Young and old enjoy Peace Park evergreen

Tree is a favorite for tree climbers
Friday, December 3, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:49 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 1, 2008

The large evergreen on the edge of Peace Park looks like a regular tree — until you see people hanging like monkeys from its branches, 20 feet off the ground.

According to Morgan Patterson, who says she has climbed the tree hundreds of times, it’s enough to say, “Let’s go climb the tree in Peace Park.” Your friends will understand.

The tree is a Norway spruce. The perfect entrance to its inner ladder of needle-free branches lies on its northwest edge. It’s not the tallest tree in Peace Park, but it seems to be the easiest to climb.

Morgan, 16, has been climbing the tree since she was 5, when her parents were students at MU. When her younger brother was old enough, she taught him to climb.

Perched in the tree on a cool, gray, early-out afternoon in October with some friends from Hickman High School, Morgan pointed out her favorite spot in the tree and then her brother’s.

“We pretended we were in the jungle,” she said, describing the imaginary tree-hammocks she and her brother pretended to hang from their favorite perches.

Morgan and her friends pondered the possibilities of camping under the tree. They didn’t think it was allowed in Peace Park, but they wished they could.

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