Observation Tower at Holden Arboretum Growing Toward the Canopy
October 22, 2014

20 Tower Sections To Be Air-Lifted Into Place Oct. 27

A 120-foot observation tower is growing toward the canopy at The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland.

Construction on the Walter and Jean Kalberer Emergent Tower has started, with the base section of the tower being erected at the tower site. The larger, pre-assembled tower sections will be airlifted into to place by helicopter on Oct. 27, weather permitting.

The tower is part of a two-part experiential structure that includes the 65-foot-high, 500-foot-long elevated Judith and Maynard H. Murch IV Canopy Walk, to be built above a forested valley west of Sperry Road.

This project is the first of its kind in the region and will offer visitors a unique perspective of the forest canopy, said Vicki McDonald, arboretum marketing and public relations specialist.

The emergent tower and canopy walk will be located about one-half mile from the Warren H. Corning Visitor Center and will be used for visitor engagement, youth and adult education programming, and access for scientific research.

Phoenix Experiential Designs, of Sugar Grove, N.C., is constructing the emergent tower and canopy walk. Materials for the tower were delivered to the arboretum, where crews are assembling sections in the overflow parking area near the visitor center

The helicopter will move approximately 20 sections to the building site.

“The largest of the pre-assembled structures will weigh nearly 3,000 pounds,” McDonald said.

“The work will take place from dawn until dusk and guest are welcome to visit the arboretum during hours of operation to view this memorable occasion,” she said, explaining the path from construction to building sites will be restricted for safety purposes, but viewing areas will be marked for visitors.

Funding for the emergent tower came from Walter and Jean Kalberer, who have been actively involved with both the Holden Arboretum and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

The Kalberer Emergent Tower is part of the arboretum’s New Leaf Capital Campaign, which raised nearly $8.9 million for enhancement to the grounds and completion of necessary renovations.

Other campaign projects included the recently opened Eliot and Linda Paine Rhododendron Discovery Garden, and the restoration of Corning Lake and Lotus Pond.

Founded in 1931, The Holden Arboretum is an outdoor living museum that promotes the importance of trees and gardens. One of the largest in the country, the arboretum offers visitors a unique outdoor experience combining more than 20 miles of hiking trails with themed gardens and tree collections.

In September, the arboretum officially began integration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

The integration of these two organizations will better serve the community through education and outreach programming and an enhanced visitor experience, McDonald said.