Once again, the Village of Cross Plains has passed a resolution to suspend the enforcement of Section 24.08, limiting the height of lawn and grasses, or any other section that regulates the length of grass, until June 1, 2023. By doing this, the Village hopes to encourage residents to participate in No Mow May, allowing pollinator species to emerge and early flowering grasses to establish, creating pollinator-friendly habitat.
Why do we need to protect bees?
Bees are a 'keystone species', which means that if bees die off, it will end most life. Bees pollinate 35% of agricultural production and almost 90 different commercially grown food crops in the US alone. The global crop production pollinated by bees is valued at $577 billion. Some plants can ONLY be pollinated by bees!
What are some threats to bees?
- Use of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides
- Climate change
- Loss of habitat
- Agricultural services
- Perfectly manicured grass lawns
How can we help bees?
- Stop using pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides - or use pollinator friendly products
- Participate in No Mow May, or Low Mow May
- Grow natives plants and grasses
- Plant pollinator gardens
- Reduce the size of your lawn that is grass, by planting rain gardens or vegetable gardens
No Mow or Low Mow
While No Mow May is gaining a lot of traction in the US, researchers are starting to say that even mowing your lawn half as often can help our pollinators. Instead of mowing every week, try every other week. Longer grass has deeper roots, which helps with keeping the moisture in the soil. In turn, you are helping increase drought tolerance in your lawn!
More than weeds...
Bees need more than weeds. Dandelions have pollen that is lower in protein and are known to suppress other flowers. You can reduce mowing year round by planting more flower species in your lawn. A 'bee lawn' may include white clover and other low-growing flowering plants like creeping thyme. Native violets should also be encouraged as they are valuable host plants for pollinators.
Yard signs - Education
If you would like to participate in the Village's No Mow May initiative, you can stop by the Village office during regular business hours and pick-up a yard sign to put in your bee friendly yard. You do NOT need to have a sign to participate. These signs are for Village residents only as ordinances in other municipalities regarding lawns are still in effect unless otherwise communicated. Signs are available for a donation to help cover the cost of the signs.
Please help to educate others on the importance of bees and pollination. There are many resources online that share more information about pollinator gardens, where to buy native plants and the importance of bees.