AMID OPPOSITION from Roxborough residents and preservation groups, the city last week announced a delay in its plans to build a Treetop Adventure Course at the neighborhood's prized Wissahickon Valley Park.
In a statement Thursday, the Department of Parks and Recreation said it would defer further public discussion and action around the proposed course, pending a re-evaluation.
"The volume of misinformation currently in circulation, along with the Department's responsibility to safeguard valued community partners from misguided criticism, necessitates the additional review and analysis of this opportunity," the statement read.
The statement came the day after the Friends of the Wissahickon organization - which initially had said it would support the project if Parks and Recreation addressed a list of concerns - announced that it would not be in favor of the course.
"Although [Parks and Recreation] was responsive to most of these conditions, several of them remained unmet or only partially met," Friends of the Wissahickon's statement said.
At a public meeting organized by the department at the Schuylkill Center in late March, city officials met with residents to present a plan for the course. Numerous residents at the meeting voiced opposition to the plan.
"The purpose of [the park] is to be natural. This is another manmade thing," Bob Epstein, 64, told the Daily News at the March meeting. "This is slowly being turned into the equivalent of Central Park."
In response to the city's plan, Epstein and several other residents in early April formed the Alliance for Preservation of the Wissahickon, an opposition group, and began to circulate petitions to fight the proposal.
A similar course proposed for Pennypack Park in 2010 was stopped after opposition from local residents.