The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


This paper applies Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development Framework to explain how a local dog park – the Montrose – is able to overcome communal degradation in the absence of a centralized power. In the first half of this piece, I elucidate the rules, participants, and systems that characterize this specific social-ecological system. In the second half, through a combination of park-goer interviews and analyses of online reviews, I find that the existence of high degrees of social capital between participants, repeated interactions, entwined utilities, and the institutional diversity of a polycentric system serve to explain the effective maintenance, monitoring, and self-governance systems at the Montrose.