Tours of the historic buildings or natural areas of the farm are offered and over two dozen special events are held every year. In addition, slide lectures on native plants, natural area management, Garfield Farm, historic map interpretation, historic landscaping, and the loss of genetic diversity in domestic plants and animals are available to organizations and schools.
Internships in museum management and natural areas management are available. High school and college internships vary in scope and time. Graduate school internships are minimally 3 months but a six month graduate internship in historical administration is given priority.
Tours of Garfield Farm Museum have been incorporated into several curriculums by regional elementary school instructors. Several have found that a 3rd. grade field trip to see the historic buildings and grounds aids in understanding Illinois settlement history and agricultural development. The same students return in the fall as 4th graders to tour the prairie, oak savanna and wetlands to understand the Illinois environment and changes over time.
The standard 90 minute tour of the buildings and grounds covers issues as living conditions in 1840s Illinois, innkeeping and transportation, farming techniques and production. Discussion of the rarity today of the historic breeds of animals and garden vegetables at the museum leads to discussions of the loss of genetic diversity amongst domestic plants and animals. Tour guides are dressed in 1840s period clothing.
Building and grounds tours include a 15 minute introduction and then 1/2 of the group spends 35 minutes in the inn while the other 1/2 tours the barns, garden, and views the animals (oxen, sheep, and poultry). The groups then switch and see the outdoors or the inn.
Prairie tours are 90 minutes and students are addressed along the way in one group. To see the prairie when the grass is the tallest, late summer and fall tours are recommended.
Instructors can send for a school tour guidelines sheet and then make reservations for a tour. Ideal group size is 50 or less students and groups larger than 75 require special arrangements with less availability of tour dates.
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Last revision: 20 FEB 1997