North Western Brooklyn

Ingersoll Gardeners And Fulton Street Businesses React To “Greenest Block” Wins

Photo via FAB Alliance.
Photo via FAB Alliance.

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.

Lucia Taylor and her granddaughters Arielle and Kiley water their garden plot at the Ingersoll Garden of Eden. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)
Lucia Taylor and her granddaughters Arielle and Kiley water their garden plot at the Ingersoll Garden of Eden. (Photo by Fort Greene Focus)

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.”

Comment policy


  1. What’s going on here? Your story last week about the Greenest Block in Brooklyn said FAB alliance had won a first prize for the block of Fulton between S Portland and S Ox. Did you get so many calls or contacts telling you you were wrong that you completely rewrote the story for your week wrap-up? Did you think people won’t remember what you wrote before? Now the week-at-FGF wrap up correctly credits the stores for the pretty planters and tree pits and interviews the owners. The original story gave the award to FAB and let FAB take false credit. If you want to report on what FAB’s own beautifying work looks like, run pictures of the weeds and dead plants in their pedestrian plazas and the bare dirt and weeds in tree pits all along Fulton. It’s good you now give credit for the Greenest Award to stores Green Grape, Habana Outpost and Hungry Ghost, who earned it. But where is the FGF apology for bad reporting? A simple, “Sorry, readers” would have been fine. Rewriting the story as if no one would notice the difference is not respecting your readers. How about an apology now? People will accept it.

  2. There is and was no need to apologize or make any correction. The second article is a follow up to the initial announcement of the win, which we wanted to announce ASAP.

    Also, there were no inaccuracies to apologize for. The award designation for the Commercial Category was indeed officially listed as to the FAB Alliance, which submitted the application. But as even FAB Executive Director Phillip Kellogg noted above, the beautification work and kudos go to the businesses; FAB made sure that their work was recognized.
    As for the senior gardeners, they won in a separate category and had nothing to do with FAB. Similarly, as noted in the article, their hard work was also nominated for the award by a business group: the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership!

  3. To Heather Chin,
    Why do you go to such lengths not to admit your mistakes? A serious news journal would print a correction. Instead you double down by changing the story, including the headline.
    The first headline says FAB wins first prize and fails to mention a single store. A few days later the headline has changed to Fulton Street Businesses win and the story names the stores who spent their money and time on the plantings.
    Saying FAB gets the award for the hard work of individual store owners is like saying the teachers union takes first place when a student wins a spelling bee.
    Poor job, Miss Chin, and poor excuse-making.

  4. Again, follow-ups are not the same as corrections. One story announced the wins. The other story delved into the reactions of the winners — which did include FAB along with the businesses they represented in the application.

    The award WAS cited to FAB Alliance as the applicant, but FAB Alliance applied on behalf of businesses, which was made clear by FAB ED Phillip Kellogg when we contacted him.
    MARP was not cited as the Sustainability award recipient because the nature of that Greenest Block category specified the Ingersoll gardeners as the winners.


  5. These awards look pretty political. Is FAB a member of the Chamber of Commerce? Is Fort Greene Focus a member of the Chamber of Commerce? I’m guessing they both are. If Fort Greene Focus weren’t following their agenda it would be doing stories like Clealum points out of FAB getting first place for street plantings it didn’t do when the tree pits along FAB are real pits and FAB’s planters are neglected and full of weeds.

  6. Isn’t it obvious that Fort Green Focus is a Chamber of Commerce booster? All it covers is fluff like this ridiculous gentrification award and also unaffordable real estate.

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