NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The City of New Rochelle and the City of Yonkers were awarded a $25,000 grant from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities to support a joint project to create a training, marketing, and policy campaign for on-site leaf mulching. This grant will be matched by the Westchester Community Foundation, upon board approval. The $50,000 will be used by the two cities to educate the public on the benefits of nourishing their lawns with the leaves that fall from the trees.
The program will include informational sessions and materials for residents and landscapers to explain the benefits of leaf mulching as well as instruction in the proper techniques to employ. Mulching leaves has proven to not only green lawns but also reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and save costs. The leaf mulching programs to be developed by these two cities, working together with the Greenburgh Nature Center, can also be adopted by other Westchester municipalities.
“Nature provides us with rich organic material that most homeowners just throw away,” said Deborah Newborn, New Rochelle’s Sustainability Coordinator, who worked on the grant application. “Mulching the leaves enriches the soil and enhances lawns and flowers. The technique is easy to do and is a cost-saver as well.”
"Everyone benefits from green practices that improve our environment while also cutting costs, so New Rochelle is delighted to work with the Westchester Community Foundation on this positive initiative,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.
“The Westchester Community Foundation is pleased to partner with the cities of Yonkers and New Rochelle in support of ‘Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em.’,” said Catherine Marsh, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We commend Mayor Spano and Mayor Bramson for their leadership in jointly promoting this low-cost and innovative “green” program that reduces waste while saving homeowners and municipalities money.”
The New Rochelle and Yonkers project was one of six sustainable initiatives to receive funding, along with those of the cities of St. Louis, MO; Providence, RI; Portland, OR; Milwaukee, WI; and Binghamton, NY.