May 20, 2022 - News

It's No Mow May in Des Moines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The sun is out, the birds are chirping and for some Des Moines families, the lawn mowers ain't singin'.

Driving the news: No Mow May is a viral movement that's encouraging homeowners to ditch the blades and let their lawns go wild for the month.

Why it matters: While a manicured lawn has traditionally represented orderliness, the overuse of water and chemicals to keep our grass green can hurt the environment.

  • Holding off on mowing lets all sorts of vegetation grow, like flowers and weeds that create more habitat for early-season pollinators.

Zoom in: In Iowa, the city of Cedar Falls is participating in No Mow May by not enforcing its grass height ordinance this month.

  • Of note: Ordinances are still in place in the Des Moines metro.

What you're saying: Chris Espersen of Des Moines said she gave her lawn a "mullet" by trimming her front yard, but letting it grow out in the back.

  • Her 7-year-old daughter, Nancy, made a sign so neighbors would know.
Nancy Vongphasouk making a sign for her front lawn
Nancy Vongphasouk, 7, makes a sign for #NoMowMay. Photo courtesy of her mom, Chris Espersen

Larry Morlan of Johnston said he likes the idea behind No Mow May, but suggested #LessMowMay as a way for people to help the pollinators without having to deal with too tall grass.

🌱Thought bubble: After waiting for a while, I finally mowed my lawn ... I couldn't help it!


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