Going APES–T about possible Go Ape Zipline

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    datamuse, this is totally anecdotal, but I went zip lining in Costa Rica, through the forest, and it was the only place I didn’t see a single animal or hear a single bird. The zip line people said the animals learn to avoid the place and associate the noise with danger. So, I would say it’s safe to assume that zip lining and wildlife don’t mesh.

    And yes, we are in the city, and don’t exactly own the park (West Seattleites don’t, but the public does). But any time a private company gobbles up public land for profit, that’s a problem.



    I agree with the private-company angle, quesera. That troubles me, as well as some of the information coming out of WSB’s reporting on this that the revenue going back to the city (presumably the reason they’re doing this in the first place) will be minimal. Makes the venture seem like an even worse idea.

    It just also seems to me that there’s going to have to be some pretty vocal protest to keep this project from happening, and I’d like to be sure that the reasons people are advancing against it will hold water.



    While we’re at it…can we build a golf course in Discovery Park? I’ve always though that would make the most amazing true links course in the US…it would put Chambers Bay to shame.

    However…it’s a city park…so as bad as I might want to play golf there, it’s just not right to turn a public treasure into a private use like that.

    Same thing for ziplines. It would be one thing if they were going to let everyone use the zipline for free (or nearly free)…but to “lease out” publicly owned trees to a private company so they can make $$ on operating a zipline, with minimal taxpayer benefit? Seems pretty ridiculous.

    I’m all for free markets and private enterprise, but this is a slippery slope. If we let this happen, then I might just get to play golf in Discovery Park by the time I’m 50.

    It’s public property, and the public should get to use all of it…without having to pay a hefty fee.



    Downtown – I think a zipline involving the Seattle Aquarium, the Pacific Science Center and Pike Place Market would be a huge draw for the downtown area. Like I said in my original post, utilizing a draw that is already there (Ferris wheel)would be great and if the Parks Department could benefit from them, that would be even better.

    Local – Yes, there should be something for the kids on a more local level, but not at the expense of what green spaces we have left. The parks in West Seattle offer an array of activities for kids and adults already. Team sports, individual sports, space for family outings, playgrounds for the little ones, and a host of educational programs.

    Why not think outside the box or park as it were. Why not look at areas where with a little work can be rehabilitated and used for something like a “zipline” park, trees and all. Jack Block Park is a good example that you can make something beautiful from ugly. Make the zipline the draw, but eventually put in other areas where kids and adults can mingle. Maybe twin pools?



    I don’t have strong feelings on this, but I would ask everyone on here who is strongly against it to go to the July 18 meeting and any subsequent public meetings. When you’re there, by all means voice your objections. But please be polite about it, and don’t cast the proposal as some kind of corporate conspiracy. Just say you think it’s not a good idea and state your reasons.

    (Remember that it’s just a proposal at this stage. And in all honesty, I think the intentions behind it up to this point were good, even if the process wasn’t as open as it should’ve been.)

    Anyway, if you go to the meetings and your sense is that you’re in the majority, but you’re not being listened to by Parks and/or the City Council, THEN you can turn up the heat.




    DBP…when I first heard about this, I said “meh”, but didn’t get too up in arms. Then I read about the company, where they are in the US, what they charge, and how big an area they really need. They bring in a “cabin” as headquarters, where they sell things, and presumably sign you up, etc. The other three parks in the US that do this have multiple commercial ventures. One has 20 miles of mountain bike trails. One has boat rentals, a beach where you can swim. They are a different kind of recreational park than Lincoln Park. While I’m not against ziplining (although this body is NOT going to do it – lol), I think there has got to be a more suitable place. They like to do it in the trees, hence, the “ape” part, so, a city/waterfront setting isn’t really ideal. But, we have lots of green areas, and many parks/greenbelts/forests that are much bigger, acreage wise, than one here in West Seattle that would be more suitable.

    I suppose that makes me a “fuddy, duddy”, huh :D

    oh, and, for the record. I would have loved Luna Park and the Natatorium down at Alki. Absolutely suited for that area…



    I’m mixed on this one, but find myself agreeing (in part) with JanS because Lincoln Park is geographically limited.

    Maybe find a better place like in a larger park, with better parking.

    They will get push back here, and go somewhere like Snoqualmie Falls, Tiger Mountain, or something. It will still happen, we will just have to drive further, and the jobs won’t go to W.S. students/residents.

    It’s not like Lincoln Park is their only option.



    whoa…did I read that right? you agree, even just a little, with me? lol…


    old timer

    @ 32 JV

    What makes you think that any jobs related to this endeavor

    are earmarked for ‘W.S. students/residents”?

    Anyone from anywhere could apply and obtain any jobs here.

    Wavin’ that dollar bill around does not always work the way you’d hope.



