A creative dad, who assembled an outdoor fort out of cardboard, had his parade rained on by city officials in Ogden, Utah. Apparently Jeremy Trentelman contravened local building codes by having “waste materials or junk” in his yard.
A professional floral designer, Trentelman had used several five-foot-by-four-foot boxes that had stored trees from the garden store where he works. With a little love and a whole lot of duct tape, he put together the fort—complete with a functional slide—for his two young children, Max and Story.
Then he was met with an official letter of complaint, ordering him to remove the fort or face a fine of $125.
Like so many of us, the dad had "warm, positive memories from my childhood about forts, and thought it was a great way to spark imagination, away from the TV.”
Instead of penning a scathing letter to the council, Trentelman posted the letter to his Facebook page under an “ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDIN ME!!!?!" header. The story soon took on a life of its own, with supporters all over the country and beyond building their own cardboard forts.
It echoes an incident in Cornwall, Ont. in which a yard rink enjoyed by neighbourhood kids was demolished by the city.
Another sad example of local councils snuffing out the creative spark of parents in one fell swoop.
Trentelman plans to leave the cardboard structure intact until the deadline, or until the elements tear it down—whichever comes first.
A cardboard structure isn't permanent. The only waste here is the loss of fun for the kids.