Going APES–T about possible Go Ape Zipline

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    OK, I am among the many who are revolted by the notion of “Go Ape” setting up a zip line and other “amusements” in our beautiful Lincoln Park. But there were so many comments about this lunatic proposal, I couldn’t find out how to submit my comments/objections to the mega-genius of the Parks Department. I understand there’s a meeting on July 18, but, in the meantime, to whom can I write?

    In addition, I wonder who, if anyone, is spearheading the effort to stop this project. I tried to google “Friends of Lincoln Park,” but no luck. We need an organized, united effort to raise a little hell with the Parks Department for wh-ring the city out.




    Since this has not been publicly announced – we found out about it thanks to a tipster – and since the Parks point person for partnerships is on vacation until after next week, I don’t have official information on chain of comments. BUT whether someone is against it, for it, or has something else to say about it, here is a list of key people:

    Treetop ziplining at Lincoln Park? City mulls commercial partnership

    As for spearheading, while I have heard from many concerned people, I don’t know that anyone has yet emerged as an organizer or leader. Friends of Lincoln Park is a volunteer group that does park cleanups and does not have meetings. The park does not have its own advisory council.

    Also to be clear about July 18th, this is the first scheduled public meeting right now at which this has appeared on the agenda, though I would expect there to be other presentations. When I worked on the story on Thursday, I contacted the two closest community councils, which do have regular meetings, and asked if either had heard about this. While the Fauntleroy Community Association – whose neighborhood includes Lincoln Park – had not been contacted, the Morgan Community Association – whose jurisdiction is just north of the park – had, and president Deb Barker told me they had a presentation scheduled as part of their quarterly meeting on July 18th. (7 pm, The Kenney) – because Parks had contacted her and asked to be on the agenda.

    This is how “public engagement” usually happens with proposals – the departments get on community associations’ agendas (which is why we continue to urge people to be involved with community associations – you might not think you care about what your community association does, but city/county/state government considers it to be representing you, and considers that if it has made a presentation about something to your nearest neighborhood association, it has done its due diligence in informing/consulting you).

    Anyway, this is going to be a tough week to reach anyone in government (and much of the private sector) with the midweek holiday leading many to take the entire week off, but we’ll be following up too.




    Thank you, Tracy. Once again, you are proof that great journalism is alive and well here and there.



    There are park purists… this is an urban park. It is there for all to enjoy. It is for the recreation of all. I would rather see some teens hanging and climbing outdoors, than Nintendo numbed, or hanging in the mall. It looks like fun. Are we all too old to remember being young where the days highlight wasn’t to gum our food and walk our pookie poos? when then number one health issue is overweight teens, anything that inspires them to go out an play… I am all for it. Look at the skate park…. we can’t relate to it. .. yet, when I drive by it is jammed with kids having a great time. Parks are for kids, recreation, fun, and an urban asset to share with the maximum use possible. How are you going to promote density housing when you want your parks to the the exclusive domain of fuddy duddy’s? If toy want wilderness go to wilderness. This a great idea to bring some excitment to urban living,



    Freeway Park is an urban park.

    Waterfront Park is an urban park.

    Myrtle Edwards, and the adjoining Port of Seattle Park are urban parks.

    Lincoln Park is a respite, in a residential neighborhood, that allows residents to find some relative peace and tranquility, within fairly reasonable walking/biking/driving distance for many.

    Oh, wait, the zipline is yet another money making venture to add to the likely already handsome coffers of some business, with no regard to the wild animals of the park, the environment, and the tranquility of the park and surrounding neighborhood.

    And not even a WS business.

    And not even a Seattle business.

    And not even a Washington State business.

    And not even a US business.

    Anything for a buck.




    It does look like fun. A few years ago, I’d have right there in line to try it. But there are a couple of concerns I don’t think their presentation confronts.

    Parking: they claim that they can handle fourteen people every half hour. So they say that’s only four or five parking spaces every half hour. What makes them think that over half their users will come in groups? It seems more likely to have more cars for each fourteen people.

    Won’t people come early to be ready for their half hour? Won’t it take a few minutes for people to leave after their half hour? That’s double the numbers again. Not to mention more traffic on Fauntleroy.

    Do they plan for their customers to use present parking? I understand that’s already hard to find. Or do they plan to clear part of the park to make their own parking lot? That’s not the small footprint they boast of leaving on the environment.

