property. High ropes courses, ropes challenge courses and zip lines are becoming popular throughout the country.

Parks issued a detailed questionnaire to each of these three organizations in May 2011, and evaluate their responses in order to select an organization to potentially construct and operate a high ropes course for Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Go Ape, a for-profit business, was selected as the potential partner for providing a high ropes course in a Seattle park.

(back to original report) We have asked for a copy of the Request for Proposals that yielded this one, but have not yet received it. Meantime, O’Connor continued [in Monday correspondence], “We showed them a bunch of different parks. They loved Lincoln Park for all the reasons we love Lincoln Park.”

O’Connor said Parks had one initial concern – competition with the Ropes Challenge Course installed at Camp Long in West Seattle last year, also through a partnership – in this case, with the nonprofit 4-H. “But we talked to Camp Long, and this was totally different, so we started moving forward. We brought in our naturalist and our forester and had them look at the proposal. We’re (now) trying to figure out if we need an environmental-impact study … we think we’re going to move forward with that.”

(Photo added 4:25 pm: Concerned park users/neighbors toured the proposed course area today with Erika Schultz, left, Seattle Times photojournalist, and pointed out nests)
Commenters have raised concerns from wildlife – particularly the numerous bird species in the park – to vegetation; we found that Lincoln Park has long had a vegetation-management plan on file – see it here. The plan notes that, “”Despite Lincoln Park’s tremendous popularity, much of the park’s native vegetation has been conserved over time, representing a significant legacy and key to its landscape character.” (We couldn’t find a wildlife plan.)

Questions so far also have included whether the city would be fairly compensated for giving over a chunk of parkland to a for-profit company whose current admission fees are $55/adults, $35/youth. One page in their PowerPoint, which a concerned citizen sent to us, outlines what the company sees as the benefit to Seattle Parks:

The “significant revenue share” isn’t attached to a number there, but it is in the “project summary” document we received (see it here, or in see the full text of it in our first story): Estimated at $40,000 to $65,000. We asked Parks if that is the only direct revenue expected – for example, would they charge Go Ape rent? No, says O’Connor. But she cited something we hadn’t yet heard: Go Ape “would do some advertising for us, advertising we can’t afford, for the Camp Long ropes course, and promote it. And they would do some environmental work in the park – that would be part of the agreement.”

(Critics have pointed out that volunteers already do a significant amount of work in the park – volunteers who had not heard of this till some information about the proposal was e-mailed to them last week.)

Our last question for Parks, for now, involved the time lag between the initiation of a relationship between the department and Go Ape, and the proposed deal coming to light now. According to Seattle Parks’ “Public Involvement Policy for Parks Planning Processes and for Proposals to Acquire Property, Initiate Funded Capital Projects, or Make Changes to a Park or Facility” (see the full policy here):

It is the policy of Seattle Parks and Recreation, in carrying out its mission:
• To invite and encourage direct public involvement in its planning efforts and in the review of its funded capital projects and any proposal that would, in the judgment of the Superintendent, substantially modify the property’s use or appearance.

• To provide early and thorough notification of proposals and projects, through a variety of means, to users, user groups, neighborhoods, neighborhood groups, and other interested people.

O’Connor herself “just learned about it recently,” she said, adding, “We’re still trying to figure out if we are even moving forward. … We want to have a public meeting in early-to-mid August, we’ll advertise that, put out an e-mail blast.” And she reiterated that the proposal would have to go before the Parks Board and City Council to get formal approval. Currently, it’s still in “internal exploration” mode, she said.

Researching other U.S. parks where Go Ape installations have been proposed, we found two others where local residents said they didn’t find out until relatively late in the game. In Fairfax County, Virginia, the park authority made a deal in summer 2011 involving 400-acre Riverbend Park, whose neighbors and users started finding out in the fall, according to this report from last year, and an online compilation of e-mail comments on the proposal. The plan subsequently was dropped, according to this February 2012 story.

In fall 2010, this brief story was reported to be the first word that neighbors and users of 287-acre Byrd Park, also in Virginia, got of a plan for Go Ape to build there – a plan that was, by the time they heard, about to go to the local Planning Commission, with construction to start within months. The plan stalled after a public official identified as its major proponent quit his job. Go Ape has opened two facilities in the same region as the two aforementioned proposals – its first U.S. location at 1,800-acre Rock Creek Regional Park in Rockville, Maryland (here’s the Go Ape page for Rock Creek), and 600-acre Freedom Park in Williamsburg, Virginia (here’s the Go Ape page for Freedom Park).

Go Ape’s third U.S. facility opened in May in Indianapolis’s Eagle Creek Park, and it has had at least one other on the boards – in South Lake Tahoe, California, which would be the first Western U.S. location. According to this report from last November, 12 acres belonging to the Lake Tahoe Airport were to be leased to Go Ape, which also was to provide a revenue share. Construction was supposed to start this summer, but according to this report from May, there were issues to work out with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Back to the Lincoln Park proposal: This would be the first facility of its kind in a Seattle city park (there are on-the-ground “zipline” type swings for kids, including the well-known one near Lincoln Park’s south parking lot). Affected by deep city budget cuts in recent years – which have led, among other things, to dramatic cuts and changes in the community-center system – it has been pursuing more partnerships, jn an effort to keep facilities open and maintained. One of the longest-standing partnerships is with the Associated Recreation Council, which – though many don’t realize this – operates many of the programs you’ll find at Parks-owned properties.

We asked Parks’ Karen O’Connor who, at this stage of the Go Ape proposal, is the appropriate person with whom feedback could be shared – a question asked by many – and she replied that it would be Charles Ng, the partnerships manager, whose contact information is here.

To date, the only scheduled public presentation remains the Morgan Community Association‘s regular quarterly meeting on July 18th (7 pm, lower-level meeting room at The Kenney [WSB sponsor], 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW). Since they meet only quarterly, the agenda is likely to have a multitude of other items. As noted earlier in this report, Parks says it will schedule a meeting specifically about the proposal next month. We are also continuing to check with other area community groups to see if this will appear on others’ agendas; Lincoln Park is in the coverage area of the Fauntleroy Community Association, which had not heard about the proposal when we contacted its president last week, but planned to check with Parks.

Regarding the rest of the timeline: When we first spoke with O’Connor last week, she said the Partnerships division had projected it might get an agreement to the City Council by year’s end; before going to the full council, it would first go through the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, whose chair, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, is also unavailable for comment until next week.

Added 3:37 pm: In O’Connor’s aforementioned statement received by WSB today after publishing this story, she mentions an expected “Park Board review and public hearing in September.” That would be before any proposal goes to the City Council.

137 Comments

  1. TR, thank you so much for your coverage of this issue.

    Comment by Kim — 12:11 pm July 3, 2012 #

  2. THANK YOU, Tracy, for a great, well-researched followup! Off to the park now – more later…

    Comment by Trileigh — 12:19 pm July 3, 2012 #

  3. http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s16e06-i-should-have-never-gone-ziplining

    this episode is reason enough to say no! (ps it’s South Park, which means it’s NSFW, NSFK…sorry if it offends but every time I see anything about the zipline this is all I can think about)

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 12:23 pm July 3, 2012 #

  4. $55 and $35 fees?

