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No Mow May!
Increase biodiversity and protect pollinators by doing less!
Join us as we participate in No Mow May! Postpone mowing through the month of May. You’re creating habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Many cities are joining the No Mow May movement.
1. Pull seedheads of nonnative invasive species to discourage spread.
2. Any feedback from neighbors and passersby? Let us know how it goes on our Facebook group (if you are on FB) https://www.facebook.com/groups/naturalhabitatevanston/.
3. Post an optional yard sign to tell your neighbors about No Mow May and to encourage others to join in. Min. donation $10/sign to cover printing costs, with delivery in Evanston. Request your sign here.
Pick up your sign at 1110 Judson or email Habitat@NaturalHabitatEvanston.org for delivery or any other comments or questions.
1. What is no Mow May? Do Less! Park the lawn equipment through May, and save on fumes, noise, and costs. Let birds, and bees and other pollinators forage nectar and seed from blooming violets, clover, and grass. Find more information on No Mow May initiatives and a recent The New York Times article.
2. Why Care? Try a respite from lawn maintenance, and see how no mow feels. In the long run, mowing less can save on energy, water, expense and chemicals. It’s also critical for biodiversity. Songbird populations have dropped by about 1/3 since 1970, and various species of bees and butterflies have declined as much as 80-90%. Many communities have embraced the No Mow May idea and have found that it did help local bumble bee populations, including of the federally endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, by providing early year forage.
3. What about dandelions? NHE would recommend to anyone participating that they pull seedheads of non-native invasives, like dandelion, to reduce spread. (Even though dandelion are nonnative, they are a major source of early spring nectar in our degraded, lawn-dominant landscapes.)
4. What about City ordinances? We do not know if turf grass heights will reach 8” and trigger our weed ordinance if they are unmowed through May; that will also depend on rains. But we have asked the city to suspend enforcement of the weed ordinance just for a few weeks through May, or even to endorse the effort. Our neighboring Village of Glenview itself is officially promoting No Mow May. Appleton, WI suspended its weed ordinance for the month of May.
5. Is this something we should do every year? Absolutely! This is a pilot effort to try it out.
6. What about my neighbors? We will have optional yard signs to help explain why your lawn is so lush :) If you use Facebook, let us know any comments you receive good or bad at our Facebook group.
7. Are there ways to avoid mowing all year long? Definitely.
• Shrink your lawn. Plant a tree or shrub(s) and surround them with mulch to reduce your lawn, or replace turf with a wildflower garden.
• Use short turf alternatives. Seed your lawn with short native grass that doesn’t need mowing, like buffalo grass, or the non-native no mow mixes from Green Edens, Prairie Moon Nursery or Prairie Nursery.
• Mow less often. Letting your grass grow a little bit taller can send its roots deeper and allow it to better withstand dry spells. Let low growing violets and clover bloom and feed pollinators.