GODFREY - With a curated garden show and several bronze sculptures dotting their campus, Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) invites the community to enjoy their Monticello Sculpture Gardens.

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“Our goal, basically, is to create a world-class learning environment for our students, as well as have a space for community members to come out and enjoy nature,” said Ethan Braasch, who oversees the campus environment and all sustainability initiatives as the horticulture manager.

Braasch works closely with garden designer Katie Piper to maintain the gardens. This year, the two were inspired by the theme “Discover the Monticello Sculpture Gardens,” which Braasch characterizes as “a reintroduction of the gardens to the community and to our students and team members.”

“We do an annual curated garden show every year with a different theme, generally centered around our bronze sculpture collection,” he explained. “We change the annuals out every year as well as tulip bulbs in the spring.”

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The Monticello Sculpture Gardens are a Signature Garden Site with the Missouri Botanical Garden. LCCC’s gardens have 14 sculptures across the campus. Braasch and Piper aim to highlight the sculptures through the gardens.

The “Discover the Monticello Sculpture Gardens” show will culminate in a festival on Sept. 14, where people can take guided tours and enjoy live music, food and games. For more information about the garden festival, check out the Facebook event page.

But Braasch noted that you don’t have to wait until the festival to tour the gardens. Half-mile guided walking tours are available by request on weekdays, and self-guided tours are welcome anytime. The best time to visit is June through September when the campus is in full bloom

“[The festival is] just a fun event for folks to come out and enjoy the gardens,” Braasch said. “The Monticello Sculpture Gardens offer guided tours for any folks that want to come out and be shown around the campus or get some descriptions of the bronze sculpture collection that we have here. I would encourage anyone who’s interested in that to inquire with me.”

For more information about the gardens, visit the official webpage for the Monticello Sculpture Gardens. To schedule a tour, email Braasch at ebraasch@lc.edu.

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