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Bedford Group Tells Residents: Leave Leaves Alone

BEDFORD, N.Y. — When it comes to spring and fall yard cleanups, letting the leaves lie could save money.

Local environmental initiative “Leave Leaves Alone!” will hold a leaf mulching workshop for Bedford landscapers and homeowners on Thursday.

Each fall cleanup season, it takes the town of Bedford five weeks using seven trucks to pick up leaves, according to Fiona Mitchell, founder of the Bedford group. Most of the group’s members are certified master gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension.

“We got together because we were kind of dismayed at the way people regarded leaves as trash and put them out on the side of the road to be thrown away,” Mitchell said. “Then we realized how much it’s actually costing the town to cart all these leaves.”

When the leaves are mowed over and mulched, Mitchell said, they are chopped into tiny pieces and disintegrate, becoming virtually invisible and nourishing the soil as they decompose. Mulching also reduces the necessity of leaf blowers, she said.

If the landscaper does not have a mulcher mower, a special blade can be purchased for under $50 and attached to a regular mower .

The workshop, scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Bedford Hills Community House, will feature demonstrations by two local landscapers who recently switched to mulching. Mitchell said their presentation will showcase the effectiveness and efficiency of the new mulching mowers.

The event is supported by the Bedford Recreation and Parks Department, which started mulching their leaves for the first time last year.

“They really like it, so they joined with us in co-sponsoring this event to encourage more people to make the change because they see the value in it,” Mitchell said.

There will be a variety of mulching products on display, and orders placed at the workshop get a 10 percent discount on mulching equipment at Mount Kisco retailer Paul’s Power Products.

Those interested in attending the workshop can visit www.leaveleavesalone.org. Email leaveleavesalone@gmail.com to pre-register for the event.

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