Treetop ziplining at Lincoln Park? Parks superintendent’s reply; plus, 1st public briefing planned Tuesday

July 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm | In Lincoln Park zipline proposal, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 92 Comments

(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 rebecca.salinas@seattle.gov

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

Sincerely,
Christopher Williams
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.

92 Comments

  1. When are the community meetings scheduled and where? We are sure there are many that would like to speak in person to this. It looks like they tried to be sneaky and get this by the public which makes us wonder why? We are so thankful for WSB bringing this to our attention. As so many have spoken before in the other two postings, we are very concerned about this.

    Comment by Faith4 — 4:42 pm July 5, 2012 #

  2. “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.”

    Wow! This shows that the Parks system has no idea about Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park has no relation to the parks who have incorporated skate parks and synthetic turf?!? What are they saying? This is so strange it’s hard to know how to respond? Who is in charge here?!

    Comment by Trying! — 4:47 pm July 5, 2012 #

  3. Faith4 – So far the *only* confirmed community meeting that we have information on, is a briefing as part of the Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting agenda on July 18th, 7 pm, lower meeting room at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW). If ANY other groups schedule briefings, please don’t assume we know – we might not. (We only found out about MoCA because I contacted local community councils’leadership last week upon first hearing of this, to find out if THEY knew anything. MoCA usually makes its agenda public a week or so before its meetings, which are usually jampacked with information.) Otherwise, the mention in Superintendent Williams’ note, regarding a forthcoming public meeting, is what we have already reported – no date scheduled yet. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:50 pm July 5, 2012 #

  4. I’m glad they’re addressing some of the concerns that were voiced (environment and the park’s other uses), but they make no mention of studying impacts beyond the park – namely traffic and parking. I’m also wary of the wording they use to describe the public meeting/s; it lacks “taking the public’s feedback into account when deciding whether or not to proceed” language.

    Comment by Gatewood Resident — 4:50 pm July 5, 2012 #

  5. After reading through the many, many comments about this project, I really do not understand why there is so much public outcry on this! It seems ridiculous and very NIMBY . . . Lincoln Park already has a pool you have to pay to get in, swingsets, and baseball fields – it has always blended the natural with the recreational. This project in particular seems like it will actually elevate the appreciation of the natural setting.

    Basically if you are against a zip line and obstacle course, it kinda seems like you are simply “anti-fun-things.”

    With so many seriously troubling issues out there to get mad about why this one?

    Comment by glenda — 5:05 pm July 5, 2012 #

  6. After reading this, I am more concerned than ever. I thought this was about budget, now it’s about recreation?

    I hope everyone is visiting the facebook site. we are getting organized to oppose this thing.

    Comment by Denise — 5:19 pm July 5, 2012 #

  7. Glenda: Are you a park user? Do you ever walk the park on a quiet morning, and marvel at bird-song? The major objection I have personally is the huge increase in human noise pollution (i.e. screaming kids and adults), and the loss of all tranquil, quiet moments. For people, it’s not that big of a deal. But birds can’t have “sometimes” quiet. They need a consistent, quiet environment. This zip-line threatens that in a major way. Plus, it will be an eyesore, in addition to the noise. Plus parking, etc. The list goes on and on. I am NOT against fun. This is just the wrong place for this particular ongoing environmental nuisance.

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 5:26 pm July 5, 2012 #

  8. @Trying:
    The supervisor’s reference to “skate parks and synthetic turf” alludes to past situations in which Parks didn’t anticipate the problems arising from proposed changes to existing parks. The synthetic turf issue was from 2000-2006, when Parks wanted to convert a playfield in Loyal Heights from natural to synthetic turf, but for at least three years did not consult with or inform residents the work was to take place. This event was reviewed as part of a later City audit of Parks’s public involvement process; if you want all the details, you can find them here: http://www.seattle.gov/audit/docs/ParksPhase2041207.pdf

    Comment by Trileigh — 5:30 pm July 5, 2012 #

  9. Glenda, I agree. The uproar about this is silly. Now that one can actually see how much space it would take up, I’m even more for it. Again, I can see the negatives, but no one’s taking into account any positives.

    Comment by Based God — 5:30 pm July 5, 2012 #

  10. With all of these lovely fun things, we are maxed out. There is only so much space for such activities. You have to leave room for the original inhabitants. It isn’t anti fun. It is where is it appropriate.

    Comment by Melanie — 5:33 pm July 5, 2012 #

  11. I am anti-new-fun things in Lincoln Park. I am for leaving Lincoln Park essentially the way it is. The limited parking included. I am not mad about it, though. It is just my opinion. And, yes, I live in West Seattle.

    Comment by West Seattleite — 5:33 pm July 5, 2012 #

  12. Gatewood Resident, I agree about the lack of community input. This is code for “We’re going to decide . . . then we’ll tell you what we decided and pretend we consulted you.”
    .
    Glenda, the opposition to this is about a lot of things, but first and foremost it is about the noise pollution that will be destructive to birds, as Chuck and Sally’s Van Man points out.

    Comment by K — 5:36 pm July 5, 2012 #

  13. Based God , What positves?

    Comment by boy — 5:40 pm July 5, 2012 #

  14. Not “silly”. More concerned.

    Comment by Anne — 5:41 pm July 5, 2012 #

  15. To those who read this story in the first hour after publication – please note that I have just added a new component: The Fauntleroy Community Association has just confirmed that it’s booked Parks reps, likely Charles Ng and Rebecca Salinas from the Partnerships team, to be at the FCA meeting next Tuesday, July 10th, 7 pm, to talk about this. Though FCA (which WSB has routinely covered, like most local community councils, over the past 4-plus years) usually meets at The Hall at Fauntleroy, president Bruce Butterfield says they are working on a larger venue. Info added above – TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:43 pm July 5, 2012 #

  16. So a private company, not even based in the US (let alone washington state) can come in and use public property paid for by tax dollars to make millions in profit, then give the city only 65k per year?

