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Interview with a Yonder Steward—Kevin Mooney, The Mohicans Treehouses

Kevin Mooney

July 22, 2020

Tell us your personal story and how you came to be a Steward of the land?

Originally, I bought this land as an escape from the city life of Cleveland, as a place for my children to enjoy over the years. But after a while, I felt that God gifted me with this land and I needed to find a strong purpose for what to do with it.  So I decided to open it up to the public. This is beautiful land, with rolling hills and forests which allow people to leave the city behind and feel the dirt under their feet. I built the cabins and treehouses as a way for us to share the environment and nature with them. Our local neighbors and carpenters, Amish families from Ohio, have influenced and built the structures on our property since 2009. In total we have nine treehouses, four cabins, and two houses. A famous treehouse builder who was on Animal Planet, Pete Nelson, also built one of our treehouses and featured us on his show. 

Share some of the ways that your property is committed to nature.

Our property is rooted in and driven by innovative sustainability practices. My son’s college degree in sustainability helped to inspire the homes with features like passive solar, radiant heat, and innovative, concrete hot water lines. We have a wonderful pond and a forest plan with the state of Ohio that helps us to maintain our forest and the longevity of its trees. We don't log on our property and we’re constantly planting. We use locally-sourced, repurposed, and recyclable materials in all of our cabins. For example, our treehouse windows came from demolished homes which lessens our impact on the environment.

What's unique about your property that guests can’t find elsewhere?

Our treehouses and cabins are unique because of how difficult and special they are to build. For example, our Tin Shed Treehouse is our most ambitious structure which brings the outside in, with a full-size retractable glass garage door in the back and an extension bridge serving as an entrance path. We also feature a contactless guest check-in, ideal right now during a pandemic. We use and find the highest quality of materials, such as black walnut flooring, cherry wood ceilings, granite countertops, and premium linens and beddings.  We want people to remember us for high quality, sustainable materials coupled with the best experience and stay they’ll ever have. I want guests to leave The Mohicans happy and awestruck. Our reviews are positive and show that we’ve been successful.      

Can you share an experience that is a favorite among your guests? 

I would say that our suspension bridges are a special guest favorite. I often hear kids laughing and having a good time. We have one that is a 100-foot suspension bridge that rises 25 feet above ground.

What is one thing that you hope your guests will return home with after experiencing a Yonder stay at your property? 

Timothy Leary the famous San Francisco counterculturist said you’ve got to, "Turn on, tune in, drop out."  This saying goes with what we try to offer at The Mohicans. We like to let our guests drop out of reality and tune into their families and nature. Usually, everyone leaves here happier and more connected.

What is your best advice for sustainable living in everyday life?

My advice is to stop consuming so much in our everyday lives. I used to own a business that took me to landfills and I was amazed at the immense amount of consumption and garbage. So much unnecessary stuff is wasted. We don’t need plastic water bottles when we can use a recyclable container. My advice is to look at your daily practices and see where you can limit the excess consumption and waste. In turn, this will benefit nature, our communities, and the planet. 

Anything else you’d like to share about the special nature connection you offer?

Our Grand Barn is a one of a kind place to celebrate life events and create memories, like weddings. It's an elegantly rustic place that you won’t find anywhere else with bark-bottom beams and a nature view that spans fifty miles of the Mohican Valley below. Plus, where else can you and your guests stay in a treehouse while getting hitched?