BULLETIN: Lincoln Park zipline proposal scrapped, says Parks

(Added 1:02 pm: From WSB files, Trileigh Tucker‘s May 2009 photo of Lincoln Park owlet ‘Wollet’)
11:58 AM: Just in:

Seattle Parks and Recreation has decided not to proceed with a proposal to build a five-to-six acre high ropes course in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

“We listened to the community, and though there is demand for this emerging form of recreation, there are some who clearly do not support it at this location,” said Acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams.

Low and high ropes courses are gaining in popularity worldwide, and they are among a number of emerging sports and other outdoor activities Parks and Recreation is working hard to accommodate.

The proposal for Lincoln Park was in the conceptual stages. Parks had just begun its public outreach process with contacts with the Camp Long Advisory Council, the Morgan Community Association, and the informal Friends of Lincoln Park, and had developed a full public involvement plan that included four more opportunities for input, one onsite. Parks had issued an Expression of Interest and had selected Go Ape based on their safety, park stewardship and operational history.

After the meeting with the Fauntleroy Community Association on July 10, Williams made the decision not to proceed with a high ropes course at Lincoln Park. Williams and Go Ape have not yet decided whether to proceed with a ropes course proposal at another site.

ADDED 12:15 PM: That announcement in a Parks Department news release comes 13 days after WSB first reported the proposal had been under consideration since last summer, according to a Go Ape document, but had not to that date been disclosed to the community, and was not even mentioned anywhere on Parks’ website, despite the department’s Public Involvement Policy (as reported in our second story) committing the department to providing “early and thorough notification of proposals and projects, through a variety of means, to users, user groups, neighborhoods, neighborhood groups, and other interested people.” And it came 15 hours after the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s board meeting expanded into the first public discussion of the proposal, at which a standing-room-only crowd tallied by FCA at 250 (WSB coverage, with video, here) expressed almost unanimous opposition. Opponents had been organizing for the previous week-plus, including a Facebook page, Facebook group, website, and strategy session. Many opponents said they weren’t against this type of recreation, but that Lincoln Park was the wrong place for it, for reasons including the park’s wildlife – dozens of bird species, including nesting bald eagles – and parking/traffic challenges.

142 Replies to "BULLETIN: Lincoln Park zipline proposal scrapped, says Parks"

  • ryanl July 11, 2012 (11:59 am)

    way to go west seattle!

  • petert July 11, 2012 (12:00 pm)

    OK, so while we’re hot, what else can we change ?? Global warming ? Poverty ? War ?

    Seriously, though….this is GREAT news !

  • Kate July 11, 2012 (12:01 pm)


  • Jan Van Pelt July 11, 2012 (12:04 pm)

    Yay! And thanks to all who made their voices heard.

  • Tiffany July 11, 2012 (12:05 pm)

    So happy to read this news!!!!!

  • mr. the horse July 11, 2012 (12:07 pm)

    w00t! w00t!!!

  • jedifarfy July 11, 2012 (12:08 pm)

    What a shame. Scared off these guys, and probably any other potential proposals. Hope everyone votes YES the next time they ask for money for the parks!

  • bridge to somewhere July 11, 2012 (12:10 pm)

    Power to the people. And thanks Parks for listening. Democracy in action.

  • Maggie July 11, 2012 (12:12 pm)

    WOW! I’ve done a ropes course before and had a great experience, but Lincoln Park just wasn’t the right place to put a new one. Thank you to the Seattle Parks for listening to your community! Really impressed by so many voicing concern for the birds.

  • jwws July 11, 2012 (12:13 pm)


  • Jack Spara July 11, 2012 (12:14 pm)

    YAHOO! One for that good guys! Well done West Seattle.

  • jsw July 11, 2012 (12:14 pm)

    hat’s off to those who stood up and were heard…
    especially Tracy and the West Seattle Blog…

  • Brian M. July 11, 2012 (12:15 pm)

    Congrats to those who organized and provided their opinions! While I wish that last night’s meeting was a bit more civil to Parks, I am pleased at the outcome.

  • old timer July 11, 2012 (12:15 pm)

    Thanks WSB,
    I’m sure you had a key part in developing the ‘community energy’.
    Let’s hope the zip-line proposal in Lincoln Park is not only dead, but cremated with its ashes scattered on the beach.

  • mrsB July 11, 2012 (12:16 pm)

    Yay, the people have spoken and their voices heard!

  • ws_s July 11, 2012 (12:16 pm)

    That’s FANTASTIC news! They decided to cut their losses. I wonder if Parks or Go Ape pulled the plug.

    I hope they don’t try this in a different neighborhood that’s more vulnerable. We need to watch for it and speak out on their behalf as well. This might not be completely over.

  • Cass Nevada July 11, 2012 (12:16 pm)

    oh, i loves me some West Seattle! Thanks WSB for being right where we need you, with info and a forum to share. what a gift!

  • JeriO July 11, 2012 (12:16 pm)

    I’ve said it today, several times…I am SO proud of my community. An incredible amount of time and effort over the past few days has been spent researching the plan, the various issues, potential consequences, and quickly mobilizing a large group of people.

    Going beyond the immediate issue…I was moved, encouraged, and inspired by the people who stepped up to the microphones to be heard and the people in the audience who supported them. THANK YOU WSB for your coverage, THANK YOU FCA for your generosity, organization, focus and THANK YOU SEATTLE RESIDENTS for your response!!