    The city, and the people of West Seattle are getting fleeced. And some other stronger words I won’t use here. Not to mention what it will do the habitat of birds and other animals that make the park such an amazing place.
    I won’t even address the traffic, trash and pollution increase.
    Unbelievable.

    Comment by Nearby Resident — 5:45 pm July 5, 2012 #

  17. And what about fences and security? It ISN’T a swing set after all. That isn’t really drawn in the map. How would this change the entire park? The noise would be a huge disappointment as well.

    Comment by Seaview — 5:54 pm July 5, 2012 #

  18. Nothing has happened yet. Parks is looking into various possibilities on how to generate revenue to help keep other city services people enjoy. City revenues are down across the board. They’ve already shut the library down for a week, reduced library hours, reduced the library collections budget, reduced the number of cops, closed some neighborhood service centers, hiked parking rates, increased the hours you pay to park an laid off tons of city employees over the last five or so years. I’d like to maintain the services we still do have. I’d like more cops and fear a reduction in the number of firefighters. If that means exploring new and creative ways to raise revenue while providing some park users a new innovative way to utilize Lincoln Park, look at it.

    Comment by Gunnerddog — 5:59 pm July 5, 2012 #

  19. Thanks WSB.

    Would someone put a link to the facebook page on this update? I am sure it is in one of the other two links. With so much response to this issue, it is buried somewhere in all the responses. Thanks so much.

    Comment by Faith4 — 5:59 pm July 5, 2012 #

  20. Please. No tree torture and screaming humans to ruin the natural tranquility of Lincoln Park. The Olmsted Brothers are spinning over this one. An emphatic No Thank You from this West Seattle family.

    Comment by DML — 6:01 pm July 5, 2012 #

  21. Don’t sell out the tranquility of the park for a mete $65k — sure the Olmsteads are rolling over at this proposal!

    Comment by karen — 6:02 pm July 5, 2012 #

  22. To Gunnerddog’s point, for anyone just coming in on this story, the previous two have a lot of background that can’t be repeated in every subsequent story, so if you are interested, please read them, since there is no place online currently, either via Parks or via Go Ape, that this project is outlined – we gathered as much information as we could from a variety of sources, including information that was e-mailed by Parks to some community members. I don’t recap the revenue projection here but from story #1, it is projected to be $40,000 to $65,000 a year, as a revenue share. Before story #2, I asked Parks if they would be charging rent, since, for example, the Lake Tahoe negotiations mentioned “leasing” a site to Go Ape; Parks said no, the sum total of the direct revenue would be the projected $40K-$65K. They also said Go Ape would provide advertising/promotion for the “ropes challenge” course that Parks operates with 4-H at Camp Long. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:04 pm July 5, 2012 #

  23. GoApe is messing with the wrong neighborhood.

    Comment by Jiggers — 6:04 pm July 5, 2012 #

  24. This seems like a cool thing to talk about, I agree with Based God and Glenda. People in Seattle can never agree on anything, that is why we are so behind Vancouver BC and Portland as liveablle cities. The only thing that I would like to see would be the city building this instead so it could be free or at least affordable! Of course that will never happen!
    I would definately have to see some plans before really knowing what to think myself but I think the discussion is worth having.

    Comment by Seattleseabug — 6:13 pm July 5, 2012 #

  25. One of the joys and “fun” of Lincoln Park is the beautiful quiet. Here,in the middle of our big city with all the noise of planes and cars and buses, is this peaceful forest with miles of trails where during the day you hear birds and eagles and wind. Take a walk on a Wednesday morning and notice how the city disappears as you listen…Bringing this type of activity into our park will change all of that, permanently.

    Comment by JeriO — 6:38 pm July 5, 2012 #

  26. AND THE REASON WHY THEY MOST LIKELY NEVER MENTIONED IT FOR A YEAR IS BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY’D GET A HUGE NEGATIVE RESPONSE.

    Comment by Jiggers — 6:44 pm July 5, 2012 #

  27. If this is about generating $65k per year in revenue, why not just dismiss the Parks staffperson who has spent the last year working on pushing this proposal?. That would save at least $65k per year. Oh wait, this is about raising revenue, not about cutting expenses.

    Comment by GB — 6:47 pm July 5, 2012 #

  28. Put it under the freeway with the mountain bike course.

    Comment by Unquestionable — 7:07 pm July 5, 2012 #

  29. *Stunned* that the superintendent is actually considering this proposal. When I first heard the report on WSB, I just assumed it was a proposal that was going nowhere.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 7:24 pm July 5, 2012 #

  30. :/ Oh sure, let’s slap up a money grubbing zip-line and why not add a (quiet) roller coaster and dancing bears, too?
    Who needs this BORING massive park of green space which provides nesting habitat for multiple species of birds, offshore hunting and breeding grounds for seals and sea-lions. It needs more FUN! Blah blah blah, I HATE fun, btw! :D
    It’s the fact that this wooded natural habitat close to/within the city is hard to find for many of the species (including humans) who utilize it.
    Go zip line at NW Trek.
    I’m still pissed they closed the fun park @Seattle Center…that little roller coaster was the business. Stupid Chihuly.