    Then – and this to me is even more urgent – those ziplines will be running through bird territory. How much will it interfere with bird flights, nests and hunting? They don’t even mention birds in their presentation. It may be an urban park, but a park needs to accommodate more than humans to be a real green space.



    If the zipline was in the area with the ballfields and restrooms it would be a better fit than in the middle of the trees.



    KatherineL, you bring up good points about parking. And, after their zipline experience, will they be required to leave the park, to make room for other parkers. No…they may stay. After all, it’s a huge park. Maybe they’ll go ziplining, and then for a swim at Colman Pool, or just go for a walk. It’s a big park.. And then more and more come, and no where to park. And compound that with ferry traffic, etc.Whose idea was this, anyway?

    I just don’t think it’s a good idea for this particular park. Maybe Seward Park would like to accomodate.


    NO Jan, please don’t suggest Seward Park! There are several established Bald Eagle nests and Seattle’s last stand of Old Growth trees. There’s an Audubon office and Nature education facilities, as well as an art studio used by the community and Schools. Parking is very limited. Seward Park is another beautiful and quiet oasis of nature that deserves our protection.

    I worked for Seattle Parks & Recreation and it was always a struggle between the “Recreation” dept. wanting to develop every possible area for ballfields and “Parks” trying to preserve it wild. This proposal looks like Rec trying to push the balance to their side again!

    The City gave away the Fun Forest area which would have been ideal. Even Magnuson Park would be a better fit. Or let them GoApes! for profit on private property or in a more rural area of the county.



    Why not put it near the new Ferris wheel? Great view of the water/skyline. It would be in an area already partly geared to tourists and where there are unique establishments in place. You could even have part of it over the water. Maybe the first zip could be to a platform in the water and then another zip back to the shore!

    What about starting at the top of the hill where the Pike Place Market is and zigzag (via several ziplines) down to it and/or connect several places of interest via zipline.




    @miws THANK YOU!

    @Spring Chicken, yes, Magnuson Park a better fit, with parking too!

    @kootchman, yes I do remember being young and NOT having $30 to spend on ANYTHING! Zipline is not exercise, it is a passive activity . . . dependent on gravity. Walking or running the trails in the park however is exercise and available now, for free or more importantly thru the auspices of my property tax dollars and Park Levies.



    My way of being snarky that didn’t translate, I suppose. People in the Seward Park area wouldn’t like it there, either. I’m betting they’d put up a fight there, too.

    I agree with you re: more rural area. But..we need to preserve that , too, in my mind. I know there can be a balance. I have a friend who lives in South Africa. She goes to a preserve there that has ziplining in a really gorgeous setting. But..it’s planned for w/ parking, etc.



    watch the video… ya gotta expend the energy to up to be able to go down. Sorta like bike riding… you go up Avalon and then down California… because you went down California doesn’t mean the Avalon uphill wasn’t exersize. we have Schmitz Park too.. for the more tranquil. The whole idea is to make urban living less commuter dependent… sure, they could probably put in the water park on I-5… everyone get in your cars and drive!! It looks like fun and great for kids and teens. They have a legitimate claim to the turf too.



    Let’s kill the tunnel! Zip line to downtown!!



    “sure, they could probably put in the water park on I-5… everyone get in your cars and drive!!” How do think everyone is going to get to Lincoln Park?

    Could the zipline be located at Camp Long? There is already an area cleared and used for an obstacle course. The line could be positioned there or somewhere along the boundary line of the golf course.



    Heck, why does this have to be located in trees? There are lots of tall buildings downtown. It could be an even bigger draw, and shopping incentive, too. “Zipline from one store to another!”



    There isn’t a natural growing tree in that park. It full of invasive species planted for a park aesthetic, A natural enviornment it isn’t. If it was pristine, unaltered, natural habitat.. you might have a stronger case IMO. These are great summer jobs for teens… sorely lacking in this city. This is an urban park.. they could gasp… take mass transit! A bus! Jeez.. isn’t that the idea? More use of mass transit? You don’t need parking lots .. you need a bus stop. Shop downtown? why not bring some business to WS? In city destinations beat out of city destinations every time. Funny, in the legend and lore of WS , all this nostalgia for Luna Park…. old farts would nix that venture today. BTW… everyone tool the mass transit of the day, the elevated trolleys … as you can see on the public murals… there were no roads and bridges to the old Luna Park and it was a city treasure.



