The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest has gone back to its roots — awarding the inaugural winner, East Flatbush’s Vanderveer Place, first place for 2010.
The tiny byway, tucked between bustling Flatbush Avenue and East 23rd Street, beat out approximately 220 thoroughfares around Brooklyn — regaining the title it won 16 years ago when the competition was first planted.
It’s not difficult to see why: the block features greenery you simply don’t find on other blocks, including brick-walled yards brimming over with flowers, tree pits that are overplanted with blooms and foliage; and a vest-pocket community garden that jauntily welcomes visitors to the block. Even the traffic signs are adorned by baskets of brightly hued posies.
The judges for the competition clearly noticed.
“It’s a constant that Vanderveer Place places first, second or third,” said Borough Presdident Markowitz, who sponsors the contest with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “It’s just a beautiful example of what can be done.”
And they’ve been doing it for years.
“This is our little slice of heaven in the concrete jungle,” said Yvonne Murray, who’s lived on the block for 41 years. “The street has blossomed over the course of years.”
Other winners of this year’s competition include Hoyt Street, between State Street and Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, which grabbed first place in the commercial category. Tied for second place among residential blocks were Bainbridge Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and Stuyvesant Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and East 25th Street between Clarendon Road and Avenue D in East Flatbush, with third place going to State Street between Nevins Street and Third Avenue in Boerum Hill.