Have you seen the teepee in Everhart park? If not, you’re not the only one to miss it.
“It is tucked away somewhat, but in a relatively small park, you’d think an eight foot teepee would stick out. It’s in a great spot,” said Andy Evans, teepee laborer. (He credits the design to junior Evans’ Logan, 8, and brother Tyler, 5.)
Andy and sons began construction on the conical hideout in April, early in the pandemic when schools were closed, downtown was shuttered, and all the playground equipment in the Borough was wrapped with caution tape.
“We live a block from Everhart, so to beat the pandemic blues, we started a morning walk routine that looped through the park,” said Andrew. “After a storm took down a massive tree, we rounded up the large fallen branches and Project Teepee commenced.”
The build was tedious, taking a month of work to really finish it. Sticks and branches have to be gathered and positioned. Layer upon layer until the gaps are finally filled in.
As things started to take shape other Everhart walkers took notice and the Evans’ would find sticks and branches waiting for them in the morning.
“It was a slow start, but our morning outings now had a destination and sense of purpose,” said Andrew. “Pandemic news was especially heavy back then. School and work-from-home was a mess. The teepee was refuge, escape, and therapy.”
The reality is that while some news has lightened and shops have reopened. Uncertainty, especially for kids, still looms large and the teepee continues to provide a moment of escape and delight for all those that find it.
Spoiler alert: If you start at the playground equipment and take the gazebo to the otherside of the park it’s tucked away amongst a clump of trees.
Plus, I know I sometimes neglect them but West Chester has 12 other (mostly) amazing parks to explore.