The new ‘Green-Zone’ is a model of landscaping to envy and copy
LARCHMONT, NY – The first day of fall this year coincided with Climate Week and it was an appropriate day for a community hard hit recently by such a frequent example of extreme weather conditions to celebrate a unique milestone in its gender in sustainable development. park management.
Local officials, first responders and municipal workers still struggling to recover from the effects of post-tropical cyclone Ida gathered at Kane Park in Larchmont to inaugurate the first ever municipal park certified by the American Green Zone Alliance. (AGZA). The designation has been cited as proving that even large properties can be well maintained without the use of fossil fuel powered equipment.
Pollinators big and small have paid no heed to the talk about the benefits of sustainable landscaping practices, but the successes become apparent. (Jeff Edwards | Patch)
Larchmont Mayor Lorraine Walsh told those gathered that the recent devastation caused by the remains of Ida was not only a powerful warning that climate change was becoming more of an emergency, but also that the problem had to be treated locally. She referred to plastic bag bans becoming the rule rather than the exception, noting that these restrictions started as local ordinances.
“Larchmont is proud to be a leader in municipal green policy,” said Walsh. “It is essential that we change our practices quickly in order to make meaningful progress in mitigating climate change.”
Inviting bluebirds to stay can eliminate the need for harsh pesticides. (Jeff Edwards | Patch)
Larchmont has already passed a unique local ordinance, which came into effect on January 1, which completely bans the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers and restricts the use of electric leaf blowers to spring and fall cleaning periods. The village is placing more emphasis on sustainable landscaping by encouraging mulch mowing, forgoing pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and using native trees and plants in landscaping of municipal properties.
Kane Park earned the Green Zone distinction, in part, by pledging not to use fossil fuel-powered equipment to maintain and develop the grounds. Mean Green’s fully electric mowers seem to be more than up to the task of keeping the park perfectly maintained and, perhaps more importantly, healthy and sustainably managed.
“Larchmont is leading by example and improving the quality of life for the inhabitants of the village,” said AGZA founder Dan Mabe, congratulating the village on obtaining the certification. “AGZA is looking forward to expanding the Larchmont Green Zone areas and working together to reach home gardeners with education and information on how to reduce gas consumption.”
The landscapers in the parks in Larchmont Village were all too willing to let members of the public try out the new all-power tools, but those who read Tom Sawyer were careful to leave a few cuts for the pros (Jeff Edwards | Patch)
Using Larchmont as a model, Sustainable Westchester is committed to working with its other member municipalities to roll out education and information programs to develop additional green areas and reduce pollution from landscape maintenance. The group notes that each green zone provides an essential framework of sustainable landscaping practices that can be copied and adapted throughout the county.
“We commend Larchmont for their commitment and hard work in creating Westchester’s first certified ‘AGZA Green Zone’, which will serve as a county-wide model for sustainable and healthier landscaping practices,” said said Neha Dhanik of Sustainable Westchester. “We are proud to have played a role in helping to facilitate this initiative with the community of Larchmont and our partners AGZA and Quiet Communities. The Larchmont Green Zone is another example of the important work of Westchester Municipalities and their dedicated environmental committees and volunteers. We look forward to using this model to help pave the way for greater adoption across the country. ”
If the objective is to develop initiatives like the one exhibited at Kane Park, the fruits of this work are already bearing fruit. The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Healthy Yards project already aims to educate homeowners in both communities about sustainable landscaping projects. Rye officials issued a proclamation, both congratulating his neighboring village and pledging to put in place a similar initiative.
County officials said all licensed landscapers are now required to review and recognize training material on the benefits and cost savings associated with sustainably powered equipment. The Westchester Parks system is currently testing electrical equipment for its own landscaping.