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Feb. 8, 2017 - Slacklining Now Allowed in Designated Locations Within Boulder Parks

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017
Media Contacts:

Denise White, Parks and Recreation, 303-413-7258
Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 303-441-3155
https://bouldercolorado.gov

Slacklining now allowed in designated locations within Boulder parks

A new City Manager's Rule now allows Boulder's slacklining community to practice the sport in specified locations. The rule, in place since late January 2017, is intended to provide opportunities for a healthy and creative sport within Boulder while protecting trees and other amenities within the parks. 

Slacklining is a sport that has gained popularity in recent years and is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Slacklining encourages social interaction, is inexpensive and provides a range of health benefits to participants. These qualities align with the mission of the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation and provide an opportunity for youth engagement and building community within the parks. 

Slacklining is defined as a recreational activity that involves participants balancing on a strip of webbing fixed above the ground between two trees. Although the rule now allows slacklining, it does not accommodate potential needs of extreme or elite slackliners as the rule also imposes several restrictions to protect trees, other park users and infrastructure. A summary of these restrictions ensuring compliance with the rule includes: 

  • Slacklining is only allowed on designated trees; An interactive map identifying the approved trees is available online at  https://bouldercolorado.gov/forestry/slackline
  • Slacklining is only permitted during park hours.
  • Participants and spectators assume all risk associated with the activity.
  • All slacklines may be affixed on a temporary basis and may not be left unattended. Unattended equipment will be removed and considered abandoned property.
  • Tree protection material must be placed between the tree and the line that is fixed to the tree. Material must be at least ¼” inch thick and at no time should any cabling, wires or lines be in direct contact with the bark of the tree.
  • The slackline may not be elevated to a height of more than four feet at the center of the span when the user is on the line and weighting it.
  • The slackline may not obstruct the intended uses of the park, sidewalks, buildings, roads, streets, playgrounds, bikeways, water features, sport courts, bike racks, handrails, art objects, fences or light poles.
  • When the slackline length exceeds 50 feet, visible safety tags or flags must be used to alert park users that the line is in place.
  • Trees and/or landscaped areas showing damage from slacklining activities may be restricted.
  • Slacklines may only be attached to approved trees and may not be affixed to any other infrastructure including but not limited to buildings, bike racks, handrails, art objects, fences or light poles.
  • Activities such as stunts or tricks involving flips are not permitted.
  • Slacklines must be removed for any park permit use or regular maintenance such as lawn mowing or tree pruning.

Slackliners previously had been restricted from participating in the activity under Boulder City Code Section 6-6-6(c), “Protection of Tree and Plants,” which prohibits attaching anything to a tree on city-owned property. The new rule to the extent only of any conflict, supersedes any conflicting rules or parts of rules, including without limitation, Section 6-6-6(c), “Protection of Tree and Plants,” B.R.C. The ruling also allows the city forester and other staff to monitor the use in the selected locations and modify the designated trees as necessary if conflicts arise.

The original city ordinances regarding slacklining were designed considering public safety and to protect trees. In 2016, Parks and Recreation staff worked closely with a community group of slackliners to explore ways to attach the slackline in a manner that doesn’t harm the tree and agree on specific trees that are suitable for the sport. By working with the community and exploring rules and protocol from other peer communities, the city developed and proposed a rule change to allow safe slacklining in designated park locations while protecting trees. Last winter, the city sought public input and comment on the proposed slacklining rule changes. After receiving and reviewing these comments, the new rule was approved to allow slacklining in Boulder.

For more information, to see the interactive map or to read the full City Manager's Rule, please visit https://bouldercolorado.gov/forestry/slackline

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