    Comment by Susan — 12:29 pm July 3, 2012 #

  5. No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No

    Comment by Velo_nut — 12:30 pm July 3, 2012 #

  6. It seems as though residents should not have to pay the fees if this ends up coming to fruition. It’s OUR park.

    Comment by LA — 12:34 pm July 3, 2012 #

  7. Susan – $55 adults/$35 youth is the Go Ape U.S. fee schedule for 2012 per http://goape.com/faqs – also, for further verification, the PowerPoint refers to them giving away 900 tickets a year (as mentioned in our first story) and equates that to “~$50,000″ – 900 x 55 = $49,500. Obviously if some of those tickets go to kids, the valuation would be lower. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:44 pm July 3, 2012 #

  8. i see a lot of “don’t do this” but no reasons. At least present an argument.

    Comment by Brandon — 12:57 pm July 3, 2012 #

  9. I see by the pics on their site that the zip line is a “single line” zip line…not very safe. The one I did down in Mazatlan was a “double line” zip line…much safer. Even though the one in Mexico was very “green” and nice to the environment, I can’t see one being located in Lincoln Park…wonder what the city’s cut of the $55 fee would be??? Perhaps they should continue to look for ways to cut their budget instead of trying to rape our parks for more revenue…and they couldn’t find a U.S. based company???

    Comment by jsw — 12:58 pm July 3, 2012 #

  10. I believe that those were the rates on there current web site – don’t they have current info?
    .
    Thanks for all the info.
    .
    They need to provide for additional parking which is currently sucky enough.
    .
    Also, I am curious about who the other bidders were and what the selection criteria were on the RFP.

    Comment by Curiouser — 12:59 pm July 3, 2012 #

  11. Will our city sink to a new low to make a buck??

    Comment by marty — 1:04 pm July 3, 2012 #

  12. The benefit statement indicates “Drive secondary spend to local businesses (e.g., restaurants, shops, concessions)”. To what restaurants, shops, concessions are they referring? Doesn’t seem like their presentation is geared specifically to Lincoln Park since they haven’t paid attention to what’s available in the immediate area — unless they’re planning to add all that themselves…

    Comment by squareeyes — 1:06 pm July 3, 2012 #

  13. I think that the argument is going to come down to passive natural areas vs active recreation areas. Those arguing in favor of this horrible plan will use budget issues and people’s increasing need for physical activity to make their point.

    For those of us in the opposition, we should remember to include the importance of natural areas for people as well as wildlife. Particularly for children. Unstructured play, nature discovery, imaginative exploration in nature is now being recognized as critical to child development. There are now lots of studies showing that not giving kids a chance to connect with nature has contributed to child obesity, depression and behavioral problems. Organized sports are not enough, it has to be unstructured play time. Check out Richard Louv’s “Children and Nature” site for more info. There’s lots of published info to back this up. Let’s start gathering!

    It’s not just about the wildlife…it’s about the kids, too.

    Comment by Denise — 1:09 pm July 3, 2012 #

  14. I can not believe our city would even consider this. The best part of Lincoln Park is it is a little slice of nature, what is left of it in the city – this is the most absurd idea ever. Makes me wonder about the integrity of those involvoed.

    Comment by Jane — 1:13 pm July 3, 2012 #

  15. Thanks TR – excellent bit of investigation!

    By now I imagine that Charles Ng’s email box has exploded. And I doubt that the lower meeting room in the Kenney will be big enough to hold the Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting with this item on the agenda. The meeting should be moved to the proposed location of this planned atrocity.

    I’m very curious where the city got the idea that people would want something like this defiling the natural areas of our parks. Seems to me that those who solicited this proposal are seriously out of touch with the park users.

    Comment by B-squared — 1:13 pm July 3, 2012 #

  16. I would be curious how Parks and Rec propose to get this permited. Since Lincoln Park is in a signgle family zone (SF5000)an amusement use such as this is not a permitted use. There are accessory uses allowed for parks such and storage and maintenance, but this would not fit into that category. They do seem to have sited the proposal to be just south of an area designated as an Environmentally Critial zone – so they must have been doing some research.

    Comment by raincity — 1:14 pm July 3, 2012 #

  17. I’ll give $$$ to keep this out. Oh, wait. I already do.

    Comment by Rick — 1:37 pm July 3, 2012 #

  18. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

    Comment by Chris Chapin — 1:41 pm July 3, 2012 #

  19. I don’t understand the financial motivation from the Parks perspective. 40k-55k a year? Hardly seems worth it. I know they are desperate for revenue, but this seems like nothing that would significantly help their budget.

    Comment by kgdlg — 1:44 pm July 3, 2012 #

  20. I am no “NIMBY” and I also think zip lines are fun and cool, BUT,
    The business model for this location is suspect to me. With $500K initial investment, plus $50K in give away tickets, I do not see how there will be a return on investment. There are not enough kids and adult users in the area, and transportation/parking will be terrible to attract out of the area users for more than a one time use.
    Not sustainable, and no indication of how non-zip line residents, and parks and recreation would benefit from this endeavor.
    Thanks for reading.

    Comment by Bill at Duwamish Head — 1:46 pm July 3, 2012 #

  21. NO! NO! NO!

    If the community needs to file a lawsuit against the City to prevent this insane development, that is what we WILL DO.

    We the People of Seattle will not allow City beaurocrats to sell out our treasured public parks!

    ZIPLINES AT NORTHWEST TREK – go there instead!

    Comment by cruzer — 1:47 pm July 3, 2012 #

  22. Hey Helper Monkey, if we don’t get the zip line, can we PLEASE get a Casa Bonita?!?!

    Comment by Casa Bonita — 1:59 pm July 3, 2012 #

  23. The main thing I notice is how much bigger the other U.S. parks GoApe has installed these facilities in are. (I went to high school in Rockville and am very familiar with that park.)
    .
    On the one hand, the ziplines do look like a lot of fun. But considering how much this one will cost to ride, and how much space it’ll take up, I’m really dubious about it at Lincoln Park. $55/$35 is a pretty expensive proposition for families, it seems to me. I might be more sanguine if the city Parks department was getting a bigger cut, but as it is, it really doesn’t seem worth what we’d be giving up.

    Comment by datamuse — 2:03 pm July 3, 2012 #

  24. I know one of the big motivators for this zip line is to make up for budget shortfalls for the parks department. But, as a frequent user of Lincoln Park, I would be more than happy to pay a one dollar fee (like Marymoore) if it meant keeping something like this out of our beautiful park. I don’t know what other users would think and if it would equate to the same profit, but I think it’s way better than zip lines!

    Comment by West Seattle luv — 2:11 pm July 3, 2012 #

  25. Nooooooo!

    Comment by Jack Spara — 2:14 pm July 3, 2012 #

  26. Brandon – Read the original story on the West Seattle Blog. Plenty of no reasons.

    Comment by Brian — 2:15 pm July 3, 2012 #

  27. I think a zip line is a great idea! I’ve often thought that something like that in Lincoln Park would do a great job bringing people out and would be an excellent attraction. I’d likely go a couple times a year. I think it’s a perfect setting. How exciting!

    Comment by Toby Getsch — 2:17 pm July 3, 2012 #

  28. They better have 24 hour security around so folks like me won’t come around and tear it down if they build it.

    Comment by Jiggers — 2:19 pm July 3, 2012 #

  29. YES! YES YES! I’m not as into it but I know people who would love this. A fun thing to do in a West Seattle park! Yay!

    Comment by jedifarfy — 2:32 pm July 3, 2012 #

  30. Having gone on a zip line in Costa Rica, have to say, ‘No, do not put it in our beautiful Lincoln Park’. We don’t need all the noise through the tree tops. Lincoln park is a back to nature park with a little bit of softball, wading pool, swimming–for those that want to be more physical.