  • shari kruse July 11, 2012 (12:17 pm)

    SUCH GOOD NEWS!!! Thanks to all who spoke up! Thanks to the WS Blog for being such an excellent community watchblog!!! ;-)

  • Diane July 11, 2012 (12:19 pm)

    yay; just announced on ch7 noon news; so came here for full story; thanks to westseattleblog and our awesome West Seattle community

  • Bruce Butterfield July 11, 2012 (12:19 pm)

    WONDERFUL NEWS! And the prudent thing to do. We thank Seattle Parks for listening to the public and moving to a decision swiftly after hearing the resounding rejection from last night’s meeting. Lets work together to see if there may be more viable partnerships without harming the nature and wildlife and without the parking and transportation concerns.

    We thank everyone who came last night and the hundreds of people researching and following leads this past two weeks.

  • LincolnParkNeighbor July 11, 2012 (12:23 pm)

    WOW!!! I’m so impressed with you West Seattle. This is incredible news, I’m so proud to live here.

    And a BIG thank you to the West Seattle Blog. We couldn’t have done this without you!!

  • KatherineL July 11, 2012 (12:23 pm)

    Sometimes saying no – loudly and publicly – works. I’m relieved it worked this time.

  • Denise July 11, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    Parks should thank us for saving them the trouble and expense of 4 more community meetings! I think the energy in that room last night was so overwhelmingly positive toward our shared values of community and nature. West Seattle is truly a rare and special place…for the people, the nature, and the wildlife.

    Perhaps now would be the time for other communities to take a good look at their park natural areas and what they could be facing if they are next in line for a zipline proposal.

  • Ms. Picky July 11, 2012 (12:29 pm)

    THANK YOU Seattle Parks and Rec for listening to us. You stepped up and did the right thing here.

    And THANK YOU WSB team for bringing this to our attention. It’s really you who have given us a way to come together as a community.

  • Craig July 11, 2012 (12:30 pm)

    A spectacular showing of community. Only wish we came together as strongly for other important issues. What’s next?!

  • The Owl Family July 11, 2012 (12:30 pm)

    Woo-Hoo….I mean Hooo-Hoooo!

  • SheSellsSeattle July 11, 2012 (12:30 pm)

    Many thanks to the Fauntleroy Community Association for hosting last nights public meeting! Way to go West Seattle, keeping our public parks open to the PUBLIC! #nozipline

  • miws July 11, 2012 (12:32 pm)

    Thank you Seattle Parks, for listening to the community!



  • Trileigh July 11, 2012 (12:36 pm)

    YAY WSB!! Yay neighbors! Our park is safe!
    I think it would be a lovely touch for us to write to the Parks folks to thank them for making the right decision, and offering to help brainstorm better ideas with them.
    THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who helped!
    (Sorry about all the caps; I’m just so excited and relieved.)

  • Mtnpeak July 11, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    Thanks to all who spoke up!

  • celeste17 July 11, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    petert-maybe we could change the buildings they are going to build in the junction. Especially the one that will take the Rocksport away from us.

  • gw July 11, 2012 (12:41 pm)

    Imagine the savings of time, energy and $$$$ if the Parks Dept would have notified the neighborhood first. They might not have wasted the last year putting resource towards it.

  • gw July 11, 2012 (12:44 pm)

    I do think we need a zip line, from Vashon and Southworth to Fauntleroy, so we can get rid of the Ferries and the traffic.

  • B-squared July 11, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to all who opposed this endeavor and made their feelings known. Hopefully some good can come out of this in the form of process improvements within parks when looking into such projects. And i really hope that the idea of ziplines in Seattle parks in general can be dismissed. Our parks are just not the best setting for this activity.

  • DCo July 11, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    Thank you so much to everyone who attended last night and voiced their opinions. Yeah!!!

  • eric July 11, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    How about over I5, connecting to the new Basketball Arena……. ? …

  • highlandpark July 11, 2012 (12:46 pm)

    BEST news ever. Thank you WSB for the excellent coverage and huge thank you to everyone who attended last night’s meeting and voiced their concerns. It worked!

  • Gail July 11, 2012 (12:47 pm)

    Thank you West Seattle Blog and Fauntleroy Community Association for spearheading the community to respond and voice our opposition to zip lining in Lincoln Park. Last night’s meeting was democracy at work and our city government actually listened. I am so pleased and will appreciate Lincoln Park even more now.

  • The Velvet Bulldog July 11, 2012 (12:47 pm)

    F**K YEAH! People Power!!

    NOW–all us environmentally-minded folks need to figure out an ecologically sound way to raise money for the Parks!

  • wsjeff July 11, 2012 (12:48 pm)

    My heartfealt thanks to all who pled the case against this folly at the meeting last night and the WSB for your EXCELLENT coverage of this story. YAY!

  • hbf July 11, 2012 (12:51 pm)

    Right on! This is a great decision. However, the fact that this was not disclosed for many, many months is troubling. Folks, please note that you can check for current news on the council’s web site, and you can also sign up for email updates. http://seattle.gov/council/

  • anon July 11, 2012 (12:52 pm)

    GREAT NEWS! Thank you to all involved in speaking out on this issue!!!

