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New stewardship programs aim to teach students how to care for Great Lakes
Upper Peninsula Second Wave (10/15)
The Upper Great Lakes Stewardship Institute is the newest among several regional hubs across Michigan with the goal to educate students on good environmental stewardship for the Great Lakes and their watersheds.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
TEACH: The Fountain of the Great Lakes
by Lorado Taft

The Fountain of the Great Lakes. Click for a larger image. The Fountain of the Great Lakes depicts five female figures grouped together so that water flows from their shells in the same way it passes through the Great Lake system. Superior, at the top, and Michigan empty their water into the basin held by Huron, who sends her stream on to Erie. Ontario receives water and gazes off as it flows into the ocean. Completed in 1913, the fountain sits in the south wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The idea for a Great Lakes fountain came from a remark made by architect Daniel Burnham at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. Burnham chided the sculptors assembled to ornament the fairgrounds for not "making anything" of the great natural resources in the west, especially the Great Lakes.

Lorado Taft's home in Elmwood, Illinois. Click for a larger image.The Fountain of the Great Lakes is one of the best known works of Lorado Taft, an Illinois native who was educated at the University of Illinois and later at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Among his other noted sculptures are the Fountain of Time at the University of Chicago and a statue of Chief Black Hawk, which reaches a height of 50 feet and sits on a promontory overlooking the Rock River near Oregon, Illinois.

More about Lorado Taft, University of Illinois Archives
More historical photos of the fountain

Graphic: The Fountain of the Great Lakes, south wing of the Art Institute of Chicago; Lorado Taft's home in Elmwood, Illinois.