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To The Editor: Concern About Gas Leaf Blowers

To the Editor: 

Apr. 7, 2021: It seemed like the right thing to do.  Like cleaning your house or having the oil changed in your car.  Upkeep, responsible, respectable and the next thing you know, you’re taking down the planet.  Industrial gardening, while not big oil or big pharma, is affecting your hometown directly and relentlessly. 

Like every other business looking to increase profit, if there is no pushback, your gardener or landscaping company will maximize profits at any cost: servicing as many lawns a day, a season, a year as possible and as often as possible.

At first, it’s October, November, maybe December, but then, gradually, you realize nature “leaves” things on the ground in all seasons.  So you can blow non-stop to the extent that after the last snowstorm, they were out clearing the sidewalks.  Obviously, no shovel, no rake can compete with the speed and power of a blower but what if it turns out one man’s profit and efficiency is all men’s demise?

Some of the detriment is personal while some is global.  Gas fumes, increased asthma, soil erosion, loss of bees and other pollinators and the creation of a neat but barren wasteland.

On another note, peace and quiet is not just an individual preference but a necessity.  Some even left the city for it.  So if you have to close your windows on a beautiful June day, or if your kids have to lock down to do homework, pay attention.  Many who would pay more for organic products are perhaps paying less and destroying their family’s immediate environment as a result.

Hiring a landscaping company may be a luxury but the natural balance of renewal and human well-being are essentials.  The social expectation of a pristine, unnaturally manicured lawn is hard to withstand but well worth the effort.    

If you’ve contracted with a landscaping company, this is your moment to act. Talk to the boss and tell him what you do and don’t want done at your house.  

If you can’t persuade your gardener to stop using leaf blowers altogether, ask them to use an electric leaf blower instead, and less frequently.  Electric blowers are now affordable, reduce noise significantly, and involve none of the pollution.

Gas-blowers are the number one nuisance complaint in Bronxville.  It’s time we restrict the use of gas-powered leaf blowers from a few months of the year, to a year-round ban.  Until that happens, individual homeowners must take the lead.  The solution is clear – the answer is blowing in the wind.

Bronxville residents Desiree Buenzle & Craig Hart


Editor's note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community

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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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