City Gets A Little Greener With New Sustainable Landscaping Program
NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The City of New Rochelle continues to move towards a greener future in highly visible ways and in some ways, not quite as noticeable.
As part of New Rochelle’s GreenNR sustainability plan and the enhanced green requirements of the new Downtown Overlay Zone (DOZ) amendments, New Rochelle is taking new steps to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable landscaping practices.
In collaboration with Sustainable Westchester, American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) and Quiet Communities Inc. (QCi), New Rochelle will work to create programs that will improve air quality and the quality of life and health of residents and public workers, along with healthier eco-systems for plants and pollinators, better social equity and long-term savings.
“Through this new partnership, unanimously supported by City Council, New Rochelle will launch a comprehensive program that will enable us to work collaboratively with residents and businesses, and position small local landscapers to help lead the transition to sustainable landscaping practices,” New Rochelle Deputy Mayor Sara Kaye said. “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 businesses may face during this transition.”
Through this partnership, New Rochelle has received a $210,000 grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Communities program to help achieve the goals.
“New Rochelle is proud to be a leader in municipal green policy,” Parks and Recreation Commissioner Vin Parise said. “Highlighting the importance of clean air is critical to promoting a healthy environment, and City departments leading that effort illustrates our strong commitment to creating a more sustainable future for neighborhoods across New Rochelle.”
New Rochelle says that the new environmental vision includes key policies:
- 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.
Elected officials and environmental leaders praised New Rochelle’s efforts to move from fossil-fuel powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and trimmers that are harmful to the environment and the local ecosystem.
“At the center of this effort is making critical progress in mitigating climate change at all levels of government and the community,” said Nina Orville, Executive Director for Sustainable Westchester. “New Rochelle is leading by example, and we are proud to help them expand their commitments to improving the environment.”