Westmont, Illinois - Date Issued: April 9, 2021
The No Mow Till Mother’s Day Program, which was developed by the Westmont Environmental Improvement Commission, is a new initiative that invites residents to not mow their lawns through Mother’s Day for the purpose of helping the local ecology, specifically the habitats of pollinators. The program aligns with the values of the Mayor's Monarch Butterfly Pledge, which is coordinated through the National Wildlife Federation and was approved locally by the Westmont Village Board.
“Pollinators are essential to the success of our environment,” said Jon Yeater, who helped launch the program. “By not mowing during the spring, we are helping to support the populations of butterflies, bees and other pollinators.” Trustee Bruce Barker, who chairs the EIC, added, “The Village Board will be considering a proclamation in support of this effort. We invite the entire community to participate in this effort.”
Westmont residents who wish to participate in the program will need to sign up via the online form. Once enrolled, participants will not be subject to lawn mowing code enforcement through Mother’s Day, May 9. Regular lawn care code enforcement will resume after the program is over on Mother’s Day. People may choose to participate by designating a specific section of their property for the no mow event, rather than not mowing their entire yard.
NO MOW UNTIL MOTHER’S DAY SIGN-UP FORM
The EIC invites everyone to sign up and support this initiative as well as encourage neighbors to do the same. Many species of pollinators live on lawns after they emerge from hibernation in the spring. By not mowing during this time, pollinator habitat is left mostly undisturbed, which allows the flowers that pollinators rely on to grow at a time when resources might be scarce otherwise. All support is helpful and appreciated. Even if only a small portion of a lawn is designated for the 'No Mow' program, this will help pollinators flourish.
Widespread population declines of bees and other pollinators from habitat loss are a growing concern in the United States. However, cities and suburbs support a surprising level of bee richness and abundance, and nectar and pollen from spontaneous flowers such as dandelions, white clover and other ‘weedy’ species have the potential to support bee conservation in urban and suburban areas. Residential and commercial lawns, athletic fields, and golf courses cover an estimated 40 million acres in the United States, making these green spaces a potentially significant management tool for improving bee habitat.
Lawn maintenance often results in a simplistic vegetation configuration that is dismissed as “sterile environments for biodiversity.” But could less rigorous lawn mowing make a difference to biodiversity in a suburban or urban setting? Given the cumulative area of lawns in urban and suburban areas in the U.S. and the millions of people that manage these systems, a recent research project explored the effects of mowing less frequently on floral resources, and in turn, what are the implications of relaxed management practices on bee and other pollinator populations. This 2-year study found that while mowing every 3 weeks resulted in as much as 2.5 times more lawn flowers and greater diversity of bee species, the abundance of bees was greatest when lawns were mowed every 2 weeks. Further, the researchers documented 93 species of pollinators with supplemental observations reaching 111 species, representing roughly a quarter of those species recorded in that state.
For more information, contact the EIC at firstname.lastname@example.org.