As a kid, didn’t you want a tree house – a little getaway all your own? I surely did, and growing up in south Louisiana, I always thought the centuries-old oak trees would make for a perfect perch. To this day I’ve yet to climb into a tree house, but thanks to Forever Young Treehouses, anybody can have the experience.
Bill Allen and Phil Trabulsy, co-founders of the nonprofit organization, started their project after hearing an older woman reminisce about her own childhood playhouse, as they were building one in her area. “Gradually, as we neared completion, she started asking us questions about how we were going to get in and she urged us to build stairs rather than a ladder because young kids would need to have handrails to hold onto,” says Bill. “We knew that really, she wanted in, and that made us think about access. The next thought was, why not kids in wheelchairs?”
Forever Young’s goal is to have a tree house in every state, complete with a ramp so that the young-at-heart of all ages can enjoy nature with a bird’s-eye view. To date, Forever Young has completed 28 universally accessible tree houses, including those in schools, camps, and for Make-a-Wish kids. Eight of these three houses are open to the public daily.
Check out the list after the jump to find one in your area.
The Desert Museum, Tuscon, AZ
Charles Wilson Park, Torrance, CA
Citizens Park, Barrington, IL
Mt. Airy Forest, Cincinnati, OH
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
Oakledge Park, Burlington, VT
Photo by Jason DeBiasi; The Forever Young Treehouse in Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA
- Nat Geo Expeditions