Metroparks to Build Privately-funded Treehouse Village
Metroparks Toledo is taking memorable experiences in nature to new heights.
The Board of Park Commissioners has announced that construction has begun on the $1.5 million Cannaley Treehouse Village at Oak Openings Preserve, and the Metroparks Toledo Foundation announced a campaign to fund the project with private contributions.
Scott J. Savage, president of the board, announced plans to build the Treehouse Village at the new Beach Ridge Area at Oak Openings. The Village will open next year and include:
- A six-person treehouse
- A four-person treehouse
- Two, two-person treehouses
- Three tent/hammock platforms for camping in the trees
- A common treehouse with seating for up to 49 people
- And a crow's nest linked to the common treehouse by a canopy walk
The four private treehouses and tent platforms will be available to rent for overnight stays, while the common treehouse will be available to rent for daytime use by groups.
The Metroparks Construction Crew is building the treehouse village, which was designed by Nelson Treehouse and Supply, the company featured in the Animal Planet TV series “Treehouse Masters.” Nelson was also involved with the initial construction of phase 1.
“We’re thrilled to report that no other park system in the country will have a treehouse village inspired and designed by Treehouse Masters,” Mr. Savage said. “It is yet another example of the forward thinking and innovation that makes Metroparks Toledo one of the top park systems in the country. We are so grateful to the generous supporters and the Foundation, who are making this project happen in our community.”
About the Campaign
Joe Napoli, president of the Metroparks Toledo Foundation, announced that numerous donors who have already made substantial financial contributions. Because of the support from the foundation and lead donors, Metroparks has begun constructing phase 1, which includes the common treehouse, crow's nest and a tower that will support a cable suspension bridge. The campaign will raise additional funds for phase 2, which includes the overnight treehouses.
“The purpose of the Foundation is to raise resources and awareness to support the many great things Metroparks brings to our community,” Mr. Napoli said. “The Treehouse Village is our first major project, and I’m pleased to announce that we are well on our way to making this unique new experience a reality."
Creating a Destination
The Treehouse Village will be part of the 420-acre Beach Ridge Area, which Metroparks acquired between 2013 and 2015. The area also includes a just-completed, 12-mile mountain bike trail built largely by volunteers; Metroparks second FitPark, an outdoor fitness area sponsored by Mercy Health; and a new multi-use facility with a bicycle theme that also houses restrooms and showers to service treehouse guests.
Oak Openings already offers two campgrounds, two rentable cottages, two lakes for fishing and kayaking, as well as trails for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.
“In recent years, we have added many compelling new ways for people to connect with the out-of-doors, from new parks and trails to a 3D archery course and camping on a Maumee River island,” said Dave Zenk, Metroparks Toledo executive director. “These experiences, along with the Treehouse Village, add to our region’s growing reputation as a great place to live, work and play.”
Mr. Zenk added that revenue from rentals will pay for the operational costs of the Treehouses, as well as outreach efforts to engage the community. For example, 20 percent of the time, the common treehouse will be used for public programs, giving everyone the opportunity to experience the unique facility.
Learn more and make a contribution at: metroparkstoledofoundation.org
Treehouse Village Has Familiar Swanton Name
Linda Najarian Cannaley says her late husband, Jim, “would be smiling from ear to ear” about plans to build a treehouse village on property the Swanton couple once owned adjacent to Oak Openings Preserve Metropark.
Mrs. Cannaley sold the property to the park district several years ago to become part of the preserve. What no one knew at the time was that the property would become the Beach Ridge Area, home to a 12-mile mountain bike trail and now five treehouses.
On Friday, Metroparks Board of Park Commissioners voted to name the latest addition the Cannaley Treehouse Village.
Mrs. Cannaley is a Swanton-area native, former teacher and longtime real estate broker. Her husband, Jim Cannaley, was president and CEO of Woodsage Holdings in Holland.
Metroparks executive director Dave Zenk first approached Mrs. Cannaley about the treehouses, and “I instantly liked the idea,” she said. How could you not.”
Jim and Linda Cannaley
“Linda has been the driving force behind the treehouse village,” Zenk said. Because of her, families will be able to rent cabins or tent platforms in the trees for overnight stays, or a large cabin with a canopy walk and crow’s nest for private events. These are the kinds of creative new experiences we think will bring people outdoors and put the Toledo area on the map as a destination for outdoor adventure."
More than $1 Million Donated so Far
Joe Napoli, president of the new Metroparks Toledo Foundation, today announced a campaign to raise $1.5 million to pay for the full amount of developing the treehouse village, with Mrs. Cannaley making a leadership gift of $750,000.
Altogether, initial donations announced Friday total more than $1 million. Other significant contributors to date are:
- Mrs. Peg Fye, in memory of her husband, Jerry
- Craig & Amy Findley
- Carrie and Brad Alexander, and Dave and Carol Haddix
- John and Yolanda Szuch
- Sharon Simmons
- Yarder Manufacturing
In addition, two Toledo-based companies were announced as project partners and donors.
- Therma-Tru will supply all the exterior doors in the treehouse village from its premium line, in addition to a making financial contribution.
- And Owens Corning will donate building materials to be used in the treehouse village construction.
Artist's Drawing of the Cannaley Treehouse Village