MKE residents plan to limit yard work to increase pollinator productivity.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 24, 2023 – You may see your neighbors let their yards grow tall this May. They didn’t forget to mow.
“Many yards across Greater Milwaukee will participate in No Mow May this year,” explained Ryan Anderson, the manager of the 501(c)3 non-profit sustainable landscaping initiative Midwest Grows Green. “Each No Mow May yard creates more food, forage and shelter in our urban areas for critical pollinators, including bees, butterflies and other insects.”
No Mow May raises awareness of the global pollinator and insect crisis. Scientists project that the world loses 2.5% of insect mass per year. Practices such as cutting the grass less often, postponing spring clean-up until temperatures reach the 50s and growing a pollinator-friendly garden all help increase pollinator populations in urban environments.
“No Mow May introduces the community to ways of thinking about residential lawns and public spaces as important natural habitat for all types of insects, birds and plants,” said Joe Shaffer, a member of the Village of Shorewood’s Conservation Committee.
Most pollinators such as bumblebees, mason bees and carpenter bees emerge from their nests in May, when not many flowers bloom. Common weeds of dandelions, clover and violets do bloom during this time and can help to fill the nutrition gap. Meanwhile, leaving twigs, leaves and other lawn debris provides nesting spaces for native bees and forage for many caterpillars over the winter and into the early summer.
“No Mow May participation is a great introduction and first step towards being kind to invertebrates in your yard, which is incredibly important on a larger scale,” said Maggie Steinhauer, Research and Community Science Coordinator for the Urban Ecology Center.
Local municipalities of Milwaukee, Cudahy, Shorewood, Fox Point, Whitefish Bay, Greendale, Wauwatosa and Glendale have all relaxed grass height restrictions for May so their residents can participate in No Mow May this year. Many of these municipalities will host native plant sales, green fairs and pollinator awareness events in May. Please check your municipality’s lawn height or weed ordinance if not mentioned above. These ordinances may prevent you from participating in No Mow May this year.
“It’s not just about not mowing. It’s about how we can each make a positive environmental impact in our own spaces,” said Anne O’Connor of Whitefish Bay Garden Club.
To learn more about No Mow May and how to participate, please visit the No Mow May Milwaukee homepage at bit.ly/NoMowMayMKE. Organizations involved in this effort include MMSD, Reflo, Urban Ecology Center, Water Centric City, Zoological Society of Milwaukee and Hummingbird MKE.
About Midwest Grows Green and IPM Institute of North America
Midwest Grows Green is an initiative of the 501(c)3 non-profit IPM Institute of North America, Inc. that educates and empowers citizens to take sustainable landscaping action that reduces harmful runoff into our waterways, protects the health of our most vulnerable citizens and reduces negative impacts of pesticides on non-target species such as pollinators.
For more information about the IPM Institute and Midwest Grows Green please visit www.MidwestGrowsGreen.org.