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‘No Mow in May’ project growing in Norwalk

Supporters of the “No Mow in May” initiative in Norwalk pictured at Norwalk Public Library. Seated from left: Mary Verel (Norwalk Land Trust); Lisa Shanahan (Norwalk Land Trust, Common Council member); Audrey Cozzarin (Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee, Norwalk Land Trust). Standing from left: Cynde Lahey (Norwalk Public Library); Bill Wrenn (Norealk Land Trust, Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee); Seeley Hubbard (President, Norwalk Land Trust); Collin Pratt (Norwalk Public Library); Laurie Morrison (Norwalk Garden Club); Dominique Johnson (Common Council member); Midge Kennedy (Norwalk Land Trust). (Erik Trautman)

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Why the tall grass? Something’s abuzz here in Norwalk with the signs around the city which read, “No Mow in May—We’re Feeding the Bees”. The City of Norwalk Department of Public Works has designated 15 properties as project sites allowing the grass and native plants to grow to their heart’s content during the month of May when bees need food in abundance. Bee populations world-wide have declined by nearly 50% according to Greenpeace and numerous scientific reports.

Other cities in Connecticut have joined the “No Mow” movement. In Norwalk, homeowners and landscapers have posted the signs as well. The Norwalk Public Library’s Belden Avenue and South Norwalk branches are part of this initiative. Pictured above at the Belden Avenue library branch are supporters of “No Mow in May:” Norwalk Library staff, members of the Norwalk Land Trust, Norwalk Garden Club, Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee, and Common Council. We enjoyed the “meadow” in front of the library with a cup of tea from The Blue Teapot café located inside the library. The Adirondack chairs out front are a great spot to get some sunshine.

If you would like a sign for your yard, please contact the Norwalk Land Trust.

Pardon the weeds, we’re feeding the bees.

 

Audrey Cozzarin

Oak Hills Park Nature Advisory Committee, Norwalk Land Trust

12 comments

Bruce Kimmel May 21, 2022 at 10:52 am

Great initiative. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that so-called weeds (which I would rather call wildflowers or even volunteers) with proper care often are indistinguishable from store-bought perennials.

Piberman May 21, 2022 at 11:23 am

Now we need a moratorium on the use of weed killers. Decades ago the streams and ponds flowing through Norwalk from up north leading into the Sound usually had plenty of fish. But the use of weed killers has changed the ecology. We don’t often see a “natural lawn” anymore where natural plants instead of “grass” dominates. In Norwalk as elsewhere in CT “grass is king”.

DryAsABone May 22, 2022 at 9:06 am

Good for them. If it makes them happy, enjoy, but please do not force others to conform to your
personal preferences.

Piberman May 22, 2022 at 10:18 am

Those who enjoy walking through “high grass” ought read up about ticks, Lyme disease and how difficult it is to remove ticks from clothing and pets. There’s a reason why we mow the grass and its not because we need something to do on weekends. Lyme disease ought be taken seriously.

Jalna Jaeger May 23, 2022 at 10:05 am

For years we have let our front yard grow,we now have ferns, asters and trillium in our front yard. We usually mow it in August.

Tysen Canevari May 23, 2022 at 7:25 pm

I was downtown today at the post office and looked over at our library. What a total disgrace it looks like. Maybe we can try throw the garbage on the sidewalk day next!! I mean cmon on people get a grip. If you want high grass then go move to the pasture. Wait till you see how ugly, yellow, and malnurished the grass is after it is cut now.

Bees don't need unmowed lawns May 24, 2022 at 8:53 am

I’m a bit torn on this one. As a beekeeper I know that honey bees get very little to no value in anything that grows in our lawns. You may see a honey bee on your dandelions but trust me, you would need many many football fields packed full of dandylions to feed one hive.

Honeybees and other pollinators use our trees as the main source of nutrition. We like to think that our backyard flowers provide sustenance to honey bees but they really do not.

Here is a great video for those that are interested in the topic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI-i-aj34Vc

I actually like some un-mowed spaces, such as the highway medians. But my lawn in May? I’ll stick with ‘MMM’ or, ‘Massively Mowed May’

mary verel May 31, 2022 at 5:50 pm

https://gbbg.org/2020/06/no-mow-may-benefits-pollinators-bees/

This is a link to the scientific research behind the No Mow May. There are many out there.

Our pollinators and insects are in trouble. Doug Tallamay, an entomologist out of University of Delaware has been sounding the alarm about the insect Armageddon for years. He is the “Rachel Carson” for our times.
Please check the Science on this.
There are 4000 native bee species in this country. Not just the European honey bees. Ticks and mosquitoes numbers are no higher in the unmowed areas as in the mowed ones.
As the insects go,we,at the top of the food chain go.
No mow may is an easy, simple thing we all can do to help our beleaguered pollinators. Also skip the pesticides and herbicides. They are not good for people, children and pets as well as insects, birds, mammals. Actually the whole ecosystem of which are a part.

Tysen Canevari May 31, 2022 at 9:26 pm

Dear Mary. I think you should put on your shorts and flip flops then and walk through some of the no mow spots in the city and see if you pick up any ticks. To do that at the library is a disgrace. It looks like a junkyard not a municipal building

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