Greenest Block in Brooklyn

Greenest Block In Brooklyn

It's more fun together!

Deadline to enter is Friday, June 1, 2018.

"The contest has caused a resurgence of pride, friendship, and cooperation among the residents." —2017 Particpant


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About Greenest Block in Brooklyn

Garden together with your neighbors to make your block more beautiful, friendly, and green.

The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest is free and open to all residential blocks, commercial blocks, and community gardens in Brooklyn.

Special events for contestants mean you and your neighbors can learn more about sustainable gardening practices, get free plants, and meet fellow gardeners.

There are lots of ways to win Brooklyn's friendliest competition!


Note: We recommend using a computer—desktop, laptop, or tablet—to register your block.


First prize is a $300 check for each top residential and commercial block winner. All other winners will receive cash prizes ranging from $100 to $200, and each will be awarded a recognition certificate.

Further award categories include Best Window Box, Greenest Storefront, Best Street Tree Beds, Best Community Garden Streetscape, and the National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices Award.

Winners will be announced in August 2017 at a press conference held on the winning residential block.

Contest participants who attend the fall recognition ceremony will also receive a gift bag of fall bulbs and a certificate of recognition for their participation.

Walk-and-talk block visits are available for entering blocks. Availability is limited: first come, first served. Visit Walk-and-Talks or call 718-623-7250 to apply.

Rules & Judging Criteria

Rules for Residential Blocks

The purpose of the contest is to promote streetscape gardening in the borough of Brooklyn through block associations and other community groups. For more information, email or call 718-623-7250.

  • Applications must be entered online by Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • Entrants must be a block association, civic group, or neighborhood organization.
  • Entrants must represent one block only (both sides of the street, corner to corner). If an organization represents more than one block, please enter each block separately.
  • The first-prize residential winner from last year may not enter the contest this year.

Rules for Commercial Blocks

  • Applications must be entered online by Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • Entrants must be a merchant association, development corporation, business improvement district, or other nonprofit business association.
  • Each commercial entry represents one side of the street only, corner to corner. If an organization represents more than one side of any block, each side must be entered separately.
  • The first-prize commercial winner from the last year may not enter the contest this year.

Judging Criteria for Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest (Residential and Commercial)

  • Citizen Participation
    What efforts indicate community effort, such as street tree maintenance and mulching, signage, community gardens, or areas cooperatively gardened by the block? How many residents/businesses on the block seem to be involved in greening/gardening? Are children being encouraged to take part in greening efforts?
  • Street Trees and Tree Beds
    Are the trees pruned and maintained? Are there any dead trees or dangerous limbs? Have new trees been planted? Are tree guards well designed? Have underplantings been planted appropriately? Are the trees mulched correctly? Are the trees being watered? Has soil or mulch been piled inappropriately at the tree’s base?
  • Variety and Suitability of Plants
    Are there different kinds of plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers? Are native plants being used? Are there significant numbers of window boxes? Are the “right plants in the right place”—sun-loving species in the sun, shade-loving species in the shade?
  • Horticultural Practice
    How are the quality and condition of the plants? Are the flowers and shrubs pruned appropriately? What has been done to combat problems of insects or diseases? Are plants receiving enough water? Too much?
  • Soil and Mulching
    Is mulch being used in tree beds and around plantings? Is it the right depth and distance from plant stems? Is the soil exposed and/or compacted? Is it obvious that compost is being used? To what extent?
  • Maintenance
    How is the block's cleanliness and neatness? Are there lots of weeds? Are flowers deadheaded? Is there a lot of debris on the block? (Blocks won’t be penalized if judging occurs on the day of sanitation pickup and there are garbage cans on sidewalks.)
  • Color
    Does the block use color effectively? Remember that green is a color with many shades!
  • Creativity
    What creative efforts to green up and beautify the block are noticeable?
  • Total Visual Effect
    What is the visual effect when you view the whole block?
Free Walk-and-Talk Block Visits for Community Groups

As part of the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest, Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a limited number of walk-and-talk block visits for block associations and neighborhood groups. These engaging, interactive, and fun visits—led by BBG staff—are a great way to get your neighbors excited about gardening and provide customized instruction for street tree bed care and other sustainable urban gardening practices. These visits are free of charge and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.


  1. Applicants must be sponsored by a block association or neighborhood organization registered for the 2017 Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest.
  2. A minimum of ten people must attend.
  3. Securing a location for the clinic and providing publicity are the responsibility of the block association or neighborhood organization.
  4. The date and time will be negotiated with BBG staff.
  5. An application must be submitted at least three weeks before your first proposed walk-and-talk date. Deadline for all requests is Friday, May 5.
  6. Please fill out the online application, and we will contact you to finalize scheduling. We are able to provide a limited number of visits, so we must respond to requests on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note: Block visits are held outdoors, but an indoor site should be secured in case of rain.


There are no longer any available slots for Greenest Block Walk-and-Talk Visits. Please request one—early!—next season. And consider registering yourself and your neighbors for our new workshop, How to Green Your Block, here at Brooklyn Botanic Garden!

For more information, email or call 718-623-7250.

See Past Winners >

2018 Residential Participants

View all the residential blocks that have entered the 2018 Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. Click the map points to see the names of the registered block associations.

Photos from Contest Participants



The Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest is a project of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, with leadership support from Brooklyn Community Foundation.

Logo: Brooklyn BoroughLogo: Brooklyn Community FoundationLogo: Dept of Cultural AffairsLogo: Barclay Center Cares

Major Sponsor, Community Greening Programs
Logo: National Grid

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