5/11/2017 - Huntington Takes Step Toward Heckscher Park Green Zone
The Huntington Town Board, at its May 9 meeting, took a significant step toward establishing a demonstration program replacing gas-fueled landscaping equipment with battery-operated units at Heckscher Park and Town Hall, creating a “Green Zone” with reduced emissions and less noise.
The Board approved a resolution co-sponsored by Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and Councilwoman Susan A. Berland to retain the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) to conduct a study that will analyze the Town’s existing landscape practices, recommend the appropriate, cost-effective battery powered equipment and instruct Town personnel on the use, care and maintenance of the devices.
Headquartered in Studio City, California, AGZA is a leader in a nationwide effort to help communities address noise and air pollution issues. It provides certification and accreditation in zero-emission landscape maintenance strategies; educates individuals, property owners, and landscape maintenance professionals to reduce or eliminate the use of gasoline powered maintenance equipment in favor of cordless electric and manual equipment; and promotes those strategies through its Green Zone certification program that allows the owners of properties of any size to create, maintain, and promote their own zero-emission Green Zone. It is working with the town of Southampton on a similar project.
The resolution follows more than a year’s worth of discussions with Huntington CALM (Citizens Appeal for Leafblower Moderation), a citizen’s advisory and advocacy group with over 1,600 supporters whose goal is to limit the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers by commercial landscapers from May 15 through September 15, when residents spend more time outdoors. CALM representatives have appeared before the Town Board and met with Supervisor Petrone and Councilwoman Berland. The group also arranged a test of battery-powered equipment at Heckscher Park for Town officials.
“I appreciate Huntington CALM’s efforts to raise our consciousness about the environmental effects and health dangers of gas-powered landscaping equipment, including significant noise pollution,” Supervisor Petrone said. “Heckscher Park and Town Hall are perfect locations for a demonstration program to test the feasibility and efficiency of battery-powered equipment that reduces emissions and operates at significantly lower decibel levels than gas-powered equivalents. I look forward to seeing, and not hearing, the results.”
“This resolution is a great first step to protecting our environment and reducing air and noise pollution in our Town,” Councilwoman Berland said. “Many constituents have contacted me to restrict the use of Gas Powered Leaf Blowers to address their quality-of-life concerns. I encourage everyone to visit the Town’s website, watch my public service announcement and complete our leaf-blower survey. I look forward to working together with Huntington CALM and the American Green Zone Alliance to create a ‘Green Zone’ at Heckscher Park and Town Hall. Huntington has always been a beautiful place to live, work and raise a family. Let’s keep it that way.”