Growing a Greener Tacoma: The Historical Roots of Tacoma's Urban Gardening Movement

Date of Award


Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Anne Beaufort

Second Advisor

Anne Wessells


Urban gardens have thrived as part of the social fabric of Tacoma since nearly its founding, and in recent years, have experienced resurgence as committed locals work to improve their neighborhoods.The purpose of this thesis is twofold: first, to define a clear understanding of the urban gardening movement today, by offering a comprehensive definition of the movement, as well as investigating the reported benefits to individuals and communities of urban gardening. And second, this thesis gives an account of the historical roots of urban gardening in America, based on previous research and historical documentation, so we might better understand the movement's evolution, current iterations, and possible future. It suggests that urban planners and urban garden advocates look to the past in order to understand the present manifestations of urban gardens more fully and more readily adapt them to future urban uses.