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Stewardship gardening: multifarious meanings through community, ecology, and food

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Title: Stewardship gardening: multifarious meanings through community, ecology, and food
Author(s): James, Shawn C.
Advisor(s): Lawson, Laura J.; Weiss, Andrew; Treat, James; Emmerling-DiNovo, Carol
Department / Program: Landscape Architecture
Discipline: Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.L.A.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): stewardship stewardship gardening community garden faith-based garden religious garden spirituality ecocentrism anthropocentrism environmental stewardship permaculture environmental ethics sacred landscape sacred garden garden design community capacity building religion and ecology gardens and urban agriculture design gestalt
Abstract: Faith-based organizations throughout the United States are creating gardens with a variety of visions and results. Ten such gardens were present in Champaign and Urbana, IL in 2010. This phenomenon of faith-based gardening is designated as stewardship gardening within this thesis. While these gardens are recently conspicuous, they are certainly not new; disparate connotations of environmental stewardship have developed since the Garden of Eden. The contemporary call for environmental stewardship should acknowledge its historical implications with consideration of the boundaries between ecocentric and anthropocentric worldviews. This thesis considers the design and implementation of Good Ground Garden of First Presbyterian in Champaign, Illinois to understand the motives of stewardship gardening and the capacity that lies within. Eleven gardeners were asked a series of questions in an open, colloquial format about spirituality, stewardship, and environmental ethics in relation to gardening. From these interviews, themes of situation, human ecology, spirituality, reflection, interaction, practice, food, stewardship, conviction, and purpose emerge as part of the greater story of religion and ecology. Historical background, analysis of local stewardship gardens, and these personal interviews help identify what is valued in the stewardship garden. These values are synthesized into different garden types - Community, Environmental, Cultivation, and Permaculture - with varying forms and functions. This thesis concludes by demonstrating how each garden type belongs to a cohesive stewardship gardening movement. The common denominator of stewardship gardens, sacredness in the landscape, is explored through an understanding of its components - Centeredness, Natural Boundary, Connectedness, and Particularness - as suggested by Landscape Architect, Randolph Hester. The aspect of particularness is expanded on as an opportunity for a visual marker in the landscape. A combination of garden types with a renewed historical perspective is necessary for a stewardship gardening movement within the realm of urban agriculture, religion, and ecology.
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Shawn James
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05

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