‘Jimmy’s Treehouse’ opens to the public along the Stearns Trail at Shaker Lakes Nature Center
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio – The outdoor classroom at the Shaker Lakes Nature Center continues its fundraising campaign with the recent completion of the “Jimmy’s Treehouse” along the Stearns Woodland Trail.
The treehouse is now easily accessible to people of all ages and abilities during normal Nature Center hours. It neglects much of the rest of the larger and phased fundraising effort of $ 6.1 million to restore and reinvigorate regional amenities and refuge for future generations.
Currently in its final year, the fundraising campaign will allow the Center de la nature to transform the experience of its visitors and enhance the property with new unique features, interpretive elements and restored native habitats, according to a statement. NCSL Press Release.
Funding for “Jimmy’s Treehouse” – named after the late James F. Lincoln Jr., longtime president of Lincoln Electric Co. and inventor known for technological advancements in arc welding – was made possible by the “Upgrading Your Outdoor Classroom for NCSL,” as well as a generous donation from the family.
“Jimmy was a playful spirit,” the press release said, adding that Lincoln was often heard to say, “The only problem with kids is that there aren’t enough of them!”
This again proved to be a problem when it opened to the public scheduled for Saturday July 17, with the ‘rain or shine’ directive giving way to the threat of further intermittent torrential downpours that permeated the week.
However, the already fortified Stearns Woodland Trail has withstood any increase in water and mud levels well with newly constructed walkways, bridges and elevated platforms after a $ 1.2 million rebuild. last year.
Everyone is now invited to visit and explore the treehouse, designed by Nelson Treehouse & Supply of Fall City, Washington, which is part of the popular “Treehouse Masters” TV show. The treehouse was built by John G. Johnson Construction Company of Cleveland.
“Each of our new facilities, including ‘Jimmy’s Treehouse’, transforms the Nature Center into a local destination,” said Kay Carlson, President and CEO of NCSL. “This is yet another example of many exciting new trail features that will help adults and children spend more time outdoors while gaining a greater appreciation and connection to nature.”
The final phase of this transformation campaign includes improved neighborhood entrances and a new natural play area for children. The projects are expected to be completed this fall.
Already at the edge of the trail is a preserved section of the 300-year-old white oak that was felled between South Park Boulevard and Lower Shaker Lake in the microburst that swept through September 13, 2019.
There are still opportunities to support this transformative campaign, through the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, which has generously offered to match all campaign donations of $ 100 or more through August 31, up to 100,000. $. Donations can be made at www.shakerlakes.org/outdoorclassroom.
“This newly built feature allows visitors to explore and immerse themselves more deeply in nature and the outdoors,” NCSL officials noted of “Jimmy’s Treehouse,” which offers a bird’s eye view of the canopy. forest for visitors, summer campers and school groups. .
Representing the Nature Center’s largest undertaking since the building’s last extension in 2003, the campaign is designed to combat aging outdoor infrastructure and revitalize the Nature Center grounds, officials said.
Prior to the pandemic, NCSL delivered environmental education to 117 schools and over 12,000 students per year with unique, nature-based field experiences. Participants included all K-6 grades at Shaker City schools.
“We also provide family and adult programs to over 3,000 people per year, as well as a place of respite and recreation for over 40,000 visitors per year,” Carlson said earlier, adding that the Center nature collects no property or income taxes to manage 20 of Shaker Parklands’ 300 acres.
The current “Outdoor Classroom” fundraising campaign is also led by a campaign committee that includes Co-Chairs Graham Hearns, Cynthia Klug, David Lavelle and Michael Novak.
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