Land in Dresser area to become Monarch butterfly habitat

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Blighted land in the Dresser area of West Terre Haute already has a few fluttery friends.

Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns wants to bring in more Monarch butterflies to the area.

“There’s a big push right now with the federal agencies to get Monarch habitats planted,” he explained. “The problem is a lot of the habitat which would include plants like milkweed, was eradicated.”

Kearns said the area is already full of native plants, but the butterflies could bring more beauty to the abandoned lot.

KEARNS: “Monarch’s are pollinators. They get on flowers and they move to other flowers and they help with growth,” he said. “And we are seeing a massive decline nationwide in Monarch habitats.”

With the help of a $20,000 grant from Duke Energy, the lot will soon be filled with milkweed and other flowers for the Monarchs.

Kearns hopes to begin planting by next year.

A future that residents like Stephanie Elkins are excited for.

“Hopefully it would provide a nice safe place for some kids to play around here because we really have nothing,” she said.

In addition to the butterfly habitat, $152,000 has been moved from a dormant FEMA fund to the Parks and Recreation Department to create another park next to the habitat.

“That allows for the Vigo County Parks Department to buy properties that people want to sell,” explained Kearns.

Officials and residents alike are excited to bring more beauty and recreation to the West Terre Haute area.

“I mean it’s still a good town we have a lot of good people here,” said Elkins. “But we could use some more positive things to help better the town.”

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