One of our newest members has a digital sound-level meter and offered to go out and take measurements if somebody needs it, within the Point Grey area in Vancouver only. We appreciate all the help we can get.
Our Legal Fund that was introduced in our Spring 2002 newsletter has received considerable contributions. The criteria for applications and allocations are in draft so far and will be published as soon as they are ready. We hope this endeavour will bring success in the future.
Roy conducted the election of the board, which was elected by acclamation as follows: Alice Fedorenko, Brenda Laing, Hans Schmid, Ilse Schnirch, Roy Silverson.
Hans introduced our speaker, Mr. Graham Clark, former owner of "Human Power Gardening" in Vancouver. He founded his business in 1993 to provide an alternative to the use of noisy, air-polluting equipment. He bought used tools, costing $200.00, and advertised with flyers door to door. He first walked to his clients' homes in his neighbourhood with a wheelbarrow but later commuted by car. In his third year in business he acquired a truck. His clientele extended to the Shaughnessy area where his quiet services were extremely well received. Homeowners had regarded the noisy motorised equipment as an invasion of their privacy.
Thanks to Mr. Clark's quiet gardening service, they were able to enjoy their gardens while the upkeep was taking place. He also did landscaping in addition to the lawn-care. Clippings were first cleaned up, later left behind, which proved to benefit the grass. Eventually he operated three trucks and employed eight people. His fees were comparable with those of other companies working with motorized equipment. The manual operation was even more cost-effective on bigger properties during fall, where raking turned out to be faster than the use of leaf-blowers. While considering services for city hall, Mr. Clark learned that all lawn maintenance work there is done outside regular hours, to avoid toxic exhaust fumes from motorized equipment entering the offices.
In June 2000 Mr. Clark received the mayor's award for environmental achievements, recognizing his contribution to the reduction of noise and air pollution. He sold his business last year. Now there are two similar services in Vancouver and one in North Vancouver. Here we have the "Silent Gardener", operated by Sheldon and Nancy Ridout, 604-324-3628, and "Human Power Gardening", operated by Greg Sturdy, (cell) 604-762-6334. "Handcrafted Garden Work" is located in North Vancouver and operated by Ray Lachance, 604-619-7086.
Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2003
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