    I’m with the ‘not in Lincoln Park’ herd, and like the Camp Long idea the best thus far.

    However I reserve the right to erase and re-write my endorsement should an even more sensible alternative (IMHO*) be proffered.

    *Props to miws for teaching me this one.



    Kootch, I know you’re a fine capitalist, but, given your admirable efforts to protect birds — as you have shown in this blog — I am surprised that you would support this cheesy and EXPENSIVE amusement/attraction that invades avian areas.



    In a perfect world, no one would take their cars to Lincoln Park to go ziplining…they’d all ride the bus. But…are serious? People will drive there, bet your bottom dollar.



    we have the lovely Great Wheel on the water front. Maybe we could have ziplining from the market to the waterfront, to coincide. Easy way to get to the water taxi, too…and a great view to boot, while you’re doing it.



    lest you think this is a small venture, read these:

    From Freedom Park in Williamsburg: Our biggest treetop adventure course yet, is made up of numerous rope ladders, 37 new and exciting crossings to include the Trapeze, Wobbly Ladder, Big U and Spider’s Web, 2 tarzan swings and 5 zip lines. There are 5 individual sections within the course, each section taking you higher into the forest canopy and finishing with a zip line more exciting than the previous one! Zip #5, the grand finale to the course, is a mammoth 600 foot ride!

    From the new one in Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis: With views of Eagle Creek Reservoir, the Go Ape treetop adventure course is going to allow you to experience Eagle Creek like never before! Made up of numerous rope ladders, 39 crossings to include the Log Balance, Flying Carpet and Tic Tac Toe, 2 tarzan swings and 5 zip lines. There are 5 individual sections within the course, each section taking you higher into the forest canopy and finishing with a zip line more exciting than the previous one! If you thought the Super Bowl zipline was impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet.

    From Rock Creek Park, MD : With views of Eagle Creek Reservoir, the Go Ape treetop adventure course is going to allow you to experience Eagle Creek like never before! Made up of numerous rope ladders, 39 crossings to include the Log Balance, Flying Carpet and Tic Tac Toe, 2 tarzan swings and 5 zip lines. There are 5 individual sections within the course, each section taking you higher into the forest canopy and finishing with a zip line more exciting than the previous one! If you thought the Super Bowl zipline was impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet.

    There are Go Ape “Cabins” at every one of these, that sell food and drink. Most of these parks have things like water sports, mountain biking trails, some have boat rentals. Lincoln Park has none of this stuff. How much do we want there? That’s the question. Once this happens, who else wants to come..more recreation, more “fun for the whole family”, more making a buck. There are times when I’m all for change, but is this what we really want? to open these doors? There is nothing wrong with preserving a peaceful park because it’s a beautiful place.



    Before y’all start claiming that the ziplines will be bad for birds, you might want to do some research into whether that’s actually the case. My own casual search mostly turned up zipline tours of wilderness areas and wildlife sanctuaries. Hmm.

    More people using city parks is somehow a bad thing? Why? Lincoln Park might be in West Seattle, but it doesn’t just belong to us. Last I checked, we were still in the city.


    re “there isn’t a natural growing tree in that park…” Sorry kootchman but that’s not true.

    Seattle Parks documented the following native tree species in its 2001 Lincoln Park Vegetation Management Plan: Big Leaf Maple, Pacific Madrone, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar.

    Furthermore, the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of fauna meriting priority for protection due to their sensitivity to habitat alteration. Several of these frequent Lincoln Park, including

    • Chinook Salmon

    • Northern Red Legged Frog

    • Hooded Merganser

    • Peregrine Falcon

    • Great Blue Heron

    • Green Heron

    • Pileated Woodpecker

    We don’t need to turn over this precious community resource for private profit. We need to protect our remaining urban wild areas to keep our city beautiful and livable. We need to remind our neighbors to keep their dogs on leash and on the trails while in Lincoln Park in order to protect these threatened animal species.

    Datamuse, show us your evidence, not opinions. Are any of those wildlife refuges to which you refer, of similar size and surrounded by a city of a million or so people? That’s a lot of pressure already on these fragile ecosystems.



    I’m sure glad I listen to Comfortably Numb most every time I go to the library.

    I expect any day now, that I’ll start singing along, aloud and loudly.

    Our resident Central Library Employee will likely soon be posting pics and a description, of me being led out of the library by some very nice folks, that provided me with a comfy jacket, that holds my arms conveniently behind my back….


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