(UPDATE: Since we published this at 4:25 pm, we have learned Parks will have reps at next Tuesday’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting – info before story’s end)
(From Go Ape PowerPoint of Lincoln Park proposal, described as 1 acre ground/6-9 acres trees)
One week after first word of a proposed commercial zipline/rope swing “treetop adventure” attraction at West Seattle’s Lincoln Park – a proposal that Seattle Parks has been considering for almost a year without public mention of it – emerged in this WSB story, the man in charge of Seattle Parks is sending a statement to those who have contacted the department. Thanks to the WSB’er who received the e-mail from acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams less than an hour ago and shared it. The to/cc lines included other Parks officials as well as the mayor and City Council members:
From: Williams, Christopher
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2012 3:39 PM
To: Salinas, Rebecca
Cc: Williams, Christopher; Friedli, Eric; Ng, Charles; Brooks, Sandy; McGinn, Mike; Merrill, Nathaniel; Conlin, Richard; Licata, Nick; Bagshaw, Sally; Clark, Sally; Godden, Jean; Harrell, Bruce; Rasmussen, Tom; Burgess, Tim; O’Brien, Mike; Potter, Dewey; O’Connor, Karen
Subject: Ropes course/zip line at Lincoln Park
July 5, 2012
Dear community members:
We have received many messages expressing strong concerns about a ropes course that would include a zip line at Lincoln Park.
Please be assured that Seattle Parks and Recreation is conducting an internal due-diligence process and will conduct a full public process before any final decisions are made.
Seattle Parks and Recreation has begun to consider the possibility of a ropes course because we believe we must respond to emerging forms of recreation. As we saw with skateboard courses and synthetic turf, new forms of recreation bring unanswered questions.
The only way that Seattle Parks can provide a recreational opportunity like this is in conjunction with a partner organization, such as Go Ape, which would bring its extensive experience and expertise, as well as funding needed to create the course.
As part of Seattle Parks’ due diligence in considering a ropes course in Lincoln Park, we will carefully consider the impacts of this recreational opportunity on the environment and to the park’s other uses. The first determination we must make is what if any impacts there would be on the trees, habitat, and wildlife surrounding the course area. To do this, Seattle Parks will work with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other environmental experts. A public meeting will be scheduled in early to mid-August to inform interested residents of findings, answer questions, and address any concerns. We will be glad to meet with any interested community groups. To arrange for a meeting with your group, please contact Rebecca Salinas at firstname.lastname@example.org
The public process will include review by the Board of Park Commissioners and, if a contract is negotiated, would require approval by Seattle City Council (which must approve any contract lasting longer than one year).
If you have received this email directly, your name and contact information have been added to a mailing list of interested persons, and we will notify you as soon as the public meetings have been scheduled and for further developments.
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about Go Ape, you can visit their website at www.goape.com
Acting Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation
There’s nothing in that note that hasn’t been part of our previous two reports EXCEPT for what appears to be a commitment to an environmental study, which wasn’t a sure thing as of our report this past Tuesday. Go Ape is a private company founded and based in the UK, with 28 locations there; its US offices are in Maryland, which is the site of one of its three US locations (along with one in Virginia and one in Indiana). Its U.S. admission fees this year are $55 adults/$35 youth. Its websites indicate that its courses include ziplines, rope swings, balancing challenges, and ladders; some of its UK facilities also offer “forest Segway” expeditions.
Previous WSB coverage:
Treetop ziplining at Lincoln Park? City mulls commercial partnership (June 28)
Followup: Go Ape zipline/swing proposal for Lincoln Park – where it stands & more (July 3)
Seattle Times (WSB partner) coverage:
Lincoln Park neighbors riled up over proposed zip-line attraction (July 3)
5:35 PM UPDATE: Fauntleroy Community Association president Bruce Butterfield says Seattle Parks has agreed to send representatives to his group’s regular monthly meeting next Tuesday, July 10th, 7 pm, to talk about this. Location TBA – they usually meet in a conference room at The Hall at Fauntleroy but he is looking for a larger venue.