Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera will be joined by local officials, residents and environmental organizations to celebrate the dedication of the first certified AGZA Green Zone® Park in the Town of Southampton and the eastern United States at the East Quogue Village Green on Wednesday June 21st at 10:30 am. The project, led by Councilwoman Scalera in partnership with non-profit, Quiet Communities, and the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), will bring electric-powered maintenance equipment to the park rather than the use of gas-powered equipment such as leaf blower to reduce levels of noise and completely eliminate emissions at the park including ozone-forming chemicals, fine particulates, and carbon dioxide.
“Establishing an AGZA Green Zone at the East Quogue Village Green is a starting point to test innovative equipment and techniques that would improve the quality of life for residents in terms of noise and air quality, which is consistent with the action goals of the Towns Sustainability Plan,” stated Scalera, “it is my goal to continue to establish Green Zones on Town owned lands throughout the Town of Southampton.”
“The AGZA Green Zone at the East Quogue Village Green will provide a cleaner, healthier environment for workers, neighbors, children, visitors, and pets who enjoy the park while increasing awareness in the community about how sustainable alternatives can improve quality of life for its citizens,” says Jamie Banks, Executive Director of Quiet Communities.
A certified AGZA Green Zone is a defined area of land, such as a park, hospital, or school campus, where routine maintenance is performed with zero emissions, low noise equipment, and manual tools. AGZA is the global leader in sustainable zero-emission grounds maintenance strategies. Quiet Communities is working with AGZA to bring the Green Zone program to the Eastern United States and educate municipalities, businesses and schools on risks associated with the use of fossil fuel equipment and on cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable solutions.
AGZA president, Dan Mabe, has helped to create more than 25 certified Green Zones on the West Coast. In partnership with Quiet Communities, AGZA is bringing the program to the East Coast. “On the West Coast, we have proven that commercial sized properties can be maintained without gas-powered equipment at the same level of quality and at lower cost. We look forward to bringing these benefits to the East and other parts of the country,” says Mabe.
Following its initial meeting with Quiet Communities and AGZA, the Town’s Parks and Recreation Department participated in a demo last year with Mean Green Products to test out their electric powered equipment, including full sized lawn mowers. Since that time the town has purchased a fleet of state-of-the-art electric battery equipment that will allow it to achieve the same aesthetic in a healthier, more sustainable manner.
“It’s amazing how such a large mower can be so quite,” said Jon Erwin, Southampton Town’s Parks Maintenance Supervisor, referring to a 60” deck mower that, according to Mean Green, is about 15-20 decibels quieter than a comparable gas engine product.
“Parks maintenance staff members use power equipment on a daily basis and after testing the electric products, and getting a better sense of how they function and perform, they’re very enthusiastic about their implementation,” added Kristen Doulos, Town Parks Director.
Other towns on Long Island are starting to follow suit. Following Southampton’s lead, the Town of Huntington recently voted to create an AGZA Green Zone at Hecksher Park. “This is just the beginning of a movement on Long Island and New York State,” says resident Bonnie Sager, co-founder of the group Huntington CALM. We will reduce our carbon footprint and improve the health of our workers and our neighborhoods. We applaud the Town of Southampton Southampton for their foresight and leadership.” says Sager.