    I thought the point was to see the tropical forest and possibly wild life from high up–the zip line itself is actually pretty quiet. However, all the ‘zippers’, except me, were screamed, hollering and whooping it up. Obviously I was the minority on what the experience was to be.

    I especially like one person’s comment:
    ‘For those of us in the opposition, we should remember to include the importance of natural areas for people as well as wildlife’.

    How about having a zip line down at the Seattle Center…that seems to make more sense.

    Comment by Teri Ensley — 2:42 pm July 3, 2012 #

  31. Perhaps the parks department is throwing this out there as an option so when we reject it we’ll gladly pay for parking or other access fees. That way they get their money, they implement a fee based access system and we just smile and bend over while they stick it to us and we feel victorious. . . . hmmm, just a thought. At least it is more plausible than the GoApe proposal.

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 2:44 pm July 3, 2012 #

  32. Why are birds always the last consideration? Whether we are talking coyotes or zip lines our feathered friends receive the least consideration. If people only knew the critical role they play in our survival, but I guess we will have to find out the hard way, as usual.

    Comment by Jeff B. — 2:52 pm July 3, 2012 #

  33. I still contend they should put this over at Roxhill. It would be a great location, and keep some of the riff raff in check.

    Comment by Amanda — 2:58 pm July 3, 2012 #

  34. Thank you for your efforts and making us aware of this! Good work…and I think we can stop it…before we have to chain ourselves to any trees ! :-)

    Comment by Alice Larson — 3:02 pm July 3, 2012 #

  35. This idea is doomed. I am not at all suggesting that we as neighbors let our guard down, but there’s no way this will fly. The security alone is a deal-breaker. Fences on the ground will mess up the park way more than ropes in the trees, and the $65k annual park rent won’t even pay for 3 months of police responding to vandals and trespassers.

    Comment by Roche — 3:09 pm July 3, 2012 #

  36. O’Connor’s statement is laughable, ““We showed them a bunch of different parks. They loved Lincoln Park for all the reasons we love Lincoln Park.” She obviously has not either a)been in Lincoln Park or b)despite her job, in fact, does not appreciate nor respect urban parks.
    The parks department clearly made a predetermined decision to not notify community leaders including the Fauntleroy Community Association, they knew this proposal would have been shot down immediately.
    The wildlife will be harmed and displaced, there is no way around this. Even Go Ape’s literature does not claim protection for habitat.
    In order to maintain their business, they will have to rely on non-locals. The locals may try the ziplines once, but it is very unlikely that there can be any maintained business model based upon reliance of repeat business. Go Ape will be advertising to the cruise lines and other large non-local populations to create and generate income.
    Fauntleroy cannot manage this impact – not the community, the wildlife or the natural habitat.
    Thank you WSB – obviously, with the third largest response ever to your reporting, this issue touches the nerve of our community.

    Comment by kim p — 3:13 pm July 3, 2012 #

  37. I should note here that I am about to add an amended Parks statement to the story. They now say it wasn’t an RFP process. Here’s the entirety of the statement that spokesperson Karen O’Connor sent while we were still out with the Lincoln Park tour organized for the Times’ photographer – I am trying to figure out how to work the changes into the main copy:

    After further discussion with Rebecca Salinas, our Partnership Manager, I learned that we did not put out a Request for Proposal for the zipline in Lincoln Park.

    In June 2010 Parks developed an Expression of Interest form that was posted our Partnerships web page. The purpose is to encourage and welcome interested parties who may want to engage in partnership opportunities with Seattle Parks. As a result, in April 2011, three companies sent in written preliminary proposals to construct and operate a high ropes course on Park property. High ropes courses, ropes challenge courses and zip lines are becoming popular throughout the country.

    Parks issued a detailed questionnaire to each of these three organizations in May 2011, and evaluate their responses in order to select an organization to potentially construct and operate a high ropes course for Seattle Parks and Recreation.

    Go Ape, a for-profit business, was selected as the potential partner for providing a high ropes course in a Seattle park. Go Ape has built over 25 High Ropes Courses in Europe and has begun partnering with parks departments to build courses in the United States. The first course in the U.S. opened in May 2010 at Rock Creek Reional park in Rockville, Maryland via a public-private partnership between Montgomery County Parks and Go Ape In 2012, two new parks have opened in municipal parks: Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN and Freedom Park in Williamsburg Virgina. Go Ape’s extensive experience, high degree of professionalism and their attention to environmental protection and restoration provided Seattle Parks an incentive to explore a possible partnership.

    Seattle Parks has been going through an internal due diligence process to explore the feasibility and desirability of partnering with Go Ape. As we discussed yesterday we are planning on a public meeting in August and having a Park Board review and public hearing in September.

    Comment by WSB — 3:22 pm July 3, 2012 #

  38. This should never even have been considered. Forested public parks provide a respite from the bustle of city life. They should never be allowed to become vehicles for private profit. This is just one example of how our commonwealth is being destroyed. Money isn’t God. We should not only fight this proposal, we should boycotts this irresponsible company’s other sites.

    Comment by Robert — 3:25 pm July 3, 2012 #

  39. I like to think of Lincoln Park as a nature preserve and a park for everyone. Bus loads of tourists from the cruise ships, are going to make Lincoln Park into a carnival ride.

    Who is going to provide the 24 hour security? Late night partiers will be sneaking in to get a free ride if there are no guards.

    Comment by Kathleen — 3:26 pm July 3, 2012 #

  40. There are owl and bald eagle nests in Lincoln Park. Is impact to wildlife even being considered? What makes Lincoln Park so special is that it is a little piece of wilderness remaining in the city. Let’s leave it that way. How about charging $1 for parking instead? I estimate that would bring in about the same amount of revenue, without ruining the park.

    Comment by L.C. — 3:26 pm July 3, 2012 #

  41. L.C. is right, if this is about revenue then why not just charge for parking? That’s the fairest “use tax” of them all.

    Imagine the lines at the restrooms, folks!

    Imagine the trash piling up, the litter!

    Imagine the added wear and tear on the meadows and grassy fields!

    Imagine the space we’d be giving up, enclosed inside their fences!

    Imagine the problems with cars lined up for the ferry!

    Imagine the holes they will drill, the limbs they will saw off of our beautiful old trees!

    Imagine describing to your grandchildren someday, how nice it was living here back when we could see Bald Eagles and Herons!
    .
    IF TOURISTS WANT ZIPLINES, THERE ARE PLENTY ELSEWHERE.
    .
    LINCOLN PARK IS A SPECIAL PLACE, ONLY TO BE FOUND RIGHT HERE!
    .
    NO ZIP LINE AT LINCOLN PARK!!!

    Comment by Protect Lincoln Park! — 3:49 pm July 3, 2012 #

  42. I want this to happen so bad. Too bad there are so many NIMBYs around.

    Comment by A. — 3:51 pm July 3, 2012 #

  43. If Parks is doing this for $50k in additional revenue coming their way, I will gladly donate the first $1k to NOT place this in this beautiful park.

    Comment by Brian M. — 4:04 pm July 3, 2012 #

  44. This devastates me. I would gladly donate $55 annually to the park as my “admission” if it helps the preservation of our space.

    Comment by Amber — 4:30 pm July 3, 2012 #

  45. Why don’t they put the zipline over the golf course it gives an added target for golfers and it’s already fenced and secured!

