No Mow May

Photo of a lawn participating in No Mo May

No Mow May is an initiative during the month of May to let lawns grow undisturbed and give pollinators food and habitat in the early part of the growing season. 

In early spring, floral resources may be hard to find, especially in urban and suburban landscapes. By allowing lawns to grow longer, and letting flowers bloom, nectar and pollen become more available to help pollinators thrive. 

Not mowing for a few weeks is a simple step in helping the local ecosystem, tough it is only part of the solution. It acts as a starting point for moving toward increasing native habitats throughout the urban landscape. 

Sign Up

Signing up is optional, but it helps us gauge interest, see how much habitat is preserved, and get to know who is participating and in what neighborhoods. 

Our Support

When participating in No Mow May you will be exempt from the Tall Grass/Weeds Nuisance Violation Notice for the month of May, as long as the following areas are kept mowed: 

  • The entire curb lawn between the street and the sidewalk (if there is no curb lawn at your home, then at least five feet from the edge of the road) 
  • At least one mower width on the private property (house or lot) side of the public sidewalk
  • At least one mower width on any walkway or approach to the front porch
  • At last three feet at neighboring property lines

Lawn Signs

As a way to help educate others on the program, you can pickup a No Mow May lawn sign to place in your lawn for the month of May (though they aren't required). The signs are free and can be reused in future years. Visit the Community Planning & Economic Development offices at 245 N Rose St. Suite 100 during normal business hours to pick up a sign and info sheet while they last.   

What About the Rest of the Year?

No Mow May is a fine way to start a conversation about strengthening our local ecosystem. But we need to think beyond this one month of the year. 

To help pollinators and other animals all year round, consider designating some of our yards to native plants. Native plants provide food and shelter for creatures all year. In the warm months their flowers and leaves are food. In fall and winter the stems of these plants become shelter for larvae, which will hatch in the spring and summer, keeping the cycle going. If you’d like to learn more about native plants, local organizations like Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones are a great resource. Information can also be found on the Michigan State University Extension’s Website. If you’d like to become join a national movement of homeowners who are working to connect native habitat, visit the Homegrown National Park’s website.