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Nelson Treehouse and Opportunity Enterprises team up to create fully accessible treehouse for people with disabilities

Nelson Treehouse of Treehouse Masters fame, partners with Opportunity Enterprises to build  a fully accessible treehouse as part of the new Lakeside Respite Center

Opportunity Enterprises (OE) is excited to reveal plans to build a fully accessible treehouse just steps away from the new Lakeside Respite Center. In partnership with Nelson Treehouse of the popular television show Treehouse Masters, OE’s treehouse will provide children and adults with disabilities an exhilarating treetop experience.

“Being in a treehouse is a common rite of passage, yet for children and adults with disabilities, it is not physically possible. Imagine for the first time, having the ability to be in the treetops enjoying nature and the beauty of Lake Eliza,” said OE President and CEO Neil Samahon. “We are thrilled to be working with Nelson Treehouse. With their treehouse design – build expertise, we are able to bring our vision for a fully accessible treehouse to fruition.”

Located just steps from OE’s new Lakeside Respite Center currently under construction, the 400 square foot treehouse will provide access to the tree climbing experience to children and adults of all abilities. The treehouse will include large classroom space with room for wheelchairs and accessible furniture, seven windows providing natural light and panoramic views, large patio doorway with access to the beautiful exterior deck, sensory room providing space to relax, year-round accessibility with lights, air conditioning and heating, and an innovative display wall with a variety of tree trunk bark for tactile learning.

“Our tremendous crew of carpenters and architects have been building treehouses nationwide for over three decades. Projects like the OE treehouse are some of our favorites. It opens up the world of treehouses to more people so they can experience the magic of being in a tree,” said Pete Nelson, owner of Nelson Treehouse.

The fully accessible treehouse is part of OE’s $6.7 million Lakeside Respite Capital Campaign. Respite Care provides opportunities for caregivers of individuals with disabilities to schedule time for themselves while giving their loved ones a sense of community, independence and opportunities to interact with their peers and friends.

“The new treehouse will not only enhance our new Lakeside Respite Center, it will also provide an opportunity for our summer campers at Camp Lakeside the ability to enjoy activities in the treehouse this summer,” said Walter Lenckos, OE’s Senior Director of Respite Services.

Construction of the treehouse will commence in May, with a completion date of mid-July. OE broke ground on the $6.7 million Respite Center project in of May 2022 and plans to open for programming this fall. Visit to learn more.

For 55 years, Opportunity Enterprises has worked to maximize self-sufficiency and enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. OE is in the business of amazing people, serving more than 1,000 people with disabilities in Northwest Indiana with over 350 staff and hundreds of volunteers. To learn more about OE or to support the organization by volunteering or making a gift, call (219) 464-9621, or visit


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