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Want to read to a goat? You can starting Wednesday

Visitors to Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site can “Read to a Goat” during National Literacy Month in September.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1, a red wagon full of books by Carl Sandburg will be available at the entrance to the barnyard and pasture. Carl Sandburg loved reading aloud to his family, friends and audiences across America. In this spirit, visitors are invited to borrow a book or bring their own, then find a comfortable spot on a bench in the yard or in the pasture and read aloud to the goats. The barnyard and pasture are open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Carl Sandburg wrote books for adults and children, something for readers of all ages. In an introduction to a collection of poems for young readers, he wrote: “Dear young folks, some poems may please you for half a minute and you don’t care whether you keep them or not. Other poems you may feel to be priceless, and you hug them to your heart and keep them for sure. Here, in this book, each kind may be found, you do the finding.”

Readers can also celebrate the program online by posting pictures of themselves reading their favorite book to their favorite pet and using the hashtag #ReadToAGoat.

A special bookmark will be provided to those who come to Sandburg and read to a goat. Bring your bookmark to the park store for a 15 percent discount on a book purchase. The park store is located at the pop-up tent behind the Sandburg Home and is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The store is run by Eastern National, a non-profit partner, and proceeds benefit educational programs at Sandburg.

Restrooms and a water bottle filling station are available near the main parking lot. Due to ongoing issues with a water pump, the restrooms and water bottle filling station near the Sandburg Home are closed, however portable toilets are available nearby. Visitors are asked to bring their own drinking water.

Park grounds and trails are open sunrise to sunset. The park store and visitor information area are open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, in the garage behind the Sandburg Home. Outdoor access to the goats (in the barnyard and goat pasture) is from 10 am to 3pm daily. Due to Covid 19, capacity in the barnyard and pasture is 40 people. The Sandburg Home and house tours remain closed due to ventilation concerns in the 183-year-old house.

To promote our staff and visitors’ safety, masks are required in all NPS buildings and on all forms of enclosed public transportation, regardless of location or vaccination status. Additionally, masks must be worn in outdoors spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails and overlooks.