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San Anselmo: Lawn Mower Exchange Program & Water Wise Gardening

Lawn Mower Exchange Program

Older gasoline lawn mowers can have a significant impact on air quality. To reduce air pollution, the Air District is providing a rebate towards the purchase of a new, cordless, zero-emission electric lawn mower after turning in your operable gasoline lawn mower for recycling.  The Air District invites you to participate in the program and to share this information with other Bay Area residents that may be interested in participating in this program.

Three lawn mower exchange events will be held from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on:

  *   March 22, in Novato at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus

  *   April 5, in Saratoga at the West Valley College

  *   April 26, in Oakland at the Oakland International Airport

The program will provide incentives for up to 2,400 lawn mower exchanges.  Bay Area residents will be able to trade-in their old gas mower and select from two Black & Decker cordless battery electric lawn mowers at a discounted price.  Both electric lawn mowers have a 30-day manufacturer satisfaction guarantee and two-year warranty.  The two lawn mowers that will be available for purchase at the discounted price are:

  *   Black & Decker (CM 1836) 18-Inch Cordless for $110 (normally up to $350)

  *   Black & Decker (CM 1936) 19-Inch Cordless for $190 (normally up to $400)

Advance registration is required and you must be a Bay Area resident in order to participate. Bay Area residents may register online at http://www.blackanddecker.com/mowerevents  or by calling the Black & Decker hotline at (844) 262-3495, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 5:00 am to 2:00 pm. Each participant can select an appointment time and mower model.

Exchanging mowers is easy and convenient and takes about 20 minute. Upon arrival at the exchange event, workers will check participants in, take their old gas mower, provide them with the mower they selected when they registered, after which they will pay for the mower.   The old gasoline mowers will be scrapped and recycled by a licensed dismantler in accordance with all environmental regulations.

The program is funded through a grant from the California Air Resources Board’s Air Quality Improvement Program, and through the Air District's Mobile Source Incentive Fund.  The Air District is providing $145 per lawnmower exchanged towards the purchase of the electric mower.

If you have any questions about the program please contact:  Joe Steinberger, (415) 749-5018, jsteinberger@baaqmd.gov<mailto:jsteinberger@baaqmd.gov>

Sorry for the late notice on the Novato exchange.  We just received the notice this week.

Ten Tips for Water-Wise Gardening  (Developed by Our Water Our World, Debi Tidd, Author)

Conserving water in the garden can have a huge impact on our water supplies. You don’t need to give up a beautiful, lush landscape when you create a water-wise garden. Here are some tips for creating a healthy, inviting garden requiring minimal resources and less effort and expense.

1.       Go with the Low Flow – Use soaker hoses for irrigation, or invest in a drip system that can cut water use by as much as 90%.  Consider installing a ‘smart controller’ for your irrigation system that can save water by helping to calculate your water requirements and adjusting to changes in water needs.

2.       Irrigate Early – Watering early in the morning when temperatures are cooler and there is less wind will minimize evaporation. This also discourages pests like snails and fungal diseases like black spot that need wet foliage at night.

3.       Go Deep – Water less often and more deeply. This encourages deeper root systems that can better tolerate dry periods.

4.       Get in the Zone - Group plants with similar water needs together to make watering easier and more efficient. Place pots and thirsty plants near the house where you can keep an eye on them, and use native or Mediterranean plants farther away where they may need very little water once established.

5.       Mulch Like Mad – Create a 1” to 3” layer of organic material such as bark, shredded leaves, or grass clippings over the top of the soil and a drip irrigation system. You will be amazed at what a huge difference this makes in reducing moisture loss from soil, in moderating soil temperatures, in controlling weeds that compete for water, and in returning nutrients to the soil.  Be sure to keep mulch a few inches away from the stems or trunks of plants.

6.       Count on Compost – Add organic matter like compost to the soil to increase the soil’s ability to absorb and hold water, and to slowly release nutrients to plants keeping them less stressed and susceptible to pests.  Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/m75eofl.  

7.       Go Native! – You will find a wonderful variety of water-wise plants in local nurseries. Look for plants that are native to a Mediterranean climate, or for California natives that grow in dry conditions. These plants are adapted to our hot summers and usually more resistant to pests. Once established, many of these plants can survive on rainfall alone.  Consider replacing declining plants with a species better suited to our climate.  Learn about natives from the MCSTOPPP website at https://tinyurl.com/me2fdbv.   

8.       Fall into Planting – When working on a large planting project, remember that the best time to plant is in the fall when the weather starts to cool. Winter rains will help these plants establish deep, healthy root systems before they have to tolerate the summer heat.

9.       Lessen the Lawn – Consider reducing or replacing your lawn with water-wise groundcovers, low-maintenance perennials or a porous hardscape. If you plant a lawn, choose drought-resistant varieties. Mow less often and raise the height of your mower blade to 3” since longer grass will shade roots, lessen evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.  Sheet mulching can reduce your lawn area! See Page 27 at https://tinyurl.com/m75eofl.

10.   Get Wise to Weeds – Keep up with weeding since weeds will compete for water.  A drip system, mulch and landscape fabric will help you prevent weeds.

San Anselmo News, published weekly on Fridays, is available at the San Anselmo Town Hall, Library, and on the Public Notice Bulletin Board. It is also available on the Town’s website, www.townofsananselmo.org, and by email subscription. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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