Sterling Street has the Greenest Block in Brooklyn

Sterling Street has the Greenest Block in Brooklyn
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Sterling Street is finally the greenest in Brooklyn.

The foliage-filled block between Washington and Bedford avenues in Prospect Lefferts-Gardens was named the “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” on Wednesday — after nearly a decade of vying for the title.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden awarded the horticultural honor, judging on the basis of garden lushness, floral home adornment, and community elbow grease.

“It won because it was absolutely the most impressive,” said Robin Simmen, director of GreenBridge, the arm of the botanical garden that runs the verdant tournament, which is now in its 19th year.

The block is lined with well-preserved, two-story brownstones and brick row houses and its shrubbery and window planters beat out 200 other stretches of road in neighborhoods from Greenpoint to Coney Island.

Sterling Street’s yeoman yard workers have entered the contest eight times before, but this year they wooed a panel of judges, who visited not once, but three times, by lining the curb with whiskey barrel planters and decorating house fronts with window boxes and stoop pots. The Sterling team was exhilarated by the win.

“We’re very thrilled. We worked hard,” said Claudia Loftis, a 20-year resident and the chair of the block’s garden committee. Loftis cited the green-thumbed residents’ commitment as the key to their victory. She added that the neighborly gardeners often water the flowers of elderly block residents who are unable to do it themselves, and even care for the plants in front of an abandoned home.

“If everybody’s doesn’t look good no one’s looks good,” she said.

The block, which came in fourth place last year, was decked out this time with vibrant black-eyed Susans, begonias, petunias, geraniums, coral-bells, and vinca flowers. The prize comes with $300 and, of course, borough-wide bragging rights.

Other winners of this year’s competition include: Atlantic Avenue between Bond and Nevins streets in Boerum Hill, which won greenest commercial block; Macon Street between Ralph Avenue and Howard Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which won best tree beds: and Fulton Street’s My Brooklyn Baby, which took home the title of greenest storefront.

Organizers say that the neighborhoods that usually have the most entries are Bedford-Stuyvesant and East Flatbush.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

Green galore: The “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” — Sterling Street between Washington and Bedford avenues — is actually very green.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini