Sometimes the easiest actions we can take to better our neighborhoods, communities, and natural ecosystems is doing less, not more. This spring, consider doing less by participating in No Mow May, an initiative with the best interests of pollinators in mind.
During the month of May, Shorewood Hills and and over a dozen other Wisconsin communities, are actively encouraging residents to forgo their mowing in favor of letting the early spring pollinators, like dandelions, thrive. These early flowering plants are critical for the survival of all types of bees, such as native honey bees, sweat bees, bumblebees, and honeybees (which are European imports). Although typical lawns provide poor habitat for bees, lawn weeds can provide otherwise nonexistent spring food for bees just emerging from hibernation. And because bees of all types are facing dramatic population declines, they need all the help we can give them. One study showed that No Mow May lawns can have five times the number of bees and three times the bee species as mown areas.
So this May, consider being a friend to the bees and don’t start up your lawn mower quite yet. The resulting buzz you hear in your yard will be a quiet whisper of appreciation.
Melanie is a Climate Specialist within the Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change.n her role as Climate Specialist she is implementing the recommendations set forth in the Climate Action Plan. Prior to joining Dane County Melanie was in California where she focused her efforts on land and water conservation statewide through grants and policymaking.
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