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Proposed Lincoln Park zip line draws mixed reviews

SEATTLE -- A proposed zip line in Seattle's Lincoln Park would offer a unique way to experience Mother Nature, but not everyone in the neighborhood is thrilled about seeing Tarzan-like swings flying high overhead.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department is considering installing what's being called a "treetop adventure course" in Lincoln Park. The idea is to give visitors a unique view of the park, while at the same time earning some extra money for the city.

Last summer the city heard from three zip-line companies and chose a British company called Go Ape to explore the possibility of developing and operating an adventure course inside Lincoln Park. According to the city, Go Ape would finance the entire project and no existing activities would be disrupted.

"We do have a budget shortfall and, like I said, we're looking to partnerships, so this is potentially $69,000 a year for the next five years for Seattle Parks budget, which would be very helpful," said Karen O'Connor of the parks department.

In a time when the city is in desperate need for money, some Seattleites think the zip line is a good idea.

"If they charge money it'll help make the parks more money, so I think it'd be a plus," said Chris Schumacher.

Others, such as Brian Romas, aren't sold on the idea and don't believe public parks should be used for commercial purposes. Romas lives just a few blocks from the park and was so outraged by the idea that he started a Facebook page to get his message across.

"Unfortunately, (charging) 55 bucks for adults and 35 bucks for kids is going to bring an element of people in for a for profit venture in a public land," he said "(That) makes no sense to me at all."

Along with giving jobs to locals, the plan also calls for Go Ape to provide more than 500 free tickets to Seattle Programs. A public hearing on the plan is scheduled in August.

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