In our modern world everything has a climate changing carbon footprint. Even parks.
Parks are usually green but not all are certified Green Zones. Larchmont’s Kane Park now has the distinction as Westchester County’s first municipal “Green Zone” claiming the highest standards of landscape sustainability by using primarily electric equipment, hand-held tools and no chemicals for routine grounds maintenance.
The result, according to the Larchmont Environmental Committee, is a reduction of emissions and noise which benefit residents and the environment. To mark the designation of Green Zone by the American Green Zone Alliance(AGZA), a ceremony was held Wednesday at Kane Park, which spans a block off Boston Post Road and Kane Avenue.
“This event is a culmination of a five year sustainable landscaping campaign.. which has included passage of landmark codes including a ban on gas powered leaf blowers (effective January 1, 2022), restrictions on use of pesticides and a resolution to encourage native plantings” said Larchmont Mayor Lorraine Walsh.
Larchmont’s Environmental Committee partnered with Sustainable Westchester, Quiet Communities (a non-profit dedicated to reduce health and environmental harm from noise and pollution) and AGZA to attain the special “green” recognition.
The hope of the local environmental committees is that landscapers can be enticed to jump onboard the green initiative and ditch the loud emissions generating gasoline powered leaf blowers, trimmers and mowers. The question is whether landscaping companies will pay for the more expensive machines. On hand was a demonstration of two electric large mulch mowers operated by Mean Green, Inc. According to Mean Green Sales Representative Zach Mersch, one electric mower cost $24,000 compared to the traditional gas powered machines which costs approximately $14,000. Measuring environmental impact, Mersch said, “Using one electric mower equals taking 140 cars off the road.” The initial higher costs can be recouped through overall lower energy costs, he said.
“We congratulate Larchmont for their commitment and hard work in creating Westchester’s first certified ‘AGZA’ that will serve as a countywide model for sustainable and healthier landscaping practices,” said Neha Dhanik, Program Director, Sustainable Westchester.
In October, Crawford Park located in the Town of Rye will be the next Westchester County park to receive “Green Zone” certification.