May 18, 2022 - News

No Mow May grows a fan base in Minnesota

Illustration of a roll of turf opening to reveal flowers, a bee, and a mushroom.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

If your neighbors' yards are starting to look a little shaggy, it might be by design.

What's happening: No Mow May is gaining traction in Minnesota, with a growing number of local cities formally encouraging residents to participate.

Why it matters: Letting your grass grow (and weeds bloom) during this spring period is good for bees and other pollinators.

  • Those pollinators in turn help the rest of the ecosystem — everything from the flowers in our gardens to our food supply — thrive.

The backstory: The movement, which began in the United Kingdom in 2019, made its U.S. debut in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 2020, according to Popular Science.

  • Now, more than 35 towns and cities across the Northeast and Midwest are participating.

Zoom in: At least four cities here in the Twin Cities suburbs have launched "no mow" campaigns for the first time this spring, according to the Star Tribune. As part of the push, the cities won't cite residents who are in violation of lawn maintenance rules for the month.

  • In Edina, more than 1,200 people signed up, city manager Scott Neal told Axios. New Brighton gave away all 250 yard signs it had on hand for participating households.

What you're saying: Axios Twin Cities reporter Torey Van Oot gauged your interest on Twitter and was flooded with messages from folks happy to leave the mower in the garage.

Of note: While many residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul are taking part in the campaign, neither city is formally participating.

  • A Minneapolis city spokesperson told Axios that while inspectors are not proactively issuing grass citations at this time, residents who do get a notice based on a complaint can call and explain they were supporting a pollinator-friendly yard.
  • St. Paul residents who receive notice of a complaint can request an extension.

Torey's thought bubble: Longtime readers know I love to mow. But this year, we've held off and... I don't hate it!

What's next: Well, for many of us, giving the grass a trim in just a few weeks. The University of Minnesota has some tips for maintaining your lawn in a healthy way.


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