Nothing shatters the calm of a quiet morning like the sound and smell of a gas-powered leaf blower in your neighbor’s yard.
Leaf blowers are an accepted part of a gardener’s toolkit during the early fall when leaves are blanketing the ground, and again in the spring during lawn and garden cleanup season.
But from now until October 14, gas-powered blowers are a no-no in the villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor.
You may not know they are banned from the landscapers who continue to use these machines to blow grass clippings from lawns and sidewalks.
However, such activity violates a longstanding town ordinance, and landscapers are putting themselves and the property owners they work for at risk of receiving a $250 fine.
Leaf blowers are not just detrimental to human health as a result of the noise and noxious fumes from their unfiltered exhaust. Blasting plants with gale-force winds isn’t a very friendly act. It disperses the topsoil and weakens the root systems.
Gentler but equally effective alternatives are to just let grass clippings mulch in place after mowing the lawn, use a broom to sweep them from the sidewalk back onto the grass, and rake them into shrubs and flower beds.
How can each of us help maintain the calm of our neighborhood and keep the Pelham air healthier for our families?
You can start by visiting www.pelhamgov.com and typing “leaf blowers” in the search box. This will take you to a summary of the rules and a link to a flyer you can give to a gardener or homeowner who may unknowingly be violating the law.
And by all means, please visit EcoPel’s new redesigned website, www.ecopel.org, for more information on the leaf blower ban and other environmental concerns in our community.