    Comment by Julie — 4:49 pm July 3, 2012 #

  46. Thanks, Tracy and WSB for such excellent reporting.

    I had posted this link earlier on the previous conversation, but since we moved over here, I am reposting. Here’s what one of their ziplines would sound like. http://youtu.be/6g4C0rFaVt0 Imagine that noise running continuously all day, every day — not to mention the hollering and screaming.

    I still can’t believe that the public officials in charge of protecting our parks have led us to this. Lincoln Park’s beautiful groves are a treasure in this increasingly busy world.
    .

    Take this project somewhere else where it have a less damaging impact. ~z

    Comment by zephyr — 4:51 pm July 3, 2012 #

  47. Now we know the value city officials place on park land :-(

    Comment by visitor — 4:52 pm July 3, 2012 #

  48. Seriously, $500K to build? If so, one heck of insurance policy. The Seattle Great Wheel is not physical exercise, but neither is a zipline. Charging $55 bucks for a 2 minute thrill ride while someone screams themselves hoarse from imagined fear? They should be worried about their wallets; after spending $55 what other businesses could they afford?

    I know Lincoln Park is not wilderness but it is a place to visit where the drone of lawn mowers and weed whackers is minimized. If I talk when I visit Lincoln Park, I don’t raise my voice just to keep the peace. That is the argument against the zipline. After all it isn’t NIMBY if all the citizens of Seattle own their parks.

    Comment by JayDee — 4:55 pm July 3, 2012 #

  49. Rock Creek Park Acreage: 1750
    Lincoln Park: 135

    Comment by JayDee — 5:01 pm July 3, 2012 #

  50. I do mention the parks’ sizes in the story – all taken from their respective websites. Except it looks like I forgot to link the Indianapolis park that’s the site of one of Go Ape’s three current U.S. facilities; will fix – TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:07 pm July 3, 2012 #

  51. It does seem like the other places that have these zip-line courses are much larger areas. Lincoln park is a small, peaceful community park where awesome wildlife resides. So a big NO. And $55? It would ruin the park. Seattle needs to fight to keep these areas in tact, or this place will lose all of the things that really keep us healthy and sane. Charge more for the pool or picnic areas.

    Comment by Seaview — 5:13 pm July 3, 2012 #

  52. This is what “austerity” is about, folks. Shrink the government and turn our commonwealth over to private for-profit entities. This is all a wretched sham.

    Comment by Robert — 5:29 pm July 3, 2012 #

  53. I love the Golf Course idea.

    Comment by Here — 5:44 pm July 3, 2012 #

  54. Why don’t they put the zipline over the golf course it gives an added target for golfers….

    .

    Plus, some zipliner, screaming “WOOOOOOOOOO!!” at the top of their lungs, would be a nice surprise for a golfer, just as they’re getting ready to tap in that crucial putt! ;-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 6:34 pm July 3, 2012 #

  55. Sorry WSB; I knew Rock Creek was big but missed your citation. Even so Lincoln Park is < 7.8% of the acreage.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:34 pm July 3, 2012 #

  56. Some people should read the first WSB story on this. The $55 would be for a 2-3 hour course that includes ziplines. About 28 people per hour, in the trees for 2-3 hours each. And I agree that they will market to the cruise ship and other tourist groups.

    Lincoln Park is too small. I love Discovery Park too, but if people want a zipline in the city and the money it will bring in, they should look more closely at Discovery Park. It is much larger, and, hey, you could even get a view of the wastewater treatment plant.

    The important habitat for birds that Lincoln Park provides would be destroyed by a loud recreation course up where birds live. And the peacefulness would be destroyed for everyone.

    Thanks, WSB, for the new information.

    Comment by dcn — 6:38 pm July 3, 2012 #

  57. I think the revenue promised is pathetic. The reason not to do it is because it’s not a viable business, it’s not been sourced through a competitive process (RFP), and if it doesn’t work and GoApe leaves town, guess who will be stuck with a bunch of rotting wood and dangerous cable? The parks department. Not a good business plan and our park is perfect just the way it is. I’d rather donate more money in car tabs or charge the 5K race promoters who always seem to be there 10% of profit to bolster the budget for advertising.

    Comment by Arbor Heights Mom — 6:53 pm July 3, 2012 #

  58. I took a look at their web site and examples. Lincoln Park does not have the amount of forested area left anymore to support this kind of project with out becoming a forest-less park. Somebody should point this out to all the promo people jumping on the band wagon. Also their plan is to place their building right in front of the main parking lot. This will pretty much turn it into a lot primarily for their use. It would be really sad for Lincoln Park to loose it’s forest completely. I also find it very hard to believe that their tree mounted contraptions do not hurt the trees.

    Those people in the picture look like people I see all the time taking pictures of the eagles. I bet they wont stay long after they build this also.

    Comment by cj — 7:10 pm July 3, 2012 #

  59. I was hoping that Seattle would build a new regional airport on the Lincoln Park property.

    Safe landings because the approaches would be over water.

    Alaska Airlines, Southwest, and perhaps some cargo airlines could call the airport home.

    That would generate some revenue, I think.

    Comment by West Seattleite — 7:15 pm July 3, 2012 #

  60. A Zip line will never go in Discovery park, for the same reason that a DESC housing will never go in Magnolia!!

    Comment by flynlo — 7:23 pm July 3, 2012 #

  61. I’m all for it. The parks are for everyone.

    Comment by Jeff — 7:25 pm July 3, 2012 #

  62. The article in the Seattle Times about this is now live — http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018593669_zipline04m.html

    All comments so far have been in favor of it,none apparently from WS residents…

    Comment by ws suzanne — 7:31 pm July 3, 2012 #

  63. Lastly 2 to 3 hours in the park? What would they be doing? Zip lines are pretty much kinetic– point A to Point B. Lincoln Park is not Costa Rica, they like the site because of the topographic relief.
    -
    I will have to wait for the official announcement so I can see what they propose but I suspect it by that point it would be a fait accompli. It is a bad idea.

    Comment by JayDee — 7:37 pm July 3, 2012 #

  64. FWIW -
    I have a few thoughts on this topic:
    1) Do not get all hung up on the $55 ticket- it could
    be a bait & switch where they come back with something like $5 or $10, and there goes half of the contention.
    It’s not about the money, it’s about keeping the park as a ‘classic park’, or at least as a W.S. classic.

    2) The Parks Dept is it’s own little empire. They claim to have no money to operate recreational facilities, they depend on volunteers to do their maintenance, yet they can afford to have a staff of bureaucrats who scheme ways to build their fiefdom, complete with income streams detached from the voters or the City Council oversight.
    This must be stopped.

    3) Just like they messed up the restaurant @ the water taxi,
    they go off half-cocked, and they do not care who or what gets ruined in the process.

    4) Remember this at the next vote for a Parks Levy.

    Thanks WSB – outstanding job, as usual.

    Comment by old timer — 7:50 pm July 3, 2012 #

  65. I believe that San Francisco has a zipline on the plaza across the street from the Ferry Terminal building. I don’t know if it’s a Go Ape attraction (Go Ape, seriously?!?) but it would be interesting to see the numbers for installation, maintenance, and the revenue it generates. it’s in an open urban space that doesn’t involve greenbelt or wildlife habitat. Put this thing at Seattle Center or on the waterfront near the ferris wheel, and let people scream their hearts out in a setting that’s already crowded and noisy. No self-respecting ape would be caught dead doing that :)

    Comment by enviromaven — 7:52 pm July 3, 2012 #

  66. People complain about paying a nickle for a grocery bag, but they’ll fight against a business that could generate tens of thousands of dollars.

