Nestled between the pristine waters of the Puget Sound and the majestic shores of Hood Canal you'll find North Mason. It's a beautiful community. In addition to the amazing salt waterfronts, we enjoy many fresh water rivers and lakes as well as vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier. I find myself always searching out a new place to enjoy the natural beauty. There isn't anything much more relaxing than a good walk in the beautiful outdoors. I always take advantage of the opportunity to for a nice a walk. Whether it's sunny or overcast, warm or cool, if I have the chance I take it. Luckily for me, North Mason is home to The Theler Wetlands.
Located in the heart of Belfair, just off Highway 3 at the tip of Hood Canal, The Wetlands at Theler offers something for the nature enthusiast in everyone. The Wetlands is comprised of 71 acres of salt marsh and estuary wetlands at the mouth of the Union River. You'll enjoy well groomed trails through forests and boardwalks over wetlands that meander through nearly 5 miles of nature's beauty.
Known as a haven for birding, Theler is the perfect place to view everything from the Great Blue Herons to Belted Kingfishers from Bald Eagles to Red-winged Blackbirds. One of the great things about The Wetlands is that it is perfect for not only the experience birder, but also the novice, like me. There are pamphlets with birding hints in the lobby as well as electronic bird identifiers, bird books and binoculars available from the staff in the Exhibit Building.
In addition to the trails and birding opportunities, there is also 2 acres of Master Gardener Native Plant and Grass Demonstrative Gardens surrounding the Exhibit Buildings and classroom. There are 21 separate gardens that showcase the versatility and beauty of low maintenance landscaping that native plants coupled with well conceived design afford. Including over 800 native trees, shrubs and ground covers, this may well be the largest collection of native plants in a natural setting in Western Washington. The gardens were designed and planted in 1997 by master gardeners along with help from community and student volunteers. The gardens are proof of what true community spirit can create!
I had the opportunity to take one of my much loved walks through the wetlands just last week. I had a lunch appointment and then my afternoon was free, and as it was a beautiful fall day in the Pacific Northwest, I decided to load up my daughter and enjoy some rare free time! I'm so glad I did. The skies were brilliant blue, the air crisp and the trees were awash in deep reds and golds. We came upon two Great Blue Herons, along with a myriad of other birds while we were walking and the dragonflies accompanied us through the trails. Having a background in photography, I was having a wonderful time with my camera.
In addition to being a wonderful natural sanctuary, The Wetlands is also home to the Theler Community Center, hosting many community activities, events and meetings. The North Mason Chamber of Commerce holds their monthly luncheon on the fourth Wednesday of every month. You can find Karate classes, Senior Dance Socials and Family Bingo throughout the week. Check out the calendar for more info and specific dates and times. The Theler Center is also a designated emergency shelter for the North Mason community.
Theler receives no tax support and is run by a volunteer board and relies heavily on donations and fund raising efforts. Yet another example of our community spirit!
I hope everyone is able to take advantage of this beautiful asset to the North Mason community. If you are searching for educational opportunities or just a quiet place to collect your thoughts, Theler offers something for everyone!
If you decide to experience the beauty of Theler for yourself, feel free to email me or give me a call 360.649.0374. I'd be happy to offer any assistance I can. Or, stop by my office at 23552 NE State Route 3, Suite 2B in Belfair for some coffee before you go - the pot is always on and the conversation is always enjoyable!