Land & Water exhibit at GAHC! Print
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Kelly Lao   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:47

The German American Heritage Center announces the opening for its new exhibit, Land & Water. We will host Daryl Smith, Director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at UNI for a presentation on "Our Prairie Heritage." Hear Smith speak about what made the prairie landscape so special for our ancestors and for Jens Jensen on Sunday, June 2nd at 2pm.

Land and Water is an exhibition about two figureheads in the conservation and preservation movement. These two individuals took their fields to new heights with their love of the natural world and cherished the beauty of their surroundings.  Jens Jensen and Ernest Oberholtzer, secured the beauty, power, and grandeur of the Midwest prairie and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to their own generation and to those that followed. These two men and the landscapes they loved still inspire us today!

About our speaker: Daryl Smith

Smith has served as head of UNI Department of Biology, president of the Iowa Academy of Science, board member of the Iowa Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and National Association of Biology Teachers, director of the Twelfth and Twenty Second North American Prairie Conferences, and director of Iowa Prairie Conferences 1991-01. A native Iowan, Smith has been involved in prairie preservation, management, and restoration for 40 years.  His former students are active in prairie restoration and management, natural area assessment, resource management, secondary and collegiate teaching and natural history interpretation.  He founded the Tallgrass Prairie Center and serves as the Director.  The Center most recent project involves the utilization of mixtures of prairie plants as biomass feedstock.  Smith was also executive director and co-producer of the documentary film, America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie, winner of the Pare Lorentz Award from International Documentary Association and the Cine Golden Eagle Award.

More about Jensen & Ober:

Jens Jensen (1860-1951) organized and inspired the early conservation movements that led to the creation of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, the Illinois state park system, the Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore, among many more projects. Everywhere he championed his core conviction: people must have some contact with the "living green," - flowers and plants native to their home. To Jensen, landscape architecture was not just a profession, nor was the use of native plants just one style among many - they expressed his near-mystical belief in the renewing and civilizing powers of nature. He was a reformer with his practice and passion taking him from Schleswig to Berlin and Florida to Decorah.

He believed that beauty does not have to come from a tulip in Holland or a maple in Japan; it can come from the wild reaches of our backyards or state parks.

"Every Plant has fitness and must be placed in its proper surroundings so as to bring out its full beauty. Therein lies the art of landscaping".

-Jens Jensen

Ernest Oberholtzer (1884-1977) is one of the great unsung heroes of the American conservation movement of the twentieth century. A Davenport, Iowa native and one of the founders of the Wilderness Society, "Ober" was best known for his pioneering work to preserve one of the last remaining wilderness areas east of the Rockies - the Quetico-Superior region of northern Minnesota and southern Ontario. The long campaign by Ober and many others to preserve this area made a significant and lasting impression on conservation and wilderness preservation efforts around the world. This exhibit looks to explore the life of the man who led the fight to save the area that eventually became Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (today the most visited wilderness area in the United States).

"We gain inspiration and take heart from Oberholtzer, a leader of the nation's wilderness movement for much of the twentieth century, and his philosophy of action, an acknowledgment that 'we never know our powers until we put them to the test.' His story continues to inspire wilderness activists."

-William H. Meadows, President of The Wilderness Society
Other Land and Water Events!

Sunday, June 9th 2pm- The Legacy of Jens Jensen presented by  Jens Jensen, of Fitchburg, WI. Life and work of the great prairie landscape architect by his great-great grandson.

Saturday, July 20th 2pm- Double Film Feature! At the Figge Art Museum $5 admission includes both films! Showing- Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie award winning prairie documentary from UNI & Jens Jensen: Harmonious World. A world premier of this new documentary on world renowned landscape architect and naturalist and meet the filmmakers of Viva Lundin Productions!

Sunday, July 21st 2pm- Jens Jensen: The QC Connection  with Linda Anderson Learn where Rock Island boasts some of this famed landscape architect's work at the Denkmann Hauberg Estate!

Sunday, August 11 2pm- University of the Wilderness- The Legacy of Ernest Oberholtzer with Mary Swalla Holmes of the Oberholtzer Foundation in Minnesota. She will highlight Ober's work to save the Boundary Waters.

Thursday, Sept. 19 7pm- Flutes Unlimited of the QC presents a salute to water and waves in this evening concert.

Contact: Kelly Lao, Assistant Director, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text17356 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 563-322-8844

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