Public Announcement March 16, 2020

At this time the trails at the Norma Johnson Center are still open dawn to dusk every day. The restrooms are still closed. As for the future, we will follow the guidelines that are set forth by our county, our governor and our President.  

Our office hours have changed:
In light of the current events in Ohio, we will be open for business M-F from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Staff will be sanitizing prior to office hours and after closing. Please call our office for assistance during this time at 330 339-7976. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we all safely continue to serve Tuscarawas County.





Join us on Friday, April 17 at our first inaugural Food Truck Friday and Open House from 4-9 pm. 

 This open house event will feature food trucks from Miller’s Creamery, 3 Lil Piggies BBQ, and Bahler Street Pizza, as well as live music from Elizabeth White and Levi Jameson. Event admission and parking is free, though donations will be accepted for several projects, and memberships will be available for purchase throughout the event.

Throughout this family-friendly event, guests will have the opportunity to explore the Center on a self-guided hike. Highlights include planting a pollinator plot, birding activity, photo slideshow, scavenger hunt, and other nature-oriented games throughout the newly constructed accessible trail. Pollinator seeds will also be available for distribution in the Center’s pollinator area or to bring home. A spring film will be shown in the red barn on Conservation Drive at 7:00.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please fill out this form

We can’t wait to see you there!

Our annual dinner occurred on February 27 at the Union Hill Methodist Church.  Through the event, we were able to raise over $1300 for the Norma Johnson Center. Check out some photos from the silent auction and presentations above. Kortlynn Miller won the essay contest and read hers to the room. We heard about the completion of three Eagle Scout projects. Shirley Everhart presented the Golden Oak Award to Randy and Koral Clum. The purpose of the Golden Oak Award is to recognize a group or individual that has, in some outstanding way, given to the Norma Johnson Center. The Clums have been involved with the Norma Johnson Center since its inception, and are seasoned Ohio tree farmers. 

Essay Contest WInners

Congratulations to our essay contest winners. Our first place winner is Kortlynn Miller, who is homeschooled. Our second place essay is Arizela Tecum-Box, from Dover Avenue Elementary School. Both winners will be invited to the Norma Johnson Center Annual Dinner to read their essays and enjoy the night. 


It is hard to believe that 2019 has come and gone and we are once again ever so grateful for the outstanding support from our community members and area foundations.  

  • We continue to search for funding for the accessible trail and by doing so have made strides in our efforts to complete this great addition to the Norma Johnson Center.  We are thankful for the community members who supported this project in 2019 as well as the following community organizations:
    • Doris and Floyd Kimble Foundation
    • Ruth Carlson Starlight Foundation
    • Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation
  • Two young men, Nathan Ruggeri and Casey Rowlands, who were working to attain Eagle Scout honors helped place two lifelong structures to the Conservation Pond area that thousands of people will enjoy for years.  The bridge over the spillway and the accessible fishing deck will allow visitors to enjoy the Conservation pond area with ease.  
  • Three grants were received to help with new equipment along with one community supported resource
    • New Holland Front End Loader – Tuscarawas County Community Foundation
    • Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 SD Mower – Reeves Foundation
    • Pond Dipping Nets in partnership with Rural Action-Reeves Foundation
    • Wildflower, Tree ID, Insect ID, Bird ID guides and games – John Quimby
  • Several grants and funding sources were attained in 2019 to help with events.
    • United Way of Tuscarawas County – Winter Hike
    • Dover Hydraulics and Sugar Valley Meats-Chicken Barbecue
    • Kimble Company and ODNR Step Outside Grant – Family Fishing Day
    • O’Donnell Family Charitable Foundation- Butterfly Exhibit
    • Kimble Company and ODNR Step Outside Grant – Adventure Camp
    • First National Bank of Dennison- Fall Fest
    • Farm Bureau – Fall Fest
    • Dover Phila Federal Credit Union-Celebrate the Season and Luminary Walk

We cannot express how grateful we are for the community support of our organization.

Winter Hike 2020

Join us February 8 from 10-12 and hike the marked trails at the Norma Johnson Center.  We will have 3 trails marked to help you along your adventure.  Join us after your hike for hot chocolate and soup.

The Basic Loop (pink) – Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the pond and through the pine trees.  The ground is mostly level and starts and end near the picnic shelter on Conservation Drive.

Vista View (blue) – Intermediate walk will take you up a steep incline to walk along the ridge for a spectacular sightline across the valley.  The trail starts near the picnic shelter on Conservation Drive and ends near the kiosk near the restrooms on Conservation Drive. 

Adventurous (orange) – Explore our network of wooded trails.  Check out the wetlands and the suspension bridge.  Some ups and downs but nothing too major.  

This event is sponsored by United Way of Tuscarawas County. 

Winter Hike Flyer

Trail Options for Winter Hike


Winter Hike flyer

Winter Hike

2020 Flyer

Red barn- meeting place

2019 meeting area

Conservation Drive

Hiking with Animals


We are announcing our 2020 essay contest today! The prompt is: Nature is all around us. Pick a sense and describe an outdoor experience with it.This can be from your point of view or a plant or animal’s point of view. For example: describing a hummingbird’s sense of taste when it is eating nectar. The rules are as follows: 

  • This contest is open to people in grades K – 8, and will be judged in age groups of K-2, 3-5, 6-8.
  • Word limits are as follows: K-2, 100 words; grades 3-5, 150 words; grades 6-8, 250 words.  These limits are just guides.  Drawings will also be accepted in each age group.  In the drawing, the above mentioned items must be represented in artwork.  
  • Judges will select a first and second place winner based on content and thought.
  • Entrants are welcome to include a drawing with their submission.
  • All entries must be postmarked or received by February 7, 2020. Entries can be submitted by mailing or dropping off essays to: Norma Johnson Center  85 E. Iron Avenue Dover, Ohio 44622
  • All entries must state the entrant’s name, school, school number, grade, teachers name, t-shirt size, and a home contact number with parent name (This will help staff contact winners for banquet information).
  • First and second place in each age group will be contacted by phone in mid February and announced on our website and Facebook page on February 14, 2020. In addition to a prize, they will also receive free admission to the annual meeting and an additional adult ticket.
  • The top two winners of each category will read their essay during the Norma Johnson Center’s Silent Auction and Recognition Program on February 27, 2020  at the Union Hill United Methodist Church 7877 Union Hill Rd NW Sugarcreek, OH 44681.
  • All entries become property of the NJC. The NJC reserves the non-exclusive right to use all entries in publications or for promotional purposes.
  • All questions concerning the essay contest should be directed to Marsha Freeland at 330-339-7976.
  • The Norma Johnson Center is a 501c(3) non-profit organization and the intention of this contest is to highlight the Norma Johnson Center.
  • The US Dept. of Agriculture, Tuscarawas County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Norma Johnson Center prohibit discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.


Download 2020 Essay Contest Question and Rules