Date of Award

2021

Advisor(s)

Clare Ginger, Ph.D

Stephanie Hurley, DDes

Patricia Stokowski, Ph.D

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Urbanization and other manmade impacts threaten critical pollinator species like the bumblebee, whose populations are significantly affected by habitat loss. In response, activists in the City of Burlington are enhancing habitat to increase biodiversity through collaborative partnerships in urban green spaces. In an effort to explore and support pollinator habitat enhancement in Burlington, I examined social interactions involved in a group highly motivated to enhance habitat at Lakeview Cemetery and Champlain Elementary School, with an emphasis on power dynamics and place meanings of these sites. In conjunction with this exploration, I created landscape designs, planted a native habitat garden, and developed curriculum for elementary education. I used a combination of semi-structured interviews and participant observation to gather and analyze data. Common themes that emerged in the data included values related to education, biodiversity, and aesthetics. These values and the power dynamics between local individuals are influencing the expansion of place meanings people attribute to project sites. Based on these results, I make recommendations to activists as they evolve in their collaborative efforts and work to uphold values related to education and environmental stewardship.

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