Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the authors' and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members. On August 5, 2021, we archived old blog posts. You can find the archive by clicking here.
CSA Welcomes the Buzz
In March, the Fond du Lac City Council approved a No Mow May pilot program. The initiative behind the program is to allow flowers (yes, even dandelions!) to grow, and increase the habitat for bees and other pollinators.City residents will be allowed to let their grass lawn grow during the month of May 2023, without being in violation of City Ordinance 476.10, which limits the height of grass to six inches.
No Mow May was first popularized in the United Kingdom but is now gaining traction across North America. In 2020, residents of Appleton, Wisconsin, an affiliate of Bee City USA, became energized about No Mow May and they convinced their City Council to suspend their weed ordinance for the month of May. Over 435 registered property owners participated that year. Empowered by their success in 2020, the Appleton Bee City committee spread the word and attracted even more participants in 2021, and in 2022 it spread to communities across the country.
Lawns cover 40 million acres, or 2%, of land in the US, making them the single largest irrigated crop we grow. Lawns are mowed, raked, fertilized, weeded, chemically treated, and watered—sucking up time, money, and other resources. Lawns provide little benefit to wildlife and are often harmful. Grass-only lawns lack floral resources and nesting sites for bees and are often treated with pesticides that harm bees and other invertebrates. How does the fate of bees affect us? Watch this video.
If you live in the city of Fond du Lac, you are being asked to register your participation in “No Mow May” by using this link. You are also encouraged to display a sign to promote the initiative (and let your neighbors know what you’re up to!).
The CSA Motherhouse Grounds has several large biodiversity pockets within its 237-acre property that make “No Mow May” less necessary here, but several Sisters and Associates are proudly welcoming pollinators to their yards with signs like these:
Remember, No Mow May is a great starting point for welcoming biodiversity to your little patch of Earth, but it isn’t magic and definitely can’t be a stopping point for action. Sign up to tour our conservation easement to learn more about future steps you can take, too!