A new initiative by Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is expected to take visitors to new heights.

The nonprofit living museum, owned by Forest Preserves of Winnebago County, is in the early planning stages to construct three treehouses in as many years on the 155-acre property at 2715 S. Main St. The first could be ready this summer.

The treehouses won’t be as elaborate as what was seen in “Swiss Family Robinson.” They’ll utilize stilts, ramps and other implements to lift them a few dozen feet off the ground, among the trees.

“For business, it’s good to rebrand yourself, to get something new out there so people recognize you again,” said Mike Holan, Executive Director of Forest Preserves of Winnebago County.

The plan is part of the arboretum’s “strategic doing,” which began in November to improve in four ways: Offer more family-friendly activities, boost educational opportunities, improve reputation and build lifelong memories for visitors.

“The whole treehouse concept satisfies people’s inner child at some level,” Klehm Executive Director Dan Riggs said. “People like being up among the trees. We hope it’s a feature that will attract people.”

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Article courtesy The Rockford Register Star, Adam Poulisse