    Comment by anma — 8:08 pm July 3, 2012 #

  67. I vote no.

    Comment by cathy m woo — 8:15 pm July 3, 2012 #

  68. I usually do not comment on much. I live in West Seattle for a few reasons and a large part of that is Lincoln Park. I will be at every meeting to fight this ridicules destruction of our beautiful park for a few bucks. It’s offensive and wrong. West Seattle will pull together to never allow this! Thank You to everyone involved in this very important issue to save a Special Park.

    Comment by Michelle M — 8:44 pm July 3, 2012 #

  69. Hangin’ off a zipline is not exercise.

    This sort of activity belongs at the Puyallup Fair. Or — hey — remember the old Fun Circus and carnival rides at the Seattle Center? They could put a zipline there and folks could zip by the Glass Blob Museum of Chihuly self-aggrandizement!

    Comment by LivesInWS — 9:18 pm July 3, 2012 #

  70. “fight against a business that could generate tens of thousands of dollars.”

    A business that gets its space rent-free, no less. Bet they pay their employees minimum wage too.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 9:24 pm July 3, 2012 #

  71. @Michelle M: I’m also more of an observer than activist, fighting this ridiculous endeavor will get me off the fence big time. See you at the meetings!

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 9:29 pm July 3, 2012 #

  72. Horrible Idea! Besides after that awful zipline accident I will absolutely pass (although that was a rare case). I also will not pay a penny to park at Lincoln park. I enjoy that park however there are plenty more parks around for free.

    Comment by MB — 10:09 pm July 3, 2012 #

  73. Don’t sell out Lincoln Park. This project would involve disruption and modification of one of Seattle’s few significant wild places, relied upon by wildlife and humans alike. For a cheesy “attraction”. Let the company buy their own land for their cruise ship serving enterprise.

    I lived across the street for 7 years. I used to bike through the small paths in the forested area a good bit, and as anyone who has spent significant time there including the Parks staff is aware of several very large trees come down every year in the indicated site area due to wind or other causes. Beyond my basic and firm objections to this idea, I would be concerned for users’ safety.

    I have seen owls, eagles, and osprey in those treetops during my regular walks there with my kids. Having a privately and foreign-owned operation working with our Parks to plant a concession directly into the canopy is, like Michelle M said offensive and wrong. Go Ape? Go Away.

    Sorry to sound sour, but this is bogus.

    Comment by TM — 10:11 pm July 3, 2012 #

  74. Parks are a respite from the pavement/concrete. I love that when i walk or play in Lincoln park with my kids, we feel like we are “out in the woods”, not in a city. Bringing in a commercial company would detract from that feeling. Commercializing our spaces reserved for nature is not the right thing to do. These parks are for everyone, and my vote is keep the park the way it is.

    Comment by ttt — 10:21 pm July 3, 2012 #

  75. Don’t waste your time with Charles or Rebecca. They can’t do anything to help even if they act like they will. Very nice people but ineffective at getting anything done. Go higher up to Eric Friedli and Christopher Williams – acting assistant super and super. Parks is horrible at assessing public-private partnerships. Just take a look at what happened in magnuson park when they partnered there. they were about to allow a medical clinic on the waterfront before the neighborhood finally got wind of it. Very close call.

    Comment by Been there — 10:41 pm July 3, 2012 #

  76. Dirtbags on the city council will do anything for a buck. They’re addicted to spending, and an addict will stop at nothing.

    They’d gladly sell the last tree in the park and kill the last bird if they thought it would get them one more dollar.

    Comment by JoAnne — 11:01 pm July 3, 2012 #

  77. Why not place the zip line in Denny Park. That way the Parks Department staff can enjoy the camaraderie of all the screaming zip line tourists.

    Comment by Nick — 11:15 pm July 3, 2012 #

  78. Based on a Google picture search, GoApe’s tree connections for both ziplines and platforms are dubious. Not in terms of human use safety, but in terms of tree health. Also, ziplines jerk trees around considerably… if I were a bird nesting in that tree, I’d high-tail it out of there.
    I’m disappointed in the park system for considering allowing a for-profit corporation to turn even a portion of a prized natural (animal, plant, and human) refuge into a theme park. Somebody have a ruler to smack the back of Parks’ hand?
    Bad Park, bad!!

    Comment by seanix — 11:16 pm July 3, 2012 #

  79. If the Seattle Times article has mostly positive comments for the zipline, then we should flood that site with our views too, since most people outside of West Seattle do not read the WSB (sorry, WSB). I just posted a comment at the Seattle Times too.

    And do we have contact info for Eric Friedli and Christopher Williams? The more people at the parks department that hear our complaints, the better.

    Comment by dcn — 12:01 am July 4, 2012 #

  80. an all time low. if you are against this, please fight it. write your reps, people! Let’s please NOT LET THIS HAPPEN.

    Comment by I'mcoveredinbees — 12:18 am July 4, 2012 #

  81. The city does have an employee directory that includes e-mail and phone numbers. I believe you can find it from the main city page at http://seattle.gov. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:52 am July 4, 2012 #

  82. WSB, without you this type of stuff would go in without much notice until initial construction started. I applaud you for keeping everyone in the loop on what’s going on around here. This has helped citizens voice their opinions on the matter and has hit SeattleTimes.com front and center due to the massive response to the original WSB article about it. The power of “THE Blog” (WSB) is amazing. Great work, keep it going!
    .
    thank you

    Comment by Mike — 1:54 am July 4, 2012 #

  83. Yes, thanks WSB for bringing about something that should have been presented to us first by Parks as part of their “public process”. This is outrageous. It is important to bring this down faster than it apparently became a reality.

    I will certainly remember this the next time we have a Parks Levy. Contact Charles Ng at the city to start with.

    We need what few “wild” parks we have in this city. A zip line could be put in an area that serves more recreational needs than natural ecological types of park needs.

    Comment by Baymo — 6:46 am July 4, 2012 #

  84. I don’t want this conversation to get bogged down in politics. I understand that private jobs is an automatic yes for some people and sharing public land is an automatic no for others. I’ve been zip lining and enjoyed it immensely. I also recall that I and everyone else on the course screamed our heads off the entire time. Tons of teens and young at heart adults howling like apes would ruin not just a piece of the park but the entire park for me. As near as I can tell the only upside is the dozen jobs And if we want the park to generate jobs maybe we should allow a few food carts near the pool, baseball field and play area. Buying a coffee or ice cream bar seems far less contentious and destructive. Let’s try rallying as a community. Lets listen to and address each others concerns for the area instead of screaming yes or no at each other.

    Comment by Al — 7:26 am July 4, 2012 #

  85. As a company that assesses trees that zip lines exist in or proposed to be installed in I say please stay away from Lincoln Park. 99% of zip lines require damaging the trees they are supported in. Even if attached to a platform the root zones of these trees are destroyed with foot traffic. As people will come from out of the area into our park and they will not care as much as we do about the long-term impacts this type of project will have. Just Say NO!!

    Comment by sean — 8:21 am July 4, 2012 #

  86. No. This will ruin the peaceful park like the ice cream vendor across from the pool already does with their noisy generator.

