A Crown Heights block was named the greenest in Brooklyn for the 25th iteration of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual contest, which aims to promote streetscape planting and neighbor connectivity.
Every year, neighbors throughout the borough come together to plant and make their blocks greener. Judges, including professional horticulturists from BBG, select the winners based on vibrant use of color, resident involvement, plant sustainability, street tree bed care, and soil and mulch maintenance, among other criteria.
There are several categories including greenest residential and commercial blocks, greenest storefront, best street tree beds, best community garden streetscape, and best window box.
In Crown Heights, a group called Preserving Lincoln’s Abundant Natural Treasures (PLANTs) won in the residential category for their work on Lincoln Place between Nostrand and New York avenues. In Brooklyn Heights, Montague Street BID won in the commercial category for their work on Montague Street between Henry and Hicks streets.
“We celebrate nature on Montague Street, understanding the importance of trees and plants to our urban environment,” Kate Chura, executive director of Montague Street BID, said in a statement. “Not only do they beautify the community throughout Brooklyn Heights, but they also bond us and soften the hard edges of the built environment.”
The winning Crown Heights block even included Kokedama—plants in balls of soil held together by moss and string, a Japanese technique—Nina Browne, community greening program manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, said in a statement.
“[The block’s] displays share a remarkable sense of joy, artful whimsy, and playfulness—you just can’t help smiling as you walk the block,” Browne added.
Those who participate in the annual contest get to attend a free BBG workshop called “How to Green Your Block,” and learn about their block’s greening opportunities through a “walk-and-talk” led by a member of the botanic garden’s staff.
“We planted plants and flowers but harvested beautiful friendships with beautiful people,” Althea Joseph, part of PLANTs, the winning residential block association, said in a statement.