Superior Explores ‘No Mow May’ To Encourage Pollinators By Leaving Grass Un-Cut
Wait! Before you gas up that lawn mower this spring, you might want to hold off. The City of Superior is considering allowing residents to leave their grass un-mowed - at least until the spring season is over.
It's called 'No Mow May', and it's done in communities to "provide pollinators with foraging resources until floral resources become available". Essentially, the long grass gives bees, butterflies, and other pollinators a chance to get going after a long, cold winter.
To make it happen, a change would need to occur to the invasive and noxious plant ordinance. If approved and instituted, residents of Superior would be allowed to leave their lawn un-mowed until June - no matter how long it gets - without fear of being ticketed for a violations.
The changes come as more is known about the connection of resources, pollinators, and habitats. In an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], Superior City Councilor Ruth Ludwig explains:
"It's coming to our consciousness of course that as habitat has been going away our important pollinators are losing their food source."
An un-mowed lawn in early spring - like the month of May - "gives pollinators a chance to thrive".
The discussion that Superior is having about instituting a No Mow May actually has many levels and items that would need to be ironed out: What would it look like for both the city and public work departments and what would it look like for homeowners.
As far as the city and public works goes, a No Mow May would involve balancing areas that could be left alone as compared to areas where the grass does need to be cut. According to Linda Cadotte, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry for the City of Superior, they've identified "three areas where mowing could be postponed in the effort, including the Billings Park Civic Center, Barker's Island, and field space at Heritage Park". While these areas could potentially could be left un-mowed, other areas would still need to see a lawn mower during the month - like "ball parks, playgrounds, and Billings Park".
In regards to what a No Mow May would look like for residential homeowners, there is also some open discussion. In some communities where an ordinance like this has passed, there are stipulations separating the front yard from the rear yard - where residents can leave the back yard un-mowed, but still needed to keep up, maintain, and mow the front yard for appearance sake. Meanwhile, some other communities allow residents to not mow either parts of their yard. What a No Mow May would look like for Superior residents would need to be ironed out with much discussion.
Either way, a resolution to adopt the ordinance exemption - and make way for a No Mow May - will appear on the agenda of the Superior City Council at their next meeting on April 19.