  • norsk girl July 11, 2012 (12:53 pm)

    Yeah for all the creatures (4-legged, 2-legged, winged and otherwise) who inhabit lovely Lincoln Park.
    And an over-the-top THANK YOU to WSB for coverage of this story. Were it not for you breaking this news to so many via the Blog, the situation might still be proceeding with the Apes. Thank you.

  • hbf July 11, 2012 (12:55 pm)

    Right on!. This is a great decision. It is troubling, however, that the information was not disclosed for many, many months. Folks, please know that you can check for the latest news on the city council’s web site and also sign up for email updates. http://seattle.gov/council/

  • cjboffoli July 11, 2012 (12:57 pm)

    petert: I like the way you think! It has been fascinating witnessing the amount of energy and emotion citizens have devoted towards protecting the natural state of Lincoln Park. But all the while the ongoing decline of Pacific Northwest boreal forests has gone pretty much ignored for decades, including the steady loss of irreplaceable bird species. As much as it seems people can be site specific environmentalists, too many of us are simultaneously myopic about the detriment our contemporary American lifestyle (and especially our love of fossil fuel burning cars) has on our regional landscape every day.

  • The Velvet Bulldog July 11, 2012 (1:02 pm)

    Trilegh: Good point, we should definitely express our thanks to those we earlier expressed outrage.

  • eric July 11, 2012 (1:02 pm)

    Tracy and Team, thank you SO Much as always for the excellent coverage, especially for those of us who were unable to attend. Thank you!

  • Cheryl July 11, 2012 (1:02 pm)

    Wonderful news! A zipline, ropes course, etc. at Lincoln Park was just about the worst idea ever IMO. So glad Parks actually listened to the community.

  • jiggers July 11, 2012 (1:03 pm)

    THEY WHERE MESSING WITH THE WRONG NEIGHBORHOOD..LOL I actually wonder who they’re going to try and fool next?

  • Mary McNeight July 11, 2012 (1:05 pm)

    Wow, people made a difference. It feels so empowering.

    • WSB July 11, 2012 (1:15 pm)

      Mary’s line in a nutshell is what this was all about. We of course appreciate the kind words – as a 30-plus-year journalist, this is my job, and WSB’s commitment to the community – but all we do is find and present the information; whether you decide to take a stand on something, pro or con, whether you choose to organize a meeting or show up for one, contact elected officials, or not, it’s all your decision. Also I wanted to note that like so much of what we cover, both intense stories like this and simple “here’s something cool somebody did for charity” type reports, it started as community collaboration … Someone who heard about this two weeks ago e-mailed me and said something like, “Did I miss hearing about this? Have you heard anything about it?” We started digging from there. What makes WSB unique is *community collaboration* – it’s not the old-fashioned type of media where they “tell you what the news is.” You tell us what you are hearing and seeing, and we try to find out more. It is an honor to be able to work with you all this way. – TR
      To M, whose comment published while I was writing this: If supporters had organized, had come forward, I would have been happy to report on them too. Copy in one of our stories said, if you know of any, please let us know. No one did. When researching other US towns where Go Ape had proposals, we reported that South Lake Tahoe’s plan had been welcomed by that community, as far as we can find. I can’t cover a “side” that doesn’t exist – or doesn’t want to make itself known. The “sides” that shaped up here were the community and the Parks Department. We contacted, and quoted, the latter, repeatedly.

  • M July 11, 2012 (1:06 pm)

    I hope all the NIMBYs at the meeting last night vote for the tax increases to “keep their parks they way they want them” in light of the budget deficienices we’re ALL experiencing. Way to go – Seattle. And excellent coverage my ass, the coverage here couldn’t have been more 1-sided.

  • Sharon Akers July 11, 2012 (1:12 pm)

    The outcome was obvious based on neighborhood immediate comprehensive reaction to this habitat altering plan…YAY

  • M FLASH July 11, 2012 (1:12 pm)

    Excellent work…the FCA presentation was perfect!
    Speakers and WSB..THANK YOU too! Power to the people who love nature!

  • Ms. Picky July 11, 2012 (1:14 pm)

    My bad for not putting one more thank you in my original post: THANK YOU Fauntleroy Community Association for the terrific presentation last night. You’ve gained at least two new members.

  • ohmygosh July 11, 2012 (1:16 pm)

    YAY! Wish we could have gone to the meeting but many thanks to those who did and made their voices heard.

  • enviromaven July 11, 2012 (1:20 pm)

    Thanks to WSBlog and all the other community activists who stepped up to protect Lincoln Park. I love West Seattle! And yes – let’s work with the Parks Dept. to figure out a way to bring in some additional revenue. I’m happy to pay a small fee to park…$2/car maybe? What would that generate in a year?

  • Rebecca Watson July 11, 2012 (1:22 pm)

    Thanks again Tracy and WS Blog staff for the instrumental role you played in getting the word out about the proposed zipline in Lincoln Park and your fantastic coverage during last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association Meeting. Bravo!

  • Elissa July 11, 2012 (1:22 pm)

    Yay!! Awesome news! Thanks for listening!

  • Tom July 11, 2012 (1:26 pm)

    +1 for Trileigh’s idea “I think it would be a lovely touch for us to write to the Parks folks to thank them for making the right decision, and offering to help brainstorm better ideas with them.”

