Baltimore homeowners: got a gas-powered lawnmower that spews out emissions as it roars around your yard?

Then bring it to the Herring Run Watershed Association's native plant sale next weekend (October 18) and trade that gas guzzler for a voucher toward the purchase of a quiet, energy-efficient lawnmower with a rechargable battery.

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The "Cash for Lawn Guzzlers" program, sponsored by Together Green, Audubon Maryland-DC and the Herring Run Watershed Association, will allow Baltimore gardeners to exchange their gas-powered mowers for $110 coupons toward the purchase of a Neuton battery mower. Prices for the cordless, rechargeable mowers range from $299 for a reconditioned model to $439.

According to the program, using a gas-powered mower releases as much emissions as driving 10 cars for that same amount of time, and their electric counterparts only use $5 worth of electricity per year. The exchanged mowers --- just push models, no riding mowers --- will be recycled by Baltimore's Department of Public Works.

To take advantage of the program ... 

... first drain any oil or gas from your existing gas mower and bring it to the Baltimore Household Hazardous Waste Collection from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11 at Baltimore Polytechnic High School.

Then bring the mower to the Herring Run Watershed Association's Native Plant Sale from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

The sale is located at the Herring Run Nursery, 6131 Hillen Road, in the Mount Pleasant Golf Course. Only one mower will be accepted per household (and only one coupon issued).

While you're there, pick up some native plants, which are a good investment.

As this U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service guide to conservation gardening points out, native plants are better adapted to our environment and thus are easier to manage. That means less watering and less fertilizer, all for less money --- AND all less effort.

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