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.
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. Parks had issued an Expression of Interest and had selected private British company Go Ape to build the project.
After Tuesday night’s meeting with the Fauntleroy Community Association, Williams made the decision not to proceed with a high ropes course at Lincoln Park.
“How could you possibly consider desecrating the gem of the Seattle parks department, let alone West Seattle?” asked one woman at the meeting. “This is a jewel.”
Many spoke out about the potential impact to the park, including the noise, traffic, safety and environmental concerns.
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting another form of outdoor entertainment; it just needs to be in a different setting where the impact on the birds and the people isn’t as much,” said Barbara Webster, a West Seattle resident and master birder.
Some residents voiced their disapproval of the idea of paying to play in a public park.
“The notion that a family of four should pay $200 for a couple of hours on a private ropes course is fundamentally at odds with what this park is about,” said one woman.
Williams and Go Ape have not yet decided whether to proceed with a ropes course proposal at another site.