|Earth Day 2012 Recycling Awards Ceremony|
LELENY 2012 Initiative
Thanks to Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky and Westchester County Board of Legislators for their help in securing a contract to Greenburgh Nature Center for the purpose of promoting on-site leaf/grass mulching. The contract program includes “how to” trainings around the county, on-site landscaper consultations, and an informative website (www.leleny.org) with a social media outreach component, video demos, and a public domain resource “toolkit.”
This initiative teaches landscape professionals, private property owners, municipal officials & staff, and institutional property managers to “Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em” on site, with several goals:
- How to build better turf and soil quality by shredding leaves and grass clippings right where they fall, or by applying the shredded organics as mulch on garden beds and border areas.
- How to reduce the total amount of yard waste that has to be removed from a property.
- Thus reducing overall yard waste disposal costs for local municipalities and for the county.
The Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em Initiative’s main programming events will occur leading up to and during the fall 2012 leaf season (Sept-Nov). Check the online calendar for upcoming events in your area.
If you would like a demonstration of effective, time-saving and cost-reducing techniques for mulching leaves and grass right into your property, contact Anne Jaffe Holmes at the Greenburgh Nature Center 914-813-1251. Or email her at email@example.com.
About Our Trainers / On-Site Professional Consultants
“I’m not the first person by any measure to use this practice, it is the norm in more rural areas for time immemorial, but it’s been largely overlooked today’s suburban spaces for a host of reasons."
Tim is an ardent environmentalist and 35+ year participant in landscape management. He began to ask himself in 2000 after graduating from the Green Gorilla landscape education program taught by Jeff Franks from Long Island, “Could I do things differently?”
With research, trial and experimentation in actual field application, along with diligent observation and note taking of the natural process of leaf decomposition, Tim began to see real world benefits for clients' turf and landscape based upon leaf mulching-in-place. Helping with the success was the confluence of two unique tools (the Vulcher and Gator blades) which could be simply added to the typical professional landscaper machines used in the field.
Tim says, “My initial reason to share with others was to promote better environmental practices and to reduce the noise created by the abusive use of blowers. The economic crash of 2008 lead me to believe I had something which could benefit local governments tasked with the wasteful annual expense of leaf collection." With education and review of policy, municipalities could benefit from significant savings, converting those saving into other needed community services and/or budgetary savings.
By teaching both homeowners and professional landscapers through public outreach and training, Tim and the LELENY team seek to remove barriers and resistance, to have leaf mulching and grass cycling become the "norm" or accepted practice in lawn care.
In short, “It’s the smart and right thing to do,” says Tim.
When the LELENY initiative began in Westchester County, David was excited to take part as a trainer and share his knowledge and experience. In order to spread the word about the benefits of leaf mulching, more landscapers needed to be involved. Since many landscaping companies are owned by Spanish speaking people, David worked with the team to develop a bilingual training program, and has provided leaf and grass mulch mowing training programs for Spanish speaking professional landscapers and lawn service contractors at the Greenburg Nature Center. Participants learn methods and techniques of mulch mowing that will save both time and money in leaf management in the fall, as well as grass-cycling through the summer. Proper equipment for efficient and effective mulch mowing is discussed, as well as strategies for managing a full range of landscape situations.
David says, "I've been mulching leaves for at least 20 years and the soil you create by doing this is unlike any other. Leaf mulch is more nutritional and safer for your property. Most commercial mulch is the by-product of dead trees - who knows what they died of? Leaf mulch comes directly from your property and does not contain any foreign elements."
Anthony says, "I have been mulching leaves for the past 4 years. What inspired me was the impact to the environment, the time savings and money savings that results from this method."
Website design and updates by Maya Technology Design
LELE Logo, graphic design of Toolbox resources, videos by Mark Gilliland