This land and nature lodge is in memory of Norris Johnson, gifted to Trust For Wildlife in his name in 1981.
Norris Johnson (1905-1983) was a banker who lived with his wife Patricia in White Plains, NY and summered in Halifax, Vermont. They owned a 250 acre farm and farm house (built in the 1700's) in Halifax. After Norris' death, Patricia reached out to Trust for Wildlife for guidance on gifting a large portion of the farm to a conservation organization. She decided that TFW was the best choice. She donated 115 acres to TFW, including a small cabin for use as a summer nature center, in memory of Norris.
TFW takes pride in the consistency of quality that this science/nature education center continues to hold, being free for all young residents of the Deerfield Valley. The year 2021 marked its 43rd anniversary. The camp focuses on exploring woods, fields, and waterways, and learning about native plants and animals with a concentration on food chains and natural habitats.
Some of the past campers have become professional naturalists. But, most important, young eyes and ears have become tuned-in to the natural world.
Trust For Wildlife provides a one week “nature camp” at the TFW sanctuary in Halifax, Vermont, run by Founding President Marshal Case and conducted with the assistance of Halifax school staff. The camp is offered at no cost to campers in appreciation for the Town waving property taxes. This is an excellent use of the 115 acre sanctuary with varied habitats and an abundance of wildlife species as well as “old growth” forest that comprises approximately half of the entire acreage.
The sanctuary contains a modest nature lodge that houses nature exhibits including birds nests and found animal skeletons, as well as “hands on” opportunities for campers to enjoy critters in aquaria that are caught and then released back to the pond, field, and woodland habitats at the end of camp sessions.