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.
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When a silver minivan emblazoned with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden logo arrived at Lefferts Avenue last Thursday, block association president Danna Hebbard immediately got on the phone and started dialing her neighbors. Community participation is one of the key factors that judges take into consideration when conferring the title of the “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” and Ms. Hebbard wanted them to see her block—a semifinalist in the Botanic Garden’s annual battle—at its best.
Besides a plaque, the title of greenest block comes with $300 and most importantly, boasting rights in a borough where greenness and sustainability can be a blood sport.
“The point is the greening up, not the winning,” said Robin Simmen, the director of the GreenBridge, the Botanic Garden’s community horticulture program, which has been organizing the competition since 1995. “But there are always people who are really interested in the winning.”
As New York heads into summer, the competition for philanthropic dollars heats up. Arts groups (not to mention botanical gardens) are increasingly trying to outdo each other with ever-more-lavish and leafy events, several of them held back-to-back in coming weeks.
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The new gate to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, “stainless steel patterned with cherry leaves and branches,” designed by Polshek Partnership Architects.
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