  • Billy July 11, 2012 (1:31 pm)

    Thanks West Seattle Blog ! Thanks Fauntleroy Community Association ! Thanks to all that showed up to squash the butchering of Lincoln Park. It is a Good Day. I think I will take a walk in in the Park.

  • datamuse July 11, 2012 (1:32 pm)

    As a matter of fact, M, I vote for every parks levy that comes across the ballot. I hope others do, too.

  • Dissapointed July 11, 2012 (1:39 pm)

    Very dissapointed in the hasty decision the Parks Department made. Rude people at the meeting last night booed loudly over the pour lady trying to explain her position. It will the same people that bitch about Park services being cut b/c of dwindling or reduced revenues.

  • zephyr July 11, 2012 (1:39 pm)

    Yes! This is an amazing result. Thanks to everyone who showed up last night and earlier in the week at the coffee shop. Thanks, Fauntleroy Community Association for hosting such a great forum last night. Thanks, WSB for your wonderful coverage of this neighborhood issue. I sat behind the representative from Go Ape last night and watched him absorb all this energy and enthusiasm for our community and this very special park that we love. You could tell that he recognized we were a force to be reckoned with. To be in that room last night was so inspiring and heartening. I am so grateful that the city or Parks was able to make such a quick decision. ~z


  • wondering July 11, 2012 (1:46 pm)

    was this the public getting what’s right or just a case of adult bullying?

  • Jennie July 11, 2012 (1:48 pm)

    That brings tears of joy to my eyes. Thank you to everyone that spoke up and thank you to everyone that listened :)

  • steph July 11, 2012 (1:51 pm)

    I zipline almost every year in Whistler and Hawaii, but couldn’t see myself doing more than that. It’s a fun tourist activity, but hardly an activity I would want to see in a local park. The Olmstead Brothers would be rolling in their graves. I’m all for low cost activities in parks that can be utilized daily and have a low impact on the environment, but I’ve never done a zipline course that didn’t cost under $75 and do not see a physical benefit that would benefit the health of the people using the course. Much more exercise can be found in walking through the park.
    Thanks to the people that stood up and spoke their opinions!

  • Jennifer July 11, 2012 (1:53 pm)

    YAHHHHHOOOOOOOO! This was the right decision from the parks department and I thank them for listening to West Seattle. I truly wish Go Ape the best and hope they find the right home for their zip lines. It just wasn’t in this park. The animals and the lovers of Lincoln Park can all sleep more peacefully tonight. Thank you WS Blog for being on this story from the beginning and giving us a way to all come together to stop this from happening. Thank you to my WS neighbors who took the time to make our voices heard. Bless you all.

  • scout 1 July 11, 2012 (2:06 pm)

    Awesome! I do love how the residents of West Seattle said NO!
    My faith in humanity is restored..

  • scout 1 July 11, 2012 (2:07 pm)

    ps…Thankyou West Seattle Community Association!

  • Brian M. July 11, 2012 (2:11 pm)

    was this the public getting what’s right or just a case of adult bullying?

    I think it was a dose of both. While I applaud the folks that came together on this issue, I can’t help but feel that the outrage was demonstrated quite poorly by the few in the audience who could not exercise proper decorum.

  • Grundle July 11, 2012 (2:24 pm)

    Fantastic! Thank you WSB! Without WSB, this would still be moving forward in the back rooms.

  • Jef July 11, 2012 (2:24 pm)

    Don’t mess with West…. Seattle that is!

    The power of the people combined and supported by WSB, FCA and others is another demonstration to the city, state and nation that we are not going to tolerate disregard for due process!

    Cheers to birds, the animals and the trees – we will not let you down!

  • Admiral California July 11, 2012 (2:26 pm)

    Excellent news! And I will agree with the crabby supporters of the proposal that everyone should vote YES for park levies.

  • joan bateman July 11, 2012 (2:27 pm)

    Wow, what a great community effort to save something so near and dear to the hearts of many in West Seattle and the rest of Seattle and its environs.

    Thank you Tracy for the wonderful minutes of the meeting last night. I was amazed at your accuracy and detail.

    Wonder if we could pass the hat at community meetings to establish some extra money for Lincoln Park so that Parks won’t have to feel the need to be creative in this form.

    Forever greatfull that I live in West Seattle.

  • dcn July 11, 2012 (2:29 pm)

    A big thanks to the WSB for breaking and covering the story so thoroughly. It was primarily a one-sided story because there wasn’t much support for a zipline in the WS community. It was a bad idea. I’m sure there are other locations in the greater Seattle area that might host a zipline that people could enjoy without endangering wildlife nor the serenity of a beautiful park.
    And a big thanks too to the people who put so much time into organizing the resistance and fighting this plan.
    I plan on writing a letter to parks to thank them for listening to the majority of the community’s wishes on this. I really didn’t expect them to back off so quickly.

  • DelridgeV July 11, 2012 (2:32 pm)

    Tracy, Tracy, Tracy!!! Yet again your vigilance and hardwork resulted in exposure of yet more shenanigans emanating from the executive branch of this city’s government. Bravo! Can’t wait to read your election coverage ;-)

  • gatewooder July 11, 2012 (2:33 pm)

    I wonder how much money Parks wasted in the administration of their revenue generating venture? Negative $__,____?
    Next time, come to the community first. Please.

