Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies

Degree Program

Interdisciplinary Studies concentration in Sustainability, MS

Committee Chair

Storey, Angela

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Markowitz, Lisa

Committee Member

Markowitz, Lisa

Committee Member

Heberle, Lauren

Author's Keywords

resource use; community gardens; urban agriculture; community organizing; urban political ecology


Louisville, Kentucky has over two dozen active community gardens which are used and maintained by various neighborhoods and organizations. This thesis determines how collaboration and resource sharing manifest in Louisville’s various community gardens. Participant observation was used to select three case study sites and semi-structured interviews were conducted with garden users and managers for each site, and with supporters and funders for Louisville community gardens. I found that Louisville community gardens share three challenges, which are funding, resources, and land ownership. Community garden actors navigate these challenges by exchanging physical resources, shared labor, and knowledge across multiple scales. This thesis utilizes broad scholarship in Urban Political Ecology to explore these experiences of exchange and sharing, which show that access to resources is influenced by political-economic relations in Louisville.