by Jamie L. Banks, PhD, MS, Executive Director, Quiet Communities, Inc., Co-Founder, The Quiet Coalition
The City of Mountain Brook has become the first city in the state of Alabama and in the South to establish AGZA Certified Green Zones® for its municipal villages — Crestline Village, English Village, and Mountain Brook Village — and Overton Park. An AGZA Green Zone is a defined area of land on which all routine maintenance is performed with battery electric equipment or manual tools. The minimal requirements for an AGZA Certified Green Zone are the complete elimination of two-stroke equipment used for routine maintenance. The transition away from fossil fuel equipment creates a cleaner, quieter, and healthier environment for workers, visitors, and residents by reducing toxic and carcinogenic emissions, noise, greenhouse gases, fuel spillage, and waste. The ELF® analysis conducted by Quiet Communities and AGZA estimates that the initial Green Zones will eliminate 18,000 pounds of toxic and carcinogenic emissions and 26 tons of carbon dioxide each year, and substantially reduce noise. The success of the initial transition is encouraging the city to transition land care away from fossil fuels in other municipal areas.