LINCOLN, Neb. — A Lincoln woman has proposed building a large treehouse in a local park in an effort to encourage children to play outside.

Carolyn Butler has presented her idea for the project in Belmont Park to the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, which shared it with members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Thursday, the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/2cU7DH9 ) reported.

Butler said she came up with the idea after struggling to pull her son away from playing video games indoors. She said she’d like him to have the same experience playing outside all day that she had as a child.

“I want that for the next generation,” she said.

Several advisory board members expressed interest in the idea, but others were concerned about potential liability issues.

Butler said she has worked to address liability concerns by lowering the proposed treehouse’s main platform to just a few feet off the ground. The platform would also have a roof and a ramp for wheelchair accessibility.

The 400-square-foot (37.16-sq. meter) platform wouldn’t include any playground features.

The board voted to allow the department to continue exploring the idea. The board still would have to offer a recommendation on any plans for the treehouse once they’ve been developed.

Butler said she was recently turned down for a $50,000 grant to build the treehouse, but she plans to discuss possible fundraising opportunities with a group of residents who live close to the park at a meeting Tuesday.

One day, she said, she’d like to see community treehouses throughout Lincoln’s parks.

“You cannot be grumpy in a treehouse,” she said. “It’s just such a wonderful place to be.”


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com