A stretch of Lincoln Place between Nostrand and New York Avenues in Crown Heights took first prize in the 25th annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest this year.
The event, hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, is an attempt to bring communities together to make Brooklyn a cleaner, greener place. It represents “a quarter-century of city blocks coming together,” said Botanic Garden President and CEO Scot Medbury at a press conference on the block this morning.
This year, 160 blocks entered the competition. But Lincoln Place, Medbury said, was “a force to be reckoned with.”
And truly, the group’s work was extraordinary. Many of the people who gathered — including local residents and people from other nominated blocks who came out to show their support — remarked on the variety of plants up and down the block, including tropical plants. Medbury and others also commented on the tree pit signs, which are featured on all of the 27 trees on the block.
Much of the horticultural work on the block was spearheaded by a group of residents called P.L.A.N.T.S, which stands for Preserving Lincoln’s Abundant and Natural Treasures. Althea Joseph, one of the group’s members, talked about how the award meant so much to them this year because of the struggles they faced.
The weather, she said, was a frenemy. “She became an enemy the weekend before the finals when it was 100 degrees and we were peddling water all over the place,” Joseph said. “But she became our friend last night because we didn’t have the water” due to storms that lasted most of the day across Brooklyn.
Perri Edwards, who said she has lived on Lincoln Place for over 30 years, said this is the greenest she has ever seen it. Her mother used to enter the block in the contest, she said, so they have been aiming to win for a long time.
“Whenever we would hear who the winner was, we would race to the block and walk up and down the street, talk to people, make new friends,” Edwards said. “I would ask them, ‘How did you do it?’ That’s the question I would ask. Now, people will come to us and ask, ‘How did you do it?'”
The block was a runner-up for the residential block award last year, when a stretch of Lefferts Avenue took home the prize. Runner-ups this year included a tie for second place between the 300 East 25th Street Block Association (East 25th Street between Clarendon Road and Avenue D in Flatbush) and the Stuyvesant Avenue Block Association (Stuyvesant Avenue between Bainbridge and Chauncey Streets in Bed Stuy). The 400 Bainbridge Street Block Association (Bainbridge between Howard and Saratoga Avenues in Bed Stuy) took home third place, while the East 26th Street Block Association (East 26th Street between Avenue D and Clarendon Road in East Flatbush) took home fourth place.
Montague Street BID (Montague between Henry and Hicks in Brooklyn Heights) received the top prize in the Commercial category, while Pro 1 Tire, located at 781 4th Avenue in Sunset Park, was awarded the Greenest Storefront.
The Nehemiah Ten Community Garden, located on Barbey Street between Blake and Dumont Avenues in East New York, won the Best Community Garden Streetscape. Tilder Block Association in East Flatbush took home the Best Street Tree Beds award, while Hyacinth Johnson and Hazel Carter, both residents of East Flatbush, tied for the Best Window Box prize.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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