  • Steph July 11, 2012 (2:37 pm)

    Personally, I wanted the ropes course. I understand this was not the “popular” West Seattle postion. Thus, I really appreciate the way Tracy Record conducted herself during an interview on 97.3 today. She was fair in just reporting the news without taking a side or acting to speak on behalf of W. Seattle residents (since there are those of us who did want to see it go through). So while I am disappointed, I commend Tracy on her fair reporting. Thanks.

  • Brian M. July 11, 2012 (2:47 pm)

    For folks looking to say “Thanks” to Parks, why not come out and support the Admiral Neighborhood Association’s August 16 concert at Alki Beach? Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams will be the emcee, and I think it would be the perfect time to express our community gratitude for making the right call.

    • WSB July 11, 2012 (2:52 pm)

      Brian, I just published that story, in fact: https://westseattleblog.com/?p=115020
      Steph, thank you. When I got the interview request, I let the producer know up front that WSB does not take positions or editorialize so that if they were looking for an opinion, I wasn’t their gal, but that I would be happy to answer any question I could about what we had learned/saw/heard while reporting on this over the past 13 days. The producer passed that on to the hosts before the interview and said they promised to behave :) TR

  • DF July 11, 2012 (2:47 pm)

    Fantastic news, thanks to all who spoke up on this before I had even heard about it.

    I’m also especially heartened to learn (through the comments made at the FCA meeting as quoted by WSB, and comments elsewhere) that other people in my community, people who I’ve never met, value many of the same aspects of Lincoln Park as I do. I love meandering along its trails, discovering bird-songs, lichens and vistas, and often imagine it’s my own little secret — a great park will do that. Knowing that my neighbors have similar experiences only enhances my esteem for this treasure.

  • c July 11, 2012 (2:52 pm)

    Yes yes yes!!!! Thank you everyone who attended the meeting last night! Thank you parks dept. for ending this.

  • CMT July 11, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    Chiming in to say that this is great news!

  • Grundle July 11, 2012 (2:57 pm)

    So now, how bout that public involvement process? I think that the poor folks who had the job of attending last night’s meeting could have been spared this pain had they been more transparent much earlier in the process. It’s never good when the media breaks the story, instead of in this case, Parks initiating community outreach. Makes you wonder what else is going on now.

  • Mr. Bird July 11, 2012 (2:58 pm)

    I am a bird and I am for the zipline. It gets a little boring at the higher levels. I was looking forward to having some cables to land on and platforms to leave bird droppings. Also more oppty for picking through peoples bags for Doritos. Thanks for thinking of me, however if you really want to help, shut down any Shakespeare in the park events. They go late and Shakespeare just doesn’t do anything for me.

  • cruzer July 11, 2012 (3:14 pm)

    yay yay yay thanks WSB and neighbors who showed up at the meeting to make our voices heard and protect beautiful Lincoln Park! (who sez you can’t fight City Hall)

  • Bonnie July 11, 2012 (3:30 pm)

    I am so grateful for the work my neighbors put into stopping this quickly, especially Trileigh and the WSB, without whom many of us would not have known about this proposal. In response to “M”, GoApe did not serve the needs of the public, just those who could afford the price of a ticket and can physically access it, so you’re right, “not in my backyard”!

  • godofthebasement July 11, 2012 (3:31 pm)

    Thanks to everyone for bullying the city into cancelling four of five planned public meetings and thus depriving others of the opportunity to give their input!! You must be so PROUD!!!!!

  • anonyme July 11, 2012 (3:33 pm)

    Although I’m a little surprised that someone in local government actually listened, I’m thrilled with the outcome.

  • Chet July 11, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    Thank you West Seattle Blog for pointing a spot light on this insanity.

    Why should anyone have any gratitude for the parks? This is was an insane proposal they were trying to push through until caught. If it wasn’t for them being caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they would have jammed this proposal forward.

    What a waste of taxpayer’s money. A year of secret meetings for a proposal that couldn’t hold up to a week of public scrutiny. They should fire the administrator who thought this was ever a good idea.

    Did you know that Seattle is second in the country for the funding of our parks system? Second! It is only through mismanagement and stupidity that the parks have gotten themselves into this position in the first place – I will not go show my gratitude to anyone involved least of all Christopher Williams. He should resign.

  • cj July 11, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    Thank you P&R for listening to the community!
    There are other places to meet this” demand for this emerging form of recreation” that would not require so much destruction of nature. I really wish the sports fields in Lincoln part were also in other parks that would not have required them to destroy forest for installment. We have open parks all over the place, use them and stop killing our trees.

    Thanks again for thinking this over.

  • shazamm July 11, 2012 (3:43 pm)

    “OK, so while we’re hot, what else can we change ?? Global warming ? Poverty ? War ?”

    Let’s get rid of that Stadium deal that is going to mess up traffic for West Seattle. The city used the same tactic of keeping it a secret and then the press found out. Tired of this stuff from city hall.


  • cascadianone July 11, 2012 (3:46 pm)

    Good news, glad to hear it! Thanks to WSB, Dr. Tucker, the Fauntleroy Community and everyone else who stepped up. I do sorta feel bad for the Go Ape Rep- looked like he was ready to jump up and zip-line away in that pic! Hope they gave the poor guy a day of stress leave after that meeting! :D

    Now we’ll need to be extra-vigilant, it’s clear that Parks is looking to cash in… The next proposal might be even worse and/or more secretive.

