Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No Zipline, and a Final Letter

The word came down around noon on Wednesday, July 11th, reported first, as usual, by the West Seattle Blog:
BULLETIN: Lincoln Park zipline proposal scrapped, says Parks

There was a huge, collective sigh of relief in West Seattle, perhaps even noted as a minor seismic event on a meter somewhere.... Many, many thanks to all the people who worked hard to organize, attend, and participate at gatherings, in person, and on-line.

A very special thanks to all the people who wrote letters to the Mayor, the City Council, and the Seattle Parks Department. I know there were probably thousands of emails sent in opposition this past week. I believe that those letters most likely set the table for the tipping point that occurred at Tuesday's meeting.

I will close with an email letter that was ready to be sent to the City Council and the Parks Department, but never got sent, because the decision to reverse the zipline proposal was made so quickly. It is from a former student of mine. I am very proud of her, and I hope it serves as a reminder to all of us to listen. To everyone. Always.

I am Siobhan and I just turned 12. I am sending you this email because I think it’s a horrible idea to put a zipline in Lincoln Park!!!! It’s just crazy! Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably thinking, it’s no big deal, it’s just a big zipline, right? Well, IT IS A BIG DEAL!! Now I know it might not have a super big effect, but come on WE, and I mean WE, have to get down to the small things, because sometimes the small things are the most important things. Like the eagles and owls. If you ok the zipline, do you know what is going to happen to them? They will leave! And a lot of people go to Lincoln Park to see the eagles and owls. I even bet YOU go to Lincoln Park! Now isn’t it awesome when you see one of those beautiful and majestic eagles flying around or getting material for their nest or if you are ever so lucky to see one of those little adorable but ever so powerful owls sitting in their nest? Now don’t you think it would be HORRIBLE if that zipline was built and away went the beautiful eagles and adorable but powerful owls? I absolutely think it would be horrible.

I also love to go to Lincoln Park with my friends and even with just my sister and parents! I also love how quiet and peaceful it is at Lincoln Park, but if you build that zipline it would be so loud! It would probably feel like a huge fair instead of a peaceful park.

Also there would be no parking because of all the zipline people! So even if you still wanted to go to Lincoln Park you wouldn’t be able to because there would be nowhere to park.

Now the next time you see an eagle or owl or a picture of one YOU look it straight in the eye and YOU think to yourself “Do I really want to take away this magnificent animal’s home away from it?” And if you decide you do, try telling it “I am going to take your home and it’s going to be ALL MY FAULT.” Or the next time you see a kid think “Do I really want to take away such a wonderful place from these kids?” And also remember I love to go to Lincoln Park but if you build this zipline I won’t want to go anymore.

Birdwatcher in Lincoln Park

Peace - in the canopy - Mark


  1. So nice to hear this from a 12year old. So well written...she must have had good teachers!

  2. That was a great letter! I also see it as an illustration that at least this issue was one where letters to public officials or letters to be read by the public, can have equal, or even greater effect, if written by kids. This is at least one case where kids can participate in, and have an effect on, the democratic process.

  3. Nice job Siobhan! You've turned into a well spoken young woman!