Greenest Block in Brooklyn Winners

(Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden)

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be one of the judges for the Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest, an excellent program sponsored by the good folks at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Over 1,200 blocks have entered the contest since 1994.

During the course of a very rainy Tuesday we looked at eight or so of the semi-finalists for the hotly contested prize. Several teams of judges were involved with the judging over a period of weeks so I had no idea if our top rated garden block would win. But it did!

First place goes to the Lincoln Road R&B Block Association for Lincoln Road between Rogers & Bedford Avenues, photo above, in the Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn.

I was rooting (sorry!) for this block since it really showed a street in transition. Some of the gardens there are chock full of plants and flowers while others remain untended or even just a slab of concrete. But what is evident is the passion of the gardening leaders on the street who have taken over disused sidewalk squares and street tree beds as well as their own front yards and turned them into verdant showpieces. Under the leadership of block association president, Tolanda Tolbert, you can see the horticultural enthusiasm spreading and with it comes a collective neighborhood pride and the rejection of long-standing crime and neglect that have plagued some of these streets in past years. I only wish more parts of the city would join in the contest. Queens are you listening?

I also loved meeting the proud gardenmakers at East 25th Street Block Association in East Flatbush who have won the contest twice before. I won't forget how the ladies of the block came out to talk to us and show us their front yards and tell us how the horticulture bug has spread from a few houses to cover almost the entire block. There are still a few non-gardening holdouts on the street and I pity the withering looks these residents must suffer from the garden group as they come and go from their barren lots. And you can bet there's no sneaking around, these ladies are always outside in their gardens.

My fellow judges were Allison Mezzafonte of AOL Living & Home, garden design and blogger Marie Viljoen of 66 Square Feet, and garden designer and Director of Communications at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Leeann Lavin. They all remained remarkably sunny companions on our soggy tour. Thanks to Robin Simmen, Director of Brooklyn GreenBridge, for being our guide and chauffeur.

See a report on the contest and the winning street here on NY1.


Robin said...

I look forward to hearing about the winners of this contest every year. It's such a wonderful program.
I wish more neighborhoods in NYC did this

seo consultants said...

I just love to look at green houses. it looks so beautiful to me.