    Comment by andy — 8:31 am July 4, 2012 #

  87. This is a horrible possibility and I hope we West Seattle residents unite and protest en masse. It is sad that we actually need to delineate the reasons to oppose such an ill-thought out and harmful idea. But let us all state over and over of the obvious…. Nature will be heavily impacted, the serenity of one of the few areas in W. Seattle will suffer, traffic will worsen, parking will worsen, air quality will worsen, non-resident (often troublesome) activity will increase, noise will increase in a variety of ways, and more…. On the other hand, what is positive… Money and not much of it. How sad.

    Comment by Jef Veilleux — 8:42 am July 4, 2012 #

  88. Sean, that’s an important insight that you offer. I hope you’re writing to the City officials named by Tracy about this. Thank you.

    Comment by Trileigh — 8:49 am July 4, 2012 #

  89. This will cost the city. The 55k go ape will the city will be eaten up by the increased park maintenance. This is beyond horrid. Go apes reps must have wined and dined the parks reps pretty good to have them even considering this. People please mobilize against this ASAP. Set a meeting day and time at the park. We stopped the jail just this way. Pass out fliers to neighbors. There are still folks who dont read the blog. You will find supporters you didnt know you had.;)

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:51 am July 4, 2012 #

  90. From the 2012 Directory of Elected Officials, here is a list of city council members. They represent us – let them know that West Seattle is outraged at the zip line proposal.

    Sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov
    Tim.burgess@seattle.gov
    Sally.clark@seattle.gov
    Richard.conlin@seattle.gov
    Jean.godden@seattle.gov
    Bruce.harrell@seattle.gov
    Nick.licata@seattle.gov
    Mike.obrien@seattle.gov
    Tom.rasmussen.gov

    Comment by Jef Veilleux — 8:58 am July 4, 2012 #

  91. Jef, thanks for listing our official’s email. We need to organize our opposition this and stop this idea in its tracks. We’re talking about the commercialization of our city park and taking away from the free space we all love. Its funny they talk about “encouraging use of recreational areas”, but yeah, for the privleged few who want to spend $55 to zip through the trees. While distrubing the peace of all park users and all bird species. I don’t think that’s the kind of recreational use we want to encourage…the latest fad for outdoor activities? And then, what’s next? A ferris wheel, go cart tracks…why don’t we just remake Luna Park in Lincoln Park., etc….lets keep that kind of develpment in places appropriate, with other infrastructure, parking, shops, etc.

    Personally, I’ve never been involved in putting together an organized opposition, but I think it would be great if we could start collecting signatures and presenting an organized opposition. Thoughts?

    Comment by Gregory — 9:16 am July 4, 2012 #

  92. I am not here to come up with a business plan for “Go Ape.” But now that they are in my cross-hairs along with the two super and assistant superintendent of Parks Board; I am looking at saving $65K salaries + pensions a year to run our parks. Perhaps times two? This proposal smells of the wacky Ken Bound Shower debacle. Mr. Bounds had the good grace to leave immediately and take what was left of the Parks Department budget in retirement. Lincoln Park and Rock Creek Park —no comparison! You can run LP in an hour. It would take you hours to run the length of Rock Creek Park.

    Comment by bettytheyeti — 9:20 am July 4, 2012 #

  93. Overall sentiment is a NO! A zip line in the middle of one of the most beautiful parks in the State. What are we becoming, a 3rd world country?
    When did Lincoln Park grow to 130 acres? Everything I’ve read states it as being 31-32 acres. If the later numbers are correct, using 6 acres for the zip lines gives us a usage figure of 20%.
    Very short sighted idea.

    Comment by michael — 9:22 am July 4, 2012 #

  94. 130 acres is from the Seattle Parks website. 135.4, to be precise: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?id=460
    .
    Given that its shoreline alone spans a mile or so, that doesn’t seem to be an unlikely number. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:27 am July 4, 2012 #

  95. I am completely going ape that a commercial zip-line will ever invade Lincoln Park!!! Here’s my email address: ysingie@live.com. Please include me on all meeting dates and organized opposition events. I am very connected to the Arbor Heights neighborhood and will forward all information for them to forward to others!!! Let’s fight this absolutely ridiculous for-profit venture!

    Comment by YSing — 9:27 am July 4, 2012 #

  96. NO NO NO. What is our city thinking???A noisy, intrusive zip line will chase away the Eagles and other birds and then the rest of the natural wildlife in the park!!!!!!!

    Comment by Shelley — 10:01 am July 4, 2012 #

  97. Gregory, Et al….

    I am a fan of petitioning but I am not personally able to collect signatures. I do think that in today’s environment, an email campaign will be equally effective. Also, in my opinion, personal notes (and lots of them) would be extremely powerful to our representatives.

    Comment by Jef Veilleux — 10:22 am July 4, 2012 #

  98. Those of you who want the zip line obviously don’t live in the neighborhood. During the summer, floods of people already come to the park to enjoy the pool and picnic areas. This is great, but they leave behind tons of litter and often park illegally in neighboring streets. These park goers and ferry commuters already create tons of traffic … this neighborhood can’t manage any more traffic. Please leave this park as a sanctuary that it is. No to the zip line!

    Comment by LincolnParkNeighbor — 10:39 am July 4, 2012 #

  99. Brian-I think I got enough comments here to understand both sides of the proposal. Thanks WSB readers for filling me in.

    Comment by Brandon — 10:50 am July 4, 2012 #

  100. Zipadee doo da
    Zipadee HAY
    Take those cables and go away!

    Comment by Brother John — 10:54 am July 4, 2012 #

  101. ARROGANCE: City park land does NOT belong to the city council. It was acquired for the people of Seattle and belongs to THEM. It was acquired when we had city leaders more wise and compassionate than we do now.
    .
    Council members are STEWARDS of the land, not land owners. The park is NOT an asset to be used to compensate for undisciplined spending by the current, reckless government.

    HYPOCRISY: The council is so concerned about the environment that they BANNED plastic bags in the city. Yet somehow it is OK to destroy 100-year old trees? Volunteers have spent hours removing ivy in order to preserve these trees for the public park.
    .
    Now the council will take one of our last remaining open spaces and convert it to crass amusement park development?
    .
    They’d better not EVER claim to do ANYTHING based on concern for the environment again. Obviously they are LIARS!

    Comment by JoAnne — 10:56 am July 4, 2012 #

  102. while were at it why not put a shooting range in as well, I am sure it would generate a ton of money and would be used a lot more. Makes about as much sense. No amount of money is worth destroying Lincoln park for. I just hope we can stop this.

    Comment by Norman — 11:14 am July 4, 2012 #

  103. I not only oppose the proposition to put the zip line in Lincoln Park, I would also ask that Discovery Park not be suggested as an alternative. Having worked there years ago as a volunteer park ranger, it is also an inappropriate location for a zip line, for all of the same reasons Lincoln Park is inappropriate (wildlife, plant life, solitude, traffic). For that matter, I cannot think of a single park with the required trees for a zip line where this type of development would be appropriate. I find refuge from the stresses of my life and renewal in being in these spaces, something which is irreplacable and truly a treasure.

    Comment by linda — 11:20 am July 4, 2012 #

  104. I’m not opposed to a zipline, I’m just opposed to a zipline in Lincoln Park. Surely a city with as many greenspaces as we have can find a better location. I’m also not sure what local business, besides a lone gas station, are going to benefit from increased traffic. I understand the Parks Department’s need for increased revenue, but I challenge them to find that revenue in a way that won’t change the character of a park like Lincoln Park

    Comment by LadyBusiness — 11:51 am July 4, 2012 #

  105. For all of you fortunate enough to have witnessed our pair of nesting eagles lock talons in mid-flight and do the spiral almost all the way to the ground before releasing and soaring off, need we say more? I have witnessed this three times , so far, and hope to see it again sometime. Leave the park, and our eagles, hawks and owls alone.

