Don’t keep your lawnmower out of storage just yet.
To attract and increase pollinators, the City of Verona has adopted a one-month “No Mow May” resolution encouraging people to let their grass grow.
The Common Council adopted it unanimously Monday, April 26.
The voluntary initiative encourages people to limit their lawn mowing practices for the month so spring pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, have more resources for foraging. Allowing the lawn to grow more in the spring also prevents eliminating the pollinators as they wake up from winter hibernation under the leaves, sticks and branches in the yards.
The resolution suspends the city’s requirement to cut grass that’s taller than eight inches until June 1. City parks and playing fields will continue to be mowed and maintained, Ald. Kate Cronin (Dist. 3) said.
Appleton, which is recognized as a Bee City USA, adopted the resolution in 2020 and had 435 property owners register to participate, according to a study published by Lawrence University in Appleton.
Study authors Israel Del Toro and Relena Ribbons wrote that participants in No Mow May had three times higher bee richness and five times higher bee abundances in their lawns than frequently mowed green spaces in other parts of the city.
The study said that while they can’t prove causation that vNo Mow May increased abundance of bees, the data show that pollinators make use of spaces with longer grasses and floral resources.
This is Verona’s first year participating in No Mow May. Other Wisconsin cities that have considered the initiative include Oshkosh, Stevens Point and Wausau.