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Cities in SE Wisconsin to participate in 'No Mow May' to protect pollinators

No Mow May
Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 17:49:59-04

GREENFIELD, Wis. — This year several cities in southeast Wisconsin are participating in "No Mow May" for the first time, including Greenfield and Glendale. Other cities in Wisconsin that participate include La Crosse, Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids.

The idea is to not mow your lawn during the month of May to make sure pollinators, like bees, butterflies and birds, have an early spring source of food.

Ashley Modlinksi introduced the idea of No Mow May to her city of Greenfield this year.

"We're ingrained that yards that are full of grass, that are clean and pristine is the way of life. The repercussions of having that is causing the decline of all our pollinators," Modlinksi said. "It comes down to, if we don't have the bees, we're not going to have food."

She said it's also beneficial to people who like to keep a produce garden in their yard.

"We have a vegetable garden here, so by continuously participating in No Mow May and leaving the stuff for [the pollinators], I have continuous pollinators," she said.

'No Mow May' bee boosting initiative growing in Wisconsin

But not everyone is so sure about the idea.

Chet Elliott and Jo Osowski and beekeepers in Greenfield. Elliott doesn't think No Mow May is something his neighborhood will participate in.

"Most of the neighbors care about what their lawn looks like. I think letting the weeds go to seed is not something they'd be doing," Elliott said. "If you said the reason they'd be doing that is for pollinators, I don't see that helping other than they'll get a few more dandelions. The bees will fly up to six miles a day to find a flower. So that's generally not a problem that they'll need the dandelions or other weeds."

Osowski said she doesn't think No Mow May is a bad idea if your city allows. But, she said there's other ways to make sure pollinators are getting fed.

"Plant your zucchini and let it trail forever because it is the greatest source of pollen. It will keep all the pollinators busy."

Modlinksi said if you're unsure about participating, you can start small.

"If you don't want to not mow your grass, mow it in sections so you always have a rotating food source for everyone," Modlinksi said.

If you want to participate in No Mow May, check with city officials because some places like Greenfield require you to register your yard to avoid fines.

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