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Johnson Nature Center Hosts Successful First-Ever Forest-to-Table Event

Johnson Nature Center Hosts Successful First-Ever Forest-to-Table Event

The Friends of the Johnson Nature Center, in collaboration with Sylvan Table’s Executive Chef Chris Gadulka, hosted an amazing culinary and sensory experience for guests at the Johnson Nature Center on a recent, beautiful evening in September.. 

Signage by the food tables, along with information provided by JNC staff and Chef Gadulka, helped guests understand the plates. Dishes included ingredients of invasive species such as purslane, dandelion greens, and Asian carp, to educate guests about how these species can be utilized in what we eat. The event also featured vocalist Lara Alami, a BHS parent, who performed at various stops along the strolling dinner of the JNC trails, and a Harvest Moon Fire show to cap off the evening. Information and an interactive activity was also presented about prescribed burns, which take place at the JNC. Between the delectable cuisine, entertainment, nature education, and beautiful harvest moon evening with friends and family members, guests of this Forest-to-Table event went home happy and full!

Friends of the Johnson Nature Center, a 501(c)3 organization, is one of the few environmental non-profit organizations in Oakland County. Helmed by Friends of the JNC President Erin Watson and Director of Events Angel Lau, and supported by Friends of JNC Forest-to-Table Planning Committee members Mihaela Cobb, Paulina Hakopian, Joann Socha, and Mike Socha (FoJNC Treasurer), all of whom are BHS parents, the Friends organization created this strolling dinner event to promote conservation and community. Alan Jaros, Director of the Johnson Nature Center and Bowers School Farm, and also on the Board of the Friends of the JNC, staffed the event to provide information about all aspects of the trail walk and dinner. Bloomfield Township Supervisor Dani Walsh and BHS Superintendent Pat Watson served on the hosting committee as well. 

Friends of the Johnson Nature Center has open committee and board positions. If you love getting out into nature and supporting natural education within our community, consider joining this passionate team! To learn more about the Friends of the Johnson Nature Center, or to get involved, email And to learn more about the Johnson Nature Center, visit the website.