|Letters to the Editor - April 30, 2012|
|Written by Readers|
WHERE’S THE RESPECT?
Gold Creek Park trees are not objects to zip through for a momentary adrenalin rush. All trees are sacred beings, have rights and deserve our respect.
I invite you to hike through our Woodinville park and observe edible stinging nettle and fern fiddleheads, medicinal bleeding heart and trillium, purifying fir and cedar trees and the largest huckleberry bush I’ve ever seen.
Trees hold space in earth and sky to sustain vital ecosystems locally and globally.
And yet humans ignore the signs and warnings — for what purpose?
In honor of Earth Day we offered a ceremony at the Heritage Garden in Sammamish Valley.
I invite those of you who value trees and nature as much as I do to go to Gold Creek Park and offer thanks to our trees for their life supporting substance and system.
It is the nature of trees to give.
And what is our nature as humans — to destroy that which supports us?
Where’s the respect? Where’s the intelligence that includes both mind and heart?
Trish Knox, Sammamish Valley, Woodinville
When I heard about the zip line proposal in Gold Creek Park, one of my first reactions was how exciting it would be to have a zip line park in the neighborhood.
I have two teen/pre-teen boys who would love it!
However, I do have some concerns about such a major undertaking.
I would like to see more discussion and perhaps some modifications to the scale of the plan.
First, I just want to say that I would much rather have an outdoorsy, active use of Gold Creek Park than a new housing development.
I love the beautiful mature forest, but I know it is naïve to think it can stay unspoiled forever.
“Progress” happens, and open spaces are closing up. I can think of a lot worse uses for this land than a healthy recreational activity.
As a neighbor of this park, I am saddened to think of the loss of use for hikers and equestrians.
Although the developers claim that use can be maintained, obviously horses will no longer be able to use any trails under the zip lines, only those at the far borders.
I can’t imagine that liability regulations would allow hikers who are non-employees and non-users near or under their equipment, so their trail use will also be limited.
I hope bypass trails can be maintained so equestrians and hikers can still use some portion of this park and connect to other local trails.
I also hope that some areas of old growth will be maintained and preserved.
My biggest concern regarding this project is its viability.
It is going to require a huge financial investment and running expenses. If people are going to be 40 feet up in the trees and in the air, liability insurance will also be sky-high.
Numerous employees will be required to ensure the safety of the guests.
Income is sure to be seasonally sporadic.
Do the income projections adequately account for weather-induced slowing and closures that could occur even in peak summer months?
And what about equipment? I see there is a chairlift in the design.
What demographic are we looking at?
I can’t imagine that anyone who is going to be zipping through the forest canopy is going to be unable or unwilling to walk a few hundred yards through the (previously) beautiful forest and climbing a ladder to begin their adventure.
Just removing the chairlift and shortening the runs to create a buffer zone could make this project much more acceptable to the neighboring residents.
If this project does begin, I want it to succeed.
I feel the worst possible outcome would be to have the construction and undergrowth deforestation proceed, and then have the neighborhood and King County stuck with a bankrupt project to clean up in the ruined forest.
Carolyn Houser, Woodinville resident and park neighbor
If King County Parks is willing to hand over the entire 35 acres of Gold Creek Park to a private company, it does not bode well for all the other parks that are under their stewardship.
Is there a natural area that you enjoy within the county system?
How about if King County Parks replaced the dog park at Marymoor with a miniature golf course? Or they decided to let a helicopter tour company install some landing pads on the acreage they own on Tiger Mountain? Would that be a problem for anyone?
The citizens of Woodinville are the first to get the full force of the “business development” side of King County Parks.
If this proposal goes through, it will set a precedent that puts every one of our county parks in danger of takeover by businesses eager to exploit public land.
Patty Martin, Redmond
For the last 40 years Gold Creek Park has been enjoyed by families and equestrians.
It is also home to many animals.
If a zip line is put in, do you really think it will still be operating 40 years from now?
Gold Creek Park is our ONLY community park. Please leave it intact.
It is absolutely reprehensible to me that King County Parks would even consider a proposal like the one Gravity Works is suggesting.
This is a residential area where families live and in no way conducive to zip lines!
The trail system and wooded area in Gold Creek Park are the only untouched and unspoiled places of natural beauty in the area.
The environmental impact that this would have should be enough of a reason not to do it.
It completely sickens me that someone wants to destroy what has been a beautiful trail system and forestry along with the animals and natural habitats that reside there.
It is also beloved by the equestrian community and used daily year round.
It is obvious that in no way could that continue with screaming zip liners racing through overhead.
It doesn’t matter how “quiet” the zip line equipment is when the people on it are screaming.
I would also point out that anyone living in close proximity to this will also be subject to the noise this will create.
To say it will bring property values down is an understatement.
There is also an elementary school down the road to consider when bringing tourists into the area.
I also sincerely question the revenue that this would supposedly be bringing into the city and/or county.
The weather the majority of the year here is not something that I can imagine most people would flock in droves to zip line in.
I find it hard to believe that this is a sound business proposal to begin with.
In any case Gold Creek Park is not meant to be turned into an amusement park with screaming tourists.
The costs in dealing with the traffic increase and other variables would surely offset any potential revenue for the city anyway.
I travel that road daily and it is already an issue (in rush hour it’s a mess).
This is a small residential area that is not meant to deal with this kind of increase in traffic.
I feel sorry for any of the families who live in the vicinity if this allowed to proceed.
I feel sorry for ALL of us if we lose what we should protect the most.
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.”- Lord Byron