Forget the London Olympics, Sheepshead Bay is in the midst of its very own turf war. The race to win 1 Million Trees’ “My Tree NYC: Beautiful Tree Bed Contest” pits local hero Julia Chernova versus Rob Hickman, from some place called “South Williamsburg” (is that a thing now?).
The contest ends August 3, with the winner taking home a Home Depot gift card ($100 for the grand prize), an official NYC Parks tree bed plaque displaying the category in which they won, recognition at a ceremony in Central Park and true neighborhood glory.
While there are several more contestants than just Hickman and Chernova, throughout the duration of the contest it’s been neck and neck for the two competitors. And Hickman has been sending out play-by-plays announcing the dramatic twists… and sparking a green-thumb war by saying it’s a battle of “South Williamsburg versus Sheepshead Bay.”
As of now, Chernova is in first place with 149 votes and Hickman is at 136.
If you’re not sure about Chernova’s qualifications, with the help of community members, she beautified her block – East 14th Street, between Avenue X and Gravesend Neck Road – and, more recently, Gravesend Neck Road itself, by adding several over-sized flower pots growing shrubs and colorful flowers.
Her contest entry tree bed features two hand-painted signs in it. The signs were decorated by local kids who wanted to remind passers-by that they care about Earth and their block.
The tree bed showcases marigolds and green leafy plants, all planted by kids from around the way. Chernova and her green-thumbed youth went a few steps further by putting up a dispenser with bags for dog poop, a self-designed tree guard that guides rainwater into the tree soil, and two solar-powered lights.
Clearly, there’s no contest. Chernova from Sheepshead Bay wins by about 12 miles.
Now, go vote and make your voice heard! You can vote once a day, so be sure to return back every day between now and August 3 so we can show Williamsburg who’s boss.