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John Burroughs Slabsides Day Open House Saturday May 17

Slabsides on the cover of the book: "A Post Card Portrait of John Burroughs"
Slabsides on the cover of the book: "A Post Card Portrait of John Burroughs"Richard Frisbie

One day each Spring and Fall, Slabsides, John Burroughs 1895 rustic writing cabin in the wooded hills above his Hudson River home, Riverby, is open to the public. This May 17, join the John Burroughs Association for its Spring Open House at Slabsides. This National Historic Landmark will be open for tours from 11a.m. - 4 p.m., with a special program at noon at the cabin.

This Slabsides Day the John Burroughs Association takes a fresh and energetic look at the continued broad influence of literary naturalist John Burroughs through the creativity of several individuals who have been inspired by Burroughs and the natural world about which he wrote. They have imaginatively expressed their interpretations through meaningful poetry, extraordinary building design, and uplifting original music composition.

The noon presentation begins with the moving poetry of Roger Roloff. Well-known in our collective woods, Roger can often be found with his wife, Barbara Peterson, scouting for Lady Slippers, and absorbing the offerings of the region's woodlands.

The impressive Danielle Murphy, a 2013 graduate of Notre Dame's School of Architecture, will present her award-winning senior thesis, the imagined John Burroughs Environmental Studies Center which she sited at our Nature Sanctuary between Slabsides and the Pond. The project won a graduation prize and the inaugural Stanford White Award in the Student Project category. Her six-foot long design panels and views were hand drafted with minute precision, and hand rendered in watercolor.

The program continues with the creative genius of Steve Koester and his extraordinary John Burroughs Memorial Locust and Wild Honey Mountain Orchestra performing original pieces that he and the band members composed. They took inspiration from essays of Burroughs and the Catskill landscape he embraced to create inspiring music, with lyrics. And, though the band may expand as other musicians learn about the project, the current Orchestra members are Steve on guitar, Aaron Liebermann also on guitar, Josh Roy Brown on dobro, John Jacobson on fiddle, and Amy Liebermann on bass. Several orchestra members provide vocals adding to the richness of the music.

The festivities will continue with refreshments and tours of Slabsides.

To reach Slabsides, follow the "Path Through History" signs at the intersection of Floyd Ackert Road and Route 9W in West Park, NY. For more information visit their website, or call Lisa Breslof at 212-769-5169. To read more about John Burroughs, see A Post Card Portrait of John Burroughs.