Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically obsessed horticulturalist and garden designer. She is director of horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland for people, plants, and wildlife.
She has spent the last decade overseeing horticultural construction and organic management while also building out a Horticulture Department focused on cultivating urban biodiversity. As a result, animal species not seen in NYC in decades have established themselves in the park, alongside more than half a million visitors. BBP’s research has influenced thousands of people and entire urban parks systems to adopt similar approaches.
Rebecca hopes to take the strategies that work at BBP and apply them elsewhere, with the goal of helping to address the biodiversity crisis. She sees her work as a public servant as stewarding the land, caring for the commons, and helping the horticultural realm provide rewarding careers for a wide variety of gardeners.
Rebecca writes, lectures, and teaches on ecological landscape management and pollination ecology. She has been published by and featured in the New York Times, the Landscape Institute, and on NPR and PBS. She has served on the boards of the Ecological Landscape Alliance, the Torrey Botanical Society, and Metro Hort Group. She holds MScs from Columbia University and University of Victoria in landscape design and biology.