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Posted on: April 26, 2022

No Mow May

Why Glendale is Experimenting with "No Mow May" this year. Cities and villages across Wisconsin are adopting "No Mow May." The purpose of the program is to protect the endangered honeybee and bumblebee population. May is when pollinators emerge from hibernation. By not mowing, bees will find clover, dandelions and other flowering plants to feed from. 

At our last common council meeting, we adopted a motion to direct staff to not enforce the 8" lawn limit in the month of May, 2022; however, lawns must still be in compliance with restrictions in rights-of-way that might hinder driver vision. ALL OTHER PROPERTY MAINTENANCE IS IN FULL EFFECT AND WILL BE ENFORCED. 

Here is how the pilot project will function in Glendale this year: 

1. Residents are encouraged to not mow or dig in their yards during the month of May. Digging disturbs hibernating bees. Mowing cuts down their food sources. 
2. No Mow May is still bound by the limits of our Native Planting Ordinance. That means that rights-of-way that hinder driver line of sight must still be trimmed down, particularly at corner lots. 
3. All yards must be brought into full compliance by June 7. Keep in mind that if we have an especially wet May, lawns may get quite tall. Residents will need to judge at what point their mowers might not handle tall grass, and then cut their lawn earlier than June 1, if necessary. 
4. The city will NOT be picking up grass clippings or hay. Those who participate will need to take care of their own composting or mulching. 
5. This is entirely voluntary. When Appleton started it in 2020, they had about 450 homes participate initially. We are about 1/4 the size of Appleton, so we are expecting approximately 100 homes will opt to not mow their lawns this May. Residents can opt not to mow, or can mow as normal; both are your right. The City will still be mowing medians and other public property. 

If No Mow May is successful and does not get out-of-hand, we will look to implement it more widely in 2023, with homeowners registering to participate in the future. The City will write language into our contract with the lawn maintenance company we use so that we skip mowing public spaces in the month of May 2023 and into the future. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me or Director of Public Works Charlie Imig at city hall: bryan.kennedy@glendalewi.govc.imig@glendalewi.gov 

Here is a New York Times article about No Mow May in Wisconsin.

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