Managing an Urban Landscape for Biodiversity

Rebecca McMackin, Director of Horticulture, Brooklyn Bridge Park

March 2021

Habitat stewardship is a vital aspect of creating an enduring and ecologically vibrant landscape, particularly in an urban setting. But traditional landscaping practices rarely take biodiversity into consideration, leaving a dearth of effective guidelines. For horticulturist Rebecca McMackin and her team at Brooklyn Bridge Park, cultivating habitat is central to their work. She shows us how they are using ecological insight and experimentation to develop new management strategies, and why careful observation and documentation of the insects, birds, and other wildlife in the park has been so crucial to their success.

Rebecca McMackin is the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she manages 85 acres of diverse parkland with an eye towards habitat creation for birds, butterflies, and soil microorganisms. She is also the Vice-President of the Metro Hort Group in the New York tri-state region.