UPDATE: Nov. 16, 2020

Registration is currently full. Any further registrations will be added to the waitlist. There is no guarantee that waitlisted registrants will receive a time slot.

Thank you!


Join us for “Pictures for a Purpose” at the Norma Johnson Center!

Our fall fundraiser is a family photoshoot with three photographers at the beautiful backdrop of our nature center. The event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 29th from 12pm-4pm. 

Each family will visit with each photographer in a different area of the Center, resulting in 3-5 photos from each photographer, for a total of 9-15 photos. Cost per family is $60 for the event. The photos will be provided in a digital format as quickly as possible after the event, with the option to print unlimited copies.

Each registration also comes with a family activity bag full of snacks and materials that suggest fun, outdoor activities that can be done at the NJC or even in your own backyard!

Safety precautions will be followed throughout the event. Online payment is preferred, but other options can be arranged. Masks are required at on-site registration and when interacting with staff and volunteers. All activities will be outdoors. In the event of rain or other inclement weather, a rescheduled date will be chosen and communicated with registered attendees. 

Registration is limited to 15 families, so don’t delay! Sign-up today and get your holiday photos taken care of, all while supporting your favorite trails and greenspace. Registration will close on Friday, Nov. 27th. A waitlist will be created for families interested in the event after 15 time slots are filled. There is no guarantee that waitlisted registrants will receive a time slot.

We thank the participating photographers for the donation of their time and talent. We are excited to feature Denice Hazlett of Sprouted Acorn Photography (https://www.sproutedacorn.com/); Naomi Benson of NB Photography (https://www.nbphotographyllc.com/), and Teai Warner of Teai Marie Photography (https://www.teaimariephotography.com/).

If you have 6+ people attending in your group, you will need to purchase two registration slots to accommodate the larger group.


Fall Fest Cancelled for 2020

We are sorry to announce that we will not be holding our annual Fall Fest event on October 10, 2020.  We do however invite you to continue to use the trails and the fishing ponds at the NJC.  The Center is open from dawn to dusk everyday of the year.  Enjoy the fall colors as the forest prepares for the winter.  


Basics of the event- read rules below for full info

Free Family Fish Event June 19-29! Bring your family to any of the 5 ponds located at the Norma Johnson Center to fish during the parks hours of dawn to dusk between June 19-29th.

Register Here: https://bit.ly/36OVwV3

See below for official Rules:
-The Family Fish event officially begins June 19 and will go to June 29, 2020.
-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 only occur at any of the 5 ponds located on Norma Johnson Center property.
-Observe and respect other people around you.
-All Family members may fish. A family can fish as many days as they want.
-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.
-In order to enter to win raffle and contest prizes participants must be registered for the event. Registrations can be found online (https://bit.ly/36OVwV3) on our website (normajohnsoncenter.com), Facebook page (Norma Johnson Center), or in person during staffed hours at the NJC.
-Staff will run a check in table during announced hours where participants stop by, register and be offered selected giveaways while supplies last. These times will be announced on our website and Facebook page.
– “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 6th. All prizes must be collected by July 31, 2020. 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 ODNR Step Outside Grant and The Doris and Floyd Kimble Foundation. Call the office for details 330.339.7976 or email questions to info@normajohnsoncenter.com.

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.



“Start by doing what is necessary then what is  possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis

A New Norm for Now

This week has been crazy for everyone.  Our norms have been changed without our consent.  Everyone is trying their hardest to find normalcy at home with their spouses, children and work.  Thinking about the positives of the week-the trails at the Norma Johnson Center have hikers galore.  Social Distancing is happening, families are exploring and memories are being made OUTSIDE.   Experts have been telling us over the last few years to get outside and play.  I can say that has been happening at the NJC.  Stay tuned for nature topics to be shared with your family.  Keep up to date on our Facebook page Norma Johnson Center and watch for us to go Live.  Otherwise, keep hiking, keep planning your adventures, stay safe and healthy.