Upcoming Luminary walk at NJC

December 10, 2022 from 4:30-7PM

TuscParks will be hosting the rescheduled “Luminary Trail Walk” at the Norma Johnson Center, located off of State Route 39 between Dover and Sugarcreek on Saturday, December 10, 2022 from 4:30-7:00pm.  The luminary trail walk will begin at the Preservation Loop Kiosk next to the yellow pole barn located at 4033 SR 39 Dover, OH 44622.  The lit trail will be a quarter mile in length. Visitors can walk along the accessible trail through the forest and out to the Preservation Pond guided by luminary.  Paper lanterns will be strewn amongst the pine forest for the return walk to the parking area.  Starting at 4:30pm, hot chocolate and cookies will be served to welcome guests before and after their walk.  There is no charge for the event but donations will be accepted.  

This event will be held weather permitting.  Please check with either the Norma Johnson Center or the TuscParks Facebook page or Norma Johnson Center page for updates. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Questions about the event can be directed to the TuscParks Department office at 330.365.3278 Monday through Friday from 8am-4:30pm.

“This is a magical trail experience for the whole family.  This is one of the few opportunities to experience the Center at night and take in the outdoors on a brisk wintery evening.”




Free Family Fish Event June 18! Bring your family to any of the Preservation Ponds located at the Norma Johnson Center behind the yellow pole barn off of SR 39 to participate in our family fish event.  This event will be cancelled if it rains.  

Registration will take place at the event from 9-9:30.

See below for official Rules:
-The Family Fish event on June 18 and will be from 9:30-11.
-This is a catch and release event. All park rules and fishing guidelines must be followed for this event.
-Fishing may only occur at the Preservation Pond located on Norma Johnson Center property.
-Observe and respect other people around you.
-All Family members may fish.
-One fishing pole per person.
-All fish must be released back to the pond that they were caught in after any optional documentation is completed.
-Fish must be caught from shore or fishing dock/deck. Boats, floats and rafts of any kind are not permitted.
-Staff will run a check in table at the event where participants will register and be offered selected giveaways while supplies last. 
-Photos of fish caught and the participants can be submitted by tagging the Norma Johnson Center on Facebook and using the #NJCFamilyFish. The photos taken must have an indicator that the photo was taken at the Norma Johnson Center. 
-Prizes will be awarded randomly throughout the event period as well as after the event.
-Prizes will be divided into different categories at the staff’s discretion.
-All ties will be subject to a random drawing.
-All prizes must be accepted as awarded and have no other surrender value.
-All decisions made by event coordinators are final.
-The organizers reserve the right to amend, add to, remove or otherwise change any of the rules and regulations for this contest, without prior notice, if it is deemed by them to be in the best interest of all parties involved in the NJC Family Fish event.

This event is made possible with the sponsorship of the ODNR Step Outside Grant.  First round of worms are donated by JWS Worms. Call the office for details 330.365.3279 or email questions to info@normajohnsoncenter.com.


“I love being in the woods during the Spring.  So much is happening and can be discovered.”

Above is a damselfly nymph that was taken from the wetland.


TuscParks Homeschool Wednesday – May Event

TuscParks Homeschool Wednesday in May will be at the  Norma Johnson Center, May 11, 2022 from 9:00am to 11:00am. This free event will start at the Conservation Drive Kiosk by the parking lot near the red barn (off Old State Route 39 between Dover and Sugarcreek).

May is upon us and we will be back out on the trails for another spring hike.  This time at the Norma Johnson Center.  We will be hiking the trails and ending at the wetland for some pond dipping.  Macroinvertebrates and amphibians galore. Click on the link below to register. 


All participants are encouraged to dress for the weather. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Please check with the TuscParks or the Norma Johnson Center Facebook page for updates or call TuscParks at 330-365-3279 for more information. This event is free of charge, but donations will be accepted.




Local birder, Dan Kramer will be our host during the “Birding with Kramer” three part series.  We will meet at the different areas of TuscParks throughout the county.  At the different sites we will hike the trails to explore the birds who live there!  Binoculars are strongly suggested but not required. 


Birding With Kramer

Join Dan Kramer and TuscPark staff as we go birding at all of our TuscParks locations. 

Friday, May 13, 8-10am  Norma Johnson Center Conservation Dr., Dover

Friday, May 20, 8-10am   Trenton Heritage Park   State Dam Rd, New Philadelphia

Friday, May 27, 8-10am  Canal Lands Park                8645 Dover-Zoar Rd., Zoar


For more information, call Marsha Freeland at 330-365-3279 or parkedu@co.tuscarawas.oh.us.





“It is not uncommon to be in the outdoors and come in contact with a tick.  Tick populations and types of ticks are rising in our county and across the state of Ohio.  What surprises most people is that their own backyard is perfect habitat for them.  It is important to take precautions prior to spending time outside.  Upon returning check yourself, your pets and your children.  Everyone is vulnerable.” says Marsha Freeland.

Ticks and Tick Borne Illness
on the Rise in Tuscarawas County

New Philadelphia− The number of ticks and Lyme disease cases in Tuscarawas County is on the rise.  To help understand the types of ticks and tick borne illnesses we have in our area, TuscParks and Ohio State University Extension have put together an event to educate our community.  A panel of experts will help answer questions and share information about these disease spreading arachnids.