  • WsBoB July 11, 2012 (3:51 pm)

    Sorry I could not make the meeting. If the Parks Dept cannot make anymore internal cuts, I agree that a parking fee like Marymoor park is the next option to raise revenue. A $1 or 2 is not asking too much to keep the park clean.

  • Tracey July 11, 2012 (3:58 pm)

    I was there and didn’t speak or call out in the crowd, but I can attest that the so called booing and hissing lasted probably at most 30 seconds in total. Bruce Butterfield took control of the situation immediately and reminded people that this was an FCA board meeting and any behavior or calling out like that wouldn’t be tolerated. After that, both Rebecca Salinas and Charles Ng had plenty of uninterrupted time to speak. The ZipGo representative who was there did not say a word nor did he stand up in the front with the parks and rec people, which spoke volumes to me.

  • Melanie July 11, 2012 (3:58 pm)

    We fought city hall! Once again I will quote Margaret Meade, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” I just love that and I thank each and everyone of you for your efforts.

  • Chris July 11, 2012 (4:10 pm)

    Awesome news! Great job WSB, FCA, Brian, and everyone who stood up to preserve the park.

  • MyEye July 11, 2012 (4:17 pm)

    Alright now let’s take all our outrage over our white collar problems and go help find a better home for DESC than Delridge, which also had that project sprung on them after years of closed door meetings.

  • Mongo July 11, 2012 (4:21 pm)

    A number of comments in this thread have referenced the need for community support of Lincoln Park in these times of tight budgets. While most of the comments referred to direct financial support, it’s important to recognize there are other ways we all can support and maintain this (often taken-for-granted) gem of a public space.

    Specifically, by volunteering a little of your time to the upkeep and improvement of the park. There are a variety of volunteer groups that help with the park. My hope is that the visibility from this controversy will have some positive result in encouraging even more West Seattlites go join in.

    One of the groups I know of is Friends of Lincoln Park. We do invasive plant removal & replanting twice a month — first Saturday and third Sunday from 9 am to noon:


    It’s good exercise and provides another way to give back to the park. Next work party is this Sunday, July 15th. Hope we’ll see some new faces!

  • dsa July 11, 2012 (4:40 pm)

    Thank you WSB for reporting this in depth as you have done. Without your journalism this good news would never have transpired, especially not so quickly.
    I believe the city realized the ground swell of opposition had the means to put up a significant fight in addition to definitely cost somebody their elected seat if this dragged out to long.

  • chet July 11, 2012 (4:47 pm)

    WsBoB, the seattle park systems are the second most well funded park systems in the country. It is only through mismanagement and incompetence that we have gotten into this position. We need a change, a change in the parks leadership.

  • ttt July 11, 2012 (4:48 pm)

    Yippee! Thanks to WSB for bringing us the story, info, etc. and thanks to all that went to the meeting!!!

  • Debbie July 11, 2012 (4:51 pm)

    Whooohoooo! So excited our voices were heard! Thank you for keeping the park as is!

  • Chris July 11, 2012 (5:08 pm)

    Lincoln Park is my favorite park. It’s close to my house and I’ve spent countless hours there over the years with my family. I understand people being upset about the lack of notice, but after reviewing the information on the Parks & Recreation website the ropes course sounds like a fun idea that would have had little or no impact on Lincoln Park’s trees or wildlife and it also would have helped Parks & Recreation financially. Certainly less intrusive than a softball field or a picnic shelter. Too bad the community overreacted before they had all the facts. Sounds like it would have been a “Win, Win” situation for Parks & Recreation and lovers of outdoor recreation who enjoy things like rope courses.

  • Woodsman July 11, 2012 (5:14 pm)

    I think we all should celebrate and go help with Sharon Bakers group – Friends of Lincoln park. She and her volunteer’s have done a wonderful job of how awesome the park looks today. This victory to me is for all the hard work her volunteers have done! Sharon, Thanks for being a great forest steward!

  • Rick in the park July 11, 2012 (5:40 pm)

    Thank you, WSB and FCA for a super job!
    And, for the record, the seattle parks system is well funded, thanks to levies and such. The problem is, Seattle keeps creating new parks- some 430 from what i hear. What we need are fewer parks and better management of the available funds.

  • sc July 11, 2012 (5:45 pm)

    Maybe put the zipline over the “hole”?

  • MCC July 11, 2012 (6:07 pm)

    I wonder how much money Parks spent working on this secret, $65,000 maybe? As already said, charging $1 for parking at all parks where it is possible would generate revenue and should not rankle the park using public.

  • visitor July 11, 2012 (6:20 pm)

    It is NOT a problem in parks leadership, it’s a problem with city leadership. Seattle voters continue to approve parks levies, and the city leadership refuse to fund proportionate parks maintenance for all the new parks and other facilities that are constructed with the levy funds. It’s a massive governance mistake. The push to privatize comes from city council, and probably the mayor too, to correct this error.

  • West Seattleite July 11, 2012 (6:42 pm)

    Good news. Thank you West Seattle Blog for placing this story front and center. Thank you to all of you who pressured the City of Seattle.

  • karen July 11, 2012 (7:02 pm)

    Nice work West Seattlites!

