By now you may have heard that a few Fulton Street storefronts won first place in the “commercial” category of the 2015 Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest held by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and that the Ingersoll Garden of Eden won first place for sustainable greening practices. But did you know who was behind the greening up and maintenance of these green spaces?
Kudos go out to the teams over at Habana Outpost, Greene Grape Provisions/Annex/Wine, and Hungry Ghost, whose management and staffs spent a lot of time, energy and dedication to making their businesses inviting to all.
“We were entered [into the contest] by the FAB Alliance and that was really exciting for us because we do spend quite a bit of time working on our storefronts,” said Meg Christman, catering manager at Greene Grape. “It was pretty exciting when we found out. We’re thrilled. It’s really neat.
“Part of the reason we work hard to keep it looking nice is because we get that great feedback from our great neighbors,” added Christman. “So it’s more about celebrating our block and our neighborhood, the greenery and the camaraderie.”
Phillip Kellogg, executive director of the Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance, which submitted the commercial stretch between South Portland Avenue and South Oxford Street for consideration in the contest, explained their choice and the win as “about businesses and going above and beyond” and is “part of the bigger picture marketing and making Fulton Street more welcoming.”
This was the first time any stretch of Fulton Street’s businesses was submitted into the annual Greenest Block contest.
It was also a first-time entry that won the senior citizens of Ingersoll Garden of Eden their first place recognition from the National Grid Leadership in Sustainable Practices award.
“I feel like our hard work finally paid off,” exclaimed Ingersoll resident Edith Tucker, who has been gardening on the community site since 2009 and this year is growing an array of beautiful flowers. “We work as a team and we’re all happy about it. I feel so warm inside and so proud of what we’re doing.”
Fellow gardener Celina Lynch, who is already harvesting collard greens, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, callaloo, and more, added that “we faced a lot of challenges, like getting supplies on time, starting late because of the weather, and not having wood chips, but this is the culmination of our hard work. I’m looking forward to next year!”
That pride and team spirit is why Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (MARP) entered the Ingersoll Garden into the contest, said Shaquana Boykin, program manager of MARP’s Healthy Communities Initiative.
“They expanded this year into a second garden [on another side of Ingersoll],” said Boykin. “The award is for working together across cultures and generations. It’s a real community space. There’s a difference between regular community gardens and a NYCHA community garden.”