It’s really happening now


Yesterday I visited Frick Park to see the location for Kate and Peter’s Treehouse, on the other side of Frick from where it was originally proposed to go.

Upon entering this portion of the park called the Frick Environmental Center, I was directed by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy staff down a path into the woods where eventually you hit a clearing and there surrounding an enormous tree is a raised wooded platform where eventually the treehouse will go.

The tree:

The purpose of the meeting was to take inspiration from the parents and children who will one day use the naturespace, as they call it. Stations were set up to trigger the creative process, to encourage those in attendance to write down what they envisioned the treehouse should be. Those pieces of idea and thought were then clipped to suspended strings.

Some of the best I saw:

This little girl pinned up a drawing of how she’d like the treehouse to look:

For inspiration, the Parks Conservancy clipped up a bunch of elements from other play spaces that could possibly be incorporated. When Amy showed this picture to me, she said her kids would have loved something like this. Suspended in air. Above it all.

I wonder if she’s the one who wrote this on the back:

Others I loved:

Some little genius wrote this one:

I like how he or she then put a check mark on it. Like, “APPROVED!”

That resulted in more discussion by the adults about having a zipline from Mt. Washington to Downtown. That needs to happen.

A suggestion from an adult:

The day could not have been more perfect for the outdoor meeting. Perfect blue sky, warm light filtering through the trees. Exactly the kind of day I could see parents bringing their children to the treehouse someday.

As I told a few people at the meeting, I already know the final product is going to be simply amazing because the designers aren’t just designing a treehouse for nameless children who will one day visit the space. They’re building it with Kate and Peter’s faces and names in their hearts and that’s going to drive their passion to create something that serves as a fitting and lasting memorial to Amy’s children.

Preliminary designs will be unveiled in July. I can’t wait.



  1. RJQ
    June 3, 2011 9:49 am


    I’m so happy this is happening.

    I live nowhere near Frick Park (Mid-Mon Valley holla!) but hope to visit Kate & Peter’s treehouse with my daughter some day.

  2. facie
    June 3, 2011 10:01 am

    Your pictures turned out so much better than mine. Wish I had thought to capture some of the words and images; so glad that you did.

    And by the way, you must never again complain about the way you look. You are beautiful inside and out. It was great to finally meet you! :-)

  3. Paul
    June 3, 2011 10:08 am

    Yeah, I live in central PA, but will have to visit this space when it’s complete. Especially if they get the zip line :)

    My heart aches and it gets dusty in here every time I think about what happens to those kids. It is nice to see good happening in their names.

  4. Robin
    June 3, 2011 10:46 am

    This is the best news ever!

  5. SpudMom
    June 3, 2011 11:54 am

    How’s Amy doing? She hasn’t blogged in over a month and last she wrote, she was having a rough time. I hope she’s doing OK.

  6. Virginia
    June 3, 2011 12:01 pm

    Amy looked wonderful and beautiful and had a smile on her face yesterday as she stood in the sunlight surrounded by trees. I am sure when she’s ready and up to it, she will give us an update on her site.

  7. SpudMom
    June 3, 2011 1:15 pm

    Oh yay! Thanks, Ginny!

  8. Moxie Bestos
    June 3, 2011 1:30 pm

    How beautiful. Kind of puts the whole debate over pantsless children in perspective, doesn’t it?

  9. MizzPenz
    June 3, 2011 2:22 pm

    What Moxie said.

  10. Allie K.
    June 3, 2011 3:52 pm

    So, I was at work yesterday (I’m a displaced Burgher) and we were unboxing a new instrument. It had these great sturdy doorlike sides and a platform bottom. I joked that it would be great to build a treehouse with and my co-workers laughed. But, really, it would. If they need building materials, check the chemistry/engineering depts for packing materials of new instruments. They’ll be happy to pass it on.

  11. Bram R
    June 3, 2011 5:55 pm

    I am going to start drawing large check marks on all documents I draw up containing any instructions, requests and/or wishes. I’m kind of mad at myself I didn’t think of it already.

    Glad this is happening, and glad it’s happening elsewhere in the park to alleviate friction. Of course, I wonder if the prior location is still a “dot” on the Parks Conservancy map and what else we’re going to see.