Another Opinion, Editorial

Enter No Mow May

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GREENSBORO – At a traditional time across cultures to celebrate the halfway point between the vernal equinox and summer solstice, let’s celebrate the coming of Spring by letting Spring do her thing: enter no mow May.

Here’s what the Vermont Center for Ecostudies says: “We all know ‘April showers bring May flowers,’ that is unless the lawnmower gets to them first! Lawns are the single largest irrigated crop in the US, making up 2% of the land area of the country. Unlike other crops in the country, lawns don’t feed anyone, including wildlife.

“While this should alarm anyone concerned about land and biodiversity conservation, it also presents an enormous opportunity. By simply doing nothing, the average homeowner can increase the diversity (and carbon sequestration) of their neighborhood . . . The idea is simple: by not mowing during the month of May, more flowers will have time to mature and provide an important resource for many spring bees and other pollinators. A recent study from the University of Massachusetts found that mowing every three weeks resulted in 2.5 times more flowers than more frequent mowing.

“Ideally, the excitement of more backyard flowers (and less lawnmower noise) will lead to reduced total lawn size and more intentional wildlife plantings that last much longer than one month. For more information about creating pollinator habitat check out our list of resources, and don’t forget the sign explaining to your neighbors why your lawn is so much more colorful!”

Most of the grasses and other plants growing on our lawns are already non-native, which means that they don’t offer quite as much value as native plants to our butterflies and wildlife. If this concerns you, you could replace some of your lawn with native groundcovers like wild strawberries, or native grasses, which will mean you could have various rare and endangered butterflies and other native pollinators.

As Vermont Ecostudies suggests, you might be so inspired by the life that comes back that you want to create your own pollinator/wildlife garden, which will attract native birds and rare pollinators. Learn more about that at nwf.org/Home/Garden-for-Wildlife

If enough of us do this, we can make a real difference and help our local endangered species recover. If you are interested and live in the Greensboro area, email [email protected]. From the bumblebees and monarchs to you: thanks ahead for helping us!

Zoryan Ivakhiv-Gray is the grandson of Clive Gray and Nancy Hill of Greensboro.

Zoryan Ivakhiv-Gray

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