    Comment by Bringin'ItDownANotch — 7:35 pm July 5, 2012 #

  31. GB, nail on the head

    Comment by Bringin'ItDownANotch — 7:43 pm July 5, 2012 #

  32. Good one GB… I like that idea.

    Comment by Jiggers — 7:44 pm July 5, 2012 #

  33. NO! They will damage our beautiful old trees with their drills and cut the limbs off with their saws. They will disturb or destroy our bald eagle nests. They will clog our roads with tourist buses off the cruise ships. They will damage our meadow grass and fields. They will clog our restrooms and overflow our trash cans with their litter.

    If you want zip lines, go to Northwest Trek!

    SAVE LINCOLN PARK!

    Comment by cruzer — 7:46 pm July 5, 2012 #

  34. I have to agree with glenda. I said it late in the last topic, but it’s very “Get off my long you kids!!” This park belongs to everyone. And, shocking to many of you, not everyone wants to go listen to bird and stare at rocks. Some would love to go to the park and have fun, whether it’s zip-lining or some other activity.

    I’m sorry you can not stand the sound of people screaming in joy. Do you yell at kids at the park now? The sound of the kids enjoying themselves at the park should make you feel happy, not bitter. They’re having fun, it can happen in life.

    Unless this runs 24 hours a day and the entire length and width of the park, I don’t see why we can’t have both. If not the zip-lining, then something else, like rock climbing or something fun! FUN!

    Comment by jedifarfy — 7:49 pm July 5, 2012 #

  35. Hey Parks, How dare you even begin negotiation on such an important issue without informing those you serve? Maybe next year it will be those you who “used” to serve; it’s an election year Mayor Mike McGinn. Mr. McGinn, you were once a sensitive protector for the people and the beauty of our parks, waters and creatures for the State of WA – what has happened to you? Too much time in politics?

    You don’t have to be a scientist to say there is NO WAY this can installed without significantly increasing noise, scaring the heck out of all our beautiful wildlife, causing traffic jams, forcing us to listen to people scream as they zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiiiiiip down the wire (loud enough as it is), destroying trees (they will “leave the large standing trees” – say what? … what about the rest?), and fencing off 6-9 acres of OUR prime park land. Really, I would like to know who’s brilliant idea this was and how it got this far without even a public RFP. Mr. Christopher William, “acting” superintendent should act; or is the superintendent really “non-acting” on purpose?. Apparently we need to file a FOIA to get real information on what deals are being hatched behind the closed doors of Parks and what is *really* happening with the City/Parks budget such that it only takes $60K – $70K a year to lock us out of 9 acres of our prime parkland for private moneymaking? Parks promised to stay in communication with the people it serves … guess not. Sad and Mad.

    Comment by LincolnParkHiker — 7:53 pm July 5, 2012 #

  36. If ever there was a time for folks to come together this is one of those times. There is NO WAY this should even be considered in Lincoln Park. If this passes what will be next. Look at the Junction today. Look at the struggles of HiYu each year in trying to put a respectable event together. What will be next?? Condos in Lincoln Park? I promise you this….if this is allowed to exist there will be more attempts. This needs to stop!! SAY “NO” TO ZIP LINE!! L.S.

    Comment by Lonnie S, — 8:29 pm July 5, 2012 #

  37. This proposal seems like an oxymoron in a city that was is promoting itself as being a national leader in greenspace preservation and being ‘green.’

    The attitude in the letter seems to beg the question of why city funds are being spent on this proposal when safety issues go begging because of staff cut backs.

    Can someone find out what the cost of this activity is so what it can be measured against lost opportunities to preserve and protect our trees and existing parks?

    My fear is that this is a first step to changing our wonderful park system into something that will represent that status of Seattle Streets. Short rides in most Seattle neighborhoods has shown me that pot holes and street neglect is rampant in the city.

    Once the parks go that route, it is my fear that commercialization will take over, and our quality of life will be lost forever.

    Is it ok to want something, like our Parks, to not change?

    I think this IS why many of us moved here from some other part of the country, especially larger cities in the east and south that had already lost the their touch with nature.

    Joan Bateman
    Spring Hill Villa Tract

    Comment by joan bateman — 8:31 pm July 5, 2012 #

  38. Please don’t interpret the Parks Dept. statement that they will “work with environmental experts” to mean that there will be any actual environmental review. The WDFW input may be limited to a statement such as: “No permit is required from us.” “Environmental experts” most likely means department staff – who obviously have a vested interest. The only way to have a voice in this is to contact your elected officials and attend all meetings.

    Comment by no-go ape — 8:32 pm July 5, 2012 #

  39. Put some poles up and have an outdoor “dance” club. Guarantee it’ll make the city more than $65k. That would be fun right? Don’t be so anti fun, lets just do it and then add a pub, those are fun! Ooooo a Rallycross track, ya, lets call DirtFish and have some FUN!

    Comment by mike — 8:36 pm July 5, 2012 #

  40. This is a public park – it does not belong to the residents of the neighborhood. It may not appeal to everyone, but neither does a skatepark. I don’t think a zipline is a bad idea if it’s well-planned and sensitive to the area. It’s not just about money, it’s about serving a broader slice of the public that pays for the park. They should put some rock climbing walls there, too – that would create a cool theme.

    I hope that everyone who attends the public meetings about this represents the neighborhood well, acts with civility and respect, and thoughtfully considers both sides of the issue.

