University Park, IL,
13:25 PM

Celebrate Earth Day at GSU with theNate

For theNate Sculpture Park at Governors State University, Earth Day isn’t just the celebration of environmental protection, it’s the celebration of home. Housed on 100 acres of prairie land, theNate takes protecting and celebrating Mother Earth seriously.

On April 24, theNate will be hosting an Earth Day Tour, an outdoor adventure and annual tradition celebrating the community’s love for the Earth, ART, and a prairie restoration project at the Butterfly Ranch.

The sculpture park is a natural fit for an Earth Day tour not just because of its scenic location but because in the collection there are a number of sculptures that relate directly to Earth Day: “Field Rotation” by Mary Miss, “Bodark Arc” by Martin Puryear, “Working on the Failed Utopia” by Christine Tarkowski, and the focus of this year’s tour, “The Granary Project” by Dan Peterman. 

The works feature a blend of art and nature, whether nature is used to create the sculpture or the work comments on our relationship with nature.

The tour will also include a visit to the Butterfly Ranch, a 12-acre prairie restoration project, which seeks to strengthen native habitats for wildlife and provide educational opportunities for GSU Students, area school children, and all visitors.

Exciting information will also be shared about a new sculpture commissions arriving this spring to the Butterfly Ranch. Art History Professor Rebecca Siefert defines the new piece as an art object and a work of architecture.

The piece will also function as an observation deck for the GSU community to enjoy watching the butterflies and other wildlife acclimate to their own new home in the restored prairie, from atop this whimsical, modernist cube,” she said.

In the spirit of environmentalism and conservation, theNate recently added biology graduate student Aaron West ('20) to the Advisory Board. West, an art enthusiast, seeks to bring his science expertise to the sculpture park.

I want to study the effects of plastic material in soil to determine how it negatively impacts plants, as well as uncover methods of preventing its presence in the environment. At GSU, I found my desire to empower the Earth," West said.

Throughout the pandemic theNate has remained open free of charge to visitors, something Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park Director Jeff Stevenson says helps patrons restore themselves through engagement with the art and with nature.

“Earth Day reminds us of our place in the world, our stewardship of resources, and our connection to each other. In this way, theNate is the perfect destination to mark this important day and carry the spirit of it throughout the year,” he said.

Free and open to the public, $10 suggested donation for those that can.

 RSVP to and walk-ins welcome