Bronxville Green Committee: Healthy Yard Tips & Leaf Blower Community Survey

By Bronxville Green Committee

Apr. 7, 2021: In recent years, we’ve come to realize that traditional landscaping is not environmentally friendly. We now know our yards must do more than look beautiful; they must also support a healthy ecosystem. They must perform ecological functions, such as:

-Restore plant, bird and insect diversity,

-Build and sustain microorganisms and nutrients in the soil,

-Be free of chemical fertilizers and insecticides that pollute our soil and water, kill wildlife, and even endanger the health of our pets, our children, and ourselves.

This understanding has big implications for our long-held beliefs about landscaping.

Traditional v. Healthy Landscaping

Traditional landscaping, which consists of lawn and ornamental plants imported from other countries, does not provide essential food and habitat for local insects, pollinators, other wildlife. Scientists tell us that drastic declines in these vital populations threaten our entire ecosystem. Research also now confirms that the pesticides used to keep these landscapes looking pristine kill pollinators and harm humans.  

Healthy landscaping, which is maintained with organic and natural fertilizers and native plants, restores diversity and ecological good health. Creating a healthy yard can seem daunting, but by making just a few changes to your landscaping practices, you can help restore ecological health to our local, shared environment.

Three Simple Steps to a Healthy Yard

  1. Eliminate Pesticides: Transition from dangerous toxic chemicals to organic or natural treatments. Check the products you are buying and speak to your landscaper about their products. When shopping for plants in nurseries, ask for organic plants or those that have not been treated with pesticides. See 30 Commonly Used Lawn Pesticides.
  2. Landscape with Native Plants: Incorporate native plants that are best suited for the sun, soil and water conditions in our area and that support our local wildlife and pollinator populations. Speak to your landscaper about planting native plants this Spring. See our list of native plants to get started.
  3. Eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers: Many serious pollution, noise and health issues are linked to gas-powered leaf blowers. These blowers are also very damaging to the health of our yards, local wildlife, and insect populations. Instead of blowing, consider mulching some, or all, of your leaves. Mulch helps retain moisture and add nutrients to your garden beds. It doesn't have to look messy if you have it done properly. Start with a section of your yard to see the results! Visit Westchester County's Love 'EM and Leave 'Em site for landscapers who provide this service, testimonials, and videos. 

COMMUNITY SURVEY on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

In Bronxville, leaf-blowers are banned from June 1 until September 31. Please complete our quick survey so we can better understand residents’ interest in extending the current ban to include winter and spring months, and eventually to ban the use of gas-powered blowers completely. There are cleaner electric-powered alternatives that provide similar results, but again the best solution is to mulch your leaves!

Join us!

As more residents participate, Bronxville will be transformed into a community of healthy yards. Contact the Bronxville Green Committee with any questions, suggestions, and concerns, and look out for our new website this Spring! 

Photo courtesy Bronxville Green Committee

 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 

Lotus - Up March 22, 2021

Sustainable Living Directory

The Bronxville Green Committee

The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization under Village government.  We work with the Trustees and Village staff on programs that promote clean energy initiatives and sustainable ways of living. Our programs include The Bronxville Giving Garden, a community garden whose produce is donated to local groups; Take Back Day, when we collect items to be recycled; and Pollinator Pathways, which encourages adding native plants to our gardens. We believe everyone can make a difference by adopting simple, sustainable practices in daily life so we can work together to protect what we love -- our families, our homes and our town.

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