Stay tuned for information about our auction and the items that will be up to bid.  

Annual

Silent Auction 

 

We will be hosting our annual silent auction virtually this year amid Covid-19 concerns. Our auction will feature donations from local businesses, artists, and restaurants! Auction items will be listed in a special album on our Facebook page, and bidding will be open for 2 weeks. Bidding will open on March 1st and close on March 12th. We will notify the winners of each bid by March 15th, and the items will be available for no-contact delivery. The funds raised at the silent auction will go towards the our mission to promote the conservation and preservation of natural resources through education, community outreach, and personal experience. We will post more information and bidding instructions as we get closer to the auction date!

 

Outdoor Sanity Series

February is Winter Hike Month.  Get outside and spend some time at the Norma Johnson Center.

Welcome to the first month of activity for our 2021 Outdoor Sanity Series.  This month we are featuring Winter Hiking.  All of our trails are open dawn to dusk everyday of the year but during the month of February will provide three marked trails for trail users to explore.  All marked Winter Hike trails begin and end near the Conservation Drive parking area below the red barn.  When hiking this area is marked with a red parking symbol.   A restroom is located near this trail head but if weather temperatures are extreme it may be closed.  A portajohn is located at the front of the property near the Preservation Loop Kiosk and yellow pole barn throughout the year.  

Basic Loop – Marked with pink post and ribbon this trail starts and ends near the picnic shelter’s driveway.  Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Conservation Pond and through the pine trees on a trail called Brugs Way.  Enjoy a section of our Accessible Trail but please note we are still working on this section of trail so watch your step. 

Vista View – Marked with blue posts and ribbon this trail starts at the picnic shelter and ends near the Conservation Loop Kiosk.  This intermediate-level walk will take you up a steep incline to walk along the ridge for a spectacular sightline view across the Brandywine Valley.  Did you know Norma’s family had an orchard  near this loop before it was mined for coal?

Adventurous – Marked with orange ribbon and post this trail begins near the Conservation Loop kiosk and also ends here too.  If you want a workout and explore the wooded trail this hike is for you.  The trail will lead you to the wetlands and around the wetland area on Rebecca’s Way.  Trail users can check out the suspension bridge and wind back to the wetland if you choose.  You will encounter a few ups and downs along the way but this trail provides lots of attractions for little ones walking with you.  

 

 

Winter

Trail Map Download

We have color coded our trails for Winter hiking ease.  Pink is our basic loop, Blue is the Vista View and Orange is the Adventurous hike.

 Winter Hike Map

 

 

Check out our new 2021 Outdoor Sanity Series! Each month has its own theme, with instructions for hiking and other activities included. At the start of every month, we will post updates on our webpage and our Facebook about the available activities for each monthly theme.   As we venture into 2021 and COVID restrictions are hopefully lifted we will post potential events that would go along with the themes.   January is the kick-off month.

  • January          Kick Off Month
  • February       Winter Hikes
  • March             Sounds of Silence
  • April                Giving back to the Earth
  • May                  Feathered Friends
  • June                 Aquatic Life
  • July                  Pollinators
  • August           Accessible Trail 
  • Sept.                Loop the Loops
  • October        Autumn Delights
  • Nov.                 Giving Thanks
  • Dec.                 Celebrating 2021

 

Let it snow let it snow let it snow! I know it sounds a little crazy but I love snow. I love being outside when it snows and the aftermath. Maybe not on the roads but definitely in the woods. Growing up in Western Ohio we would get a lot of drifting snow which created drifts! My favorite thing to do was to find a decent sized drift and start tunneling. Once I was able to get it large enough so I could crawl in and relax I would do just that and then lay there and listen to the silence. We had a small hill that led to the barn doors and I would get the grain shovel and sled down the embankment over and over again. As an adult, going home and looking at this slope cracks me up because it really isn’t that big, but it brought many hours of enjoyment to me as a child. I remember recess being filled with large cardboard pieces and many trips up and down the slope outside of the middle school. So I challenge you even if its just for 5 minutes or 5 hours get outside and play in the snow. It will be good for your soul! Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it SNOW!

Graphic announcing litter pick up

As the weather gets warmer, more people will be coming to enjoy the center. However, our traditional litter picker cannot occur due to social distancing restrictions. Instead, if you are interested in helping to leave the trails better than how you found them, bring along a bag on your next visit. If you see any trash on the trails, pick it up. When you are done, you can put your bag in the dumpster beside the restrooms on Conservation Drive. We can also provide supplies if you contact us in advance. Through email, info@normajohnsoncenter.com , or Facebook message we can arrange a drop off of supplies at one of our buildings. 

Please stay safe and remember to keep six feet apart from anyone not in your household at all times. 

 

Turkey Vulture!

We ask that you continue to use the trails at the Norma Johnson Center. We are amazed by how many of you have continued to come out to the trails and the fishing ponds. We would like to remind everyone continue to practice social distancing. A friend of mine shared this picture the other day which wants me to say “Turkey Vulture” and spread out my arms when I am around others to remind all of us that I like you but we must keep apart.

As a reminder here are a few friendly trail reminders:
1. Please stay on the trails
2. If you bring a pet please clean up after it and keep it on a leash.
3. Our ponds are open to fishing, but it is catch and release and we ask that what you bring with you – leaves with you. For example fishing line and worm containers.
4. Our restrooms are closed. A port-a-john has been placed at the yellow pole barn parking area near the the Preservation Loop parking area.
5. Trail construction is going on – we are working on increasing the length of the accessible trail so some parts of the trail between the Preservation side and the Conservation side by SR 39 is muddy and exposed. A trail closed sign is posted but we have noticed hikers still using this trail. There are no hazards other than mud.
6. At the beginning of Conservation Drive staff have cut down dead pine trees and are now de-limbing and getting them ready to be taken away. We plan to plant bald cypress in this area.
7. No mobile vehicles shall use our trails except for our maintenance department. As a reminder, during this wet time we ask that visitors stay off the grass to keep from leaving muddy ruts along the drive way and in the parking areas.
8. More users sometimes means a possible increase of vandalism which we never like to mention or see at the Norma Johnson Center. If you witness other visitors breaking our rules please feel free to call the office 330.339.7976 or send us a message through Facebook. Increase use sometimes leads to others not taking care of our facility like we would like them too.
9. We continue to offer free public use to our facility. If you like what you see and would like to become a member of make a donation to our facility check our our website or trail maps for more information. Checks can be made to Norma Johnson Center and sent to 85 E Iron Avenue Dover OH 44622
10. It is tick season. So please take precautions and check yourself, fellow hikers and pets.

Lost and Found…Peacock

This may sound strange but…is anyone missing a peacock. Yes I did say peacock. Today our staff noticed this guy wondering the grounds. Please contact the office if you are the proud owner of this cute bird. On a side note this bird should be harmless when left alone.