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


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 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.



“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.”


Cancelled Event

“Luminary Trail Walk at the Norma Johnson Center”

We are saddened to report that we will need to cancel the Luminary Event scheduled for January 22, 2022 again due to trail conditions.  With the snow and the cold temperatures that are predicted the family friendly event would not be so.  We will not reschedule this event in the near future but encourage the community to attend our Winter Hike that will be on February 12th from 10-Noon at the Norma Johnson Center.  More details to follow.


Dover, OH –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, January 22, 2022 from 5:00-7:00pm.  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 5:00pm, hot chocolate and 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 for updates. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Questions about the event can be directed to the TuscParks Department office at 330.365.3279 Monday through Friday from 8am-4:30pm.




Due to the high wind advisory this event is cancelled but we plan to host the Luminary Trail Walk in the near future. 
The Tuscarawas County Parks Department is hosting a Luminated Trail on December 11, 2021 from 4:30-7 PM at the Norma Johnson Center starting at the Preservation Loop kiosk. Hot chocolate and cookies will be offered to attendees starting at 4:30 under the porch of the yellow pole barn located off of SR 39. The luminary walk will consist of lights along the Preservation Trail leading to the dock on the Preservation Pond and paper lanterns in the forest. The event is free to the public and no reservations are needed. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post. It is truly a magical experience and one of our favorites.
The event will be cancelled if it rains and will be announced on our social media pages.


Butterfly Exhibit

July 8-18, Conservation Drive

Under the picnic Shelter

Monday through Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4

Free Crafts, Face Painting.  Concession available with items for sale.

Donations accepted for entry to exhibit.

Coordinates for Directions to Conservation Drive

40.512.82, -81.544111

2021 Family Fish Event has gone Virtual July 1-18

NJC’s Family Fish Event will be virtual again this year due to weather. See our flyer below for fishing rules and more details. Follow the link to our Google Form to register. We hope to see you and your family fishing soon!

Free Family Fish Event June 19! 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 officially begins July 1 and will go to July 18, 2021

This is a catch and release event. 

All park rules and fishing guidelines must be followed for this event. 

The Norma Johnson Center is open from dawn to dusk every day of the year.

Fishing may occur at any of the 5 ponds located on Norma Johnson Center property.

Observe and respect other people around you by practicing social distancing.


All Family members may fish.  A family can fish as many days as they want.

One fishing pole per person.

After any optional documentation is completed,  All fish must be released back into the same pond it was caught.

Fish must be caught from shore or fishing dock/deck. Boats, floats and rafts of any kind are not permitted.

In order to enter to win Raffle and contest prizes participants must be registered for the event.  Registrations can be found online on our website (, Facebook page (Norma Johnson Center), or in person during staffed hours at the NJC.  

Participants can stop by the butterfly exhibit under the picnic shelter near Conservation Drive during exhibit hours (M-Sat 10-4 and Sunday 12-4).  Ask for Marsha or Sophia to register and be offered selected giveaways while supplies last. 

 “Catch You Fishing” prizes will be awarded by staff randomly throughout the event.  

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.  These photos will be entered into a raffle.

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 winners will be notified by July 21st.  All prizes must be collected by July 31, 2021.  These prizes will be located at the yellow pole barn.  Arrangements for pick up will be made with NJC staff.   

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 Doris and Floyd Kimble Foundation. Call the office for details 330.339.7976 or email questions to


To see a description of our summer programs as well as go to our Program page to find more information.

2021 Childrens Program Underway

This week was a great kickoff to the summer children’s programs. Sophia conquered the wildflower class on Tuesday. Some of those families came to the Thursday craft event. The most amazing moment was when a young lady came and wanted to ID a wildflower in the pollinator plot near the yellow pole barn. So I handed her the Newcomb guide and off she went. She came back with more flowers to ID and talked to Sophia about her findings. Success!
The craft was creating walking sticks. We had several new families attend and many returners. It was great to see familiar faces and how much everyone has grown. One young man wanted to know where the legs were that he was to put on his stick. I think we should have called the class Hiking Sticks instead of walking sticks.
Enjoy some photos from the walking stick craft day. If you would like to join us in the future locate our summer children’s post in the below and register today. Deadline for the classes is the Friday prior to program. Some classes are limited.