Norfolk City Highpoint Trip Report

three unnamed areas (45+ ft)

Date: June 12, 2007
Author: Fred Lobdell

There are three areas in the city of Norfolk that are surrounded by a 45-foot contour. I visited the easternmost of these last year and previous reports are still good. This report deals with the two spots inside the fenced area behind the Ocean View Elementary School. The school is located on Mason Creek Road and directions are given in Mike Schwartz's report.

The fenced area encloses the Maritime Sandhills, a remnant of the natural topography and vegetation that has been preserved through the efforts of people connected with the school, particularly Ms. Jane Bolling and Mr. Charles Hughes. This area is used as an outdoor laboratory to help educate the students in environmental science and ecology, among other areas. It contains natural sand dunes that have been stabilized by the growth of vegetation. The dominant species in the area is the live oak, which grow to a tremendous size here. One of them is on the state registry as the 6th-largest live oak in the state. It is estimated that some of them are 350 to 400 years old.

I called the telephone number on the sign and arranged an appointment to visit this area. Although I was an hour late due largely to traffic problems, I was cordially received by Ms. Bolling and Mr. Hughes, who escorted me into the fenced preserve. The topographic map shows two areas exceeding 45 feet in elevation but I was given a more detailed and smaller-scale topographic map. This map shows the western knob as having a spot elevation of 47.5 feet and the eastern knob a spot elevation of 46.5 feet. Nevertheless, I would suggest that both knobs be visited.

While Ms. Bolling and Mr. Hughes are happy to receive visitors to the sand hills, they would prefer that an appointment be made. The number to call is 757-531-3105, which is the number for the school. This phone number is given in previous reports with an old area code. The area code above is correct. Ask for Ms. Bolling or Mr. Hughes. Visitation is best done during school hours and during the school year but visits at other times may also be possible. I urge future highpointers to adhere to these arrangements.