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Voices from the Land Debuts April 27 at Garfield Farm Museum

     On Sunday, April 27th at 2 pm, a multi-media event including images, readings and music featuring 200 years of nature writing in the Chicago region will be presented as “Voices from the Land” at Garfield Farm Museum. Reservations and advanced ticket sales are required.

     While researching for his 2002 book, A Natural History of the Chicago Region, Joel Greenberg uncovered hundreds of primary sources, written firsthand accounts, describing the land, animals, and plants of northern Illinois. Just released, Of Prairie, Woods, and Water: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing, brings the words of settlers, bird watchers, poets, hunters, politicians, and wild flower enthusiasts together in one book reflecting the beauty of this most subtle landscape.  Some of the writings were so inspiring, Greenberg has brought them to life with the production of Voices from the Land. This hour long piece includes photographic projections, readings of these long forgotten once silent words, and musical accompaniment by folklorists Tom and Chris Kastle.

     Supported with help from Garfield Farm Museum and a $2500 matching grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the program will debut at Garfield Farm Museum, a historically intact 1840s prairie farmstead that is being restored as an 1840s working living history farm museum. “We have our own words to enjoin this program as Franklin Green Garfield recorded his impression of the Illinois landscape he first saw in 1841,” stated Jerome Johnson, executive director of Garfield Farm. “The grass, the sloughs, the prairies were covered with a luxuriant growth of verdure. Deer took cover in the tall grass and hazel brush along the edges of the groves near some creek or spring, gave birth to their young, and hung about the same locality until autumn,” wrote Garfield.

      The program will be held at the Atwell Burr House at Garfield Farm Museum. The Burr House, moved on site in 1991 for use as multi-purpose facility will also give testimony to the landscape that was here. Over the heads of the performers, the original log floor joists are exposed that were cut from the neighboring woods over 160 years ago.

      Greenberg and Johnson met at a book signing of his first book. A mutual acquaintance’s name came up in conversation and this set in motion the preservation of a critical wooded 16 acres. Greenberg approached the museum to be the nonprofit entity to sponsor the event and Garfield Heritage Society applied to the Illinois Humanities Council for partial funding.  Subsequent performances will be held at Chicago Botanic Gardens on June 1st, the Lincoln Park Zoo on June 22nd,  Morton Arboretum July 20th, and at Volo Bog July 27th.

    Advanced ticket sales are required and reservations may be made by calling (630) 584-8485 or e-mailing  Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.