July 17, 2017
Aspiring fans of Tarzan — any fan of fun, really — will soon have another great reason to visit Fairmount Park.
The city of Philadelphia has finalized an agreement that will bring a zipline and treetop obstacle course to the western part of the park in the coming year, serving both children and adults in search of a new outdoor pursuit.
A concession agreement reached with Georgia-based Treetop Quest ensures that the long-awaited project will finally come to fruition. Among various goals set for the course, city officials are looking to provide more opportunity to for young residents to connect with healthy outdoor recreation and environmental education.
The Treetop Adventure Course, planned at the intersection of Chamounix Drive and Ford Road, will cover five acres with activities and obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty. Plans include ziplines, balance beams, suspended trampolines and courses that will take up to a few hours to complete.
Under the 10-year agreement, Treetop Quest will build the $500,000 and provide the city with $20,000 up front, followed by a four percent cut of the venture's annual revenue.
Construction of the course will remove invasive plants, restore the forest and establish new public trails with educational signage. At least 25 staff members will be hired from the local community.
Philadelphia's department of Parks and Recreation will also receive 1,000 free vouchers per year for its summer camp program. At least 25 staff members will be hired from the local community.
Treetop Quest, which has two existing courses in Georgia and one in Mississippi, is expected to complete the Philadelphia course by Spring 2018.