Kimball's Habitat

Cedarhurst is excited about the work being done on Kimball’s Habitat, the campaign launched in 2018 to look outside the museum and focus on Cedarhurst’s first impression.

Named after the museum’s iconic horse sculpture, named Kimball, the project will revitalize the outdoor sculpture park with conservation efforts, lighting enhancements, and new visitor services.

One of the most important cultural institutions in southern Illinois, Cedarhurst’s 90-acre park provides a beautiful setting for art and quality-of-life programming that have the potential to touch all who live and work in the region.

The success of this $250,000 campaign will preserve the longevity of Cedarhurst’s outdoor sculpture collection and ensure that all visitors feel welcome and enjoy their museum experience:

You can help preserve Kimball’s Habitat, and allow future generations to connect through art and nature at Cedarhurst. Click to download the PDF of Kimball’s Habitat Brochure 

  • Conservation efforts will revitalize the museum’s outdoor sculpture collection
  • Treatment of wooded areas will help balance the park’s ecosystem
  • New lighting features will address safety concerns and improve aesthetics
  • New amenities and educational opportunities will encourage visitors to stay longer and return often.

Campaign Complete! June 2021

We’ve done it!

It may seem long ago now, but the Kimball’s Habitat campaign that kicked off in 2018 has finally reached its completion, and what a world of difference it has made for the Cedarhurst outdoor gallery.

The three-year campaign was supported by many, with more than $250,000 raised to help revitalize the Goldman-Kuenz Sculpture Park at Cedarhurst. Major gifts were pledged and fulfilled from 11 people, and a unique Match Challenge championed by Dana Withers and Withers Broadcasting Companies inspired more than 100 others to give smaller donations. Together, those gifts surpassed $25,000, all of which was matched dollar for dollar by Withers.

As work comes to a close, we thought it important to take a moment to reflect on the wonderful work made possible by such a generous community.

Some highlights of what was accomplished through the Kimball’s Habitat campaign:

  • Conservation and enhanced presentation of nine sculpture, including the three works created out of chrome automobile bumpers by artist John Kearney: Kimball, Gorilla, and Bull
  • Addition of aesthetic lighting for nine sculpture in the South Lawn
  • Addition of lighting to increase safety in well-traveled areas of the park
  • Installation of informational and wayfinding signage to encourage exploration
  • Installation of 12 new benches to create more areas for rest and reflection
  • Treatment of our wooded areas (approximately 40 acres) to remove invasive species and create a more balanced ecosystem
  • Creation of digital content to enhance the visitor experience
  • Repair of fencing surrounding Cedarhurst property, and replacement of fencing along Richview Road to enhance aesthetics
  • Update of landscaping at each of our four public buildings

We are proud of the work done to revitalize the sculpture park – an integral part of the Cedarhurst organization.

In truth, this campaign has made an even bigger impact considering how much the world has changed since our 2018 fundraising campaign. Outdoor projects funded through Kimball’s Habitat kept our operations team employed during last year’s shelter-in-place, and the sculpture park was the first Cedarhurst gallery to re-open. Foot traffic increased tremendously as people emphasized time outdoors, and those new visitor trends remain.

Now come take advantage of these wonderful improvements. Adventure awaits in Kimball’s Habitat – come and be amazed by this beautiful oasis of art and nature!


Campaign Update April 30, 2020

Despite our campus being closed under the current COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, we are still keeping busy! Our operations team is focusing their efforts in the sculpture park, making significant progress on Kimball’s Habitat.

Earlier this month we were notified of a $10,000 grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts. We applied last summer for funding to help conserve Cedarhurst’s three chrome sculptures: Kimball, Gorilla, and Bull. Just last week Gorilla was transported to the warehouse of VMD Sculpting, in St. Louis, which will carry out the work. Other notable sculptures are being cleaned and painted by local company Men in White.

In addition to sculpture conservation, we are making significant progress on new wayfinding signage and trail markers, funded in part by a grant received from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Cedarhurst has selected St. Louis company Swift Print Communications, as well as our local Bevis Construction Co. to help bring this project to fruition.
In addition to these projects, our parking lots have been resurfaced, we are re-doing landscaping around several buildings, and we are researching benches that will add more seating throughout the park.

When Cedarhurst is allowed to re-open, we anticipate more traffic in the park as the public abides by ongoing social distancing guidelines. We also hope to utilize our outdoor campus to create new program opportunities.

Your Kimball’s Habitat contributions make this work possible, and we are grateful for any gift you can make to help us move forward in preserving the art and nature at Cedarhurst.


Campaign Update January 6, 2020

Cedarhurst is the proud recipient of a $26,000 Tourism Attraction Grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Funds will be used to design and install new signage in the outdoor sculpture park, including wayfinding kiosks that identify sculpture locations and campus information, trail markers that identify distances and names, and pole banners that promote museum programs.

New park signage is part of the museum’s Kimball’s Habitat campaign, which raised $250,000 in 2018. Cedarhurst staff are lobbying that success to garner additional grant funds for the multi-year campaign. Work in other areas has already begun, including the addition of lighting and preservation of the park’s wooded areas.

You can donate here to increase the impact of Kimball’s Habitat and help preserve the art and nature at Cedarhurst!


