Protecting and conserving limited natural resources is a critical piece of maintaining a sustainable and resilient community.
Lexington's Conservation Department oversees the protection of local wetlands, manages 1,400 acres of Town-owned conservation land, and conducts outreach and education regarding the town's natural resources and watersheds. Visit the Conservation Department's webpage to learn more about what you can do to promote smart natural resource management principles, including invasive species and storm water management. The Conservation Commission closely supports this work through the preservation of open space and the protection of wetlands.
Trees bring countless benefits to Lexington, including natural beauty, shade, carbon sequestration, and natural air and ground water filtration. The Tree Committee, established in 2001, is dedicated to the protection, planning, and continued care of Lexington's trees and the enhancement of green spaces. Visit their webpage to learn more about Lexington's tree bylaw and general tree management.
Bylaw on the Use of Landscape Maintenance Equipment
Article 10 of Special Town Meeting 2021-1 (PDF), "Reducing Noise From Landscape Maintenance Equipment," was passed by Town Meeting on November 18, 2021. It was affirmed by Lexington residents in a referendum vote on March 7, 2022 (PDF). The bylaw has been approved by the state AG and is in-effect as of June 14, 2022. The bylaw adds the following provisions to the Town's existing Noise Bylaw.
- Sets new allowed hours for the use of landscape maintenance equipment;
- Sets seasonal restrictions on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers; and
- Phases out the use of gas-powered leaf blowers by 2025 for commercial landscapers and by 2026 for residents.
Supporting Lexington Landscapers in the Transition to Electric Equipment
Transitioning to electric equipment requires upfront investments and adjustments to typical processes for landscaping companies. The Town of Lexington received an earmark of $75,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help local landscapers with this transition. These funds were used to purchase handheld electric blowers, spare batteries, and six electric backpack blowers to distribute to landscapers serving Lexington customers.
Rebates for Electric Landscape Maintenance Equipment
Switching to electric landscape maintenance equipment reduces greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other kinds of pollution. Mass Save offers rebates for both residential and commercial battery-powered lawn equipment to ease the transition. The available residential rebates are shown below.
Lexington Living Landscapes is a partnership of the town's Sustainable Lexington Committee, the Lexington Field and Garden Club, the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition, and Citizens for Lexington Conservation that promotes sustainable landscaping practices in town. Lexington Living Landscapes is not part of the town government and the Town of Lexington does not assume any responsibility for the content of the site.
Lexington Living Landscapes' goal is to encourage both private landowners and public land managers to adopt practices that protect our health and environment. The initiative focuses on education and programming to support positive changes in three areas:
- Adapting our home gardens, lawns, and other landscaped spaces to be more wildlife-friendly through planting native plants, controlling invasive species, and tending our gardens in ways that benefit wildlife. This will shift our natural areas from being isolated refuges into hubs within a supportive landscape mosaic.
- Reducing or eliminating the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and other toxins that threaten the health of our families and the natural world.
- Improving Lexington's tree canopy by reducing the loss of existing trees and planting new ones. Trees filter our air and water, keep us cooler in summer, and host a wide variety of wildlife.
Visit the Lexington Living Landscapes website to learn more about the group's programs, events, demonstration projects, and educational tools about wildlife-friendly practices.
Water is a precious resource that we all have a responsibility to protect and conserve. Especially with more frequent drought conditions and increasing demands on limited water supplies, conserving water has become a pressing issue for communities in Massachusetts. Become a water steward today with the tips and resources below.
Water conservation and efficiency don't have to be a burden. Find some easy ways to use less water and shrink your water footprint with this collection of tips for cutting back on your water use.
- Check Your Plumbing - Repair leaky faucets, indoors and out, and consider replacing old equipment.
- Use Less Water Indoors - There are many small adjustments you can make to save water inside your home. Take shorter showers, only run the dishwasher when it's full, buy water-efficient appliances.
- Use Less Water Outdoors - Of all the residential water we use in the U.S., on average we use about a quarter outdoors. Watering your lawn less frequently, maximizing the use of natural vegetation, and collecting water in a rain barrel can all reduce your outdoor water usage.
- Save Energy, Save Water - It takes water to make electricity and transportation fuels and it takes energy to move, heat, and treat water, so saving energy saves water.
- Change Your Buying Habits - Everything you buy, use, and throw away took water to process and transport. Use, less by making thoughtful purchases and reusing and recycling more.
- Change Your Diet - It takes water - a lot of it - to grow, process, and transport your food. When you eat lower on the food chain, eat more whole foods, and waste less food, you also save water.
EPA WaterSense Program
The Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program has the resources you need to conserve water at home and at work. Learn more about water-efficient products, access educational resources, and find additional tips at their website.