Rebecca McMackin

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Lessons in Built Ecology

Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85 acre, organic park in the middle of New York City, was created from obsolete shipping piers and constructed with ecology in mind. The park’s award-winning piers are beautifully designed to include top notch recreation, from opera to outdoor films. But the piers also contain native woodlands, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, grasslands, and numerous meadows. The freshwater streams filter rainwater that is then used for irrigation. These areas echo native ecosystems and are managed by Rebecca and her crew with the dual purpose of cultivating, beautifying and encouraging biodiversity.

This talk will encompass the many ecological strategies employed to design an ecological park, as well as the horticultural management techniques used to cultivate biodiverse parkland. Topics will include pragmatic strategies for encouraging ecologically beneficial landscapes.

Rebecca McMackin  is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. By day, she is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she oversees 85 acres of diverse parkland organically and with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. In her imaginary free time, Rebecca writes about landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the occasional garden. Her writing has been published by the New York Times, the Ecological Landscape Alliance, and the Landscape Institute.



Click here to return to Technical Update 2022