No Mow May: Give Bees a Chance!

Put your lawnmower aside for the month of May and give bees a chance!

This year, with the support of Sustainable Saratoga, property owners and caretakers in the city of Saratoga Springs are invited to join a national movement for No Mow May, where they avoid mowing their lawns for one month in order to help provide more food sources for bees and other pollinators emerging from winter hibernation.

Appleton, Wisconsin was the first U.S. community to try No Mow May, in 2020, and it was so successful it has spread throughout that state and to Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Montana, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

No Mow May lawns had five times as many bees and three times as many bee species as lawns that were mown, according to scientists in Wisconsin. Lawns that remain un-mowed during the month of May allow more species to grow, including some that flower early in the year, and provide essential food for pollinators, which in turn support a wide variety of plant species. Sustainable Saratoga is excited to join the effort.

“No Mow May is a simple but very effective way that we can help pollinators, which are facing catastrophic declines in numbers due to climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss,” says Wendy Mahaney, executive director of Sustainable Saratoga. “We are excited to support this new effort in the Saratoga region to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators and how everyone can do something to help.”

No Mow May does not violate any laws in the City of Saratoga Springs; the City requires property owners to mow their lawns in June, July, and August, but not in May. If you live outside of Saratoga Springs, you may want to check your local ordinances regarding lawn care requirements.

We have signage that property owners can put on their un-mowed lawns to explain No Mow May and to help spread the movement. For more information: pollinators@sustainablesaratoga.org

Interested in learning more about sustainable lawn care? Click here.

For more information about the importance of pollinators, visit our pollinator webpage.

Sustainable Saratoga promotes sustainable practices and the protection of natural resources through education, advocacy and action. We provide educational resources that people can use to make informed decisions that affect everyday life, advocate for sustainable policies and programs, and empower our community to take action. 

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