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Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park Ranks Best in Nation: USA TODAY Survey

Tour the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park


(UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill.)  – The Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University is ranked the nation's best according to the 2021 USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest for Best Sculpture ParkOther parks in the top 10 rankings include the prestigious Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jeff Stevenson, Director of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park (nicknamed theNate) said he is humbled by the overwhelming support – demonstrated in daily votes – that pushed theNate to the top.

 “We’re grateful to all our friends, fans, and followers of theNate who felt so compelled to tell our story and propel us to number one in the contest. It is truly an honor,’’ said Stevenson.

Before winners were announced, Stevenson talked with Fox32 about the park, which features 30 sculptures on 100 acres of the university’s 750 acres. "Anyone who visits can find the magic of it. But it’s still this kind of unknown or discoverable place. A lot of people have not heard about it or have yet to visit it," he told reporter Dane Placko. Watch the interview here.

theNate and other nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of informed local experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY, editors from, and relevant expert contributors.Local experts are distinguished in their fields and usually write about the sites.

Visit to learn more about theNate and other contest winners.

About Governors State University

Governors State University serves approximately 6,200 students with undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts, and education. As a state university, GSU is committed to providing high-quality and accessible higher education opportunities. GSU is located 40 miles south of Chicago in University Park, and offers affordable undergraduate tuition and fees.


USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Through its unique visual storytelling, USA TODAY delivers high-quality and engaging content across print, digital, social and video platforms. An innovator of news and information, USA TODAY reflects the pulse of the nation and serves as the host of the American conversation — today, tomorrow and for decades to follow. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.6 million daily, and, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 6.6 million readers daily.



Contact: Zion Banks