Slacklining is legal in Seattle parks, once and for all.

The Stranger is running an article on the emerging slackline debacle that kicked off a week or so ago when a security officer stopped me in Cal Anderson park and insisted slacklining was illegal. I posted the details previously, and to briefly summarize: the police were called, slacklining is not illegal, does not (in the estimation of the Seattle Police as well as various arstrangerborists) harm trees (when adequate padding is used). The matter has moved to higher authorities, who have been very responsible.

A spokesperson for the Seattle Parks and Recreation agency sat down with me last week and we had a chat about our mutual concerns for environmental responsibility (aka: tree-protection) and safety hazards. The result is that slacklining is now not just legal, but officially sanctioned in Seattle parks. Best practices include using highly visible line colors when possible, always padding the trees, using trees of sufficient thickness, and not leaving lines unattended unless they are flagged.

I have a tree-padding idea coming to fruition in the near future.  Stay tuned.

If anyone has questions or continued access problems, please let me know!  Thanks.

1 Comment

  1. Kaede Holland says:

    So happy to have found your site. I moved to orange county from portland last year and have been slacklining for about 7 months on the beach by my house.

    I was approached by park ranger & city code enforcer who asked me to take my line down – when I asked to see what code or law prohibited slacklining – he could only cite “damage of city property” and also performing an unsafe activity. I was only 2 ft off the ground… just walking and doing yoga.

    They said I could not slackline anywhere in Newport Beach. Huge bummer. I don’t want to continue after being asked to stop, as I feel this could be detrimental to my efforts in working together with the city on access.

    I’m getting organized to talk to parks & rec department & also city council to be proactive and create an AUP that keeps everyone and everything safe (or, at least legally held harmless).

    Can you share your resources? ie) tree safety info from arborists, safety specs, etc?

    Anything would be helpful. Please feel free to email me at the address provided.

    ANSWER: thanks for the comments on this … I have gotten a lot of e-mails over the past few weeks to this same effect, and perhaps it is time to create some centralized resource for information on slacklining safety, tree damage, etc, to help others ease the fears of their local municipal officials. I’ll get back to you soon!

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