Jimmy’s Treehouse is NOW OPEN!

Ashley Hall, Marketing Coordintor
Saturday, July 17, 2021

We are excited to announce that Jimmy’s Treehouse is NOW OPEN to the public!

Jimmy’s Treehouse is yet another exciting enhancement to the grounds at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, made possible through the Enhancing Your Outdoor Classroom: Campaign for the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, and a generous donation from the Lincoln Family. Open during regular Nature Center hours, the treehouse is ADA-accessible and overlooks the scenic Stearns Woodland Trail. Offering access to nature for people of all ages and abilities, Jimmy’s Treehouse will be a new outdoor location for visitors, summer campers and school groups to enjoy.

Jimmy’s Treehouse was named for the late James F. Lincoln Jr. Jimmy was a playful spirit, who was often heard saying, “The only problem with children is there are not enough of them!” All are welcome to visit and explore the treehouse, designed by Nelson Treehouse & Supply, LLC (Fall City, WA) of the famed ‘Treehouse Masters’ TV show, and constructed by John G. Johnson Construction Company (Cleveland, OH). Jimmy’s Treehouse is one component of the larger, multi-phase $6.1 million capital campaign to restore and reinvigorate your outdoor classroom. Currently in its final year, the capital campaign is transforming the visitor experience and enhancing the property with new, unique features, interpretive elements and restored native habitats.

“Each of our new features, including Jimmy’s Treehouse, is transforming the Nature Center into a local destination. It is yet another example of many new, engaging trail features that will help adults and children spend more time outdoors while gaining a deeper appreciation for and connection to nature,” says President and CEO Kay Carlson.

Jimmy’s treehouse is one of several prominent features the Nature Center has built over the past four years of the Capital Campaign, with the goal of restoring and enhancing your outdoor classroom for all to enjoy. The treehouse connects directly from the first outdoor space to be restored – the Lavelle Family Amphitheater – to Stearns Woodland Trail. Both spaces, along with the All People’s Trail, are ADA accessible so that people of all abilities can enjoy connecting to nature.


  • Jimmy’s Treehouse exterior is clad with rarely used reserved gleaned rustic poplar that is specifically stained to resemble barnwood.
  • The interior is comprised of reserved gleaned rustic American elm, which is special because it is becoming increasingly rare as the American Elm population has been decimated by Dutch Elm disease.
  • The timber used in the construction were meticulously refurbished by the Architectural Harvest division of Northern Ohio Lumber & Timber.
  • The treehouse will be used by the Nature Center as a place to host smaller school programs, scout groups, daycares, and camps. The interior space will hold about 10-15 people; or up to 30 if you include the outside deck area. It will allow us to accommodate more groups onsite, especially in our preK programs, as these classes tend to be smaller.
  • The tower space will have cutout porthole windows made to be used as an exhibit area to showcase some examples of nature you might see on the trails or from the treehouse, such as bird nests, different types of leaves, animal tracks, skulls, etc. This will provide an informal way for the public to see and learn from them besides attending a class or program.
  • The wall space on the deck will eventually include some interpretive signage talking about the forested habitats surrounding the treehouse.
  • In the future, we hope to add some fun interactive features underneath the treehouse, such as a climbing net or life-sized Lincoln logs for building, and places to create fairy gardens. These would be accessible from Two-Tree Square below the treehouse.

While visiting and enjoying the new treehouse, be sure to take a walk through the recently restored Stearns Woodland Trail including the new DBJ Foundation Terraza de Meditacion (Meditation Terrace) and the many other enhanced trail bridges and segments.

The final phase of our transformative campaign includes enhanced neighborhood entrances and a new children’s nature play area. Projects are slated for completion in Fall 2021. Opportunities to support this transformative campaign are still available. Specifically, The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation has generously offered to match all campaign gifts of $100 or more through August 31 — up to $100,000. Donations can be made at shakerlakes.org/outdoorclassroom.