  • wswildlife July 11, 2012 (7:24 pm)

    Yes!! Glad this plan to ruin one of the most beautiful natural places in Seattle had been scrapped. Places like Lincoln are at risk these days, trees and wildlife are in jeopardy because they inconvenience to a few that just don’t care or just want to sell them out. Hooray for Westsiders who took a stand. Thumbs down for Parks dept nubes who are totally out of touch.

  • marie July 11, 2012 (7:26 pm)

    WooooHoooo!!! Thank you Seattle Parks for listening to your people!! And people, thank you for experiencing the wonders of Lincoln Park and loving it so much that you will speak on it’s behalf. For we who currently enjoy this beautiful place and for the generations to come. FCA great job, I was inspired by all the speakers and the knowledge and professionalism of the entire meeting.

  • timh2o July 11, 2012 (7:41 pm)

    I liked this quote!
    “there are some who clearly do not support it at this location”

  • denise July 11, 2012 (8:21 pm)

    Thank you! Thank you! This makes me soooooo happy! It does worry me that the zip line went as far as it did with PARKS.They should know their city better than that. It is like the skate parks…..Who decides what our next activity should be? Buy your own land and build your own toys.

  • Husky July 11, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    So glad! The risk was not worth the reward in my opinion. For the supporters, how often would you have really used it? I like how ‘it’s the next big thing’ according to the parks dept. Sounds like the new lazer tag or paintball.

  • rob July 11, 2012 (9:38 pm)

    I am so proud of this community and feel so fortunate to be able to be here. I have never in my entire life experienced anything like the FCA meeting last night! So focused, so clear, so passionate. Like a careful and respectful tidal wave — irresistible yet with kindness. There are so many people I would thank for all they have done. You know who you are… We made a small revolution happen! We did it!!

  • LivesInWS July 11, 2012 (9:43 pm)

    Such good news — the people organized and won!

    Thank you to WSB for detailed reportage.

    Thank you to all who wrote, called, showed up and spoke up.

  • kennerdoloman July 11, 2012 (9:55 pm)

    @shazamm – Yes, let’s protest bringing back our beloved Sonics and a guy offering to fund the arena *with his own money* because traffic *might* increase in West Seattle. Of course traffic would increase; it would increase all over the city.

  • LongTimer WS July 11, 2012 (10:25 pm)

    I agree with Chet at 3:41pm. We need to find new folks to run our parks. This would have been a done deal if WS Blog had not picked it up. A close call I think!

  • Brian July 11, 2012 (10:52 pm)

    Tracy…none of this would have been possible without your immediate and balanced coverage of this issue. Too often we take for granted that government will act responsibly, that our interests will be protected by those in whom we place our trust. I will admit that I usually allowed others to fight my battles for me, and that I often considered issues raised on the blog to be outside of my ability to effect change. This one issue galvanized me to action, and I will continue to fight for not only the continued serenity offered by my beloved Lincoln Park, but I am now inspired to expand my efforts in support of other issues that will potentially impact my beloved West Seattle. We are fortunate to have such a community champion as the West Seattle Blog, and I would like to encourage us all to build upon this positive momentum to support the Parks Department in their efforts to meet their budgetary shortfall. A rock rolling down a hill can gather significant momentum, and the speed at which we were able to organize to fight this proposal should be harnessed to address other issues threatening this community.

  • Myles July 11, 2012 (11:29 pm)

    Hey GoApe: “Not up in here, not up in here”

  • Michelle M July 11, 2012 (11:49 pm)

    Yea!! We all get busy on our lives and we let alot of things pass us by. BUT, when something so important like taking our park in its current state away from us residents of West Seattle it hits a place in our heart that we have to drop daily living and fight!!!! We did just that:-)
    Thanks to all of West Seattle for stepping up to the plate when it REALLY was important!!!

  • J July 12, 2012 (12:06 am)

    I’m glad for this decision; I think Lincoln Park is already in danger of being loved to death. It occurs to me, though, that Seattle Center could use a better replacement for the Fun Forest than the current pitiful attempt. What about a cool, urban zipline course there, instead?

  • sid July 12, 2012 (6:59 am)

    no zip lines…ever…they’re gateways to more corporate encroachments, advertising, and obnoxious people who would ruin the sanctuary of meditation and contemplation that Lincoln Park provides. I will fight this to the end.

  • Sophista-tiki July 12, 2012 (7:23 am)

    Notice how the people who WANTED this project ( NOT ME) dont really have clear , concise reasons. They just feel dissed and are assuming the rest of us are lame complainers. While the people who are aginst it have well researched reason opposing the project and have considered the long term impact to the park and surounding properties. Could be a difference between property tax payers and renters perhaps??

  • bridge to somewhere July 12, 2012 (9:00 am)

    Incidentally, WSB did a great job covering this story, but they didn’t actually lobby one way or another. I watched that very closely. They were very neutral. And that is *extremely* important to keep in mind, for a news source that only advocates its personal opinion ceases to be a news source.
    Keep up the [objective] work, WSB!

  • Art Cazars July 12, 2012 (9:31 am)


    We need to now move forward with ordinances that would protect the vital green belt portion of this park, so that existing wildlife will have a safe place to habitate.

    There is always potential for future development that could possibly endager the habitat of our most valuable flora and fauna.

