How do stewardship groups contribute to the management of urban ecosystem services? In this paper, we integrate the research on environmental stewardship with the social-ecological systems literature to explain how stewardship groups serve as bridge organizations between public agencies and civic organizations, working across scales and sectors to build the flexible and multi-scaled capacity needed to manage complex urban ecosystems. Analyzing data collected from a survey of stewardship groups in New York City, combined with open-ended semi-structured interviews with representatives from the most connected civic "hub" organizations, we use a mixed-method approach to understand the specific activities of bridge organizations in the process of preserving local ecosystem services. This paper concludes that the role of bridge organizations in the management of urban ecosystem services in New York City is increasing, that these groups have a specific bi-modal role in the network, and that an initial presence of heterarchic organizational relations was crucial in their development. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of these results.
Connolly, James J.; Svendsen, Erika S.; Fisher, Dana R.; Campbell, Lindsay K. 2013. Organizing urban ecosystem services through environmental stewardship governance in New York City. Landscape and Urban Planning. 109: 76-84.