City expected to approve second-annual ‘No Mow May’

By Patrick Lynn

The Stevens Point City Council in April will again consider relaxing lawn maintenance ordinances for the month of May to help promote pollinator habitat.

The initiative is called “No Mow May,” and has been used in many communities across the nation to promote food and habitat for pollinators.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, a national nonprofit membership organization known for its work protecting endangered species, there are over 4,000 species of bees in North America, and populations have been affected to the point where one in four of those species are at risk of extinction.

The main reasons for this decline have been attributed to loss of habitat, use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, and climate change, CBD said.

Mayor Mike Wiza said implementing the program for a month is just one way the city can help.

“Our commitment to stewardship of the environment is resolute,” he said in a press release on March 29. “We have [also] constructed pollinator gardens around the community and have worked to allow honey bees to be kept in the city.”

More than 200 properties participated in the program in 2021. Property owners who choose to participate will need to register online or in person and agree to the terms of the program. Tenants will need to have the property owners register for the program.

Wiza said participants from last year are encouraged to reuse their yard signs from the 2021 program. New participants will receive a new sign from the city, Wiza said.

All lawns must be back in compliance—less than eight inches in height—on or before June 6, or be subject to a penalty from the city’s inspection department and possible abatement costs. The city’s yard waste drop-off site will have extended hours from May 31 to June 4 to accommodate the extra volume.

“You can just reduce the number of times you mow, not mow at all or maybe only participate for a shorter time,” continued Mayor Wiza. “Be respectful of the environment, but please be respectful of your neighbors, too.”

The City Council is expected to renew the program for 2022 at its April 18 meeting, held at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Stevens Point Police Department, 933 Michigan Ave. If it does, details and online registration will be available from April 9 to May 6 at Stevenspoint.com/NoMowMay.