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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Front Page: No Mow Spring

Everyone has seen the ads for electric cars, solar panels and green buildings, but what small step can a person take today to really help the environment, and maybe even the planet?

No Mow May, which is now a national campaign started to bring a new light to the importance of protecting and preserving the insects and wildlife that help keep our planet healthy, is now being extended to “No mow spring”. The movement is very simple. Do not mow your law or fields until after May. This process will allow the natural flowers and plants to thrive and give the pollinators (insects) the essential sustenance required to do their job. In addition to the life-giving plants, this process also drastically cuts down on the cost of mowing/maintenance and the pollution it brings with it.

In addition to not mowing, the movement is focusing on educating people about the toxic effects of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers that contaminate soil and precious water supplies.

Natural vegetation is being lost at an alarming rate with clear cutting of land for shopping centers, housing developments and roadways. The ability to regain some of the essential foods for the pollinators by not mowing is a small offering that may have wonderful consequences.

In addition to not mowing, the movement is focusing on educating people about the toxic effects of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers that contaminate soil and precious water supplies.

Natural vegetation is being lost at an alarming rate with clear cutting of land for shopping centers, housing developments and roadways. The ability to regain some of the essential foods for the pollinators by not mowing is a small offering that may have wonderful consequences.

Consequences. For those who cannot avoid mowing, specialists suggest mowing “long” or at the highest blade height of the mower in your common areas while leaving the borders.

Bee City USA, is an organization that works with states, municipalities and college campuses across the USA to help communities sustain and protect pollinators in their communities. Wilmington, Cape Carteret, Southport, Whiteville and Tabor City are local members, as well as UNC Wilmington and ECU in Greenville.

Thanks to organizations like this, municipalities across the country are changing their zoning policies regarding mowed lawns to reflect the importance of letting nature take place.

How extensive is this new movement? In 2020, Minnesota allocated almost $1,000,000 to help homeowners turn their lawns into bee friendly environments. The program encouraged people to reduce mowing, avoid toxic weed killers, and encouraged “wild” tall grass and flower landscapes.

Why is it important to help the pollinators now? Currently over 40% of all the world's pollinators are facing extinction. Over 25% of all bumble bee species in the United States may be lost.

Pollinators are responsible for the success and reproduction of over 80% of all flowers and 65% of all crops. Currently the pollinators are responsible for over 1/3 of the food consumed in the world.

Over 27 million acres of land in the United States alone is designated for household lawns.

How can you help?

1. Find out what plants and flowers are native to your area and if possible, incorporate them into your yard and gardens.

2. Limit your mowing and weed-eating practices to allow more natural growth.

3. Avoid toxic pesticides and fertilizers. There are natural and less harmful solutions available.

4. Avoid mowing your lawns low. A taller grass is more resistant to drought and disease.

5. Leave fallen leaves alone in the fall. These offer shelter and food for pollinators during the winter.

6. Learn about and utilize the natural power of plants. There are plants that can deter mosquitoes and spiders without harmful chemicals.

7. Plant a garden. Even a small one in a windowsill box is a good start.

8. Teach your children the value of planting flowers, shrubs and vegetables.

9. Trees, and the shade they provide, are a wonderful way to cut down on cooling expenses in the summer, while giving wildlife natural habitat.

10. Attend your local town meeting or city council and find out if your area is a member of the Bee City USA. If not, suggest they research the organization, which even provides a sample Resolution for them to become affiliated members. Most local municipalities can become members for $100 a year and will be provided tons of free resources to better your local community.


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