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Brooklyn Botanic Garden makes Brooklyn greener far beyond its own walls

Greenest block contest, now in 28th Year, grows pride and beauty on local streets

August 10, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden announced the winners of the 2022 Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest today at a press conference held on the winning residential block, Lincoln Place between New York & Nostrand Avenues.

Representatives from the winning residential and commercial blocks and other participants were in attendance, along with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, BBG president Adrian Benepe, and president of National Grid—longtime supporters of the Greenest Block contest—Rudy Wynter.

Greenest Block in Brooklyn 2022 Residential Winners, Lincoln Place between Nostrand and New York Avenues. Photo: Michael Stewart, Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest was launched in 1994 as a way to bring communities together and beautify the streets of Brooklyn. The contest, 28 years ago and today, is singular in the field of gardening competitions in its connection to a public botanic garden, its focus on the public streetscape and sustainable horticultural practices and ecological stewardship, and its emphasis on block-wide gardening, making the contest as much about civic participation as it is about beautification.

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The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest is free and open to all residential blocks, commercial blocks, and community gardens in Brooklyn. The contest promotes city greening, streetscape gardening, street tree stewardship, and community building.

Greenest Block in Brooklyn 2022 Residential Winners, Lincoln Place between Nostrand and New York Avenues. Photo: Michael Stewart, Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The block-wide contest was canceled in 2020, and was shifted to a window box competition in 2021 for pandemic protocals, but the contest returned in full form this year.

The judging took place in 3 rounds over 6 weeks across different categories. Over 100 blocks were vying for the chance to earn the title of “Greenest Block in Brooklyn.”

The winning residential block, stewarded by the block association Preserving Lincoln’s Abundant Natural Treasures—or P.L.A.N.T.s—impressed the judges with their universal participation, their inventive, upcycled containers, and the sheer biomass of plantings from corner to corner.

Winners were announced for categories including Greenest Commercial Block, the National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices Award, Best Community Garden Streetscape, and Best Street Tree Bed.

BBG President Adrian Benepe. Photo: Michael Stewart.

Adrian Benepe, president of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, said: “Like all aspects of life, the pandemic has challenged streetscape and community gardening, but Brooklyn’s gardeners are nothing if not resilient! Participants told us they used the contest to both celebrate life and to rebuild a sense of community connection that had been tested during the pandemic. Visiting block after block around the borough, we’ve seen their resourcefulness, their neighborliness, and their concern for plants, wildlife, and the next generation of Brooklynites. In demonstrating successful gardening under some of the toughest conditions around, Brooklyn’s gardeners have so much to teach us all about urban gardening. Congratulations to Lincoln Place and to all the winners in this year’s contest!”

Rudy Wynter, president of National Grid New York, said: “The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest inspires residents to develop creative and innovative ways to make their neighborhoods more beautiful, sustainable, and equitable. National Grid shares in the commitment to more sustainable solutions and we continue to transform our business for a cleaner energy future. National Grid’s long-standing partnership with BBG underpins our community commitment to create a more equitable future for every customer, in every community we serve. Congratulations to all the finalists; we are pleased to present this year’s National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices Award to Nehemiah Ten Greenthumb Block Association Community Garden.”

Below is the full list of Greenest Block in Brooklyn 2022 winners:

Residential Category

1st Place
Preserving Lincoln’s Abundant Natural Treasures (P.L.A.N.T.s) Lincoln Place between New York & Nostrand Avenues
CROWN HEIGHTS
2nd Place
300 East 25th Street Block Association
East 25th Street between Avenue D & Clarendon Road FLATBUSH
3rd Place Tie
Macon MacDonough Stuyvesant Lewis Block Association MacDonough Street between Lewis & Stuyvesant Avenues BEDFORD-STUYVESANT
Lefferts Community Landscaping
Lefferts Avenue between Bedford & Rogers Avenues LEFFERTS GARDENS
4th Place
Bay Ridge Blooms
Ridge Boulevard between 71st Street & Ovington Avenue BAY RIDGE

