For many, a treehouse is a symbol of childhood. After a short climb and a kid, shorter than all those in the adult world, is suddenly master of his own little universe.

But for others with disabilities, treehouses have often been off limits – until now.

Whether child or adult, climbing isn’t necessary to sit 20 feet off the ground and look out over Southwind Park. Designed with all in mind, including those with disabilities, the park’s new treehouse offers a ramp instead of a ladder or steps to those who wish to sit in the 800-square-foot wooden structure.

The treehouse is the product of a partnership with the Springfield Park District, the Springfield Parks Foundation and O’Shea Builders.

“We envision this treehouse will serve not just local people, but become a regional destination,” says Butch Elzea, a Springfield Parks Foundation volunteer and a driving force behind the creation of Southwind Park. “It is truly a unique structure.”�

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