    Comment by Jim — 8:39 pm July 5, 2012 #

  41. As longtime residents who use Lincoln Park every day, this proposal sounds as misguided as the cyclocross episode. Before the Seattle Dept. of Parks and REcreation spends one penny of public money on this proposal (to have the environmental review done by state agencies) it should have a community meeting to see if this is a concept that the public wants in Lincoln Park. The Parks Department has a history of trashing this park–look at the tennis courts that have now become a dump for stuff that has nothing to do with the sign by this area in the park. SEPA calls for due diligence for proposals of this type, which would include an analysis of alternative locations for a recreational facility of this sort. A benefit-cost analysis would also seem to be required, which would determine that any such facility would return to citizens of the community positive benefits over and above alternative uses over the lifetime of the proposed facility. This proposal seems like a misguided proposition where the cart is before the horse, and it is time to stop both and get reason through a public discussion of the concept right now. The eleventh hour notice that the acting Parks Superintendent will attend the Fauntleroy Community Association Meeteing provides no notice to the thousands of residents who live in West SEattle and use this Park about this proposal. Mayor McGinn has failed to provide administrative leadership over the Parks Department, and he should immediately ask them to withdraw consideration of this concept until proper public involvment processes have been completed.

    Comment by Bill & Margi Beyers — 8:54 pm July 5, 2012 #

  42. I’d love to see this in my backyard!

    Comment by Amanda — 8:54 pm July 5, 2012 #

  43. Our public parks should not be turned into amusement parks. Done.

    Comment by shed22 — 9:02 pm July 5, 2012 #

  44. Actually Jim, it’s 100% about money.

    Comment by Mike — 9:29 pm July 5, 2012 #

  45. I say move it to Camp Long, we already have a rock climbing wall there. Heck you could extend it along the planned Monorail route to make it really interesting and taxing for all of us who voted for THAT 5 times but never for THIS. Mine is an idea of similar quality, thank you very much. Those of us up here could use it to commute…

    Comment by Art Critic — 9:50 pm July 5, 2012 #

  46. Reading the words of the Acting Superintendant is dismaying. ‘Such a dismissive and condescending attitude. He makes it sound like a done deal. Lincoln Park is a treasure and it’s our job as local residents to guard it fiercely for our children and the generations that will follow us. This acting superintendant sounds more like a corporate accountant discussing real estate rather than a steward of a beloved, historic public park like Lincoln Park. Even to entertain this idea is outrageous. To think that these folks went out looking for these concessionaires. Why on earth are his sights set on Lincoln Park?
    .

    Today I walked through this proposed site and enjoyed much solitude, quiet and birdsong relatively a short distance away from busy Fauntleroy Avenue and the parking areas. This is a beautiful untrammeled part of the park. Many of our parks are hilly or straddling ravines. The upper part of Lincoln Park is relatively flat and heavily wooded. This is a luxury to have such accessible forest within walking or biking distance to many of our neighborhoods. We can’t give this up. Let them go somewhere else to build this thing. ~z

    Comment by zephyr — 10:14 pm July 5, 2012 #

  47. Let’s destroy Lincoln Park in order to save it. It is too quiet, and there are too many trees and too many parking spaces. I’m sure the residents would be willing to put up with folks parking in the hood as well as queuing for the ferry.
    -
    @seatlletseabug “we never agree on anything”…really? Judging from the outcry we agree on no zipline in Lincoln Park. Do you want 90% nays or would 85% do? I’d say there is agreement.

    Comment by JayDee — 10:14 pm July 5, 2012 #

  48. I too received Williams email response, but I almost did not recognize it as such. Instead of replying to my email’s subject line of zip line he changed the email subject line to ROPE COURSE. Sounds more friendly doesn’t it?

    So I read Williams response as parks plans to let go-ape operate in the park. How else *can* I interpret such an absurd statement as:
    .
    “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.”
    .
    Of course there are serious environmental impacts. And they know it. In another part of his letter he compared the zip line to skate parks and artificial turfs, good grief. There really is no comparison, size for one purpose for the other,fee, operator, and nearly no if any disturbance to existing park property, on and on.

    Comment by dsa — 10:34 pm July 5, 2012 #

  49. So when I search I find that a ropes course opened at Camp Long in 2011 and additions to it were planned for 2012. Though I don’t see it on the current Camp Long description. Anybody know about this?

    Also $55/35 is pretty steep. There are large numbers of people in West Seattle who cannot afford that including myself. So I am not in favor of using a big part of any public park for something a lot of park users cannot afford. The pool is not nearly as pricey.

    Comment by Anita — 10:55 pm July 5, 2012 #

  50. All you sallys just stay out of my way when I zip line down and enjoy life!

    Comment by Rob — 10:56 pm July 5, 2012 #

  51. The lack of respect shown for the Parks Department is pretty crummy. They were considering this as a potential new kind of recreational use. It isn’t a big conspiracy. They don’t have to notify anyone of ideas on the drawing table. This has to be approved by the City Council…you can’t slip something by that process. So, now someone leaked this to WSB and you are all in a lather about something that had not even made it to the formal proposal stage.

