Ms. Hackett attended Oregon State University where she received the A.G. Bouquet Award. There she earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in Horticultural Science and in Soil Science. She did internships at Bressingham Gardens in Norfolk, England and at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Between 1980 and 1984 she conducted field trials on vegetable crops at the USDA Experiment Station in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Upon returning to the U.S. she worked for the Central Park Conservancy during the restoration of this landmark park, and as head gardener for its premier formal gardens at the Conservatory Gardens on 105th Street and 5th Avenue.
In 1989, Ms. Hackett continued her education in Landscape Graphics and Site Development at The New York Botanic Garden. She currently provides full service landscape design and installation for many corporate and private clients in the tri-state area, and has supervised contractors for landscape and masonry installations for clients such as Brooklyn College Campus, Mr. Edward I. Koch, Global Equipment and many others. From 1987 to 1991, Ms. Hackett worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation at Gracie Mansion. There she supervised and directed activities associated with the grounds, including design, installation, purchasing of plant material and equipment, conducting of public and private tours for this 2.5 acre landmark site which is also the mayoral residence. Approximately 30,000 visitors annually were received.
In 1995, Ms. Hackett became Director of Horticulture for the Bryant Park Corporation and the 34th Street Partnership (a business improvement district managed by the same group as BPC.) Through her direction, BPC the organizations have received awards from the National Arbor Day Foundation, Association for a Better New York, and The N.Y. Landmarks Conservancy. In October of 2000, Ms. Hackett received The Brendan Gill Award for the Restoration of Herald and Greeley Square Parks from the New York Municipal Arts Society, an award instituted by Jacqueline Onassis in memory of Brendan Gill. It is “... awarded annually to the creator of a work of art which best captures the energy, vigor, and verve of our incomparable city…” She has also received an award from the Federated Garden Clubs of America for “outstanding landscape design in the Bronxville business district” for work done annually pro bono for the village.
In Bryant Park, Ms. Hackett designs displays and manages the care of its many perennial and annual borders, 240 trees, and the lawn, which accommodates 10,000 visitors daily. She also implements seasonal displays for the New York Public Library along 5th Avenue, and a tour program.
Ms. Hackett is a member of Metro Horticultural Group, Professional Women in Construction, the Manhattan Institute, and the Municipal Arts Society. Garden reviews and publications include heavy New York Times coverage, that in House and Garden, The New York Daily News, The Villager, and more. She has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, New York 1, and Martha Stewart Living. She has also been a lecturer at The New York Botanic Garden, The New York Horticultural Society, Suffolk County Community College and the Bronxville Adult School.