By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades hosted a virtual discussion on health and safety issues surrounding gas-powered gardening equipment on Tuesday, February 2.
Co-Founder Ingrid Steinberg kicked off the “zero-emissions garden workshop” by welcoming new members and attendees, including special guests Councilmember Mike Bonin, past Co-Honorary Mayors Billy and Janice Crystal, past Honorary Mayor Steve Guttenberg, and newly inaugurated Honorary Mayor Eugene Levy.
“We are a community of Palisadians responding to climate and ecological crisis with local action and advocacy,” Steinberg said. “We formed in late 2019 and we had a COVID-induced pause … we launched to the community in August of 2020, and at that point, there were five co-founders, and only we and our families had ever heard of Resilient Palisades.
“I’m really proud to say that we now have a membership … of almost 200 people, and we have more than 20 Palisadians who are really seriously involved, working in one or more of our four teams.”
This was the first event organized by the Clean Air and Water: Green Gardens Campaign team, with the goal of inspiring a new social norm and halting the use of gas-powered mowers or blowers for regular yard maintenance.
Member Sheda Morshed, who has been leading the Clean Air and Water Team, said the success of this campaign is reliant on community influence, which begins with the community learning more about changes that can be made.
Resilient Palisades invited American Green Zone Alliance Founder and President Dan Mabe to share a presentation with the community. For two decades, Mabe has been developing and applying gas-alternative technologies.
He founded AGZA in 2011 and has worked in 10 countries so far, providing education and training to communities, academic institutions and more.
He said South Pasadena became the nation’s first AGZA Green Zone City. Work began in Garfield Park by abandoning any use of gas, and enforcing people-powered and battery electric tools.
Once AGZA was successful with the park, they made an action plan to certify the remaining city properties.
AGZA has plans to green zone three more state parks in Southern California this year.
Mabe encouraged community members to pivot toward the use of green alternatives, which in turn make less noise, are zero-emission and cost effective.
He said communication with gardeners and landscapers is essential.
He included suggestions to start the conversation, including asking gardeners to mulch leaves with a mower or to consider using a rake or broom in selected areas, and for homeowners to consider paying their gardeners a bit more to go electric.
Mabe said he is available to recommend the best brands or models for one’s specific garden or help coordinate an AGZA pro to visit the site and test different models.
Community members are invited to attend Resilient Palisades’ community meeting on Thursday, March 4, to meet the four teams.
For more information, visit resilientpalisades.org. Mabe can be reached at email@example.com.
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