    Comment by Rick in the park — 12:02 pm July 4, 2012 #

  106. How much of our tax dollars have been and will be spent on this proposal ? How much time has our city and parks department people put in on this issue ? Unless they plan on changing current laws and regulations this project was dead from the start and a total waste of tax payers money along with city and parks department peoples time. When the city and parks say they have budget issues now. This makes me think some big changes need to happen to people involved in these types of practices. Get rid of them as they must not have enough legitimate work to keep them busy on real issues that need to be addressed and save some money.

    Comment by Wetone — 12:04 pm July 4, 2012 #

  107. My husband and I just found out about this last evening when one of our neighbor’s little boys brought a flyer to our door. To say we are appalled is an understatement. First of all, where does the Parks Department think all those extra vehicles are going to park? In the ferry traffic lanes? Side streets where residents already park? And what about the increased noise factor? One of the joys of walking through Lincoln Park is how quiet it gets once you get a few feet into the trees. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself a thousand miles away from the frenetic pace of city life. An overhead zipline will not only destroy that peace but will do irreparable harm to the birds that nest in the treetops and the small, furry wildlife that scampers through the undergrowth. And $55 fees to use this “wonderful resource”? Don’t make me laugh. This idea is absolutely criminal. Shame on you, Parks Department, for even considering it!

    Comment by Janet Hays — 12:15 pm July 4, 2012 #

  108. Wow! It will create 12 (yes, TWELVE) “full and part-time jobs”. Well-paid jobs, too, I’ll bet. I think I am going to barf. Please, everyone, make your very best effort to attend the July 18 meeting and express your views.

    Comment by Sonoma — 2:03 pm July 4, 2012 #

  109. I saw a story on last night’s news about this. Who were those people sitting on the sidewalk in those tacky chairs? That guy is probably just scared the cops are going to shut down his nightly block party. I was dead set against the zip line until I saw that ;)

    Comment by Roche — 2:10 pm July 4, 2012 #

  110. And after we get the zip lines in Lincoln Park, let’s get up a go-kart track in Discovery Park and a demolition derby
    in Magnuson Park. How about a few monster truck rallies along Alki Beach? There’s no end to the number of ways to turn over our parks to special groups and for-profits.

    Comment by Dave Gardner — 2:53 pm July 4, 2012 #

  111. Frankly, I’m indifferent towards this. I can see both sides of the arguments. But I don’t feel too strongly one way or the other.

    Comment by Based God — 2:55 pm July 4, 2012 #

  112. Dave, the slippery slope is a logical fallacy.

    Comment by Based God — 3:04 pm July 4, 2012 #

  113. As always, sincere thanks to Tracy and WSB for excellent reporting and alerting the community to this. Call me naive, but I am surprised the parks department has been pursuing this with zero community input.

    I’ve never ziplined, although I can understand the appeal, but this is simply the wrong place. It’s not NIMBY to respect the increasingly rare piece of natural environment we have in Lincoln Park, including, yes, tranquility and wildlife. This commercial concession’s potential for damage far exceeds the upside. The fact this is even being considered for a potential annual $40-65k contribution to city coffers (minus, as others have noted, the cost of the staff time and increased maintenance costs incurred) is ridiculous. Bad idea. If the Parks Dept doesn’t hear us, let’s make sure the City Council does. http://www.seattle.gov/council/councilcontact.htm

    Comment by twicksea — 3:38 pm July 4, 2012 #

  114. I just sent the following letter to Christopher Williams at the Seattle Parks Department.

    I have lived in West Seattle for over 50 years and have always been so glad that we moved to this particular community. Lincoln Park is not as peaceful as it was 50 years ago but it is still a wonderful respite from the hectic pace of city living. Knowing that Lincoln Park was purchased in December of 1924 by the city of Seattle “to secure permanently for our own residents something that should belong to the whole people, not to just a fortunate few”, I felt secure in making West Seattle my home from then on. With the over-building of apartments and condos in our area, there are even more West Seattle residents needing that refreshing reminder of what makes the Pacific Northwest such a special place to live and I have always admired the parks department for keeping Lincoln Park commercial free. Privately operated ‘Zip lines’ in an area intentionally designed to bring us closer to nature is not an appropriate function for Seattle Parks Department to be involved in. You can count on me and my family to be in strong opposition to any attempt on your part to install them.

    Yours truly,
    Sandra H. Smith
    4321 SW Genesee
    Seattle WA 98116

    Comment by Sandra Smith — 3:50 pm July 4, 2012 #

  115. Our Fauntleroy pioneers and forefathers are probably rolling over in their graves. They all had a hand in preserving this land as a natural reserve and it seems it should be our generations duty to preserve the park as is for future generations to enjoy. They say the zip line will bring in $69 thousand dollars a year. Peanuts. The bus monitor who was verbally harassed by brats got a half million via support from a web site. From all the negative comments I’ve read, raising monies to keep this stupidity out of our park would be simple.

    Comment by Dee — 4:19 pm July 4, 2012 #

  116. Janet.. good points. Those big trees provide buffer zones just a few hundred feet from the noisy traffic rolling down Fauntleroy to the docks all day and night.There is just not enough peace and quiet anymore living in a big city.We don’t need natural wood to be replaced by processed wood.

    Comment by Jiggers — 5:37 pm July 4, 2012 #

  117. I have an idea for an alternate location. What about putting a zipline into the East Duwamish Greenbelt instead? This is the area formerly known as the “Jungle,” SE of the intersection of I-5 and I-90. The city has been working in the past couple of years to make that area more accessible to the public, for instance adding a bike path. Here are some advantages:
    • It’s plenty big enough at 70 acres (maybe up to 100, depending on your info source)
    • More dramatic elevation changes –> more thriling zipline experience
    • Much more dramatic scenery to see while you’re zipping and shouting through the trees
    • Zipline noise not an issue because of lots of freeway noise
    • Not much wildlife to disrupt since there’s been so much past human presence and lots of noise
    • Not currently used much for peaceful nature retreat
    • Much more easily accessible to most of Seattle population; Lincoln Park is much further
    • Farther from neighborhoods that could be bothered by zipline noise
    • Would help make that area even safer w/more people around
    .
    What am I missing?

    Comment by Trileigh — 6:25 pm July 4, 2012 #

  118. Tell the Parks Department NO to the zip line. Here is the contact info for the brass:

    Acting Superintendent
    Christopher Williams
    Christopher.Williams@seattle.gov

    Acting Deputy Superintendent
    Eric Friedli
    eric.friedli@seattle.gov

    Comment by LincolnParkNeighbor — 9:00 pm July 4, 2012 #

  119. To bad there wasn’t this kind of WS opposition to the city, county and state allowing the DESC to dump more problems on the poverty stricken Delridge neighborhood. Figures, rich and or white people live near Lincoln Park.
    -
    Best suggestion in this thread so far was to build the zipline in The Jungle section of the Mountains To Sound Greenway Trail along
    the east side of northbound I-5 just before you take the east bound I-90.
    exit.

    Comment by Been There — 9:08 pm July 4, 2012 #

  120. Cant wait. Will bring money and fun to west seattle. People will have more love for animals and trees.

    Comment by tricia — 9:33 pm July 4, 2012 #

  121. This is a PUBLIC park, which all tax payers here pay to have and maintain. It is NOT a causeway for profiteering, regardless of whether the city “needs” a cut or not.

