Tours
Land owner builds cheerful “forest village” from scratch with raw and reclaimed materials
If there's one thing people can expect to see in SunRay Kelly's homes, it's the unordinary. Of all the incredible things he's built, his "ponds" are what he's most proud of.
Ma Fatima Garcia
09.12.22

We all have visions of what we want in life and how we want to live.

Unfortunately, not all people are fortunate enough to be given the chance to actually put these visions into reality.

In Sedro-Woolley, Washington, deep into the lush forest of Skagit County lives a man.

His name is SunRay Kelley.

Some describe him as a hermit genius who created a whimsical village of his own design, using raw and reclaimed materials.

With his long beard and his favorite knit cap, you would think SunRay Kelley is a wizard ruling the forest of Skagit.

He’s been there since boyhood.

Kelley had lived on the vast nine-acre of land since he was a young boy. His father was the one who bought the land.

He found himself drawn to it. Kelley fell in love with nature, and according to him, the land chose him.

How can we describe Kelley?

He’s a passionate man. A genius. A visionary. An architect and an artist- all in one.

Decades ago, he built his houses across the land, each one unique and had a purpose.

Endless interest

On his property, you will see manors, saunas, gypsy wagons, electric bikes, tree houses, ponds, and even a stunning outdoor kitchen.

After his divorce two decades ago, Kelley met Bonnie Howard, and they fell in love.

“We played in the mud and fell madly in love in the mud,” Howard said to King5.

They shared the same passion and love for nature in all its majesty.

For Kelley, nature has laid out everything he needs, and it’s up to him to cultivate and help nature thrive.

When building his amazing structures, he talks about borrowing from nature, and with nature’s help, his art becomes more beautiful.

The people who visit his land feel mesmerized and magical.

It was life-changing to be this close to nature and feel the abundance of love and peace and get everything they need and more.

Kelley is most proud of his ponds. For him, creating ponds allowed fishes to live there, and seeing life thrive is such an accomplishment.

Another site to see is Kelley’s orchard.

It was his dream to start an edible forest, and it has become a reality.

He has many apple trees, nut trees, including hazelnut and walnut, hickory, hard nuts, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and huckleberries.

It’s all about practice.

“Practice. Everything in life is practice. If you want to get good at something, you practice. You want to improve your skills, you practice. It’s almost the answer to everything you want to do is get out there and do it,” said Kelley in his interview with FLORB.

Indeed, with practice, you get better, and when you get better, you can grow.

Kelley won’t be stopping creating amazing art any time soon. His vision continues, and he loves sharing his hard work with other people.

He wants to inspire people.

He also wants to let them see how beautiful it is to live with nature. Kelley left a piece of advice for everyone who appreciates his work:

“Let the love in your heart flow. Forgive everybody, and move forward in the present. That’s probably my three things. I would pass it on as good advice and take a walk in nature.”

Check out his Instagram account to see how you can book their Airbnb.

Take a tour of SunRay Kelly’s whimsical forest village in the video below!

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By Ma Fatima Garcia
hi@sbly.com
Ma Fatima Garcia is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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