As warmer spring weather draws Westchester residents outdoors, several communities launched a new initiative to maintain "sustainable" lawns and gardens without pesticides or herbicides.
Volunteers from the Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Larchmont and Village of Mamaroneck are collaborating in the "Healthy Yards Project," sharing recommendations at this new web page.
Scientific studies — including those cited by the American Association of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and the Audubon Society — have demonstrated a link between pesticides and both human and canine cancers, hormonal imbalances, neurological impairments, congenital disabilities, respiratory effects and developmental disorders. Children, pets and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, "Switching to a chemical free yard has many advantages.”
Pesticides and herbicides can remain active in the environment for long periods of time. They seep into groundwater, impacting streams and lakes locally and miles away. Runoff from fast-acting fertilizers reaches waterways, including the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, creating an excess of nitrogen and phosphorous. This increases algae growth that can reduce oxygen in the water, killing fish and other marine life.
This Village Has Top-Tasting Tap Water
Speaking of clean water, Westchester’s "best-tasting" water flows from faucets in the Village of Elmsford, according to an impartial panel of pedestrians who sipped their way through the county Department of Health’s annual water taste test on May 7 in White Plains.
More than 100 people sampled water from nine of the Westchester’s public water suppliers -- without knowing where it originated -- before voting for their favorite water.
“After drinking tap water from around the County today, I can tell you that Westchester water tastes great, and we shouldn’t take this natural resource for granted,” said County Executive George Latimer. “It’s reassuring to know we have professionals working behind the scenes to maintain and assure the high quality of our drinking water.”
Elmsford Water District now advances to a regional competition; the regional champion competes for statewide bragging rights at the end of the summer at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.
In addition to Elmsford, water suppliers who competed were: Cortlandt Consolidated Water District, Greenburgh Water District #1, Mount Vernon Water Department, Peekskill Water Department, Suez Water Westchester Inc., White Plains Water Supply and Yonkers Water Supply.
Town Board Taps New Member
On Wednesday, May 20, Greenburgh Town Board will appoint Ellen Hendrickx as an interim Town Board member. Hendrickx will serve out the remaining months of Kevin Morgan, a retired police detective who died in April as reported here by Daily Voice.
There is a three-way primary election on Tuesday, June 25 to fill two seats on the town board. The general election is in November. Hendrickx said she only plans to serve the rest of Morgan’s unexpired term, through the end of December 2019. "I am not seeking the position for January 2020," she said.
Hendrickx has lived in the Town of Greenburgh for nearly 20 years. She has served as chair of the Hastings-on-Hudson Democratic Committee since 2010, and previously as a district leader.
After working with Legislator MaryJane Shimsky on her winning campaign in 2010, Hendrickx was offered a part-time job as Shimsky's legislative aide. Last year, Hendrickx began working full time for the county Board of Legislators with the added duties of committee coordinator for the Public Works Committee.
Additionally, she is committee coordinator for both the Saw Mill River Watershed and Bronx River Watershed advisory boards; working with such advocacy groups as Riverkeepers, Groundworks Hudson Valley and the Bronx River Alliance, as well as local governments in both watersheds.
Prior to her county government work, Hendrickx was a founding partner of a New York City architectural and design firm.
Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner, said, "We miss Kevin a lot but recognize that the work of government must go on."
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