The Cannaley Treehouse Village is nearing completion.
The village, located on Waterville Swanton Road just south of Airport Highway, will feature a six-person treehouse, a four-person treehouse, a pair of two-person treehouses, three tent/hammock platforms, a common treehouse with seating for up to 49 people, a crow’s nest, and a canopy walk.
“We’re entering what I consider to be the most fun phase of construction,” said Emily Ziegler, chief of planning and capital projects. “This is where we’re adding those unique features and details that the crew’s really been knocking out of the park.”
They are starting to add all of the fun features on the exterior of each structure, she added. Those include climbing walls, rope climbers and slides.
Crews are also now working on installing the final trim, flooring, counter tops and other finishing touches on the interior of the treehouses. “This is really the stage where those themes we’ve identified come to life,” said Ziegler.
The names of the treehouses and tent platforms are Flatwood Commons, The Dragline, The Nest, The Hub, The Stable, The Perch, The Drey and The Lair.
Some of the pieces were worked on at home due to the state’s stay-at-home order.
Over the next couple of weeks they will move to exterior improvements such as boardwalks throughout the site, exterior lighting, and a communal fire pit.
The ribbon cutting event planned for next month has been postponed.
The Metroparks have also received $1.2 million in Clean Ohio Funds to acquire 132 acres of new parkland this year. That includes a 48-acre expansion of Oak Openings Preserve, a 62-acre property surrounding Courageous Acres, a 13-acre expansion of Oak Openings Corridor, and a 9-acre expansion of Audubon Islands State Nature Preserve.
The 48-acre site, zoned agricultural but previously listed by agents for commercial development, is in Swanton near the intersection of Airport Highway and Waterville Swanton Road. There will be 22 acres of restored wetland and 8 acres of oak savanna. Planting of 15,000 new trees is planned.
“We’re going to be restoring this through the governor’s H2Ohio program,” Metroparks Director of Natural Resources Tim Schetter said during last week’s Board meeting. “The focus here is on restoring high quality wetlands to really help improve the quality of streams in the vicinity of the project site.”
The expected completion date is spring 2021.
Officials also spoke of changes at Metroparks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“[I’m] incredibly proud of the work that’s occurred across our agency to allow our parks to continue to stay open,” said Executive Director Dave Zenk.
Metroparks officials estimate that overall visitation is up across the park district by 38% from last year. Zenk said one of the interesting things about that number is some of the most visited parks, such as Wildwood, have seen reduced visitation due to operational changes made.
Parks such as Secor and Providence have seen increases. Zenk said, in addition to staff, the community is owed thanks.
“They’re listening to our requests to spread out and visit some of the lesser used parks and that has really helped us and our staff quite a bit,” he said.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise