SCCF, COTI Co-Hosting Zero-Emission Landscape Equipment Workshop

submitted by SCCF & COTI

EDITOR’S NOTE: This even has been postponed for public safety. A new date will be announced.

AGZA hosts demos of the most advanced, quiet, and powerful battery-electric equipment in communities across the U.S.

SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) and the Committee of the Islands (COTI) have long-running histories advocating for environmental stewardship and protection on Sanibel Island. A key component of this commitment is regularly assessing how our local community interacts with our wildlife and our natural spaces, and then helping guide decisions that are favorable for both.

With this in mind, both organizations strongly support the recent decision made by the Sanibel City Council that encourages Sanibel businesses and residents to make the shift to cleaner energy technology. In January, the council passed a resolution encouraging the reduction of gas-powered equipment:

“The City Council, on behalf of its citizens and residents, hereby passes this Resolution to support and encourage individuals and businesses to voluntarily use ‘environmentally friendly’ alternatives to gas-powered landscape equipment, including electric and battery equipment, in addition to manual tools.”

SCCF and COTI believe that this is an excellent opportunity to catalyze education and forward movement around an important aspect of our island’s dedication to environmental advocacy. So, they are co-hosting an educational workshop for our landscaping companies and their employees by the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA).

AGZA will be coming to the Bailey Homestead on Thursday, May 7, to offer a free educational workshop for our local landscaping companies on the best zero-emission landscaping equipment on the market. The two-hour workshop includes a presentation, a complimentary lunch, and a live demo of AGZA-vetted equipment from an array of different manufacturers for landscapers to try out.

SCCF’s Special Projects Manager, Justin Proctor, took the lead in organizing the workshop.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for our local landscaping companies to both learn about and try out some of the best battery-powered landscape equipment available,” he said. “Battery technology has come a long way over the past decade, and there are now numerous advantages that electric equipment has over what has traditionally been fuel-powered machinery.”

Concerned about misinformation and skepticism surrounding the topic, Proctor sought out the leading national organization on the issue.

“We decided to bring in leading experts in the field to educate us on where we stand with all of this—what are the best products out there, and what are some effective strategies for making the financial and logistical shift over to zero-emission tech?” he added.

Since 1967, SCCF has been dedicated to maintaining its preserved lands as the quiet sanctuaries they were designated to be, where our community and our wildlife can find solace from the daily commotion of our more populated areas. Reduced noise and air pollution across the island ensures a healthier, more environmentally sustainable way of life for our wildlife, year-round community, visitors, and our landscapers.

“Learning about ways to make the transition over to quieter, zero-emission landscape equipment is a win-win scenario for our community and our wildlife,” explains Barbara Joy Cooley, chairperson of COTI’s Environmental Committee.

Since 1975, COTI has been committed to defending the Sanibel Plan, providing a consistent voice in support of Sanibel’s core values—its small town character, environmental preservation, and wildlife conservation.

“This is a great opportunity to look at the research that has been done and the efforts underway nationwide, and make an informed decision on shifting towards practices that support renewable energy,” said Cooley. “Perhaps most importantly, this is a collaborative effort between Sanibel residents and the landscaping companies that work so hard to keep this island beautiful.”

This is an educational workshop; there will be no pressure applied to purchase any products and there is no endorsement of any specific manufacturer. We invite all of our landscapers to attend and ask a lot of questions, talk with each other about what equipment they’ve seen work well and what hasn’t, and help each other make good decisions for their companies, their workers, and our island’s commitment to maximizing best environmental practices.

SCCF and COTI encourage members of the Sanibel community to invite their landscaping companies to attend the AGZA workshop and demo on Thursday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bailey Homestead, 1300 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. The event is completely free and includes lunch for everyone.

We appreciate a quick RSVP to the event coordinator, Justin Proctor, via email: jproctor@sccf.org, or by phone: 607-229-6255, so that we can better estimate food and seating. Thank you.

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