    Art Cazares
    West Seattle

  • miws July 12, 2012 (10:49 am)

    Don’t mean to start a conspiracy theory here, but note that Wollet seems to be looking at something below.


    Could it have been Parks and GoAPe Reps?


    Could this plan have been three years in the works, rather than simply one? ;-)



  • twicksea July 12, 2012 (11:35 am)

    Adding my thanks to Tracy/WSB for the excellent journalism in breaking the story and covering it with such depth. If only all our news media showed such a commitment to getting the story right, and with such integrity. And thanks to everyone who attended a meeting, wrote, called, spoke up. I’m proud of my WS community for the quick, organized action! I hope the Parks Dept will find a way to engage with this community in a much more fruitful, positive and appropriate way in the future.

  • twicksea July 12, 2012 (11:37 am)

    And to @Brian, above, hear hear! Well said.

  • Brenda Peterson July 12, 2012 (12:46 pm)

    Thanks to WSB and all those West Seattleites who made it clear that this Zip Line was a really bad idea for people and wildlife, especially vulnerable birds and marine mammals on the beach. We really appreciate the WSB for covering this so expertly and keeping us informed.

  • VBD July 12, 2012 (3:02 pm)

    I have one complaint about the WSB coverage, and the media coverage in general: This issue has been consistently reported as a “zip line proposal”, but that is a minor part of the objections.

    If this had just been a zipline that people could pay a couple of bucks to ride, I would have been fine with that. The actual proposal was for a 9 acre ropes course that would have cost $55 ea. to enter. THAT is the real issue. Taking 9 acres of undeveloped land in the park, and charging a ridiculous amount of money to enter (a family of 4 would cost nearly $200!!). 9 acres is a huge area.

    I realize that not all that land would be fenced, but enough of it would be disrupted and off limits to non-paying customers, that the real issue was the loss of park space open to all. Pair that with the fact the whole operation just looked lame. Some shaky bridges, rope nets, and a couple of ziplines. That is NOT worth paying $55 each to enter.

    So a big “BOOO!!” to WSB coverage for using “Zipline Proposal” in all it’s headlines. It SHOULD have read “Expensive Private 9 Acre Ropes Course Proposal”.

    On the other hand, a big “Thanks” for getting the issue out, and doing a great job of sticking with the story.

    • WSB July 12, 2012 (4:51 pm)

      VBD – Terminology was indeed a big part of the story, and while I apologize for not meeting your expectations, I did the best I could. I highlighted ziplines because that’s one of the major selling points for the company, if you look at their literature, AND what made this different from a “ropes course.” I noted that “ropes course” was the terminology that the Parks Department kept using, but that conjures images of something more like what is at Camp Long, close to the ground, fairly noninvasive, not a “thrill ride.” At some point, whether it’s comprehensive or not, you have to shorten things down, and you have to decide what terminology you are going to use. On first reference in every story, I usually used “zipline/rope swing” and made some allusion to the “treetop adventure” term that Go Ape used. And regarding the cost, we did report that from the very start. Yesterday, when I was interviewed on KIRO Radio about an hour before word came that this was withdrawn by Parks, co-host Luke Burbank waxed enthusiastic about the concept until I mentioned the admission prices. Certainly Go Ape has to make a return on its investment – its documents also said that it would pay the entire half-million-dollar construction price tag … but to give over park land to a for-profit, high-ticket-price concern would have been unprecedented… TR

  • Zipped July 12, 2012 (3:15 pm)

    Fwiw Seattle Center currently has a temporary small zip line located on the site of the old Fun Forest. Check it out for all y’all suggesting Sea Center as possible zip line locale.


  • ws_suzanne July 12, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    Brian — You articulated my thoughts perfectly.

    Tracy — Please let us know if you hear of another Go Ape proposal anywhere in Seattle. I don’t trust Parks to protect sensitive habitat or enforce their own policies. Based on their press release, they may be continuing to work with Go Ape representatives (above: “Williams and Go Ape have not yet decided whether to proceed with a ropes course proposal at another site.”). Sounds fairly likely to me.

  • Ted July 12, 2012 (10:08 pm)

    Tracy and the WSB – a sincere thanks for helping break this story and helping to mobilize the community.

    I personally sent a number of notes to the mayor, parks and the council after reading your initial story – and pledging that – if this zip line was approved – it would be by personal mission to boot these idiots from office.

    LINCOLN PARK SAVED …and WSB had a large part in it.

    thanks again.
    Ted – long time WSB fan

  • dm July 12, 2012 (10:52 pm)

    What a relief! Thank you WSB for getting the word out!

  • Melissa July 13, 2012 (6:09 pm)

    Westcrest Park might be a great place for something like this. We could keep the ropes course in West Seattle, but it wouldn’t endanger anything. The area on top of the reservoir is huge!

  • Your neighborhood, my neighborhood. A little different. July 16, 2012 (5:04 pm)

    MyEye has a good point.
    While I don’t know much about this project, if it was damaging to the wildlife I am glad it was axed. Good to hear neighbors got involved.
    It is a sad reality that organizations like the DESC don’t get taken to task or questioned the way the Parks Department does with any substantial change to the outcome or impact on a community.
    At least the Parks Department didn’t LIE to neighbors and use their political connections to get illegal waivers.

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