Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Neighbors Saving Byrd Park

From my latest rant about the proposed Go Ape ropes course project aimed at Byrd Park:
Gathering the story of why City Hall is considering the installation of a “ropes course” in Byrd Park has been something like trying to lasso a smoke ring. The only person who seemed to be able/willing to answer questions about the proposed project, J.R. Pope, no longer works for the City of Richmond.

But we have other sources. On Fri., Nov. 12, between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Richmond’s then-Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, J.R. Pope, was at a meeting in the Marshall Plaza Building at 900 E. Marshall St. The initiator of the meeting, Marty Jewell (5th District Councilman), was also there.
Click here to read "Anywhere But Byrd Park."


Alfonzo said...

I think the course is a great thing for the city. The city and its people will gain a unique attraction that will enhance use of the park.

People will still have full use of the trails in that wooded area for biking, hiking, dog walking etc. as explained by Go Ape. No one is losing any use of the park.

This is a low impact activity that will accommodate small groups of people at a time. I don't think it is going to generate tons of noise. Tell me exactly how a ropes course will generate more noise than the dog park?

And how exactly would people in trees impact the stream? People walking and biking and walking dogs would have more of an impact.

Frankly a ropes course in this area is great. Not sure why you and others are so adamantly against it.

I haven't heard one good point against it, sounds like a small few are miffed that the city didn't seek their blessing before starting talks with Go Ape.

F.T. Rea said...


It's my understanding that Go Ape plans to fence off parts of the ropes course. That's what a group of citizens were told at a meeting with City officials on Nov. 12. So, folks who don't pay to enter Go Ape's area will not have full use of the park.

As far as noise is concerned the dog bin is not close to any houses, which is a good thing. However, the much larger Go Ape footprint would include land adjacent to a number of homes across the street from the southwestern portion of the park.

Putting a ropes course in the densely-wooded part of Byrd Park that Go Ape wants to claim for its business use would require clearing away underbrush and some small trees. If you know that part of the park, then you know what I mean.

Those changes would impact the stream. How much I don't know. Protections for the Chesapeake Bay's watershed may come into play.

Byrd Park already offers a variety of recreational choices. There's plenty to do. In a nutshell, I am against shoehorning a ropes theme park into the last section of Byrd Park that remains natural. That quiet part of the park remains as it was 100 years ago.

Some of us put a value on keeping a plot of undisturbed nature in our midst, right in the middle of town. We don't want to chase off the eagles and deer that live there now.