    Comment by BB — 11:07 pm July 5, 2012 #

  52. The plan laid out in the Superintendent’s letter sounds reasonable to me.

    Comment by evergreen — 11:34 pm July 5, 2012 #

  53. Anita – We have mentioned the Camp Long ropes course in the previous stories. It was built and opened in conjunction with Washington State University 4-H, a nonprofit.
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/camp_long_course/
    .
    There was a long public process for that. It first came to public light at district council meetings in West Seattle in March 2010 – here’s one discussion we covered:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2010/03/camp-longs-future-and-more-delridge-district-council
    .
    That was one of several venues in which it was discussed in early 2010. There was a community meeting in early 2011:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/01/community-meeting-set-for-camp-long-ropes-course-plan
    .
    There was no opposition that we recall ever hearing from over the course of covering it. As linked on the Parks page, we covered that community meeting:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/01/a-long-time-coming-camp-long-challenge-course-meeting.
    .
    The presentation from that meeting, including a map of Camp Long and the course elements – plus photographs of what they were planned to be – is here:
    .
    http://seattle.gov/parks/projects/camp_long_course/files/meeting_handout.pdf
    .
    The ropes course opened last September:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/09/partnerships-celebrated-as-camp-long-opens-challenge-course
    .
    It is billed as a teambuilding experience for organizations. It is not a commercial for-profit operation. Here’s some info about ropes courses in general from the WSU 4-H website:
    .
    http://4h.wsu.edu/challenge/challenge.html
    .
    I’ve been trying to find the fee schedule, out of curiosity – still looking, will add if I find.
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:36 pm July 5, 2012 #

  54. What also irks me about this is just… what if we just don’t want it? As a community. In addition to the problem of disturbing the habitat, I really just don’t want this in my park. I like the peace of the park. If it were about quadruple it’s current size, maybe some sort of recreational thing could be considered. What about all the people who use the park as a place of solitude and reflection and for picnics? Why can’t be just have our park.

    I have nothing against zip lines. They are super fun. Lincoln Park is not the place for a zip line and it pains me that the parks dept. is even considering this. Please know that we WILL fight it.

    Comment by i'mcoveredinbees — 11:44 pm July 5, 2012 #

  55. Lincoln Park is a a very beautiful and tranquil space. It is one of the treasures of our West Seattle community. While we welcome people from all over to enjoy this park, the zip line idea is way too touristy and disruptive to the natural and quiet laid back setting of the park. It does not fit the aesthetic. It does not belong in Lincoln Park.

    Comment by Wild One — 2:27 am July 6, 2012 #

  56. Where in west Seattle will we be able to get some peace and quiet?

    Comment by beardo — 2:27 am July 6, 2012 #

  57. While I don’t object to the ropes course, in general, or the zipline as a part of the ropes course I object strenuously to this being operated as a private for profit business venture on public lands, especially at the rates that being published.

    The comparison the the existing playground or to skateparks is specious as these are free to use by all. The sand in the gears is this is a private entity coming in and using public space and resources (the trees in the park) as their own profits maker. The labor that they plan to donate (by way of compelling employees) to care for the park is a drop in the bucket as is the proposed $65K.

    Comment by Mark — 7:17 am July 6, 2012 #

  58. I thought the skate park was/is a good idea for kids to have a place to go for sport, but they didn’t cut down any trees to build it, charge $35 to use it, or have full-time staffers do they?

    Lincoln park already has a free zipline for kids to use- leave it at that please.

    Comment by camp long neighbor — 7:44 am July 6, 2012 #

  59. To the people who have said that the park belongs to everyone, not just West Seattle I say to you that West Seattle residents use it more than anyone else. We know this park. We love this park as it is. For the person who said that we might be shocked that not everyone wants to go listen to bird sons and stare at rocks…I feel very sorry for you that you can’t enjoy nature without making lots of noise and destroying nature in the process. Don’t the people who enjoy nature and quiet deserve a place to go as well? I think the places to go and make noise and have “fun” as you call it out number the places we can go and have “fun” as I call it and have peace and quiet with nature. If you live by the park you know the traffic is at best not great already with the ferry traffic/commuters. The parking at the park is already full on most sunny days and even on cloudy days. The park as it is today is a wonderful place to go get in touch with nature, view the beautiful sound and take a break from the beautiful city we live in. It would be a shame to lose all that because someone wants to make a few dollars. I call to all WS people who value the park as it is to come together in one voice to stop this from happening. Our peace and quiet, animal habitat and trees are counting on you. There are other locations around Seattle that this could be installed where it wouldn’t make as big of a difference.

    Comment by Jennifer — 8:59 am July 6, 2012 #

  60. This means the city is going to hire an “expert” to write a report saying that it’s OK to put the zip line in and it will have little environmental impact.
    .
    This is a bully tactic. It does at least 2 things for the city:
    .
    1) Placates the opposition by giving them hope (false hope) that the plan is being carefully and thoughtfully considered (it is not) and the community is not getting shafted (we are).
    .
    2) It uses authoritarianism to push through the agenda (You Plebians have no moral authority to oppose the zip line plan, since our experts/specialist/biologist said it was OK).
    .
    Don’t fall for it again!

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:40 am July 6, 2012 #

  61. Lincoln Park is already strained to by the increasing density in West Seattle.
    .
    The city council does NOT own the park. The park belongs to the citizens. It is OUR property, not theirs. They are only stewards.
    .
    Lincoln Park is not an economic resource at the council’s disposal to be exploited by them in solving the economic mess that THEY created.
    .
    The park is for citizens and future generations of citizens. It is our heritage. The council has no right to take it.
    .

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:46 am July 6, 2012 #

  62. It is a slippery slope, next thing you know they will want to start leasing or selling lots off for a campground or maybe a little condo village for income. The reason they start these projects without the pubic knowing is so they can sneak it past us and say they have invested to much time and money into the project. Now they can justify it and move forward with it. They are probably rewriting the parks departments and city’s guide lines and RCW’s to allow these types of ventures right now. 40k-65k a year won’t cover half of what it cost the city with the issues this will cause, traffic,security, maintenance around the area,studies on damage,insurance on and on. Bottom line is this park and others like it were not designed to be amusement parks. Just find out which City council members are for these types of venues and vote them out before they destroy the few parks we have in the city.

