‘No Mow May’ trend would benefit Illinois pollinators

The Severson Dells Nature Center explains why those pesky dandelions have a purpose.
Published: May. 1, 2022 at 9:28 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - Two years ago Appleton Wisconsin became the first city in the country to adopt “No Mow May” in an effort to boost the bee population.

Since then other Wisconsin cities like Oshkosh. Wausau, and Stevens Point have followed suit. Now the folks at Severson Dells Nature Center think this trend should dip down to Illinois.

The idea is to give homeowners the option of letting their lawns get a bit overgrown for a few weeks to ensure bees coming out of hibernation have plenty of options for the pollen they need. Studies have shown steep declines in wild bee populations in the 21st century. Lawrence university studied the Appleton program and found that in the first year there was a five-fold increase in the number of pollinators.

“Those pesky dandelions that people would like to cut our great food sources for bees and flies and other pollinators,” said Severson Dells Nature Center Director Ann Wasser. “So if we can hold off mowing for just a few weeks. It’s very beneficial for those pollinators that we need to pollinate our flowers, pollinate our trees but also pollinate our food.”

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