At this time of year, when we’re usually shoveling snow, there’s talk at La Crosse City Hall about mowing lawns.
One city council committee voted Tuesday to again support the tradition of “No Mow May,” where homeowners are asked to refrain from mowing their yards during May to attract more pollinators to the area.
Council member Erin Goggin sees drawbacks to the no-mowing promotion.
“May is the busiest month for growth, and by the time a lot of these grasses are cut, they’re too long to be beneficial to the pollinators and bees that they want to help,” Goggin told the council Judiciary and Administration committee Tuesday. “If only done once, the debris will kill the bees and the pollinators underneath.”
Goggin thinks a better idea would be for homeowners to develop small patches for wild flowers, that could attract bees and pollinators for more than just one month a year.
No Mow May is a completely voluntary program, and the city’s Parks, Forestry and Natural Resource manager Leah Miller told the committee that people don’t have to quit mowing completely to take part in No Mow May.
“We can talk about reducing the frequency of mowing,” Miller said, “or we can encourage mowing the front yard or the back yard. There’s a lot of opportunity underneath that catchy phrase.”
Two years ago, the city surveyed homeowners who refrained from lawnmowing during May. The survey found that more than half of the households did see more bees, and more flowering plants, during those weeks when they didn’t mow.