Mackenzie Younger (founder and designer)

Mackenzie Younger received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design studying painting and film, attended botany classes at Brown University and landscape design at the New York Botanical Gardens. He traveled to Japan with the New York Botanical Gardens and was invited to be Artist-In-Residence at Homestead National Monument in Nebraska, Peaked Hill Land Trust in Cape Cod and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee where he documented native ecosystems and engaged the public through art programs. 

Prior to founding Native NY Gardens Mackenzie taught the enrichment club 'Art & Ecology' for the Brooklyn Urban Gardening School, after school art classes, volunteered for the High Line, conducted independent tree tours of Fort Greene Park, proposed and installed native plantings in Fish Bridge Garden in lower Manhattan. He has designed and painted large scale lobby murals including a site specific series for The Lantern Group, designed textile patterns for American Apparel, illustrated children's books, worked on window displays for Macy's, Tiffany's, Saks 5th Avenue, and even acted in haunted houses for a while. This December the Susquehanna Art Museum will exhibit the paintings from his solo show 'Pictures', first premiered at A+E Studios in TriBeCa. 

Johnny kunen (managing Assistant)

Johnny Kunen graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in writing and athletic coaching. In addition to writing children’s books and coaching high school and middle school sports, Johnny has worked for four years as a landscaper. Specializing in garden installations, maintenance, plant sourcing and logistics, his experience includes small and large gardens, rooftops and public spaces. 

You can check out our kids books, illustrated by Mackenzie and written by Johnny at