Bring Nature Home - Participate in No Mow May
By Jane Mohler
The objectives of the voluntary No Mow May campaign are to challenge property owners to provide a wider habitat for pollinators throughout the growing season. Many native bees, butterflies and moths are in decline and their losses threaten our wildflowers, agricultural crops, and natural areas. Conserving and improving habitats for pollinators is important to us all.
The traditional monoculture lawn lacks floral resources or nesting sites for native bees, and is often treated with chemicals that harm bees and other invertebrates. When we think of habitat loss, we tend to imagine bulldozers and felled trees, but acres of manicured lawn are as much a loss of habitat as these others. Turf grass is devoid of the flowering plants needed to support pollinators. In the month of May, when flowers are not yet blooming, native pollinators begin to emerge and require food to sustain them.
The idea behind No Mow May is to designate a portion of the lawn as a pollinator habitat and not mow or apply pesticides or fertilizer until the month ends. This allows common flowering plants like dandelion, clover, creeping Charlie, and violets to provide food for pollinators when many other flowers are not yet blooming. This is especially important in urban landscapes that do not border open land. At least one study has shown that unmown yards in the city have a fivefold increase in the number of bees present.
No Mow May is voluntary. You can opt to leave the mower in the garage for the month, just leave part of your lawn unmown, opt out of all lawn chemicals, or do nothing. It’s up to you.
To accommodate No Mow May, the City of Eau Claire has changed their lawn ordinance, delaying enforcement until June 1. If you live outside of the Eau Claire City limits, you should check with your governmental entity for their lawn ordinance policies.
No Mow May does not end June 1st, it is just the beginning. The long-term goal of No Mow May is to bring nature home and transform your yard into a pollinator-friendly habitat. Get your NO MOW May yard sign and learn more by activating the QR code.