What’s This No Mow May Everyone’s Talking About?

Homeowners are vowing to not cut their grass to help local pollinators.

No Mow May is a movement adopted as an attempt to help the bees by creating a pollinator-friendly yard as the summer season approaches. It calls for homeowners to refrain from mowing their lawns for the month of May. 

Two assistant professors at Lawerence University in Appleton – Israel Del Toro and Relena Ribbons – brought the now mow movement to the U.S. in 2020. They heard it was a popular way to help pollinators in Britain. The initiative has since grown throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. 



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Chelsea Cook, assistant professor of biological sciences at Marquette University, studies social behaviors of honeybees and has been a long-time advocate for letting the grass grow. According to Cook, the community organized approach to not mowing your lawn in May allows flowers and so-called weeds, like dandelions, to grow so they can give bees and other pollinators the early food they need to survive. 

“When other people who are very busy take a second and think about their impacts on the environment, I think it’s absolutely incredible,” said Cook. “It’s really nice to take it into your own hands and give back to the important animals, especially the insects that we don’t really think about.”

By allowing the grass to grow, early flowers that pop up like dandelions are the first source of food that pollinators like bees, flies and some beetles have to feed off of. According to Cook, it allows them to get their spring and summer routines going and collect food so they can fly and reproduce. 

Cook hopes for strong participation in the movement this May as she’s heard more conversations and questions about it this year than ever before. The Zoological Society of Milwaukee has resources and more information about No Mow May and other ways to help local pollinators.