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posted: 8/3/2013 9:47 AM

Cook Co. preserve converts gas-burning mowers to propane

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Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Forest Preserve of Cook County officials say the agency is taking a small but notable step to help the environment. The forest preserve is converting some of its riding lawn mowers from gasoline to propane power.

The forest preserve oversees 69,000 acres of land, large swathes of which require regular mowing. In all, it maintains a fleet of 65 riding mowers and 102 push mowers.

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For now, the conversions affect just 16 riding mowers. But Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the goal is to make the mowers "as environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient as possible."

Propane derives from refining crude oil or processing natural gas. And it burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel.

County officials say the conversions should mean savings of $0.89 per gallon fuel for the mowers.

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