soon, you may be invited to spend the night in the arms of Apollo, the
Gemini Twins or even Wild Bill. The trees at Riveredge Nature Center
in Saukville all seem to have names, and Jessica Jens, the centerís
executive director, would like visitors to get to know them, up close
this June, Riveredge is offering tree climbing for children ages 7 and
up and adults, including people who are physically challenged.
Visitors who want to walk on the branches of Wild Bill, a 100-year-old
burr oak, or see what the squirrels are up to near the top of the
Gemini Twins, a pair of white oaks, can do it in the comfort of the
same type of harness and rope and pulley system used by arborists.
Jens says she
and five other Riveredge staff members have completed training and are
certified in the tree-climbing program.
youíre sliding a knot up, and eventually you get high up off the
ground. Youíre able to use the trunk to get up, or also you can just
hang in space," she says.
up there, itís an entirely different sensation. You can have a goofy
time or just hang there. You can rig up hammocks. It can be very
thrill-seeking and adventuresome or very meditative."
Plans for this
summer include both open climbs and group climbs. Eventually, Jens
says, she would like to schedule an overnight experience in the
Riveredge, a 383-acre natural sanctuary, exists to "inspire and
educate people about the outdoors and how we can all be better
stewards of the land. But before you care about something, you have to
get to know it."
time up in the trees, at birds-eye level, can help people see the
world around them from an entirely new perspective.
there, they can be connected with the natural world, learn to trust
one another and push past their comfort zones," Jens says.
information, go to riveredgenaturecenter.org.