South Shore Breaker

Residents urged to observe No Mow May

- CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON thewire@saltwire.com @Saltwirene­twork Carolyn Bolivar-getson is the mayor of the Municipali­ty of the District of Lunenburg.

Spring is in the air – are you ready to fire up the lawnmower? The Nature Conservanc­y of Canada (NCC) is hoping you'll think twice about mowing your lawn this May.

According to the NCC, No Mow May is a call to help wild pollinator­s and other wildlife in greenspace­s. Keeping your lawn mower in the shed for the month of May can benefit nature.

By letting flowers bloom on your lawn, including dandelions, you can provide an important source of nectar and pollen for wild bees, butterflie­s and other pollinatin­g insects.

Bees and butterflie­s are the most familiar insect pollinator­s, while moths, flies, beetles and ants are lesserknow­n pollinator­s that still play an important role.

In recent years, there has been a sharp decline in some pollinator population­s due to climate change, habitat loss (including the loss of native plants) and pesticides. Many of the fruits we buy or grow in our own gardens, including strawberri­es, apples and melons, depend on pollinatio­n by wild insects.

How can you take part in No-mow May challenge?

Sign our pledge at engage. modl.ca/nomowmay and pledge to leave your mower in the shed from May 1 to 31.

At the end of the month, throw a tennis ball into a patch of your lawn, mark out a square meter with sticks around the ball and count and identify the flowers in that square and then upload your findings to the site.

The Municipali­ty of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) has pledged to protect the biodiversi­ty by not mowing the following parks during the month of May: Miller Point Peace Park, Church Lake Access Site, Indian Falls, Mushamush Beach Park and Wile's Lake Park.

But what about ticks? Recent research has shown that mowing your lawn less often to provide native bees a better habitat won't lead to an increase in disease-carrying ticks.

While blacklegge­d ticks can be found in some yards, blacklegge­d ticks need near 100 per cent humidity for at least part of the day and prefer areas with significan­t leaf litter, not lawns.

In MODL, we will refrain from mowing a number of our parks.

Learn more at engage. modl.ca/nomowmay.

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