Switch to Battery Powered Leaf Blower (or a Rake)

Switch to Battery Powered Leaf Blower (or a Rake)

In an effort to reduce the county's carbon footprint, the Park Authority and Department of Public Works and Environmental Services plan to set an example by cutting their use of gas-powered leaf blowers in half over the next year.

In alignment with our vision for a greener future, we've ended the purchase of gas-powered blowers and are exclusively investing in battery-powered alternatives in our Fiscal Year 2024 budget. We are set to replace 55 gas-powered leaf blowers with electric ones.

This initiative is not only about environmental conservation but also about safeguarding the health and well-being of residents, in line with the Countywide Strategic Plan.

Contractors and residents alike can consider embracing battery-powered blowers. Or if your yard is quite small, maybe a rake.



1. Eco-friendly: Battery-powered lawn equipment significantly reduces harm to the environment compared to their gas-powered counterparts.

2. Health benefits: By eliminating emissions that can heighten respiratory conditions such as asthma, battery-powered blowers contribute to a healthier environment and improved air quality for all.

3. Noise reduction: Battery-powered blowers operate at much lower decibel levels, creating a quieter and more peaceful environment for everyone.

4. Cost-effective: Electric versions of lawn equipment, including leaf blowers, offer a more economical choice for both battery-powered and plug-in models.


Fall Cleanup in Moderation

If you’ve provided native and diverse habitat for pollinators during the growing season, helping those same pollinators and invertebrates in the winter is almost as simple as doing nothing, according to the Xerxes Society. Leave those habitats alone for winter. Great spangled fritillary and woolly bear caterpillars tuck themselves into leaf piles for protection from cold weather and predators. Red-banded hairstreaks lay their eggs on fallen oak leaves, which become the first food of the caterpillars when they emerge. Luna moths and swallowtail butterflies disguise their cocoons and chrysalises as dried leaves, blending in with the “real” leaves. Bumble bees create nests in cavities underground, in trees, or in brush piles. They prefer abandoned rodent burrows. At the end of summer, mated queen bumble bees burrow only an inch or two into the earth to hibernate for winter. An extra thick layer of leaves is welcome protection from the elements. Close to one-third of native bees are tunnel-nesting, such as leafcutter and mason bees. These solitary-nesting species need narrow tunnels or other tiny spaces in dead wood, hollow stems, or brush piles.

Leaving the leaves and other plant debris doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your yard to the wilderness, according to the Xerxes Society, advocates for pollinators. The leaves don’t need to be left exactly where they fall. You can rake them into garden beds, around tree bases, or into other designated areas. Too many leaves can kill grass, but in soil they can suppress weeds, retain moisture, and boost nutrition. 

Avoid shredding leaves with a mower. Raking or electric blowing are alternatives that will keep leaves whole for the best cover and protect the insects and eggs already living there.

If you decide you need to clean up the leaves and debris in spring, make sure you wait until late in the season so as not to destroy all the life you’ve worked to protect. 

Leaves have a tendency to blow in the wind, often passing through several yards on the way to their final destination. Let your neighbors know your yards are playing an important role in the ecosystem. 

Another option is to share your dedication to the cause on social media with the hashtag #LeaveTheLeaves.