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Maxwell McCune

Landscape Restoration Specialist, New York State Parks, Finger Lakes Region

Ecological Landscaping in New York State Parks of the Finger Lakes Region

There has been exciting investments made in ecological landscaping over recent years at our treasured Finger Lakes State Parks. Large scale planting projects at Taughannock Falls State Park and Watkins Glen State Park have successfully brought pollinators, birds, and wildlife into high traffic areas, while aged gardens beds around the region are slowly being transitioned to native plants and more sustainable design. As Emerald Ash Borer took a huge toll in our Parks, steps are being taken to put back high-quality native trees back into our campgrounds and picnic areas. These initiatives and others are continuing to improve the ecology at the Park system to the benefits of wildlife and the public.  

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Max has been the Landscape Restoration Specialist at New York State Parks in the Finger Lakes Region for the past four years. In his role at Parks, Max and a small team of gardeners tend to native plant installations across the region. These installations range from small pollinator gardens, to full-on habitat restorations and everything in between; always with a focus on ecological principles and regionally native plants. The goal of the Landscape Restoration program is to blur the line between wild and manicured while improving ecological function in the human spaces of our Parks.

Max holds a degree in history from SUNY Oswego. His road to ecological landscaping has been roundabout; he has studied and worked in fields such as permaculture, sustainable agriculture, nature awareness and native plant propagation. Max worked at the Plantsmen Nursery before he began his work for Parks. 

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