    Comment by Wetone — 9:57 am July 6, 2012 #

  63. The difference between a ropes course/zip line and a skate park or a soccer field is that you don’t need to hire any personnel to oversee the skate park or the soccer field whereas a zip line cannot be safely operated without someone there onsite.

    As a new home owner in the Seaview neighborhood, I am fully prepared to embrace the NIMBY stance on this project.

    Comment by brian — 10:06 am July 6, 2012 #

  64. Someone mentioned a fence.
    Before this goes through I want to see a map of were everything goes, gates, ticket office, garbage cans, signs, and all the things that legal don’t have to be mentioned.

    Repair fund or whatever for anything outside their area that is damaged by use related to them.
    I want it made clear who is responsible for insurance, accidents, lawsuits and especially what the plans are, if it is put in and fails, or goes bankrupt who owes what.

    A fund or whatever, by them for reclaiming the acreage if they leave
    Who has say in who takes it over then.

    I pay for parks.
    I don’t want to end up paying for this.
    It seems that time after time, all the assurances
    that it will cost us nothing end up with
    “thing$ happened”

    Comment by patt — 11:09 am July 6, 2012 #

  65. Lincoln Park is a city park, wouldn’t any money made by this zipline would go into the general park coffers? How much would come back to WS?

    Comment by patt — 11:24 am July 6, 2012 #

  66. Whoever has the MOST money will win this battle… simple as that… Or should I say… if the city stands to make a crap-ton of money… it will go through no matter how hard we fight….
    This is sad…. Thank GOD they didn’t put that Horrible BIG WHEEL down by LP!… Downtown has turned into a circus! which is why I like West Seattle… i can get away from the craziness of downtown… :)

    Comment by Jtk — 12:25 pm July 6, 2012 #

  67. Pssst. It’s not about the money.

    Comment by DML — 12:28 pm July 6, 2012 #

  68. Update from the Fauntleroy Community Association – their Tuesday night meeting, which as of this writing will be the first public meeting at which Parks reps are appearing to discuss this proposal, will be at the usual monthly time, 7 pm, in a larger room at The Hall at Fauntleroy, which is on the south side of the old schoolhouse, 9131 California SW, likely the main room, according to president Bruce Butterfield. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:19 pm July 6, 2012 #

  69. Jennifer put it very well. And I would be very sad to no longer see pics of the bald eagles and baby owls in the blog because their nesting grounds have been disturbed and so they’re not here anymore. I get that we live in an urban environment, but this is precisely why parks are designed: to give urban environments a green space where nature can be appreciated. I also agree with the commenter who noted that if the park had more acreage, it might be doable, but as it is–no. If that’s a NIMBY mentality, then yeah, NIMBY.

    Comment by Ms. Picky — 3:02 pm July 6, 2012 #

  70. NO NO NO NO way that this little oasis is made an amusement park…..that is just wrong!

    Comment by Sharon Akers — 5:24 pm July 6, 2012 #

  71. The difference between the Ferris Wheel and this proposed obscenity is that the former is not situated in an urban paradise but rather in a developed tourist area where it fits in well as a (downtown) attraction, no wildlife was any more disturbed than it already was and any noise engendered by the Wheel is more than exceeded by traffic!

    Comment by mrsB — 5:45 pm July 6, 2012 #

  72. WSB – Thanks for the update on Tuesday’s meeting for the Fauntleroy Community Association. I’ll be there for sure. I really hope that everyone who can attend, is there too.

    Showing up in person at these meetings shows the City that we are serious about making sure this project never sees the light of day.

    Comment by ws_suzanne — 5:55 pm July 6, 2012 #

  73. Rent-free? And on public property? That’s a deal. No, that’s a steal. If our country didn’t hand out corporate welfare like this, we would have more for libraries and schools and parks.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 10:22 pm July 6, 2012 #

  74. Walking through the Park, listening to the birds isn’t entertainment enough?

    Howabout a zip line from the top of the West Seattle bridge into downtown… oh wait, that’s a monorail…

    Comment by Wolf — 2:56 pm July 7, 2012 #

  75. I have to say that I think this is a terrible idea. The best thing about the park is its beautiful and natural setting. I can’t imagine that anyone who frequents the park would support this, and I can’t believe that this sort of project would even be proposed.

    Something like this would be devasting to the parks natural environment. What would happen to the eagles and the owls that inhabit the park? More than likely this would disturb their habitat.

    Not to mention increased crowds and parking. On a busy day like today the parking lots are already full. You better believe that the neighborhoods will be affected around the park.

    And all is this to make $65k a year!?!? I would be more than happy to make a donation if Lincoln Park is short on funds. I think that we need to make our voices heard and squash this bad idea. Oh, and if you are looking for more sources of recreation or things to do with your children… grab a soccer ball, or a ball and glove, or maybe your dog and go have fun with you kid. Best part is, its free

    Comment by Luther — 4:00 pm July 7, 2012 #

  76. CALL TO ACTION!!!

    What about keeping up with the cutting-edge idea of keeping our environment natural and untouched, its beauty, wildlife, air, and sound untouched by such things as … ZIPLINING and ROPES COURSES???!!! [BTW, ropes courses are truly old school & passé, in case the park superintendent doesn't realize this.]

