On a beautiful fall Southern California day on November 2nd, 2023, Mt. SAC College became the first “Community College” AGZA Certified Green Zone campus. Their AGZA Green Zone rating is Level 2, which means all 2 – Stroke and 4 – Stroke landscape maintenance equipment has been phased out and only battery electric alternatives are now used.
AGZA President Dan Mabe was on hand to acknowledge the college on their monumental achievement. “This is the culmination of a two-year effort with classroom sessions, field tutorials, tools testing, and data collection. AGZA is confident Mt. SAC is up to the challenge to maintain the AGZA Green Zone standard in perpetuity” said Mabe.
An ELF (Environmental Landscape Footprint) report was generated to understand on a granular level the impact reductions the college is achieving each year. AGZA Green Zone Certification substantiates the reductions through independent verification of gas free operations.
Mt. SAC College was also recognized for their extensive “Water Wise” practices by reducing campus turf sizes, planting drought tolerant and native varieties, and using rotator sprinkler heads.
Congratulations Mt SAC College!
Click above to watch a brief overview of our visit to Mt SAC College.
AGZA partnered with Resilient Palisades to help local gardeners take advantage of state and regional programs that lower the cost of commercial battery equipment and future regulations. Erik and Dan of AGZA brought the classroom to the gardeners who are simply too busy to attend formal indoor classroom sessions. Safety, charging and storage of batteries and tools, preventative maintenance, workload capability, and economic benefits were all covered in English and Spanish to ensure there was comprehensive understanding of how to have enduring success operating their new battery electric gear.
AGZA wants to thank Resilient Palisades for helping organize this amazing grass roots effort to help facilitate change with outreach, engagement, and resources. This is a supportive approach rather than a punitive one.
All gardeners were afforded the opportunity to test multiple brands and make their own purchasing decisions on what they feel is best for them. Other brands that were ordered by gardeners for future workshops include Husqvarna, Makita, and Kress.
AGZA understands the landscape maintenance industry. Our Alliance was founded by former gas operators and business owners. Being asked to change over to a new technology (Battery Electric) to deliver the same level of maintenance services to customers who demand it can be challenging and expensive. Here are some things to consider helping make the transition easier.
Communicate any gas leaf blower bans, restrictions, and regulations that impact your business with your clients
Ask clients to pay a modest increase to cover the upfront cost of battery electric equipment
Ask clients to consider purchasing battery electric equipment for their property for you to use
Ask clients to purchase extra batteries and chargers that fit electric equipment you already have for their property for you to use
Suggest to clients mulching can be healthier for their yard
Consider using blowers only on hardscape surfaces
Blow, rake, or sweep leaves, grass clippings, and other debris onto turf and mulch with lawnmowers
Remember you are a valued member of society and people acknowledge your work as a vital contribution to the quality of life in our community.