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History of the ranch and campus

Elli Norris In 1992, Eleanor Norris, then owner of Circle J Ranch, spoke to County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak at the Tulare County Fair booth, where she discussed a vision she had for her family's property. Eleanor Norris and Jim Vidak pictured the land as a place where students could learn to respect the environment and its resources. At the same time, the natural beauty of the land could be protected and preserved for future generations of both humans and wildlife.

Elli Norris and Rick Mitchell, former SCICON Administrator The Circle J-Norris Ranch outdoor education programs came into being in 1996, when Eleanor Norris forged an agreement with TCOE to host educational programs on her beautiful ranch. Five schools visited Circle J-Norris Ranch in Spring of 1997, and the program has grown steadily since that time. In 2000, the ranch was expanded when TCOE purchased 7 acres adjacent to Heron Pond. Ownership of the property transferred to TCOE in 2004 in a transaction that placed a conservation easement on 600 acres and provided a life estate to Eleanor Norris. Helping start outdoor education programs runs in Elli's family, as her great aunt, Clemmie Gill, started the SCICON program with a gift of 35 acres.


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Tulare County Office of Education
Circle J - Norris Ranch
P.O. Box 339, Springville, CA 93265

Nancy Bruce, Lead Teacher
Dianne Shew, SCICON Administrator
(559) 539-2263 • fax: (559) 539-2369



Jim Vidak, County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
All mail to: P.O. Box 5091, Visalia, CA 93278-5091
Physical address: 6200 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA 93277
phone: (559) 733-6300 • fax: (559) 627-5219

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