Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Greenest Block in Brooklyn Announced in NYC

The Greenest Block in Brooklyn is a contest held by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. More than 20 years old, the competition measures the green-ness of all Brooklyn streets, and this year's winner was Stuyvesant Avenue. Nestled between Bainbridge and Chauncey, this block does not appear to be dramatically more green than any of its neighbors.

Nina Browne, community program manager at the botanic gardens, runs the contest and trains the judges each year. In a visit to Stuyvesant Ave. for the New York Times, Browne explained that a winning block's title comes from more than just its vegetation level; it comes from its citizen participation.

"It boils down to people more than plants," she says. "It's where you get that tangible sense of love. Which block felt the most unified? Where is that sense of community really most palpable? That's urban resilience right there."

"It's really about people power," she added. "It's a testament to what people can do, despite not having dirt to dig in."

Stuyvesant Ave. block captain Serge Vatel explained that the communal goal is "to set the bar for the entire Stuyvesant Heights."

"It's our lobby," he added. "It's the gateway to our neighborhood-- the first block people see on their way to work in the morning. It's like a watermark for our neighborhood: It tells everyone, new and old, 'This is our standard of leaving.'"