Who is the greenest of them all? Why, Lincoln Road between Bedford and Rogers Avenues! The Prospect-Lefferts Gardens block has won the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual Greenest Block competition, claiming the title for the second time in the last four years and inspiring envy across the borough.
A total of 173 Brooklyn blocks tended street tree pits, stoop plants, window boxes and tiny front yards in a bid to wow the judges. Judges pared down the competition to eight finalists during several tours around the borough, studying blocks’ community participation, horticulture practice, care of street trees, plant variety, color and visual effect, sustainability, soil and mulching to make their determinations.
The commercial winners in this year’s contest were Ditmas Park’s Cortelyou Road between Westminster Road and Argyle Road and Flatbush’s Newkirk Plaza between Newkirk and Foster Avenues. Both the residential and commercial blocks receive $300, and more importantly, bragging rights.
So what did Lincoln Road do to take the coveted title? The Botanic Garden noted the block’s beautiful and meticulously maintained curbside gardens, excellent horticulture maintenance, high participation from block residents (approximately 75 of 80 houses took part) and—a competitive stroke of genius, really—a communal children’s garden.
The block’s efforts to involve all residents also impressed the judges: the block association has an annual Wine & Dirt event and children’s plant label-painting parties.
Two blocks tied for second place: Bed-Stuy’s MacDonough Street between Stuyvesant and Lewis Avenues and Park Slope’s 8th Street between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West. Third place went to Bed-Stuy’s Bainbridge Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and Stuyvesant Avenue.
So as not to discourage the other blocks too much, the winning block will be ineligible next year. However, block association president Tolonda Tolbert warned of even greater greening in the release announcing her block’s victory.
“We plan to keep inventing ways for residents to get involved,” she announced.