The Halifax Sanctuary was gifted to Trust for Wildlife (TFW) in 1982 by Pat Johnson, in memory of her husband, Norris Johnson. Mrs. Johnson’s gift included a small summer cabin with 15 acres of primarily open field and 100 acres of woodlands. Mrs. Johnson stipulated in her land gift that TFW continue to manage the property for wildlife, as well as selective forest management. TFW has honored this with a management approach that compares selective cutting (logging) every 20 years, with half of the land left untouched as “old growth” forest. This enables students and researchers to visually understand how the “management” of our forests and fields both negatively and positively affect the flora and fauna on the property.
Trust For Wildlife uses this sanctuary each Summer to host a free nature camp for local children. The cabin has been turned into a mini-nature center complete with aquaria, natural history posters, a small resource library, and tools for nature observation and exploration such as microscopes, binoculars and field identification guides.
TFW takes pride in the consistency of quality of this science/nature education center, being free for all young residents of the Deerfield Valley. The year 2019 marked its 41st anniversary. The camp focuses on exploring woods, fields, and waterways, and learning about native plants and animals with a concentration on food chains and habitats of the natural world.
The fields and woods of the sanctuary are posted, no hunting allowed, but they are open to hikers and naturalists to explore. The sanctuary is located on Woodard Hill Road in Halifax.