Residential Honorable Mentions
The New East 26th Street Block Association
East 26th Street between Avenue D & Clarendon Road FLATBUSH
Stuyvesant Avenue Block Association (SABA)
Stuyvesant Avenue between Bainbridge & Chauncey Streets BEDFORD-STUYVESANT
200 Decatur Street/Stuyvesant Avenue Block Association Decatur Street between Lewis & Stuyvesant Avenues STUYVESANT HEIGHTS NORTH
Hampton, Sterling, Virginia Place & Kingston Avenue Block Association, Inc. Hampton Place between Park & Sterling Places
CROWN HEIGHTS
East 48 Street J & K Block Association East 48th Street between Avenues J & K EAST FLATBUSH
Fresh Creek Civic Association
Flatlands 7th Street between East 108th Street & Fresh Creek CANARSIE
Lincoln Road R&B Block Association
Lincoln Road between Bedford & Rogers Avenues LEFFERTS GARDENS
Union Street Block and Civic Association
Union Street between Nostrand & Rogers Avenues CROWN HEIGHTS
Macon MacDonough Stuyvesant Lewis Block Association Lewis Avenue between MacDonough and Macon Streets BEDFORD-STUYVESANT
Bay Ridge Parkway 400 Block Association
Bay Ridge Parkway between 4th and 5th Avenues BAY RIDGE
Vanderveer Place Block Association
Vanderveer Place between East 23rd Street & Flatbush Avenue FLATBUSH

National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices Award
Nehemiah Ten Greenthumb Block Association Barbey Street between Blake & Dumont Avenues EAST NEW YORK
COMMERCIAL CATEGORY
1st Place
North Flatbush Business Improvement District
Flatbush Avenue (even side) between 8th Avenue & Sterling Place PARK SLOPE

Greenest Storefront
1st Place
Clementine Bakery & Dreamery
395 Classon Avenue
Entered by Greene Acres Community Garden (NYRP) BEDFORD-STUYVESANT
2nd Place
Saint Eve’s Cocktail Bar
475 12th Street
Entered by 12th Street Park Block Association PARK SLOPE
3rd Place
Muse Cafe
497 6th Avenue
Entered by 12th Street Block Association PARK SLOPE

Best Street Treebeds
1st Place
Union Street Block and Civic Association
Union Street between Nostrand & Rogers Avenues CROWN HEIGHTS
2nd Place
The New East 26th Street Block Association
East 26th Street between Avenue D & Clarendon Road FLATBUSH
3rd Place
200 Decatur Street/Stuyvesant Avenue Block Association Decatur Street between Lewis & Stuyvesant Avenues BEDFORD-STUYVESANT
4th Place
500 Block MacDonough Street Association MacDonough Street between Patchen & Ralph Avenues BEDFORD-STUYVESANT

Best Community Garden Streetscape
1st Place
Newkirk Community Garden
East 8th Street between Newkirk & Webster Avenues KENSINGTON
2nd Place
Maple Street Community Garden
Maple Street between Nostrand & Rogers Avenues LEFFERTS GARDENS
3rd Place
Greene Acres Community Garden (NYRP)
Franklin Avenue between Clifton Place & Greene Avenue BEDFORD-STUYVESANT

Best Window Box
1st Place
Helen Wilson
206 East 53rd Street East 53rd Street EAST FLATBUSH
2nd Place
The Prince Family
13 Stoddard Street
Entered by Sullivan Ludlam Stoddard Neighborhood Association CROWN HEIGHTS
3rd Place Tie
378 12th Street
Entered by 12th Street Block Association PARK SLOPE
Lisa Clavery
32 Hampton Place
Entered by Hampton, Sterling, Virginia Place & Kingston Avenue Block Association, Inc. CROWN HEIGHTS
Window Box Honorable Mention
Caroline Reitz & Richard Haw
190 Maple Street
Entered by Maple Street Block Association LEFFERTS MANOR


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