Campaign Update July 2, 2019

It seems surreal that this time last year we were in the midst of our summer-long Kimball’s Habitat crowdfunding campaign, boosted by the Withers Broadcasting Co. Match Challenge. As you know, we met that $50,000 target and continued to raise major gifts to reach our full $250,000 campaign goal.

Introduced at the 2018 GALA, the Kimball’s Habitat campaign is setting out to revitalize Cedarhurst’s Goldman-Kuenz Sculpture Park, and work is in full swing. Here are some current highlights:

  • Long Forestry returned this summer for follow-up treatment of our wooded areas, ensuring the invasive plant species are properly eradicated.
  • We have installed lighting on the back patio of the Mitchell Museum and ordered additional fixtures to further enhance the safety of our property. Following these improvements, we will begin adding aesthetic lighting to sculptures in the South Lawn.
  • Finding a professional to conserve our beloved Kimball has proved to be challenging, but after much perseverance (Director of Visual Arts Rusty Freeman vetted 8 potential chrome and metal work facilities!), we have found someone worthy of the job. VMD Sculpting, of St. Louis, MO, has been selected to complete conservation of our chrome sculptures Kimball, Bull, and Gorilla over the next two years.

And we have much more planned! While some of these projects are lengthy, we assure you that we remain diligent in our work and are making steady progress.


Campaign Update December 10, 2018

We are excited to announce that we have officially reached our fundraising goal of $250,000! We are so grateful for the support we have received and for the confidence this shows in Cedarhurst’s current Strategic Plan.

You’ll be happy to know that work on Kimball’s Habitat has already begun. This fall we hired a professional forestry company to come onsite and clear out the many invasive species that were taking over Cedarhurst’s wooded areas. The initial difference is truly amazing!

Work will continue over the next few years as we continue to restore the park’s wooded areas, develop a comprehensive plan for sculpture conservation, install lighting for artwork in the front of the park, and introduce new educational components and park signage.

While we have reached our initial fundraising goal, we can still make good use of any additional donations. Support Kimball’s Habitat today!


Campaign Update August 30, 2018

We did it! Thank you to everyone who stepped up to the challenge from Withers Broadcasting Companies and helped us reach – and exceed – our summer fundraising goal of $50,000!

This money will be combined with proceeds raised during the 2018 GALA fundraiser, and we will continue to seek major gifts to reach our total campaign goal of $250,000.

You can still donate to and make a difference for Kimball’s Habitat. If you would like more information about major gifts and naming opportunities, please contact Hillary Esser at hillary@cedarhurst.org.


Campaign Update July 13, 2018

It’s hard to believe the summer is halfway over. You may be thinking about back to school or trying to squeeze in a last-minute getaway, but here at Cedarhurst, we are focusing on the final weeks of fundraising for the summer-long Match Challenge supporting Kimball’s Habitat.

By now you surely know about the Kimball’s Habitat campaign – named after our iconic horse sculpture Kimball – that is raising money to revitalize the Cedarhurst sculpture park. You’ve also likely heard about the incredible Match Challenge presented by Withers Broadcasting: They are offering to match up to $25,000 in donations made before Labor Day!

We are excited to report that earlier this week we surpassed the halfway point toward this goal! But we need your help to keep the momentum going and capitalize on the full match offer.

If you haven’t already, please consider donating to Kimball’s Habitat. The sculpture park is a community resource that serves tens of thousands of visitors each year. It provides inspiration, adventure, serenity, and joy to all who visit. And it makes Mt. Vernon and southern Illinois a truly unique destination.

We only have until Labor Day to capitalize on the Match Challenge. Please donate and help preserve the magic of the sculpture park for future generations.


Campaign Update June 1, 2018

It is an exciting time for Cedarhurst, and the excitement keeps building!

Just last night at the Thursday Night Live kickoff, we made a special announcement that gives you the opportunity to support Kimball’s Habitat and make double the impact with your donation! In an effort to jump-start the Kimball’s Habitat campaign, Withers Broadcasting Companies has agreed to match all gifts made this summer, up to $25,000! The match program emphasizes that fact that every donation – every single dollar – can help make a difference.

Cedarhurst’s 90-acre sculpture park provides a beautiful setting for art and quality-of-life programming and touches tens of thousands of visitors each year. We will be highlighting that impact during the match challenge this summer. Each week between Memorial Day and Labor Day, we will post a short video message from someone in our community that tells why they love the Cedarhurst sculpture park and why it is important to southern Illinois. I encourage you to visit our Facebook page or our YouCaring page (youcaring.com/kimballs-habitat) to watch the videos – the first one is already live!

We hope these testimonials – combined with the match challenge issued by Withers Broadcasting Companies – will inspire you to give. Help protect the art and nature that live at Cedarhurst by supporting the Kimball’s Habitat campaign. Donate now and double the impact!


Campaign Update April 28, 2018

We are grateful to those who attended the 2018 GALA fundraiser at Cedarhurst, which helped us launch the Kimball’s Habitat campaign by raising more than $25,000.

At Cedarhurst, staff are making great progress on Kimball’s Habitat. Just this week the museum’s Director of Operations met with two professional foresters to determine the best approach to clearing the invasive species from its wooded areas.

Likewise, the Director of Visual Arts continues to explore options and meet with professionals from various industries to determine the best way to treat and conserve Kimball, the museum’s iconic horse sculpture. The excitement is building!
Be part of this amazing campaign and help preserve the art and nature that live at Cedarhurst – donate today!