Park Slope is known for its greenery — thanks to Prospect Park, the new-and-improved J.J. Byrne Park on Fifth Avenue, various community gardens and its tree-lined streets — but one building in the neighborhood is the official home of the “Best Window Box” in Brooklyn.
Barbara and David Arky’s window box garden in front of their 10th Street home, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, tied for first place in the “Best Window Box” category during the 18th Annual 2012 Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest.
The Arky’s were tied with Diane Kosup’s window box on Macon Street in Bed-Stuy.
The Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest is an annual event hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program that promotes streetscape gardening, tree stewardship and community development throughout the borough. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and The Brooklyn Community Foundation are also major supporters of the contest.
There are six categories in the contest, including the greenest Residential Street, Commercial Garden, Greenest Storefront, Best Street Tree Beds, Best Window Box and Best Community Garden Streetscape.
The first prize for both top residential and commercial block winners is a $300 check. All other finalists receive cash prizes ranging from $100 to $200. The Best Window Box, Greenest Storefront, Best Street Tree Beds and Best Community Garden Streetscape winners receive cash prizes or gardening tools.
Park Slope also won recognition in a few other categories:
- Eighth Street, between Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West, submitted by the Eighth Street Block Association, won second place in the Residential Category. This was tied for second with MacDonough Street, between Stuyvesant and Lewis Avenues, in Bed-Stuy.
- Sterling Place, between Flatbush and Seventh avenues, won second place in Best Street Tree Beds and also won Honorable Mention in the Residential category.
The winner of the Greenest Block in Brooklyn in the residential category was Lincoln Road, between Bedford and Rogers avenues, in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
The contest is free to enter and all participants are awarded a recognition certificate.
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 and tree bed care, and all-around best horticultural practices.
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.
This year, the judges paid special attention to the use of plants native to North America, particularly the Northeast.
The winners were announced on Wednesday on this year’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn — Lincoln Road, between Bedford and Rogers avenues, in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens — with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Community Foundation and a few elected officials.
“Bravo to this year’s Greenest Block winners — from window boxes in Park Slope and Bed-Stuy to the tree beds on Bainbridge Street, from the streetscapes of St. Marks Avenue Prospect Heights Community Garden to the Brooklyn Hearth Realty storefront in Ditmas Park, and from the commercial areas along Cortelyou Road and Newkirk Plaza to Lincoln Road in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens,” Markowitz said. “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. So I applaud Brooklyn Botanic Garden and The Brooklyn Community Foundation and congratulate every Brooklyn block that participates and continues to make the rest of New York City and America ‘green’ with envy.”
To see the full list and photos of winners, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's website here.