The City of New Rochelle is launching an ambitious and comprehensive initiative to promote environmentally responsible landscaping practices.
In partnership with Sustainable Westchester, the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) and Quiet Communities Inc. (QCi), and using a state grant of $210,000, the city will launch a multi-faceted program that includes several elements keys:
- “A strategic planning process this will involve stakeholder meetings to lay the groundwork in a collaborative and efficient manner for a quick and diligent implementation of the entire project. »
- “A municipal AGZA-certified green zone® program which will begin with transitioning landscape maintenance at three sites operated by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation from gasoline-powered landscape equipment to sustainable electric alternatives, and certifying the sites as AGZA Green Zones®.””
- “A commercial program that will help local businesses facilitate similar transitions in their equipment through education, training, certification and equipment discounts. »
- “A residential program which will provide rebates and education to help residents incorporate healthy groundscare practices; and encourage the creation of AGZA Residential Green Zones as sustainable models of land protection.
New Rochelle Deputy Mayor Sara Kaye, who spearheaded the new program, said, “I’m excited for the opportunity for New Rochelle to lead by example and create a model for the region on how to move away from harmful gas-powered equipment by implementing a program that will bring many health benefits, promote social equity and improve our environment, while balancing the barriers that municipalities, residents and small businesses may face during this transition.
Unanimously backed by City Council, the new program is also backed by local elected officials, agencies and environmental leaders who applaud the city’s efforts to switch from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and trimmers fossil fuels that have proven to be detrimental to environmental health as well as the local ecosystem.
The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) will provide the $210,000 in funding for the project through its Clean Energy Communities program.
Sustainable Westchester is a non-profit consortium of Westchester municipalities facilitating collaboration to accelerate the adoption of innovative sustainability initiatives. Its goal is to develop and implement socially responsible, environmentally friendly and economically viable solutions that create resilient, healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities.
The American Green Zones Alliance (AGZA) is an environmental consulting firm for the landscape maintenance industry. AGZA was created by former gas operators and business owners who decided to seek a more sustainable path for maintenance practices. AGZA works with state and county agencies, municipalities, academic institutions, and private industry to help facilitate and shift to low-impact technologies and operations to meet the challenges of improving the worker health, air and noise pollution, and improving the overall quality of life in neighborhoods and communities nationwide.
Quiet Communities (QCi) is a national 501C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the harm to health and the environment caused by noise and pollution. QCi’s land care program strives to educate and help transition landscape care to low-impact practices through positive solutions to protect the health of workers, children, the public and the environment.