Rebecca McMackin - Brooklyn Bridge Park

MHG Meetings

Sponsored By: Metro Hort Group

By 2050, 9 billion people on this planet will live in cities. With development this rapid and rabid, it is critical that we incorporate wildlife habitat into our urban areas or many organisms are in trouble, humanity included.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85 acre, organic park in the middle of New York City, was designed by MVVA and created with ecology in mind. The park’s award winning piers include top notch recreation, from opera to outdoor films, all of it beautifully designed. But the piers also contain native woodlands, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, and numerous meadows. These areas echo native ecosystems and are managed with an emphasis on wildlife habitat.

This talk will encompass the many ecological strategies employed by the park’s designers, as well as the management techniques park staff have developed to cultivate biodiverse parkland. Pragmatic strategies for encouraging ecologically beneficial landscapes will be illustrated.

Rebecca McMackin
Rebecca is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. She is the Director of Horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she oversees 85 acres of ornamental beds, forest ecosystems, meadows, wetland, green roofs, and turf areas. All BBP landscapes are managed organically and with the aim of encouraging biodiversity.

Rebecca teaches classes on pollination ecology, gardening for wildlife, tree biology, and soil science at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and for garden centers and societies. Her writing has been published by The New York Times and the Landscape Institute, and she has co-hosted the PBS Show, Garden Smart. She sits on the board of the Ecological Landscape Alliance and Metro Hort. She is an ISA-certified arborist and a NOFA-accredited organic landscape professional. In her diminishing free time, she designs gardens for Mantis Plant Works that are both beautiful and ecologically robust.