    Oh please… they are going to migrate in from Detroit to take tickets and check zip lines? It a seasonal job. And.. we could insist they do so as part of the lease agreement. The park has its own youth employment program. It’s a park. Maximum use for maximum public benefit. You pay a toll for transiting bridges, ferries, taxes for stadiums you don’t even use!! It’s a user fee. Don’t want to pay it? Don’t ride it. Let’s tear out Coleman Pool too.. they charge. Coleman pool just into the sound habitat for slamon, seals, etc etc… I was designated a recreational area when it became a park. Those soccer fields and baseball diamonds sure don’t attract hummingbirds. I think we are getting too old, too staid, and forget all the cool things in the city are no longer free… we lease all kinds of public facilites, schools, hospitals. right of ways, city real estate… this is nothing new.



    No offence, but for $6 per person, I can take my niece to the Coleman pool for three hours of open swim. Add an optional ice-cream cone on to the tab and I am looking at $20 for to two of us to have an afternoons worth of entertainment. The information thus far shows that adult tickets (and yes, adults HAVE to accompany any one under 18) will be $55 and children $35 – meaning $90 for two hours of entertainment and no ice-cream (a must for my niece :-). Not even the events/museums admissions at the publicly owned Seattle Center cost that much (maybe the needle?). This is publicly paid for park land and I think the issue of general economic accessibility should be taken into account.



    Lincoln Park is most certainly filled with native trees and habitat!


    I admit I haven’t read the “hard” literature on the impacts of zip lines on birds myself, but the word in the professional bird-nerd world is that they are indeed harmful. That’s the informed-common-sense opinion too.



    Going back to the entire ideal of why we even pay to have public parks, I would encourage everyone who can to watch the first 30 minuets of the Ken Burns documentary on the creation of the national parks system. It was eye-opening for me to learn just how unique the ideal of publicly assessable, publicly owned recreation and “natural” area was at the time and remains today.

    Will post the links when I have the chance to find them (I love zip lines but wanted to make sure I was not promoting something incredibly destructive), the general consciences among biologist who have studied impacts of zip line noise/use on wildlife (this is a contentious issue in places like Costa Rica where a lot of “jungle lines” are, so there have been numerous studies), is that it does drive away wildlife for about a quarter mile to ½ mile radius. As many studies state, this is ecologically better then the land being burned for farming or ranching, and it does bring in resource money for groups to purchase and conserve more area, but nevertheless, it does have an impact. Not a big deal if you are a conservation group with 6,000+ acres to work with, something more to consider in a tight neighbored park.



    actually, Kootch, it’s a year round enterprise, even in snow…imagine that. They have to have workers to instruct you to how to use it, they have to have people on the course at all times to help anyone who needs help. Not a 16 yo. As stated in the post above, under 18 must be accompanied by an adult (and not just on the ground – they have to do it with them)



    NO..NO..NO.. not in my backyard! I will go postal on their equipment if they start to build. I’m no tree hugger, but I am crazy.



    This is one of those public-private “partnerships” that just plain stinks. Compare what the private company gets out of this deal with what current users and neighbors of the park get. The private company gets: the use of up to nine acres of forested park land in a popular city park; permission to install a profit-making venture on public park land; the use of existing free parking for its employees and clients; access to older-growth trees to support an installation of ladders, bridges and tunnels of wood, rope, and wire zip-lines; permission to build at least one building for handling customers. The company gets this opportunity for an annual fee of $45,000 to $60,000 per year, which translates to about sixteen cents per acre.

    What do current users of Lincoln Park get out of this: we lose six to nine acres of prime, forested park land, which we already use for active recreation in the form of walking, running, and riding our bikes; we lose six to nine acres of one of the few public spaces in town that is even arguably “natural” — in the sense that you can stroll through a dense stand of older growth fir, hemlock, and cedar, and maybe watch a fledgling owl learning to hunt or watch eagles building their nest; we lose at least 25 parking spaces to clients of the zipline company (and judging from their materials, it could be substantially more than that); we lose one of the few areas in Lincoln Park or anywhere else in the city that is peaceful and quiet, but for the sounds of birds; we get an obstacle course and ziplines that we can use for a couple of hours for $55 (adults) or $35 (kids); we get the annual payment of $45,000 to $60,000, which probably doesn’t cover the full cost of even one skilled groundskeeper; and we give up the notion that the few large, forested parks in the city will be preserved as fundamentally natural spaces.

    Saying that this is a city park and it should be used for recreation ignores the fact that this park, along with a few others (Seward Park, Discovery Park) is intended to provide a large forested area where people can experience what is generally only available miles away from the city. If you stick a nine-acre obstacle course in the treetops in the middle of the park, as this company intends to do, a much larger area of the park will lose its essential character and birds, especially the birds of prey, will lose another chunk of their habitat.

