No Mow May will be rolled out as a pilot project in Gravenhurst in an effort to help pollinators during the early stages of spring.
The idea, which was unanimously approved by Planning Council on March 28, will see a pair of by-laws relating to maintaining grass and the maximum height it’s allowed to be will be suspended between May 1 and 31.
However, in her report to council, Kristen Ford, Manager of By-law Services, says sports fields like baseball diamonds, community parks, and neighbourhood playgrounds will still be mowed.
At the end of May, staff will convene and determine if it’s a good idea for the town to continue with the annual program. A report will be given to council in the first quarter of 2024.
According to Ford, No Mow May started in the United Kingdom. She says that the program proved that mowing the lawn only once a month leads to 10 times more bees pollinating the area. Ford explains that pollinators are important for the health and well-being of the planet’s ecosystem.
Lawns are a key source for that, Ford continues, pointing out they’re one of the largest sources of vegetation and are habitats for bees, butterflies, and ants.
“It’s okay to mow your lawn in May,” said Coun. Sandy Cairns, adding the program is strictly voluntary. She added that some need to mow their lawn but added she hopes those that don’t need to mow their lawn think about participating in the one-month pilot program. “It’s an important step to protect our climate,” she said.
Mayor Heidi Lorenz brought the idea forward in late March and asked staff to come back with ideas for how to implement the program.