Brooklyn Heights

Promenade Gardens partially displaced for WiFi equipment

Gardeners Hope Neighbors Will Help Donate to Refurbish Plantings

May 28, 2015 By Janaki Chadha Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Project Director for the Promenade Gardens Neil Calet, Head Gardener Matthew Morrow and Project Manager of the Promenade Gardens Koren Volk. Photos by Janaki Chadha
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The dedicated Promenade Gardeners may need a little help from their friends. Some of the plants they work so hard to cultivate will be displaced for buried wiring and equipment to provide WiFi to Promenade visitors, who come from all over the world by the tens of thousands each year, along with dedicated and frequent local users.

While some of the WiFi equipment can be covered over, so plants and flowers can be replanted, there will be a need to purchase new bulbs and fully-grown plantings once the WiFi work is done.

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The Promenade Gardeners are hoping this re-digging project will inspire neighbors to come forward with donations to help re-furbish the plantings — something NYC Parks Department does not have a budget to do. 

In many places where public parks will install WiFi, there simply isn’t the impetus to replant flowers and plants over the installation. But the Promenade Gardens are considered a special site because of the high level of visitor traffic from all over the world. 

The garden at the Promenade is also unique: it is huge, one of the largest in the city, yet it stretches like a narrow band for a full 1/3 of a mile along one of the most beloved vistas in the world.  

There will be five spots between Pierrepont Street and Clark Street where the WiFi equipment will be placed, and the cables put into each location will be attached to lampposts placed near the fence. 

Koren Volk, project manager of the Promenade Gardens, told the Brooklyn Heights Press, “I’m delighted that we’re going to have WiFi, but I’m also just sort of heartbroken at what it’s going to do to the garden. I mean, these trenches, they’re disruptive.”

Volk continued, “The garden, in a way, is like a map. Things are organized and put in certain places because that’s visually appealing to have them there, and now, we’re going to have to rethink a lot of those because they’re going to come in and put these lamps in.” She added that a significant amount of work will have to be done for the plants moving. “[The plants] are going to be sick; they’ve been shocked,” she said. 

Neil Calet, project director for the Gardens, said that while he thinks of the Parks Department as a partner, he believes the relationship “that people [in Brooklyn Heights] have to [the] garden” should be paid more attention. “For the community, it’s an object of pride,” Calet added.

The Promenade Garden Conservancy can always use the help of more volunteers to work on the gardens. They meet every Tuesday at 9 a.m. and often go for coffee together afterward. For those who would like to help, but cannot volunteer, donations are also welcome, and go a long way toward purchasing supplies used to maintain the garden.

For more information, check out the Conservancy’s website ( or show up to help out on a Tuesday morning near the Pierrepont Street entrance.


To donate by check:

Payable to: Brooklyn Heights Association / PGC

55 Pierrepont St., #17D, Brooklyn, NY 11201


To donate by phone:

Just call the Brooklyn Heights Association at (718) 858-9193 with your credit card information. 


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