    Why would we sell this incredible resource, which is used and loved by many of us exactly as it is right now, to some private company so that it can use our park land to turn a profit? It makes no sense, and I hope my fellow Lincoln Park users make themselves heard at the public meetings coming up and by writing to the council and the parks department.



    Yeah, the more I read about the particulars of this proposal, the less I like it.

    Hmm, if they MUST do this, how about locating it in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, with the stipulation that this company do restoration work as a condition of use? It’d be a much smaller percentage of the overall greenspace, and the restoration work is sorely needed.



    Kind of defeats the purpose of restoration, doesn’t it? Why remove invasive plants, replant natives, attract wildlife – only to have it trampled and destroyed by a theme park? I don’t see how a treetop roller coaster ride is compatible with the restoration of habitat.




    At some point in one of the Duwamish Alliance community/stakeholders meetings in the past four/five years, I remember seeing a “dream” map of sorts which was created from ideas contributed by VESTED citizens of same. Future uses and visions of South Park-River-W. Duwamish areas included connecting greenbelt to South Park shore…which will begin the big federal cleanup later this year(maybe next?).

    I can see it. I mean REALLY see your suggestion as a pragmatic viable alternative. Ziplines starting in newly cleared WD Greenbelt with interesting “opportunities” for future (anticipating decades ahead,here) redevelopment of the river and revamped access to an actively used river by neighboring communities. That day is finally on its way and integrating the recreational aspect here seems more appropriate than LP. Inserting a zipline at the noisiest margins of this currently restoring system from the ground up, if you will, makes a ton of sense.

    I have always been behind the notion of putting a smattering of regulated bike trails in the farthest reaches too. It is also a key thing here for me thatthere is a future connection of “place” – across the river – through the greenbelt. I think it was mentioned in a visioning meeting as skytrams from WDG to a newly cleaned up So Park shoreline park?

    Assuming the financial crap is resolved, these kinds of eco-businesses ( not necessarily GoApe, I must loudly emphasize)*could* be, if one really imagines it, the beginning of a micro-eco-tourism zone…in five twenty or however many years from now.. which could serve many diverse interests across the board much better. Not hard for me to imagine, personally.

    Wonder what Nature Consortium and Duwamish Alliance would say to all of this. Somebody should ask ’em. Don’t ya’ think?



    Of the alternate suggestions Magnuson park makes the most sense except I don’t think they have the amount of trees the zipline people want. It’s definitely a more developed park though.

    And don’t even think of the greenspace even sarcastically. Yuck, yuck, yuck.



    Well, anonyme, the suggestion was mostly facetious, but I have to say it’d be better than some of the current uses of the place based on some of the stuff I’ve found in there during restoration work parties. (That said, based on what I’ve since read here and elsewhere about the impact on birds, I’m actually rather skeptical, since I’ve seen everything from hummingbirds to bald eagles on my walks in the greenbelt.)

    WSDood, I’ve often contemplated what that river and the area around it might look like in the future. Ever been on San Antonio’s riverwalk? Not necessarily something THAT commercially developed, but I like the idea of a walking-dedicated outdoor space that is a destination as well as a pleasant way of getting around.




    You were being facetious? Well, darnnit. I am just too ahead of my time I guess ;). haha. Part of that vision of the greenbelt and river of the future has mini water taxis/gondolas scooting all around too. Hey, if there can be a Duwamish Rowing Club, and there is, maybe anything really is possible.

    Haven’t been to Riverwalk myself, but an old ex of mine was from near there so I heard it was great.


    HMC Rich

    I love zip lines. Had a ball on one near Puerta Vallarta.

    I like Westseattledood’s thoughts. I too thought that area would be better.

    I also remember Disney wanting to invest in Seattle Center, but got a big nooooooo from the provincial Seattle people and powers that were. Oh well, I really don’t care on this one.



    Sorry datamuse, a lot of things are difficult to read into posts – facetious is one of them.

    I like the Riverwalk idea for the Duwamish, though. You’re serious, right?

    Having worked for many years as a gardener in public places, I’m only too aware of the activities – and the resultant debris – that occur in parks and wild areas. Amazing and disgusting.



    Yeah, sorry about that anonyme. Ziplines look like fun but I’d have a lot of questions about whether one could be installed in an environmentally responsible way. (Somewhat seriously, if one can, I do think the Greenbelt makes more sense because it’s so big, and because such a plan could be incorporated into restoration efforts–but ONLY if it could be done in a way that enhanced them, and I’m dubious about that. Anyway, all that is tangential to the main topic.)

    I AM serious about the riverwalk idea, though. So many people have no idea that Seattle even HAS a river, let alone that it’s one of the most polluted sites in the country. I took DRCC’s cruise a few years ago and the river could be a beautiful place, albeit with considerable work.

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