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This Year’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn Is in Lefferts Gardens
by BBG
August 5, 2018

The winners of the 2018 Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest, presented by Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) in cooperation with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, were announced on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, at a press conference held on the winning residential block, Lefferts Avenue between Bedford and Rogers Avenues, in the Lefferts Gardens neighborhood.

Representatives from the winning commercial block, Nevins Street between Sackett and Union Streets, in the Gowanus neighborhood, were also on hand, as were winners in the contest’s other categories. Mr. Adams, BBG vice president of horticulture Mark Fisher, and representatives from National Grid, Barclays Center Cares, and Brooklyn Community Foundation, which provide support for Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Community Greening programs, also attended the event.

The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest promotes city greening, streetscape gardening, street tree stewardship, and community building. Special educational events for contestants over the course of spring and summer allow neighbors to learn about sustainable gardening practices, get free plants, and meet fellow gardeners. Nearly 160 blocks from 30 neighborhoods spanning the entire borough entered the contest this year. Winners were selected by an expert panel of judges, including Brooklyn Botanic Garden staff and local horticulture professionals.

Prizes for the top residential and commercial blocks, best window box, greenest storefront, best street tree beds, community garden streetscape, and the National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices Award were also awarded at the event.

Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, said, “I’m excited to join my friends at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in announcing this year’s winners of our Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. Gardening leads to the cross-pollination of ideas and relationships that develop safer places for us to raise healthy children and families. The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest is turning concrete jungles into urban oases.”

Scot Medbury, president of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, said, “On behalf of BBG, I’d like to congratulate Lefferts Alliance Community Togetherness Block Association, the 280 Nevins Street Block Association, the East 26th Street Block Association, and all the winners of this year’s contest. This year’s finalists included blocks that have been faithful entrants over many years, as well as blocks that are quite new to the contest but have come up to speed very quickly. The incredible entries by our Greenest Blocks this year are a testament to the dedication of all the residents of these blocks.”

Nina Browne, BBG’s community programs manager, said, “We could not be happier for the residents of Lefferts Avenue between Bedford and Rogers. After placing second in a very close contest last year, it is awe inspiring to see how they sustained—and further built—momentum this season. Their win is proof of their commitment to sustainable gardening and to each other.”

John Bruckner, president of National Grid New York, said, “The Greenest Block in Brooklyn competition engages communities to incorporate more sustainable solutions in their greening activities and National Grid shares in that commitment through the company’s dedication to transforming to a greener energy future. National Grid’s long-standing partnership with BBG underpins our core value to make a difference in the communities where we live and work. We are pleased to present this year’s National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices Award to the East 26th Street Block Association for exemplary community engagement, fostering bird and butterfly habitat, educational signage, youth involvement, use of solar lighting, and upcycling of materials.

About the Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest

Since its inception in 1994, the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest has encouraged greening activities on more than 1,600 Brooklyn blocks. Community involvement has grown steadily, from 50 blocks in the first year to over 150 blocks in recent years. It is estimated that more than 600,000 Brooklynites have participated in this borough-wide beautification and greening effort over the past 22 years.

The contest has helped establish and revive block associations and inspired the creation of new organizations based on common challenges and interests. In many of the borough’s least-served neighborhoods, where participation in the contest continues to grow, it plays a critical role in community building not readily provided elsewhere.

Blocks are judged on a variety of criteria, including color and total visual effect, citizen participation, variety and suitability of plants, soil condition and use of mulch, street tree bed care, and all-around best horticultural practices. A panel of nearly 20 judges, including journalists and professional horticulturists from Brooklyn Botanic Garden, visits and judges each contestant block from mid-June throughout July.

First prize is a $300 check for each top residential and commercial block winner. All other winners receive cash prizes ranging from $100 to $200. Best Window Box, Greenest Storefront, Best Street Tree Beds, and Best Community Garden Streetscape winners receive cash prizes or gift certificates. Contest participants attending the fall recognition ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall also receive a gift bag of fall bulbs and a certificate of recognition for their participation.

About Community Greening at BBG Brooklyn Botanic Garden promotes urban greening through education, conservation, and creative partnerships. By working with block associations, community gardens, and other service groups, the Garden is building a vibrant network of people, places, and projects dedicated to making Brooklyn a greener place.

The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest, celebrating its 24th year this summer, promotes streetscape gardening, tree stewardship, and community development in Brooklyn through block and merchant associations and other groups. Major sponsorship support for BBG’s Community Greening initiatives is provided by National Grid, with leadership support from Brooklyn Community Foundation.

For more information about Community Greening initiatives at BBG, please visit bbg.org/community.

For a full list of winners and more information about the contest, visit bbg.org/community/greenestblock.

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