The City of Ojai is the first AGZA Green Zone®City in Ventura County, and the second city-wide AGZA Green Zone in the United States. The City and American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) will formally certify the sustainability achievement at a public ceremony in Libbey Park, Friday April 12th at 11am.
AGZA Green Zone City Certification establishes and verifies that all routine grounds maintenance on municipal properties — mowing, hedging, edging, trimming, sawing, and blowing — are serviced exclusively with low-noise zero-emission battery-electric equipment and manual hand tools. AGZA Green Zones are the most rigorous sustainability criteria for eliminating the health and environmental impacts of the lawn & garden industry. Ojai’s city-wide AGZA Green Zone protects 52 acres across 19 municipal properties, including all parks and sports fields and city hall.
AGZA rolled out its Green Zone program in close partnership with City officials and the Public Works Grounds Maintenance crew: inventory existing gas equipment and daily operations, calculate and report all health and environmental impacts, survey City properties and define the Green Zones, specify electric equipment solutions and support the new electric fleet rollout, strategize and verify charging and storage facilities, educate, train, and honor the City crews with AGZA Service Pro Certification, monitor equipment performance, ensure successful operations, and verify compliance with AGZA guidelines. The final step will be the AGZA Green Zone City Certification ceremony on April 12th.
Every year the AGZA Green Zone will prevent the creation of over 82 tons of CO2, CO, HC, PM2.5, and NOx from the city. Noise has been permanently reduced by 40% to 70%. Fuel spillage, evaporative emissions and solid waste from gas maintenance have been completely eliminated. Significant reductions in hourly operational costs, replacement parts, and maintenance will achieve a healthy ROI on the new electric fleet. The health, environmental, and financial benefits will compound year after year.
Ojai can be very proud to have eliminated these toxic emissions from their land care forever. The direct and indirect benefits to the entire community will be appreciated over time. Families, schools, and businesses will enjoy quieter, healthier, more peaceful public spaces. Maintenance of City parks and properties will no longer contribute to local smog or climate change. The City’s grounds crew won’t be exposed to hazardous noise levels, toxic fuel, carcinogenic fumes, or hand-numbing vibrations. Spent air and oil filters, spark plugs, and cans of solvents will no longer pollute the landfill. Local water and soil will no longer absorb fuel and oil spills.
Further, since the low-noise pollution-free operations will be highly visible in parks and sports fields across the city, AGZA Green Zones create teachable sustainability moments for the whole community. Homeowners, property managers, schools and commercial lawn crews may be inspired to kick noise and gas off their own grass. If neighboring communities follow Ojai’s lead, the health and environmental benefits will proliferate throughout Ventura County and beyond.