Defining Excellence in The Gardens
When the Edwardsville Rotary Club invests in the community, it looks for projects that members can nurture and grow into a lasting resource. In 2010, the group found the perfect home to sow its mission of serving the Edwardsville area: The Gardens at SIUE.
Thanks to a financial gift from the 85-year-old service organization, gifts-in-kind from members and more than 100 hours of Rotarian volunteer service, The Gardens at SIUE is now home to the Prairie Portal Garden.
The one-acre garden is the first large-scale display installed as part of The Gardens at SIUE master plan. Located at the intersection of the main path and what is known as the Prairie Loop, it's the latest enhancement to the campus's 35-acre living laboratory, which has been recognized as one of three Signature Gardens of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Gifts to The Gardens at SIUE improve the beautiful community venue that also enhances students' education, exploration and discovery. With a mission of "educate, engage and enjoy," The Gardens are more than just a fertile ground for plant life; they also grow innovation through cross-disciplinary research and the implementation of sustainability and stewardship initiatives.
"We believe strongly in supporting education, conservation and the beautification of the community," said Ann Tosovsky, the Edwardsville Rotary Club's vice president, who helped spearhead the project. She also serves as vice president of Home Nursery in Edwardsville, which made an in-kind donation of plants to the Prairie Portal. "From Rotary's standpoint, we enjoy contributing something to the community that's going to be to here for people to enjoy for the next 100 years." Rotary members are business and community leaders, and they recognize the important role the university plays in the city.
"SIUE makes a big impact on Edwardsville," she said. "It brings students to the area who make a significant difference in the region. We know that supporting SIUE helps our community grow."