Editorial 1850

Maeve Larson (left) leads a skateboarding lesson on Bellewood Avenue.

Noise was the unintended theme as Earth Month rolled on last weekend in Dobbs Ferry. 

On Saturday, April 17, the Dobbs Ferry Sustainability Task Force hosted a presentation about quieter alternatives to gas-powered landscaping equipment. The task force had invited landscapers to showcase options that produce less noise and less pollution. The first to accept that offer was a company based in Croton-on-Hudson. 

Outside a private home, representatives of that company showed off their battery-powered equipment, including a riding mower (Mean Green SK-48 Stalker), push mower (Greenworks GMS210), backpack blower (Greenworks GBB700), string trimmer (Greenworks 82T16), and chainsaw (Greenworks GS181).

That landscaper uses commercial grade machines purchased two years ago. The batteries continue to hold a charge. Greenworks also manufactures less expensive equipment for homeowners. 

Native vegetation was part of the presentation as well, including Little Bluestem (a grass) and two flowering plants — Packera Aurea and Tiarella Cordifolia. The landscaper also touted the benefits of mulching leaves on lawns and of using leaf mulch in planting beds.

That event, which was open to the public, attracted attendees from outside of Dobbs Ferry. According to task force members, they would host additional demonstrations by other landscapers who also use sustainable methods.

On the afternoon of April 18, there was joyful noise on Bellewood Avenue, Chestnut Ridge Way, and Price Street — all of which were closed for three hours.

Instead of cars, the streets were full of children and parents on foot, on bicycles, on skateboards, and on scooters. There was even a child-size, battery-powered car on Bellewood.

The “play streets” were organized by Our Streets Dobbs Ferry and by the Westchester Youth Congress. Our Streets is a made up of Dobbs Ferry residents who want safer thoroughfares for walkers, and cyclists, and skaters, and those who use mobility aids. 

Our Streets’ causes include lowering the speed limit on Village-owned streets to 20 mph, which seemed to pick up momentum as local, county, and state officials attended a Children’s Walk to Slow the Cars in 2019. Since then, however, that momentum stalled, prompting Our Streets and the Dobbs Ferry PTSA Safe Routes Committee to again lobby for a lower speed limit and other changes.

Thanks to Our Streets for promoting noise not produced by cars, and to the Sustainability Task Force for promoting quieter alternatives to other gas-powered equipment.

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