Maryland Heights, MO (KSDK) - Battle lines are being drawn over what do to in one of St. Louis County's most popular parks.

On one side are the people who want to build a treetop adventure course in Creve Coeur Park. On the other side are people who say it's a bad idea.

Go Ape, the company behind the adventure course, has built other similar attractions around the country. The courses combine zip lines and other obstacles.

If the St. Louis County Council approves the adventure course, corporate picnic area number one in the upper part of Creve Coeur Park will become the course's home base. The training area and other facilities will be spread over about an acre on the ground and the course itself will be built in the surrounding trees.

But it's the course's impact on wildlife in the trees that has some people concerned.

Some visitors to the park say the course will take away from the area's natural beauty, it will cause long traffic lines and will displace the park's wildlife.

Park visitor Liz Mills worries the course may be more trouble than it's worth.

"It seems to me there is a lot of clearance work to be done to get some of these limbs out of the way to make room for the ladders and wires," says Mills. "Who's going to do that, the county? Then of course there's maintaining because the limbs will continue to grow. So I just don't see how it really equates money-wise."

There were a number of times in 2012 where the St. Louis County leaders were on the verge of closing some parks because of tight budgets.

County Council Woman Kathleen Kelly Burkett says taxpayers won't pay a dime for the course and it will generate much-needed revenue for the parks department.

"All expenses are paid by the company Go Ape," said Burkett. "I think (the course) looks to generate about $100 thousand a year. But in the startup time I think we're looking at $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 possibly."

Burkett added she doesn't feel that building a roughly seven-acre adventure course through the trees will have a significant impact on the wildlife in the more than 2,100-acre park.

The measure will go before the St. Louis County Council for a final vote on Tuesday night.

Read or Share this story: