by Jen Laird White
This fall, think twice before you put your leaves on the curb. There’s a better way—Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em. Join me for a leaf mulching demonstration on Sat Nov 8 on the upper lawn at Memorial Park in Nyack at 11a. I’ll be mulch-mowing along with Trustee Marie Lorenzini, the park’s landscaper and Nyack Tree Committee and Green Policy Task Force members.
Come out, have some cider, and learn how to keep leaves where they do the most good while saving time and money.
Tree Committee member Rebecca Nolan explains how it all works:
Many towns and villages in the Hudson Valley are adopting Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em, a program to promote mulching leaves in place, reducing the hassle and the cost of fall leaf pickup, keeping leaves out of storm drains and naturally fertilizing lawns.
Mulching is best done when leave are dry. A lawn mower with a mulching blade cuts them into tiny pieces that eventually break down and enrich the soil. The bits make attractive mulch when swept into planting beds where they will improve soil structure and soil biology. The enriched soil improves drainage and water retention and makes for a healthier garden in the spring.
Mulched leaves reduce the cost of the village’s fall leaf pick up program—lowering costs for labor, equipment and fuel which reduces the number of vehicle trips required which in turn reduces the pollution created from fuel emissions. Nyack has estimated that the cost in labor alone for fall leaf pick up is over $40,000! Piles of leaves in the street also create a safety hazard for drivers trying to navigate around them. It’s also an annoyance for pedestrians as they encroach on sidewalks and near public spaces.
Leaves often end up washing into storm drains and clogging sewers- a major storm water management issue that communities end up dealing with well into the winter month. And the more you mulch mow, the less you leaf blow, so fall days can be quieter. Spend less time and effort raking and hauling piles to the curb and more time enjoying the short season.
To learn more, please join us in Nyack Memorial Park on Sat Nov 8 at 11a. We look forward to seeing you there!
Jen Laird White is the Mayor of Nyack, NY.
- Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em, leleny.org
- Autumn News: Leaf It Alone 11/10/13
- Fall Leaves You’ve Never Seen, New York Times Abstract City Blog, 11/17/2009