Horticulture has been part of Mackenzie’s life since she was about 10. She enjoyed spending time helping in her aunt and uncle’s small commercial greenhouse in north central Wisconsin, and one of her favorite things to do was try to recall the names of plants from weekend to weekend. Her passion for plants developed further in high school while working at a flower shop and taking a horticulture class. Graduating with degrees in horticulture and life sciences communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was the culmination of these experiences.
A horticulture internship at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (OBG) in Madison was Mackenzie’s first foray into the world of public gardens. She continued volunteering with educational programs there and completed a semester-long internship in their marketing department. The time she spent at OBG helped her determine that a career in public horticulture would best integrate her knowledge of plants and enthusiasm for communicating about them.
After graduation, she became the education intern at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College. There she assisted with and helped plan public programs and events, as well as creating marketing materials to promote them. As part of the internship, Mackenzie visited gardens in the greater London area before traveling to Sri Lanka to experience its unique tropical flora.
Public gardens are at the intersection of plants and people, and that is exactly where Mackenzie wants to be. She looks forward to learning all she can through the multitude of opportunities offered to her as a Fellow in order to become an asset to the field of public horticulture.