Brooklyn Heights

Changing of the guard at the Promenade gardens

Popular Brooklyn Heights gardener Anil Chandrakumar promoted

October 2, 2023 Mary Frost
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — NYC Parks Department Gardener Anil Chandrakumar, who has inspired the volunteer gardeners of the Promenade Garden Conservancy to horticultural heights, has been promoted to Brooklyn Horticulture Supervisor.

The Promenade gardeners gave Chandrakumar rave reviews, saying he made gardening fun for the volunteers who come out every Tuesday to pull weeds, trim and plant while learning about all things green.

“Anil joined us in the fall of 2021, so he was our gardener for almost two years. During that time he endeared himself to the volunteers and impressed everyone with his knowledge and easy-going manner,” said Koren Volk, Brooklyn Heights Association president and Promenade Gardens Conservancy project manager.

The historic Promenade gardens and its volunteer group remain in good hands, however, Volk said.

“The Parks Department has a deep bench of experienced and hard-working gardeners, and since 2009, the Promenade gardens and gardeners have benefited from their care and attention. Each has brought their own unique skill set and personality,” she said.

Parks Gardener Jessica Kulig has been appointed as the new Promenade Gardener and volunteer coordinator for the Promenade Gardens Conservancy. 

Left: Anil Chandrakumar. Eagle photo by Mary Frost
Right: Jessica Kulig. Photo by Doreen Gallo, Cadman Park Conservancy

BHA’s Promenade Gardens Conservancy has been lauded for its role in lovingly maintaining the gardens along the Promenade, a historic and scenic walkway a third of a mile long. BHA and the city’s Parks Department formed the conservancy partnership in 2009, and BHA underwrites roughly half the cost of the Parks Department’s professional horticulturist.

Kulig will also work with the volunteers who gather in Cadman Plaza Park every Wednesday morning to beautify the gardens there.

“The Cadman Park Conservancy has been greatly enriched working with Anil this past year while he has been guiding our gardening volunteers, events and community groups,” said Doreen Gallo, president of the Conservancy, who called Chandrakumar a “shining star” with the city’s Parks Department,

Beautiful flowers in bloom along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, under the stewardship of the Promenade Gardeners Conservancy. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

“The Conservancy wishes him all the best and a bright future.  We look forward to working with him as Horticulture Supervisor!” Gallo added.

Kulig has been getting her feet wet with the volunteer gardeners. Earlier this month, she joined Chandrakumar and the Cadman Park Conservancy to host the first day of school for Poly Prep’s junior class, planting 500 native plants  — Black-eyed Susans, Bee Balm, Mountain Mint, Echinacea, Butterfly Bushes and Rose Mallow — in the park’s pollinator garden at the northwest end of the park.


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