No Mow May is coming to Dexter Township

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The grass is getting greener each day, so that means mowing season is just around the corner.

However, for Dexter Township-owned properties the lawn cutting might be delayed for a month.

During its April 19 meeting, the Dexter Township Board put its support behind the initiative called “No Mow May.”

In introducing the idea, township supervisor Diane Ratkovich said she saw an article about this through Washtenaw County.

This initiative is already being supported by the city of Ann Arbor.

“It is scientifically proven that by not mowing your lawn in May you can increase the number of pollinators by 25 percent,” Ratkovich said in referencing the article. “So I think it’s a really good plan.”

In the article, it states under the section named “Do More By Doing Less” that “Mowing your lawn less creates habitat and can increase the abundance and diversity of wildlife including bees and other pollinators. One way to reduce mowing is by participating in No Mow May. No Mow May is a conservation initiative first popularized by Plantlife, an organization based in the United Kingdom, but which is gaining traction across North America. The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow unmown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators. This is particularly important in urban areas where floral resources are often limited.”

The article, which is from the organization, Bee City USA, said in 2020, residents of Appleton, Wisconsin, an affiliate of Bee City USA, participated in No Mow May with 435 property owners supporting it.

The article states that not only were the abundance and richness of bees higher in the yards participating in No Mow May, but they were way higher.

According to the article, “Participating yards had three-times higher bee species richness and five-times higher bee abundance than nearby parks that had been mowed.”

The plan will be to include township properties such as township hall, the cemeteries and fire station.

There was some hesitancy on the board. Board trustee Karen Nolte said she likes the idea, but wanted to first talk with a professional landscaper about it. She said the temperatures will go up and the grass length will follow and it could get long.

Board trustee Laura Sanders, who put forth the motion of support, said they should just try it with the intention to participate while also being mindful of any problems.

If need be, Ratkovich said they can be flexible if there are any problems.

The entire article about No Mow May can be found at the township website at: www.dextertownship.org.

This image is from the Bee City USA article found on the Dexter Township website.
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