MONTICELLO — Allerton Park & Retreat Center near Monticello has hosted poets, artists, musicians and playwrights during its In-Residence program that began in 2020.
Now it’s time for a naturalist, which makes sense considering original estate developer Robert Allerton’s affinity for combining art and nature at what is now a unique 1,500-acre park owned by the University of Illinois.
“Not only did Robert love and appreciate art in all its forms, but he also valued and appreciated the natural world. He deliberately designed his mansion and gardens so he and his guests can always enjoy the three natural elements: earth, water, and air,” Allerton Senior Events Coordinator Olivia Bunting said.
In-Residence applications are being taken for a naturalist, who would live at the park for two to three weeks this spring, research, observe native species and report on what they learn.
Allerton Executive Director Derek Peterson said it is a logical step for the program.
“A ‘natural’ progression for the In-Residence program at Allerton will be to mix in a more scientific approach. Allerton is deeply rooted in art and nature. Promoting the natural side of things will further compliment the artist in residence,” Peterson said. “Eventually I would like to see an artist and naturalist here at the same time, provide the opportunity to create and engage with each other.”
Bunting adds the naturalist will be able to pass on their knowledge to the public during the residency.
“The naturalist-in-residence will teach the community about their work and how they are utilizing Allerton for their work through a community outreach event whether it be a talk, workshop, or presentation on their research,” Bunting said.
Naturalists can apply to be part of Allerton’s In-Residence program until 4 p.m. on Feb. 28. Additional information and the application form are available online here.
Questions can be directed to Bunting at firstname.lastname@example.org.