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Southampton Town Starts A Trend On Long Island With The First AGZA Green Zone On The East Coast

Sydney A. Braat

(L to R) Mat Mordente, Crew Leader, Town of Southampton Parks and Rec Dept.; Kristen Doulos, Town of Southampton Parks Director; Dan Mabe, Founder and CEO of AGZA; VJ Furniss, AGZA rep; Dr. Bonnie Sager, Co-founder of Huntington CALM; and Dr. Jamie Banks, Executive Director of Quiet Communities. (Courtesy Photo)

Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera, local officials, residents, and environmental organizations will celebrate the dedication of the first American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) Green Zone Park in the Town of Southampton and eastern United States at the East Quogue Village Green on Wednesday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m. The project, led by Councilwoman Scalera in partnership with non-profit, Quiet Communities, and the AGZA, will bring electric-powered maintenance equipment to the park. By replacing gas-powered equipment, such as leaf blowers, the Town will reduce levels of noise and completely eliminate emissions at the park.

"Establishing a 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 Assemblywoman Scalera. "It is my goal to continue to establish Green Zones on Town owned lands throughout the Town of Southampton."

A certified AGZA Green Zone is a defined area, 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 and Quiet Communities in the Eastern lincensee for AGZA's Green Zone program. It informs municipalities, businesses, and schools on risks associated with the use of commonly used industrial equipment. There are alternatives and AGZA's Green Zone program is focusing on one place at a time to start changing the way communities perform maintenance.

"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," said Jamie Banks, Executive Director of Quiet Communities.

The quiet and emission free equipment will better the atmosphere around parks, office buildings, and schools. (Courtesy Photo)

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," said Mabe.

The Towns Parks and Recreation Department participated in a demo during 2016 with Mean Green Products to test out their electric powered equipment, including full size lawnmowers. The Town has since purchased a fleet of state-of-the-art electric battery equipment that will achieve the same aesthetic in a much healthier and more sustainable manner.

Referring to a 60 inch deck mower, Southampton Town's Parks Maintenance Supervisor, Jon Erwin, stated, "It's amazing how such a large mower can be so quiet." According to Mean Green, this lawnmower 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.

Southampton Town has started a trend as several other Long Island towns have begun to follow their lead. The Town of Huntington has 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," said 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 for their foresight and leadership."

For more information, call 631-287-5745 or visit www.southamptontownny.gov.

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