The winners of the 2012 Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest were announced last week at a press conference on the champion residential block. Representatives from the winning commercial blocks, Cortelyou Road between Westminster and Argyle roads in Ditmas Park and Newkirk Plaza between Newkirk and Foster avenues in Flatbush were also on hand.
Thousands of borough residents committed to beautifying their neighborhoods in the 18th year of lively competition, which is managed by GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program of Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG).
The is the second time the block has won the competition. In 2009, Lincoln Road also won the contest, with between 55 and 60 of the 80 homes on the block participating in greening efforts. This year, approximately 75 houses joined in.
“We are thrilled to be this year’s residential Greenest Block in Brooklyn,” said Tolonda Tolbert, president of the Lincoln Road R&B Block Association and a member of the Green Team. “Our 2009 win—and competing alongside so many other incredible Brooklyn blocks—inspired us to take our gardening and community involvement to a new level.”
Blocks are judged on a variety of criteria, including color and total visual effect, citizen participation, and variety and suitability of plants. A panel of more than 20 judges, including journalists and professional horticulturists from Brooklyn Botanic Garden, visits each contestant block from mid-June throughout July.
First prize is a $300 check for each top residential and commercial block winner. All other finalists 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 gardening tools.
“All of Brooklyn wins when thousands of residents and businesses spend hours every day tending to their flowers, trees, and shrubs and organizing cleanup and beautification projects to spruce up their blocks,” said Borough President Marrty Markowtitz.