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To allow learners to experience the beauty and diversity of the plant kingdom in a well-designed and managed, hands on, inspiring, and aesthetic demonstration and teaching garden.


Evasco June

The green industry jobs available for students graduating from the University of Nebraska' Lincoln' s Department of Agronomy and Horticulture with a horticulture major continue to exceed to exceed the number of students. This speaks highly of the quality of the program and reflects the growth of the green industry. The nursery industry benefits directly from the availability of our students, and representatives are actively engaged in strengthening the program. They have suggested that additional opportunities for direct experience in the landscape' from up-to-date plant materials to spaces designed and managed according to accepted horticultural practices' are essential to a complete and well-rounded horticulture education.

Changes in the Horticulture core curriculum have resulted in new courses focusing on these topics, as well as on linkages between landscape design, management, horticulture business, production, and other aspects of the green industry. Recent budget cuts have reduced the numbers of landscape beds and the diversity of plant material, as well as the ability of the University to spread highly managed landscapes over its 500 plus acres. The most easily and accessible garden and arboretum is the Jeanne Vierk Yeutter Garden south of CY Thompson Library on East Campus. It is a beautiful space, filled with perennials and grasses that change with the seasons. However, it is not a garden that can easily accommodate the addition of new plants, or in-depth interpretation of demonstrated research.

The Ruth Willsie Evasco Demonstration and Teaching Garden will provide much-needed support for specific undergraduate and graduate horticulture classes, particularly landscape design, management, and construction; plant materials identification, floriculture; production; and business. Faculty in turfgrass science; genetics; rangeland ecosystems; agronomy ; environmental studies; entomology; textiles, clothing and design; and several Arts and Sciences courses will also benefit from the establishment of the Ruth Willsie Evasco Demonstration and Teaching Garden. The Evasco Garden will allow the addition of new plants that will be incorporated through the application of good design and the demonstration of new management techniques and research findings. Such an opportunity' to continually build on the ' good bones' of a landscape in a highly visible and accessible location' will make the Evasco Garden a unique place for teaching, research, and demonstrations.

Kim's class
Kim's class 2

         Associate Professor Kim Todd teaches her Landscape Management class how to cut back perennials in the Evasco Garden, spring 2008


The central location of the Evasco Garden will encourage exploration by casual campus visitors and invite scheduled tours by specific groups. It will be located directly north of the prairie in Maxwell Arboretum, east of Plant Sciences and Keim Hall, adjacent to the teaching greenhouses, and one short block away from the Nebraska East Union on a corridor identified in the campus master plan as a primary pedestrian connector. There will be abundant opportunities to use the Evasco garden for UNL Extension education, including master Gardener training, 4H and FFA classes, and specific topics. It will be available for ' seasonal strolls,' allowing people to experience the changing of the seasons from the emergence of spring bulbs to final blooms of monkshood and asters.

The international use and appeal of plants will be demonstrated in the Evasco Garden by inclusion of plants specific to particular regions, ecosystems, uses, and cultures. The intertwined art and science of landscape design and plants will be evident in all aspects of the Evasco Garden, from the layout of the walls, paths, and seating areas to the display of plants representing particular learning objectives.

Evasco Lili 1
Evasco Lily 2

 The Ruth Willsie Evasco Demonstration and Teaching Garden will be an ideal venue for demonstrating and interpreting particular research findings, and supporting the distribution of these findings by means of distance education outlets. The area can be used as a trial site for shrub and herbaceous plantings as well as a demonstration and display garden.

Design of the space and selection and placement of plant materials and hardscape elements will be the responsibility of the Horticulture faculty most involved in its use, in consultation with the Landscape Services Department, as will management of the garden. Because the Evasco Garden will be based on a solid master plan, developed by senior landscape design students, future improvements that will further enhance the space will be a part of the vision. These may include seating, paved areas to support larger groups of people, and vertical structures. The Evasco Garden will be identified with a plaque mounted on a stone, similar to that used in the Yeutter Garden.

The design and management of the Evasco Garden will provide hands-on opportunities for undergraduate student learning and lifelong learning, through a combination of formal classroom assignments and projects made available to clubs and organizations. Student internships will provide another opportunity to link learning with hands-on experience.

Kim Todd
Associate Professor

Department of Agronomy and Horticulture Evasco berm



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  Topsoil Dumped in Preparation for Building the Evasco Garden Berm