No Mow May
Don't Mow Your Lawn this May: Help Bees & Local Air Quality
The weather is finally getting warm in Bedford! As you get outside and spring yard work begins, we encourage you to consider “No Mow May” and not mowing your grass this May.
No Mow May was started in the UK in 2019 and has spread quickly throughout the US. The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow unmown for the month of May so early pollinators can create habitats and forage. The main benefit is that flowers have a longer chance to bloom. These flowers provide bees and other pollinators with food – nectar and pollen. Longer grass can also provide other benefits to invertebrates including shelter. The more varied structure created by longer grass will support more than just bees, including ground beetles as well as some species of butterflies that use grasses as host plants.
Studies have proven the success of No Mow May. In 2020 in Appleton, Wisconsin, 435 property owners participated in No Mow May and had their properties assessed at the end of the month. The data that was collected focused on identifying the abundance of individual bees and flowers and the number of bee and flower species. These numbers were compared against nearby urban parks that were regularly mowed. The results were exciting! Participating yards had three-times higher bee species richness and five-times higher bee abundance.
There are the added benefits beyond helping our pollinator populations! Mowing your lawn each month costs time and money. Having a local lawn company mow your lawn weekly for a month ranges between $150 – $400 based on the size of your lawn. Take a month off of mowing this spring and save money. Additionally, most lawn equipment is gasoline powered. There are significant greenhouse gas emissions associated with the lawn equipment: lawnmowers, weedwhackers and leafblowers. EPA data has found that gas-powered lawn mowers make up five percent of total air pollution in the United States. Taking a month off of using lawn equipment means less fossil fuel use and less emissions, improving our air quality and overall environment. Preserve the air we breathe this May!!
Bedford 2030 encourages you to give No Mow May a try this spring, if not your full yard, dedicate a section of your lawn. Observe your yard throughout the month and let us know if you see increased bee and other pollinator activity. We’d love to hear how it goes if you take the plunge. Feel free to email us as email@example.com and/or post a picture of your pollinator friendly lawn with #Bedford2030 #NoMowMay