Greenwich CALM.org

Greenwich Citizens Against Leafblower Mania

Who are we and what is the history of leaf blower regulations in Greenwich?

CALM was founded by a number of concerned citizens coming together.  Dicks Roberts, Bob Wylie, Lucy Jinishian laid the groundwork for CALM years ago by bringing the issue of leaf blowers' negative impacts to the Town under the banner of a group called Project Quiet Yards.  The fight which they headed actually began nearly 20 years ago.  Quiet Yards worked tirelessly and raised public awareness, culminating in 3,000 postcards asking for a leaf blower ban being sent to the Town in 1994.  The Health Board responded by enacting the current ordinance "restricting" leaf blowers, found under the noise regulations in the Town Code (Section 6B of the Town Code), which permits the use of leaf blowers all day long 365 days per year, but which specified that only one at a time could be used on properties of 1/4 acre or less and that premises of any size within the Town of Greenwich can be serviced by only one leaf blower at a time between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  The efforts of Quiet Yards continued all the way until 2006, at which point they became frustrated with the Town's reluctance to do anything substantial and went "underground."

In 2010 Sally Markham from Old Greenwich revived the fight with the help of Gretchen Biggs. They went to the Selectmen, along with Alex Bergstein, and again asked the Town to do something about leaf blowers.  They were told to take it up with the Health Board.  Ms Markham was told by the Chairman of the Health Board that they had done all they were going to do and to take it up with the Selectmen.

All of the above people are now working with CALM, which Ms Biggs is leading.  Ms Biggs is a Yale graduate with a Master's Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Colorado.  She worked for a decade as an activist and a litigator on environmental issues.