No-Mow May

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  1. No-Mow May Info
  2. No-Mow May Registration
  3. What You Can Do
  4. What Does the Research Say?
  5. Yard Signs and Social Media

Join your Fitchburg neighbors this Spring in the City's first pilot "No-Mow May" program. Common Council approved Resolution R-82-23 on April 11th, designating May 2023 as No-Mow May in Fitchburg and temporarily suspending the City's lawn maintenance ordinance until June 1st.

As more natural spaces are developed and wilderness increasingly partitioned into smaller and less contiguous parcels, many animal and plant species are facing pressures due to habitat loss and population fragmentation. For pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and beetles, as well as countless other invertebrate species, these developed spaces now serve as a vital part of their habitats, with property owners’ use of native plant species in landscaping and gardening an important source of shelter and foraging options.

Most Wisconsinites are familiar with the European honeybee, perhaps the most popular and well-known insect on the planet, but our state is home to hundreds of other local bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects vital to our local ecosystems and food crop pollination. Abundant food and shelter options help these species as they emerge in Spring, and providing native plant species offers the habitat they sorely need to thrive. For many property owners, those native plant species already exist in lawns, so providing habitat can be as simple as eliminating or reducing the use of lawnmowers for the first several weeks of Spring, allowing flowers to grow where normally mowers would cut them down.

From Bee City USA: "No Mow May, Low Mow Spring"

Lawns cover 40 million acres, or 2%, of land in the US, making them the single largest irrigated crop we grow. Lawns are mowed, raked, fertilized, weeded, chemically treated, and watered⁠—sucking up time, money, and other resources. Lawns provide little benefit to wildlife, and are often harmful. Grass-only lawns lack floral resources and nesting sites for bees and are often treated with pesticides that harm bees and other invertebrates.

When we think of habitat loss, we tend to imagine bulldozers and rutted dirt, but acres of manicured lawn are as much a loss of habitat as any development site.

Re-thinking the American lawn can take a variety of forms from reducing mowing frequency or area mown to permanently converting lawn to a more diverse and natural landscape.

Why mow less in the spring?

The start of the growing season is a critical time for hungry, newly emerged native bees. Floral resources may be hard to find, especially in urban and suburban landscapes. By allowing it to grow longer, and letting flowers bloom, your lawn can provide nectar and pollen to help your bee neighbors thrive.

Mowing less creates habitat and can increase the abundance and diversity of wildlife including bees and other pollinators. One way to reduce mowing is by participating in No Mow April, No Mow May, or Low Mow Spring.

Citizen Science: Use the WI Bee App

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no-mow May checklist
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