Changing the Landscape

Backed by a one-year grant, Sustainable Princeton is currently coordinating a project team whose mission is to work with Princeton residents and the landscaping community to adopt practices that protect the health of both landscape workers and the local environment. The project – called Changing the Landscape: Healthy Yards = Healthy People – goes beyond a focus on leaf blowers, aiming to encourage a variety of sustainable landscaping practices.

The project team includes co-partners Sustainable Princeton and the Princeton Environmental Commission, along with Unidad Latina en Acción NJ, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Quiet Princeton, Rutgers School of Public Health, the Rutgers Environmental Stewards program, and several Municipality of Princeton departments and commissions, including Human Services, the Board of Health, and the Civil Rights Commission.

Princeton is one of nine cities to receive this Partners for Places grant, which focuses largely on empowering and engaging low-income neighborhoods, embedding racial equity into local decision-making, and building partnerships between government, sustainability groups, place-based foundations, and community-led frontline groups. In order to achieve this goal, the project team is utilizing the Princeton Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit.

Looking for a progress update? Check out the latest Quarterly Report.

Looking for information on the Landscape Equipment Fund? Visit the Equipment Fund page.

Winter 2022 Report

Learn more about this project by reviewing the most recent quarterly report.

Want to learn more about this project?

Check out these webinar recordings and other documents.

Fall 2021 Quarterly Report

At its meeting on October 25, the Princeton Council unanimously approved ordinance changes that ban the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers and other lawn equipment during certain times of the day and in the summer and winter months.

The Council’s unanimous vote comes after many months of hard work behind the scenes, with deliberation by several individuals, boards, commissions and nonprofits involved in the effort. Learn more in the Fall 2021 Quarterly Report.

Allowable Days and Hours of Landscaping Equipment

Princeton recently approved changes to an ordinance that restricts the time of day and seasons when gas-powered lawn equipment, including leaf blowers, can be used. This chart sums up these changes (in English and Spanish) and helps describe the impact they will have on you and/or your landscaper.

Summer 2021 Quarterly Report

Between tornado warnings, storm damage, coronavirus confusion, and the long-awaited return to in-person gatherings, it has been difficult to get the attention of Princeton residents and landscapers this summer on the complex issue of sustainable lawn care. But the Changing the Landscape team – on a mission to protect the health of residents, landscape workers, and the local environment – stepped up its outreach activities to rise above the noise.

Learn more about this recent effort to reach landscapers and residents in the Summer 2021 Quarterly Report.

Landscaper Engagement Summary Report

The Changing the Landscape project set out to involve Princeton’s landscaping company owners and crews in designing the solutions that would improve workers’ health and the environment. Read the Landscaper Engagement Report for a summary of the conversations between landscaping company owners, crew, Mayor, Council, front-line community advocates, Environmental Commission members, and Sustainable Princeton.

Spring 2021 Quarterly Report

Like many towns throughout the country, Princeton has its share of residents eager to ban noisy, polluting gas-powered leaf blowers and other lawn maintenance equipment. It is also home to numerous landscape company owners and workers whose livelihoods depend on this equipment, and who see it as a necessary tool to satisfy customers in search of a perfect lawn. Is it too idealistic to think that Princeton can bring the two groups together as partners to work toward a mutually agreeable solution? Review the Spring 2021 Quarterly Report to learn more.

Changing the Landscape Webinar -- April 2021

On April 21, we were joined by Eve Niedergang of Princeton Council, Ana Paola-Pazmiño of Unidad Latina en Acción NJ, and Edward Gonzales of Green Life Lawn Maintenance joined to provide an update from the community partners working together to transition to sustainable landscaping in Princeton.

You can watch the recording of this webinar or view the slides here.

Changing the Landscape Webinar -- January 2021

During this webinar, we were joined by three partners in our efforts to promote sustainable landscaping in Princeton. Dan Mabe described initiatives of the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), Tammy Sands explained the role of the Princeton Environmental Commission, Anthony Lunn spoke as co-founder of Quiet Princeton, and Maria Juega shared her marketing perspective as representative for local landscapers. Christine Symington, Program Director at Sustainable Princeton, shared research to date and moderated the discussion.

You can watch the recording of this webinar, or view most of the slides, including those of Tammy Sands, Maria Juega, and Anthony Lunn here or view the slides of Dan Mabe here. Slides are also available in Spanish here. Puede encontrar una copia de la presentación en español aquí.

Toolbook for Sustainable Landscaping Conversations

Eager to make change in your yard, but don’t know how to start these conversations with your landscaper? Our  toolbook was designed to assist in this effort. Print it out, mark it off, and share it with your landscaper. Check back soon for a Spanish version.

Inglés para la Jardinería.

Vocabulario basíco en inglés para las personas trabajan en jardinería. (Basic English vocabulary for people working in landscaping.)

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