Eau Claire Gets on No Mow May Bandwagon
City Council votes to ease lawn-height restrictions to aid pollinators
“No Mow May” is now officially on the books in the City of Eau Claire. The Eau Claire City Council voted Jan. 24 on a resolution that indirectly encourages homeowners to hold off on their yard work for a month in a way that can benefit pollinators. However, as some hold off, the opportunity presents itself to get some new things started.
“‘No Mow May’ is a conservation-based initiative that encourages people not to mow their lawns for the month of May,” explained Eau Claire City Councilman Joshua Miller, who advocated for the program. “This allows early season flowers to bloom and gives resources to bees and other early season pollinators at a time where they could most certainly use those resources.” When people mow their lawns, they are taking away a food source for pollinators. This initiative aims to try and prevent that.
Specifically, the resolution delays enforcement of the city’s 7-inch lawn height rule from May 1 to June 1. This is a great chance for homeowners to reshape their yards, perhaps adding a few perennials, which could provide more ground cover, require less water and fewer resources, and create a healthier environment for Eau Claire.
Brought to the attention of City Council members in past seasons, the No Mow May initiative – which began in the United Kingdom and has spread in Wisconsin in recent years – fit the city’s sustainability agenda. While it won’t restore the pollinator populations all at once, it will allow the community to think critically about accepting or even embracing new norms for what lawns should be.