    I will venture to guess & pretty sure I’m right, that all the people who smartly oppose this even ridiculous to consider idea, actually USE this park! The others, more than likely, don’t.
    This is such a bad idea I can’t even fathom the consideration. This city needs to stop stepping on it’s third leg and stand up and just say no.
    It goes, we will all regret it.

    Comment by WTF — 10:02 pm July 4, 2012 #

  122. Trileigh–
    I think it’s helpful to offer the City an alternative like this.

    If there’s traction here, it might be worth posting on Tweeters to confirm that not much wildlife would be affected. I suspect that you know Tweeters well but just in case, to post — tweeters@u.washington.edu. And to read recent posts — http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/2012-July/thread.html.

    If this is a viable alternative to Lincoln Park, it could help reinvigorate that area, introducing people to a part of the city that many of us don’t know well at all.

    And regarding the July 18th meeting, it’s important for as many of us to attend as possible. We want the City to know we are serious about stopping this plan. The more of us attending, the better. Ideally, it will be standing room only.

    See you all Wednesday, July 18th! Put it on your calendars. You know the adage — Be there or be square! :)

    Comment by ws suzanne — 10:59 pm July 4, 2012 #

  123. I’m beginning to feel this is turning into an extended “Stay off my lawn, you whippersnappers!” complaint. If not zip lining, then what can we do with the public parks to bring in more fun, generate money, and reduce crime? Many people keep saying they are willing to pay more, but I don’t see that actually happening. Park levies keep failing, and no other campaigning has helped at all. Having a fun destination park, where heaven forbid children may SCREAM in enjoyment, would be great for the whole community.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 5:12 am July 5, 2012 #

  124. I use the park on a weekly (if not more frequent) basis and am all for the plan. Quite frankly, the intrusion of the proposed project is very minimal (no more so than the playground) and will help bring more people to the park to enjoy.

    Those who say no seem to be of the NIMBY variety (which is why the city-wide comments on other media sites are overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal), and while vocal, likley do not represent the majority. I’m sorry, but a couple of people zipping down a wire will not ruin the park or turn it into some over-blown commercial zone.

    I say YES, YES, YES. Me and my family would enjoy checking it out (and possibly participating) in our frequent walks and play in the park.

    Comment by 33Pete — 10:07 am July 5, 2012 #

  125. Tracy mentions a vegetation management plan for Lincoln Park. Here is the website for that plan. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Horticulture/vmp/Lincolnpark.htm

    Comment by Sharon Baker — 10:41 am July 5, 2012 #

  126. If this for-profit company gets its wishes, there will be 300-400 people on weekdays and 700-800 people each weekend day whooping it up in a central section of the forest. This is a lot more than a couple of people zipping down a line.

    Comment by Trileigh — 11:48 am July 5, 2012 #

  127. Put the zipline downtown, over the market, between the high-rises. That would be way cool, and worth the price of admission.

    Comment by Harry TenHerons — 1:16 pm July 5, 2012 #

  128. “We’re (now) trying to figure out if we need an environmental-impact study … ”
    -Seattle Parks Spokesperson Karen O’Connor

    Wow! What would any intelligent adult think- much less a spokesperson for Seattle Parks? In a beautifully preserved natural park area that an “environmental-impact study” might be warranted?
    Of course! Unbelievable.

    This looks like a bad idea.

    We need to get rid of all the people that are in these agencies. We need more accountability in city, county, state, and federal government.

    They take and take, raise taxes for homeowners, then waste, spend, steal for themselves.

    Don’t ruin our parks!

    Comment by W. Seattle Resident — 1:29 pm July 5, 2012 #

  129. Lincoln Park is NOT an “Amusement Park.” It is an “In City Habitat” Greenspace, Urban Wilderness, and human sanctuary, where humans aand wildlife cooperate. Humans inflict themselves at every oportunity with ball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, trails and swimming pools. My point is that Lincoln Park was not designed nor should it ever be used to disturb or impact the wildlife there any more than we already have. I haven’t seen a coyote or any racoons for over 2 years now. The Eagles count is down as are the Orcas. We have so much to fix in and out of the water, I can’t imagine the Parks Dept and our City Council thinking this is a reasonable way to generate funds. People can barely afford the $5-7 admission to Colman Pool!
    All the City needs is a lawsuit for an accident or someone contracting the flesh eating disease that occured on another zip line.
    No ! ! ! to the Zip line.

    Comment by Vicki Pardee — 1:36 pm July 5, 2012 #

  130. If in fact this “attraction” pulls in any kind of business at all AND it it’s people who don’t already use the park (at that price, isn’t it kind of aimed at tourists?) where will they all park? Like there isn’t enough traffic in that area (what with the ferry) already? It’s also kind of out of the way for people outside of WS. In the 20+ years I’ve lived here I’ve lost count of all the people who’ve asked me directions to the ferry, this park, that park, etc. Seems like a really bad idea from just a BUSINESS standpoint, to me. I’m against it because I love Lincoln Park the way it is. I fear for the wildlife if this stupid idea comes to fruition.

    Comment by MMB — 1:54 pm July 5, 2012 #

  131. One name-calling comment in queue called my attention to another comment that is against our rules here – meant to keep things civil – so both have been deleted. Opinions on multiple sides are welcome, if on-topic and conveyed civilly. On WSB our rules prohibit insulting other people BECAUSE of their opinion. Critique the opinion or the contention if you want, but don’t call someone names (or insinuate them). Thanks. I took a look at one citywide media source’s comment section on this topic a day or so ago and it made me all the more glad for our rules, and we appreciate them being followed. And if you see a comment you think breaks the rules, please let us know (editor@westseattleblog.com) so we can review it – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 3:33 pm July 5, 2012 #

  132. Please, please no privately owned Zip lines through Lincoln Park. I enjoy running through Lincoln Park from my home in West Seattle several times a week, or accessing the beach to relax. This unique park is already heavily utilized as a place to enjoy greenspace, picnic, play baseball or take kids to the playgrounds, yet the buffers of mature trees make it feel private and special. Public parking near Lincoln Park during summer months is already difficult to come by, and that is when Colman Pool is in operation too. I have doubts that the zip line will actually come to fruition after all the ridiculousness of the idea is exposed..but just must say, Please NO!

    Comment by LynetteM — 3:38 pm July 5, 2012 #

  133. No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No!!!!! I just heard about this last night–is there nothing we won’t sell? Is every idea weighed and judged on the basis of how much money we can get from it? Good God, think people, think!

    Comment by Cass Nevada — 9:15 am July 6, 2012 #

  134. Greed is killing the world.

    Comment by Marty — 11:14 am July 6, 2012 #

  135. If we, as West Seattle citizens, let this happen and it actually gets built, then we only have ourselves to blame for letting our city “leadership” ruin our pristine and sacred Lincoln Park. They have awakened the sleeping giant in me and I am going on an emailing campaign that won’t stop until these forest-rapers do.

    Comment by joe — 4:04 pm July 7, 2012 #

  136. As always investigative reporting of the highest quality. Thank you. Zip lines are fun but not at Lincoln Park

    Comment by jean — 8:08 pm July 9, 2012 #

  137. Had a great time ziplining down in Oregon.
    http://youtu.be/eUhw6Up4NR4

    Comment by Michael Oxman — 4:30 pm July 10, 2012 #

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