Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Kimberly Drake

Reader 2

Glenn Simshaw

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© 2023 Hezekiah Smithstein


This thesis follows my attempts to create a new relationship with the land outside my house, through transforming my weed-choked backyard into a native plant garden. Through styles of memoir, essay, and literary journalism, I examine what it means to take care of the outdoor home, as a human family part of an urban ecosystem. This project explores ideas surrounding people and plants, the effects on a space of actions and interactions both past and present, and brings into conversation different ideas and philosophies from homeowner to ecologist, city park to indigenous author, that shape the way we think and relate to the living world around us.

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