Leaf blowers are an accepted part of a gardener’s toolkit during the early fall when leaves are blanketing the ground, and again in the spring during lawn and garden cleanup season. Bu nothing shatters the calm of a quiet morning like the sound and smell of a gas-powered leaf blower in your neighbor’s yard.
The Village received input from many residents in the community regarding this issue. The result was a law being passed on December 16, 2020that bans all gas-powered blowers from June 15th until September 15th in the Village of Port Washington North for all landscapers and gardeners. This does not apply to homeowners.
Leaf blowers are not just detrimental to human health as a result of the noise and noxious fumes from their unfiltered exhaust. Blasting plants with gale-force winds isn’t a very friendly act. It disperses the topsoil and weakens the root systems.
Gentler but equally effective alternatives are to just let grass clippings mulch in place after mowing the lawn, use a broom to sweep them from the sidewalk back onto the grass and rake them into shrubs and flower beds.
How can each of us help maintain the calm of our neighborhood and keep the Port North air healthier for our families? You can start by visiting www.portwashingtonnorth.org and typing “leaf blowers” in the search box. This will take you to a summary of the rules and a link to a flyer you can give to a gardener or homeowner who may unknowingly be violating the law.
Landscapers may not know of the new law and might continue to use these machines to blow grass clippings from lawns and sidewalks during the restrictive timeframe. However, such activities are putting themselves and the property owners they work for at risk of receiving a $250 fine and risk having their landscaping license revoked. We are sending out information to all licensed landscapers informing them of this new law. Please do your best to inform your contracted landscaper as well.
Another way to help is for homeowners wishing to purchase a new leaf blower or replace their existing gas-powered leaf blowers with a quieter and more environmentally friendly battery or electric model. You can go to sites such as https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/g2195/best-battery-powered-leaf-blowers/ or do your own research on the web. One thing to consider, you might want to purchase a battery-operated leaf blower that uses the same batteries as existing power tools you already own. This will allow you to swap batteries and not require you to spend money on an additional battery, which is strongly recommended.