The North Central College campus community garden project demonstrates the College’s commitment to sustainability and promoting locally grown health food options for students. In 2010, volunteers helped maintain the first successful garden season. Currently, a large number of plots are used to grow food for Chartwells, supplying Kaufman Dining Hall with local and organic produce. In addition to the Chartwells plots, students, staff, and Naperville residents have secured their own plots to plant vegetables and flowers.
If you are interested in volunteering or having your own plot, contact the Sustainability Coordinator.
The College has developed a system for numbering and identifying the campus tree population. The survey was completed by two students, and is being used to facilitate ongoing campus tree maintenance and as an educational tool for students, faculty, and campus visitors about the benefits of urban ecology. Further, it places worth on each individual tree as to its capacity to sequester carbon and increase property value. This Inventory continues to promote North Central’s ongoing goal of making the campus an urban arboretum.
Native plantings around campus require no supplemental watering, minimal annual maintenance, and no need for fertilization or mulching. Once the deep roots establish themselves, ordinary rainfall is sufficient to keep the mix of perennials and grasses in good health. The plantings increase biodiversity by restoring the ecology of the suburban area and providing habitat for songbirds and butterflies. Native gardens have been planted around the Residence Hall/Recreation Center, the Business Operations & Maintenance building at 999 E. Chicago Ave., Oesterle Library, along the Sesquicentennial Walkway, campus pond, and other locations throughout campus.
The campus pond, located at the south end of campus, continues to be a thriving suburban ecosystem providing a natural sanctuary for students, faculty, staff,and visitors. The pond is spring fed and features many species of plants native to Illinois wetland habitats. It further functions as a water source for irrigating athletic fields and is a major contributor to the College’s stormwater management project.