Off the couch and into the trees

“I’m not a tree hugger,” Fulmer said. “I’m a high-tech guy. But trees are what give us oxygen. Trees are important.”

So to help people appreciate nature, Fulmer plans to build a cafe in a wooded spot near Sanford where customers can order a cappuccino or latte and then enjoy it in one of the several treehouses among the dozens of live oaks, laurel oaks and pine trees on nearly 4 acres of a woodsy refuge not far from Interstate 4.

He’s calling his venue the Retreet, a site where business groups or organizations could hold meetings “up in the trees.”

Plans also show a 100-seat amphitheater, a sculpture garden, a meditation labyrinth and displays of several natural relics he has acquired over the years — including a small meteorite that fell in Russia, a 20-million-year-old clump of petrified wood and an 11-foot cross section of a 2,600-year-old giant sequoia chopped down in 1952.

“I want people to get in touch with nature,” said Fulmer, who plans to start construction within a year. “My motto is: Drop the screen and get out in the green.”

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