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New Rochelle Launches Sustainable (and Quieter) Landscaping Program

The City of New Rochelle is launching an ambitious, comprehensive initiative to promote environmentally-friendly landscaping practices.

Partnering with Sustainable Westchester, the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), and Quiet Communities Inc. (QCi), and utilizing a $210,000 State grant, the city will begin a multi-faceted program that includes several key components:

  •  “A Strategic Planning process that will involve stakeholder meetings to collaboratively and effectively lay the foundation for timely and diligent implementation of the overall project.”
  • “A municipal AGZA-certified Green Zone® program that will start by transitioning landscape maintenance at three sites managed by the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation from gas-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 rebates.”
  • “A residential program that will offer rebates and education to help residents incorporate healthy land care practices; and encourage the establishment of residential AGZA Green Zones as sustainable land care models.”

New Rochelle Deputy Mayor Sara Kaye who has spearheaded the new program, says, “I am excited for the opportunity for New Rochelle to lead by example and create a model for the region of 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 obstacles municipalities, residents, and small business may face during this transition.”

Unanimously supported by the City  Council, the new program is also supported by local elected officials, agencies, and environmental leaders who applaud the city’s efforts to transition from fossil-fuel powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and trimmers 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 supply the $210,000 funding for the project as part of its Clean Energy Communities program.

Sustainable Westchester is a nonprofit consortium of Westchester municipalities facilitating collaboration to accelerate the adoption of innovative sustainability initiatives. Its goal is to develop and implement socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable solutions that create resilient, healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities.

The American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) is an environmental consultancy 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 transition to lower impact technologies and operations to meet the challenges of improving worker health, air and noise pollution, and overall quality of life enhancement for neighborhoods and communities nationwide.

Quiet Communities (QCi) is a national nonprofit 501C3 organization dedicated to reducing health and environmental harm from noise and pollution. QCi’s land care program is working to educate and help transition landscape maintenance to low impact practices through positive solutions to protect the health of workers, children, the public and the environment.

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.
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