The event “Exploring Ticks and Discovering Tick Borne Illness” will be held on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 starting at 6:30pm in the Tuscora Park dining hall. Our panel will be presenting and answering questions concerning tick biology, tick ecology, tick prevention and tick safety. The panel will consist of Tim McDermott (OSU State Specialist and Veterinarian), Kip Brady (New Philadelphia High School Tick Research Project), Jeffery Burrier (Physician) and Dana Fischio (New Philadelphia Health Department). Ashton Mullet-Moon along with Kerry (County Commissioner) and Karen Metzger will share their personal experiences with tick-borne illness.

This event will be held at the Tuscora Park Dining Hall, 161 Tuscora Park Avenue, NW New Philadelphia, OH 44663.

Pre-registration is preferred so handout materials can be prepared. To register go to the link shown below or click on the register button below.  http://go.osu.edu/tuscticks2022


For any questions about the event, contact TuscParks at 330-365-3278 or visit the TuscParks Facebook page for more information. 

Please note that TuscParks does not manage Tuscora Park. It is managed by the city of New Philadelphia and RTY, Inc.




The Trails need your help! 
Winter is coming to an end and the trails could use some sprucing up.  While hiking, if you come across debris on the trail go ahead and move it to the side of the trail.  If you are unable or an issue needs to be brought to our attention, reach out to our staff
by calling the TuscParks office at 330.365.3279.  


Winter Hike success 2.12.2022

Even though the trails were icy community members were ready to get out on the trails at the Norma Johnson Center on Saturday February 12th.  Over 125 attendees chose to walk/skate the icy trails, slide to their destination and have soup and hot chocolate at the picnic shelter.  The children were having a ball sliding down the hills and trails.  Definitely, a memorable day for all.  We are so thankful for the United Way sponsoring our event to allow us to provide soup choices from Ginger’s Luncheon and Bakery in Uhrichsville and hot chocolate.  Volunteers and staff greeted visitors and kept an eye on our trail hikers.  

“What an amazing day to be on the trails!  We are thankful so many chose to come out and experience nature’s outcomes on the trail.  The icy trails weren’t for everyone but the soup and hot chocolate made everything okay.”

Marsha Freeland

TuscParks Education Manager


“It is always amazing to explore the trails during the winter months,” says Marsha Freeland. “The forest is still very active at this time of year. If it snows, bring your sled or make snowmen along the trails.”


TuscParks Winter Hike at Norma Johnson Center

TuscParks will be hosting a Winter Hike at the Norma Johnson Center on Saturday, February 12, 2022 from 10:00am to 12:00pm. This free event will start at the Conservation Drive parking lot near the red barn (off Old State Route 39 between Dover and Sugarcreek).

There will be three marked trails with different levels of difficulty, with hot chocolate and soup available to warm you up after your hike. Pets are permitted, but must be on a leash. The 2022 TuscParks Winter Hike is endorsed by Healthy Tusc and sponsored by the United Way.

All participants are encouraged to dress for the weather. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Please check with the TuscParks or the Norma Johnson Center Facebook page for updates or call TuscParks at 330-365-3279 for more information. This event is free of charge, but donations will be accepted.




Nancy Owen presenting at a past NJC event.

“Nancy does an amazing job with her live bat ambassadors as well as her audience.”


2022 February Homeschool Event 


TuscParks and Tuscora Park- Park Place Youth Center is offering a homeschool event on February 9, 2022 from 9-10:30AM.
Nancy Owen, Raptor rehabilitator and educator of Gryphon Den, will be presenting on the physical adaptations of bats. She will have live educational Bat Ambassadors. Nancy will address the characteristics and behaviors of her bats along with the human impact on their environment.

Registration is a must! Click


to register online.  Questions can be directed to the TuscParks Education Manager at 330.365.3279. 


Due to a change in management the previous NJC homeschool list is no longer active. If you would like to be put on the Tuscparks Homeschool email list send your information to parkedu@co.tuscarawas.co.us


Of the new hires, Jesse Rothacher says “I am really happy we were able to keep Marsha – she has the
pulse of our community and brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Craig is skilled, resourceful,
and loves the outdoors. Your trails are in good hands.”

The Tuscarawas County Commissioners and Park Department (“TuscParks”) welcomed two new
employees towards the end of 2021. Marsha Freeland and Craig Howell will be joining Jesse
Rothacher, Park Manager, and Jane Clay, Park Coordinator, in the development of TuscParks
properties. Marsha Freeland, the former Director of the Norma Johnson Center, was hired as the
new Programming/Education Manager and Craig Howell was hired as Maintenance Manager.

Marsha Freeland can be reached at 330-365-3279 or parkedu@co.tuscarawas.oh.us and maintenance
issues can be reported to Craig Howell at 330-365-3288.

The Tuscarawas County Commissioners also received a donation of 63 acres of land at the Norma
Johnson Center from the Tuscarawas County Soil & Water Conservation District. The
Commissioners now own the entire 303-acre Norma Johnson Center and have placed it under the
management of TuscParks.

TuscParks would like to thank the Tuscarawas County Commissioners, the Tuscarawas County Soil
& Water Conservation District, and the Norma Johnson Conservation Center Foundation Board for
their ongoing support in this process.