    Good gracious! Let’s keep this environment as simple, natural in its lessons for children and adults alike as we can! We need to keep the original intention of the parks clearly in sight. We need to teach us all to preserve these places for wildlife, for all of us who not only don’t need any more “excitement” and “hype” – but need places for refuge and serenity, and not another way of making money.

    Cheaper, too! How about this: rather than spending all that money to “prove” that you get to install these silly forms of “recreation” that will only further promote an ADD/ADHD populace, you could just see that the bathrooms are upgraded and kept beautifully clean! They are a public health hazard in their current state. This would be the biggest gift to the city: keep them clean, keep the pools open longer, have regular nature walks with naturalists, keep our people well exercised, recreated, and well.

    Instead of messing with our environment even further, how about using our money to preserve it – remember?? We need more naturally preserved parks, not as places for “excitement.” Leave that to the amusement parks – and don’t privatize them. You and we have been entrusted to protect and care for the parks and the wildlife therein. How dare you use that for monetary gain – that will mostly benefit some external private company?!

    It is inappropriate for our government to exploit our natural surroundings. Shame on you! And shame on us all if we don’t get loud and participative about this NOW! Everyone – write it down – email, call, text, blog, twitter, Facebook about it NOW!

    Oh, one more thing: informing the public of the results of all your “research” and “advice from an expensive private outsourced company” – to then invite the public’s comments … is NOT including the public voice in the process – DUH. This is not democracy in action. You should be ashamed of yourself. In case you hadn’t noticed, we still purport to live in a democracy.

    Comment by Lester — 4:30 pm July 7, 2012 #

  77. I have gone to this park for years. I walk there.

    STOP turning our few remaining natural habitats into amusement parks. There are other places for that.

    STOP selling public lands.

    Comment by Lester — 4:34 pm July 7, 2012 #

  78. A wildlife biologist commenting on another proposed Go Ape facility noted its signficant potential negative effects on dogs. Sudden, frequent, loud noises, anyone? Oppose this for the birds – for the people – for the plants – for the dogs!

    Comment by Trileigh — 5:15 pm July 7, 2012 #

  79. Well, now that you mentioned dogs, there’s no hope. And here I wondered why so many friends my age were moving out of West Seattle. Sorry Jennifer and other nature lovers, not everyone likes standing outside listening to animals. I hear plenty of birds in my backyard, don’t need to go to a park for that. I know this stands NO chance because the people of West Seattle fear change like the plague, but hopefully another neighborhood takes up the chance.

    Hick’s Lake in unincorporated White Center could use a refresh!

    Comment by jedifarfy — 7:02 pm July 7, 2012 #

  80. “DML”. Psssst. It’s ALWAYS about the money. Period. Money and politics. Who has the most money to push it through or who stands to make the most. That’s who will win.

    Comment by Jtk — 7:33 pm July 7, 2012 #

  81. Dear Superintendent Williams, Mayor McGinn, Council Members and others,

    It sounds like someone over there in Parks has “Gone Ape” based on what I am reading about a badly construed, and until recently secret, plan to sell out 6 to 9 acres of our publicly owned Lincoln Park so a private company can make boatloads of money on it.

    Have some fun! Fire up a YouTube video showing people screaming and zooming down Zip Lines, crank it up in the background until it’s just a bit louder than your voices (which is how loud it is, I’ve been on them), then set it to repeat over and over once every two minutes for 8-10 hours a day. Ahhhhh …. Now settle down for a nice relaxing afternoon and BBQ on your back deck with the You Tube computer next to you and see for yourselves how relaxing and wonderful it is.

    PLEASE – Go walk that part of the Park; at night, in the dark. Or perhaps at 5:30am in the mornings, when I do. Amongst friends, we call that exact spot where you want to build this ZipLine (Rope Course/Recreation/whatever) “Owl Alley” for good reason. The Owls are magnificent. The walk amongst the trees and native brush allows us a sanctuary of peace and solitude smack in the middle of a city of thousands. Lincoln park is a living and alive part of our city … our community. By day on sunny weekends it is the hub of joyful, screaming kids, BBQ parties, beach-walking, volleyball and all manner of games and fun. During weekdays, evenings and mornings it is a passive, calm refuge for those of us who enjoy quiet to satisfy our souls with the scents of the forest and the soft sounds of nature and it’s beautiful creatures surrounding us.

    We all know you are dealing with tight budgets, just like the rest of us. If you wanted to develop this, I believe you should have gone to the community, the people you serve, first to find out if we even want it, or what alternatives we can collaboratively think of to help with budget shortfalls. This whole scenario reeks of mendacity. Now it’s probably going to cost us more than $65K just for all of you and your PR folks to manage the throwback.

    If you go forward with this ill-conceived plan all of you will go down in history for selling out our park to a foreign Corporation for a measly $50-$65K a year…… so sad. You may as well put up a 1800 ft long sign up along Fauntleroy right in front of the central Lincoln Park parking lot hanging 100 ft up on the tall Cedars, then sell that billboard space – that is how much fence line it takes to encircle 6 acres. It would be ugly as heck, but it probably wouldn’t drive away the Eagles. Do you think the community would accept that?

    I trust you can all do better, so sharpen your pencils and please continue to do your best.

