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Garfield Farm Museum's Annual Awards Dinner May 2

     Reservations are now being taken for Garfield Farm Museum’s Annual Awards Dinner on Friday May 2 at 6 pm to be held at Dunham Woods Riding Club in Wayne, IL.   The evening will recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of Historic, Environmental, and Agricultural Preservation. Reservations are required and for museum members it is $45 per person, $55 for guests. Individuals may sponsor the evening for a $50 donation

    Joel Greenberg has written four books that deal with the natural history of our state and region. From identifying birds, the natural history of Chicago region, the historic accounts of the Midwest prairies, woods and wetlands to now the centennial observance of the death of Martha, the last passenger pigeon, Joel has demonstrated a deep passion for the natural world around us. For his work we are awarding him an environmental preservation award. He will be on a book tour for "A Feathered River Across the Sky" but will be represented at the dinner.

     Longtime friends of the museum Dave and Ginny Harmon will be given an Environmental Award. They are making it possible for the museum to do something that is most unexpected and most fortuitous.  The Harmons are making it possible for the museum to acquire a lot they own adjacent to the unplowed Mill Creek Prairie and Sedge Meadow. To have someone make a generous contribution, or someone to consider making a personal asset available to the museum, is great in itself. To do both and then some is exceptional. Their willingness to see the best outcome for the prairie and the museum’s future, will forever impact Garfield Farm Museum and its future generations.

    It is in this same spirit of also looking within at a long term impact on Garfield Farm Museum that Bill Wolcott, the former museum operations director, is being recognized.  In his near 6 years work with Garfield Farm, not knowing anything about farm animals, Bill took up the cause of preserving the Black Java chicken flock at the museum. As a recessive trait had shown up in the flock, the white color trait, Bill did an incredible job with museum staff and volunteers to re-establish the flock’s genetics. For this he is being given an Agricultural Preservation Award as previous museum operations director Pete Malmberg so received when Malmberg first rescued the Black Java breed in the 1990s from extinction here at the farm.

    Not only will this have a long term impact for the museum but Bill on his own initiative tracked down the origins of the first settler to the farm, Sam Culbertson and his living descendants. As result of that work, he was given by the family for the museum, Sam Culbertson’s original account booklet that recorded the dates of his leaving Pennsylvania and settling here on the farm on July 8, 1835. This is a major accomplishment that is duly worth a Garfield Farm Museum Historic Preservation Award.

    Last but not least, the 1840s Society Class of 2013 will be recognized for their generosity. For further information contact the museum at (630) 584-8485 or e-mail Garfield Farm Museum is the only historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn being preserved and restored for use as an 1840s working farm museum by donors from over 38 states.