NEXUS Community Garden
The NEXUS (Norwood Evanston Xavier Urban Sustainability) Community Garden is an educational, community-building effort meant to connect Xavier's students and faculty with members of the surrounding communities. The garden began in 2010 with only six plots and has since grown to thirty-four plots with sixty-four gardeners. Four of the plots are community plots, the produce from which is donated to St. Andrew's Food Pantry in Evanston. The garden is located on Xavier's campus, just west of McGrath Health and Wellness Center, and is fully equipped with everything a gardener could need from soil amendments to gardening tools.
The NEXUS Garden features various sustainable practices. There are rain barrels that collect the natural storm water for the gardeners to use to water their plants. Native vegetation has been planted around the plots to attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects to help pollinate the plants. All products used in the garden are chemical-free and the tool shed is equipped with solar lights. Small-scale composting is being done on-site and there are various local donations to the garden including wood chips and recycled tires.
The NEXUS Garden is located on a patch of soil that was taken from the construction site of Xavier's new buildings. Some of the soil that was displaced from that project was also moved to Lower Mill Crest Park in Evanston.
While the garden is open to growers year-round, the primary growing season lasts from mid-March to late-October. The cost of a plot is $25 per year. Applications for a plot in the NEXUS Garden will be available in mid-February.