SELLERSBURG — A new garden offers a green space for the community to relax and enjoy nature on the Sellersburg campus of Ivy Tech Community College.

Ivy Tech Sellersburg presented a dedication ceremony Tuesday for the garden, which was supported through a $8,500 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

The Duke Energy Community Garden at the college’s Ivy Park is not only a project to beautify the campus, but it includes plants to attract pollinators such as monarch butterflies who can stop there in the midst of their migration.

Ivy Tech Sellersburg Chancellor Travis Haire said the funding from both the Duke Energy Foundation and employee donors helped make the garden a reality.

“In addition to being a beautiful garden for students, staff, faculty and the community to enjoy, the Duke Energy Community Garden also offers much needed respite for monarch butterflies as they make their long journey from Mexico to Canada each fall and spring,” he said.

Haire said the garden is “a wonderful addition to our beautiful campus.”

The space includes a walkway with etched bricks for staff or community members to honor or memorialize those who “mean something special to them and mean something special to our campus.”

Paul Perkins, board chair for the Ivy Tech Sellersburg campus, said the garden is “symbolic of the work and the mission of Ivy Tech, which is to help people grow in their lives.”

Lisa Brones Huber, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy in Southern Indiana, said she hopes future generations will be able to enjoy the garden for years to come.

“You can see it turned out to be such a beautiful monarch way station to provide monarch butterflies a place to rest on their path to migration, and it’s also a great opportunity for people to come — whether it’s students [or] members of the community — and just enjoy a beautiful setting, a peaceful, serene setting,” Huber said.

“Especially now during the pandemic, we realize how important it is to have places like this to go where you can enjoy nature, and it really helps improve our physical and mental well-being,” she said.

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