    Thank you for the good work you all do for us. Best regards -

    Comment by ConcernedAboutOurPark — 7:55 pm July 7, 2012 #

  82. FOLLOW THE MONEY!
    How big a Hush! Hush! Under the table payoff or campaign donation is the mayor or the parks Superintendent getting in return for selling off public assets for a ridiculously small pittance which could be equalled by the proceeds from a couple Community bake sales?!
    The park superintendent should be fired for even allowing the consideration of such an egregious scandal of a secret citizen-robbing and serenity-destroying corporate-greed based proposition.
    Heads should roll!
    I would love to see the actual content of all of the email, telephone, and written communications between city government and this Corporation leading up to the consideration of such an absurdly desecrating rape of Lincoln Park.

    Comment by Michael — 1:13 am July 8, 2012 #

  83. Extremely well written, ConcernedAboutOurPark!

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:37 am July 8, 2012 #

  84. Ugh- I live in west seattle and go to this park all the time. My family enjoys Lincoln Park as a way to get some quality family time. We Look for wildlife, beach comb, and relax away from the hustle. The only hustle is from outdoor enthusiasts and friends and families coming together. Biking, rollerblading, kayaking, running, babies in strollers and dogs on walks…..There is a specific energy to this place that I’m worried will be disrupted. I truly hope Lincoln Park will remain unchanged. I would rather pay to keep it unchanged than the city look to be paid to have it ruined.

    Comment by heather — 1:05 pm July 8, 2012 #

  85. ConcernedAboutOurPark, that’s a great comment! I hope you’ve shared it with the officials who can make a difference.
    .
    By the way, does everyone realize that children under 10 are not allowed to use Go Ape courses? Or many elderly, or those with physical disabilities or other problems, who may not be able to climb a rope ladder? Then of course there’s the $180 cost for a family of four.
    .
    One of the checklist items that Parks and Rec had to complete to partner with Go Ape is “Does the proposed partnership have the potential of being perceived as commercialization of the parks without offsetting public benefits?”
    .
    It’s pretty hard to see many *public* benefits to this, and there seems to be little doubt about its being a commercialization of the park.

    Comment by Trileigh — 3:52 pm July 8, 2012 #

  86. TheY messing with the wrong neighborhood!

    Comment by Jiggers — 1:22 am July 9, 2012 #

  87. Tracy, and the bloggers; I got a call this morning from Charles Ng at Seattle Parks to confirm that he and Rebecca Salinas will join us for the FCA Board Meeting, tomorrow, Tuesday the 10th at 7PM. Needing more space, we’ve moved it to the Emerald Room at The Hall at Fauntleroy, please follow signs and park in the back lot or better yet, walk to The Hall, (THANK YOU to Tuxedos And Tennis Shoes Catering for donating the venue).
    .

    Someone wondered if Acting Supt. Christopher Williams will be there…and we’ll ask. We’ve published more links on the FCA wesbsite at Fauntleroy.Net and on the Fauntleroy Community Association Facebook pages. Write your comments there, as above and mail to Parks and City leaders. Since this will surely effect parking and traffic congestion around the park, I bet Seattle’s Police and Fire Departments will notice the impact as they respond to calls. And, Washington State Ferries may have an opinion, since their loading and unloading of boats is tougher with more congestion. Thanks for writing, everywhere.

    .

    Bring your friends and join us Tuesday at 7. The Hall at Fauntleroy is in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse Community Center at 9131 California Ave SW. There’s a bus stop across the street and its a nice summer walk from anywhere.

    Comment by Bruce Butterfield, Fauntleroy Community Association — 12:12 pm July 9, 2012 #

  88. Thanks, Bruce, I’m publishing an update story soon as I can finish it and it will be reminding people of the meeting as well as the informal meeting that concerned citizens have organized for tonight (mentioned in today’s West Seattle Monday preview) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:40 pm July 9, 2012 #

  89. Wow, lots of heated responses here, as is usually the case in our fair city. For me it comes down to a couple simple things.
    1. An urban park isn’t the appropriate location for this type of activity. Put it out on some PRIVATE forest land. Too small and too many critters depend on that greenspace for their homes.
    2. That area is ALREADY overcrowded with VERY LIMITED parking for even normal-use days and with the ferry traffic being already too much.

    I have nothing against revenue generation where it makes sense. But unless the developer/owner wants to spend $50 Million improving the access and parking around the park without destroying it, I suggest this idea go away.

    Comment by Tom — 2:16 pm July 9, 2012 #

  90. I live 1.5 blocks above the Park, between the parking lots. I hear the roar of the crowd during baseball games and yelling from the park.

    I worked at Outward Bound years ago and took many kids and adults thru ropes courses. I had a great time listening to the screams and shrieks of terrifying fun. The three different ropes courses I was involved with were in isolated areas where they would not impact local residents.

    All of us that live around Lincoln Park will NOT be able to escape those shrieks and screams as we sit on our decks, work in our yards or eat brunch, lunch and dinner — EVERYDAY the facility is open.

    Comment by Colleen — 10:48 pm July 9, 2012 #

  91. WSB please make the information you are providing more clear. The image map you include of the proposed zip line space states “the course occupies less than 1 acre of ground space.” Yes the written proposal clearly states that the area of use is 6-9 acres. What’s the truth? Don’t let the image mis-lead if it’s not true. Thanks!

    Comment by SJ — 2:15 pm July 10, 2012 #

  92. SJ – I have provided as many links and documents as I have access to. Go Ape material does not show the treetop 6-10 acres – it shows the ground-level 1 acre. I have not asked whether that is 1 contiguous acre or the sum of the groundspace that is rendered inaccessible – the fenced-off “access points” plus the “cabin” for ticketing etc. We’ll see what tonight’s Parks/Go Ape presentation yields, and we will of course report it in as thorough detail as possible. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:01 pm July 10, 2012 #

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