Suburbia; the trees, the space, the noise.

The incessant buzzing, unrelenting roaring, eardrum piercing, headache-inducing noise. Six days a week. Nonstop. Leaf-blowers and loud mowers have impaired our quality of life. Want to open a window on a cool spring day for some fresh air?

You can’t.

One of your neighbors or you yourself has the gardener working, and the noise is intolerable.

Want to lounge in your yard on a summer day with a good book?

You can’t.

Want to have a conversation in your driveway with a neighbor?

You can’t.

The noise is intolerable. The gardeners wear sound-muffling ear protection. We don’t. Not to mention the foul smell of gasoline.

What can we do? First, we can fight to eliminate leaf blower use until leaves are needed to be blown—October. Or perhaps, mandate quiet electric blowers.

Here’s another idea which would cut this health-hazard and annoyance in half:

Have our lawns cut every other week. There is a benefit to this: longer grass keeps moisture in. Longer grass keeps weeds out. Longer grass grows longer, healthier roots for healthier grass.

If you are home during the day, you are aware that our homes have become a prison. You can’t go on your front porch or in your yard when the gardeners are on your street or around your block.

If you put a higher value on quality of life and peace than “perfect” grass, you can do something. In Munsey Park, I am asking those who agree to email Mayor Lawrence A. Ceriello at lceriello@munseypark.org about this issue.

—Denise Polis


  1. I totally agree with this. Another thought I have had is that each incorporated village or perhaps civic association for the unincorporated areas, stipulate that there are only two days a week when gardeners may work in their area. An example would be only Tuesdays and Thursdays in Plandome Heights. Other villages can select two days as well. That way the gardeners could work their schedules around these days and residents would have guaranteed days when they can be quietly in their yards or go for a walk without allergy attacks or ear piercing noise. As a Speech-Language Pathologist I have deep concerns about the noise induced hearing loss that can result from the leaf blower exposure. Often this hearing loss is not realized until years later. Think about how unprotected our children and infants are from the extreme noise being produced as well as the allergens being blown into the air. Is the health risk worth the vanity of beautiful lawns? Certainly a question that deserves some considerable thought and immediate action.


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