Carlton Avenue's animal-filled tree bed has gained new fame and fortune—it has nabbed the title of "most creative" in the MillionTreesNYC's citywide tree bed contest.
Located between Park and Prospect places, the whimsical, animal-filled spot began about two years ago after resident Laura Keith put a white cat statue under the tree in front of her brownstone.
The kitty was an immediate hit with neighbors, and eventually other animals began to appear in the tree bed. Now filled with a dozens of statues, the for many a neighborhood child, and a sort of community art project for kids and adults alike.
Keith won the contest by receiving the most votes in a facebook contest run by MillionTreesNYC. She will receive a plaque for the tree bed, a Home Depot gift card (of unspecified amount) and some MillionTreesNYC merchandise. The winners will also be recognized at a ceremony in Central Park.
Keith, who learned of the news while in Bermuda visiting family, said she was "Absolutely stunned with joy."
"I'm absolutely flabbergasted, because when you think of NYC and its environs, you think of a creative cauldron … and just to be there with those people, makes me absolutely jumping for joy here. I would never have believed it."
"You know what it really means," she added, "is that each of us has an enormous creative part of ourselves that each of us just has to acknowledge."
Keith said she'd like to create a committee to improve some of the other tree beds on Carlton, using the Home Depot Card funds for materials. She also said she plans to reach out to Phoenix House on Prospect Place to see if any residents would like to get involved in the effort.
Congratulations to all involved!