By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
July 7, 2021: The summer months bring wonderful opportunity for travel and time to focus on items perhaps overlooked in the flurry of school and work obligations. It also brings opportunities and challenges as we care for our property when we are both home and away.
During the past few summers, the Village has seen far too many storms that have wreaked havoc on our tree stock, the natural beauty that defines our Village.
Just on municipal property, we have lost upwards of 30 trees. We need your help on the private sector side. Please take special care of the trees on your property and have them treated for health and fertilized. Now is also time to order trees for fall planting.
The importance of trees in the Village cannot be overstated. Trees positively alter our environment by moderating climate, improving air quality, harboring wildlife, preserving soil and conserving water.
The net cooling effect of just one young healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day! Well placed trees on a property can cut air conditioning costs by 10 to 15 percent as well as indirectly cutting the carbon dioxide emissions from cooling units.
Trees also absorb odors and pollutant gases and filter dirty particulates out of the air. Just three trees placed strategically around single-family homes can cut summer air conditioning needs by 50%.
Trees placed in commercial areas lower temperatures of parking lots and break up black top “heat islands”. Shade from the trees also slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns and parks. They also mask concrete walls, parking lots and unattractive views in the Village while absorbing dust and reducing glare and muffling sounds from the streets, trains and highways. Of great importance is the role on school property and playgrounds. They reduce UV-8 exposure by almost 50%, providing protection to children playing outdoors.
Trees on private property also produce great monetary value. Studies have demonstrated that 10 to 23% of the value of a residence is based on its tree stock. They also mark the seasons, calm stark landscape and act as neighborhood landmarks and points of identity. More intangible, but of great importance nonetheless, is the symbolic links with the past that mature trees provide while other connections have long since gone. Honestly the benefits of trees make the biggest bang for the buck in preserving the character and health of the Village.
The same storms that uproot our trees often go hand in hand with power outages. If you experience a power outage, immediately call 1-800-75ConEd or log on to their website. Con Ed requires each individual home to report their outage. Knowing your neighbor has called does not cover your home. Con Ed also has no protocols for outage reports from local police departments so calling our PD will not help you out. The Con Ed website is www.coned.com which is also the source for estimated power resumption time. What information we may receive from Con Edison as a village government will be conveyed via our swift reach emergency alert phone, text, email system. To sign up for this service, go to www.villageorfbronxville.com website.
As an aside, if power does go out, be sure to turn off all air conditioning units as this can save subsequent damage should there be a surge as power is restored. Also make sure you have filed your address with the police department if anyone with special oxygen needs etc. is in your home so they can alert Con Edison to the special circumstances.
Travelling in the next few months also requires some forethought as to insuring you leave home with peace of mind.
Our police department provides a “dark house” check and will patrol by your home if you notify the front desk. Also, you can leave a house key at the PD to be used only in an emergency if something should occur while you are away.
Some other tips for summer consideration include:
-If you believe someone may have been in your home, do not enter and do not touch anything if exiting so as to preserve evidence and fingerprints. Call 911 from a neighbor’s phone or at a distance from your home on a mobile phone.
-In general, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to call the police and let them decide if the activity is abnormal as often time is of the essence and even a small delay has hampered apprehension.
-As a courtesy, if you plan any summer home improvements while you are away, please remember to alert your neighbors to your work schedule so they can adjust their outdoor plans accordingly.
-Keep car and house keys on separate rings and not labeled so if lost, cars and homes are not vulnerable to theft.
-Bike thefts also increase in the summer months so be sure to lock them as well as garage doors and do not leave on the lawn.
-The Village does have a law banning the use of gas powered leaf blowers from June 1 to October 31. The Village backs up this ban with enforcement and anyone using this equipment will receive an expensive summons. Kindly alert your gardeners to the ban and if you see someone using a gas blower report it immediately to our police desk. Our police officers are also alerted to this ban while on normal patrol.
-Summer is also a good time to check the condition of your sidewalk and repair as needed.
-Due to rapid plant growth in the summer months, please be mindful that trees and bushes must be trimmed to allow safe passage along sidewalks as well as to maintain visibility at corner properties and intersections.
-Finally, our Giving Garden is going strong but we need your help to produce a bumper crop to share with the soup kitchens in Mount Vernon and Tuckahoe and to help our neighbors in need. Any donation, however small, will help buy plants, soil and fertilizer and increase our output so that fresh vegetables can be enjoyed by all this summer. Your generosity can be directed to BGG PO Box 404 Bronxville, NY 10708 with check made out to the Village of Bronxville.
Photo by A. Warner
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.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
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