No Mow May Initiative

Heart of the City proposed, and the City passed, a resolution to withhold enforcement of the mowing ordinance for the month of May to protect pollinators.  The resolution, which passed on February 16, restricts the non-enforcement to backyards only.  The City also designated some spots on city property to leave unmowed.

Participation in the initiative is voluntary. Sign up by filling out this form. Participants are encouraged to put up a sign in their front yard noting that they are protecting pollinators with this practice. Heart of the City is providing those signs.

Sign donations are welcome. Direct questions to nomomay@gmail.com. Look to our Facebook page for updates.

The library is offering a program called Protect the Pollinators! A Virtual Program for Kids and Families. May 6 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

“Do you like eating fruits and vegetables? How about chocolate? Join Kristin Halverson–conservationist, nature-fanatic, amateur native-plant gardener, curriculum specialist, and former teacher–to find out what these have to do with pollinators, what is going on with pollinators, and how you can help! There will be a hands-on activity portion to this program, so make sure you pick up your packet at the library prior to the program. You’ll also get a pollinator activity booklet and a free milkweed plug to take home and plant for monarch butterflies!

Register here for this interactive Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/tZAodOCsqD8vEtzo60LcSAKUnR6DI…

The library will contact registrants the week before the program to arrange packet pickup. This program, inspired by Heart of the City’s No Mow May, is recommended for kids in Kindergarten through 3rd grade and their families.

Among the primary threats to pollinators, according to an article from Michigan State’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, are flowerless green spaces, gardens and lawns where pesticides are used, and a general reduction in pollinator habitat. In May, pollinators emerge from hibernation to forage and build up their strength for the season.

If pesticides are used, bees can take them back to the hive putting the hive at risk. When grass is mowed short, bees aren’t getting the necessary nutrition. In addition, bees also nest in grasses. In May, 2020, Lawrence University, through Associate Professor Israel Deltoro’s leadership, coordinated “No Mow May“ in the City of Appleton. Results showed evidence of 50% more pollinator activity than weekly mowed lawns.

By even mowing every other week, people can improve pollinator resources. This may seem like a small step, but it can make a huge difference. And since one of every three bites we take is dependent on a pollinator, this is all definitely in our best interest.

Here is a list of resources about protecting pollinators.