TODAY

TODAY   |  July 15, 2013

Embracing great outdoors with ‘spirit nests’, treehouses

Inspired by the beauty of California’s Big Sur, artist Jayson Fann is embracing his love of the great outdoors through ornate spirit nests, made from natural materials, while retired homebuilder James Curvan built an elaborate treehouse that became a neighborhood attraction. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>> it maybe the ultimate in green living . tree houses that are far more than just childhood forts.

>> let's just look out the window.

>> good idea.

>> but the hiding places of our youth blossomed into something more closely resembling the island sheik of the swisz family robinson.

>> pull up the stairs.

>> it's not just the stuff of movies anymore.

>> darling, thank you.

>> these day there is are even entire reality shows built around tree houses . the only limit to a builders dream it seems is the size of the tree itself. case and point.

>> technically this is a tree house but considering the scale, more accurately described as a tree home.

>> this is pretty elaborate.

>> yeah it turned out to be elaborate. didn't start out that way.

>> reporter: he is a retired home builder and was helping build a tree house for his friend's grand son when the plans, like the tree grew.

>> we added a back deck on and then the side deck on and the rope ladder and then the two little forts underneath. then we added the zip line and last year the sky bridge .

>> i always wanted a tree house when i was a little girl . it was a dream come true .

>> reporter: it became the neighborhood attraction.

>> we love to use our imagination don't we.

>> okay. push it in.

>> reporter: imagination is something he brings to this affordable housing complex in california.

>> everybody in the neighborhood, it was made by the people that want to share it to other people.

>> reporter: that's right. nests. they're not just for birds anymore.

>> today we're so set up and it's important to take time-out and listen to the birds.

>> reporter: less talking, more listening turned into this. what he calls spirit nest for those without wings.

>> there's a natural kind of pattern that emerges when you're leaving and each branch has a place. it's a bit of a puzzle.

>> reporter: a costly puzzle ma.

>> i have nests from 5,000 to 6,000.

>> he uses money from private buyers to finances community projects and public displays. it was one of the public displays that inspired her to celebrate in a spirit nest. the latina celebration of a fwirl girl's 15th birthday.

>> it's a nice break from technology because you forget about all the things.

>> you have to be creative where ever you are to find the resources that you have to fulfill your dreams.

>> reporter: if dreams truly do come from the sky --

>> i just pretend i'm a bird.

>> reporter: maybe spending time in trees