TreeSong’s roots grow in Washougal

Founder moves from the city to the forest

Address: 41 Tree-ific Drive West, located near milepost 13 on Washougal River Road

Phone number: 837-8733

Schedule of events: Read more about the variety of spring and summer activities available at treesongnatureawareness.org

Address: 41 Tree-ific Drive West, located near milepost 13 on Washougal River Road

Phone number: 837-8733

Schedule of events: Read more about the variety of spring and summer activities available at treesongnatureawareness.org

TreeSong has become a 24-hour, 365-day melody for Michelle Baumann.

The founder and executive director of this nature awareness and retreat center fulfilled her dream of moving from downtown Vancouver to her new home on 1.24 acres of land along the Washougal River. She enjoys dedicating all of her time to wildlife, plants, trees, arts, crafts, cooking and music with people looking for a little adventure and relaxation off the beaten path.

“I don’t believe a day goes by when I don’t look around and feel wildly blessed to be here,” Baumann said. “It doesn’t feel like this is my house and I’m opening it up to people. I feel like a visitor of TreeSong. I’m just here on a more permanent basis.

“I get to see what this place does to people. Their reactions are very gratifying,” she added. “When they come and step outside, that’s when the magic happens.”

TreeSong offers a variety of events for kids and adults throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. Baumann said three generations of family gathered at the center to celebrate the spring equinox March 21.

“It’s fun to see kids and their parents involved,” she said. “If the whole family embraces an activity, it’s going to be more powerful. Grownups needs that too.”

A “Roots & Wings” nature based open house is available Saturday, April 25. May features a bird watching and listening workshop, a native plant walk followed by a cooking class, and a tracking for personal safety course for adults. Children can participate in outdoor summer camps during July and August.

Kids ages 4 to 13 can join the TreeSong Circle Keepers. The group meets once a month to explore how the land evolves throughout the year.

“It’s amazing to see one piece of land go through so many changes each season,” Baumann said. “There’s so much to learn from that. I’m still learning, and I always will be.”

The second Run Wild! Nature Family Fun Run occurs Sunday, Sept. 27, at Fallen Leaf Park, in Camas. Baumann said kids and parents are asked to dress in their favorite “wild thing.”

“It’s fun and educational for the whole family,” she said. “Last year, we had it out at North Bonneville. This year, we are glad to have it more centrally located in town.”

TreeSong opened its doors in 2013. It has become a non-profit organization. Five board members meet with Baumann once a month to discus new ideas.

“It’s a community thing,” she said. “It’s not supposed to be run by one person. It’s the gifts of many people. It’s amazing all the creation that’s happening out here.”

One of the new “creations” still in pre-planning is an 850-square foot building for yoga, arts and crafts. Baumann plans to move into a studio space on the second floor. She would love to incorporate the surrounding trees into this design, and make it look like a tree house.

“It would be nice to have my own space. Not pull everything I have and stuff it into my room or into storage when I have an event,” Baumann said.

In the meantime, the 1,000-square foot building with a kitchen and a bedroom has become the home she has always dreamed of.

“Everything is branching out before my eyes. It’s extremely gratifying,” Baumann said. “So many amazing people keep showing up. Magic is still afoot.”

Please review our community guidelines