New Brunswick

'No-Mow May' campaign catches on in greater Moncton area

The City of Dieppe is asking people to embrace "dandelion madness" for the month of May. Residents are being asked not to mow their lawns in order to let the grass and dandelions grow, providing food for pollinators like bees.

The group behind 'No-Mow May' in the area says spring is a crucial time to help pollinators

The Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance wants people to take part in the 'No-Mow May' campaign. It encourages the growth of dandelions to help feed pollinators like bees. (Sally Pitt/CBC)

The city of Dieppe is hoping to induce some "dandelion madness" for the month of May.

Residents are being asked not to mow their lawns, or to at least leave a portion unmowed.

Mayor Yvon Lapierre says the idea is to help pollinating insects, including butterflies and bees, because food is scarce for these insects in May.

He says dandelions are one of the few flowers that can provide nectar.

"They come out early in the season and it's a good way for bees to pollinate and start doing their job," Lapierre said.

The city is also suspending enforcement of its street and sidewalk bylaws that say grass must be less than 20 cm high.

Lapierre says the grass at City Hall will not be mowed for the month.

Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre hopes the campaign is successful and says the lawn at city hall will not be mowed for the month of May. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

The Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance is promoting the "No-Mow May" campaign in the area.

Brittany Cormier, a project leader with the non-profit organization, said she's pleased to see Dieppe join the movement. She said so far Salisbury, Petitcodiac and Memramcook are also supporting the idea.

And the town of Riverview is now on board, asking residents to give their lawn mowers a break for the month

"We were approached by the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance to consider the "No-Mow May" initiative and it makes a lot of sense," said Gerry Cole, director of parks, recreation and community relations for the Town of Riverview.

"Residents can opt not to mow their entire lawn or leave a section unmowed. Meanwhile, the Town will not mow grass at Town Hall or other Town facilities as well as select open spaces in the month of May."

The city of Moncton will be looking at keeping sections of the grass at some green spaces a little longer during the month of May.

City Spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc also says clover will be planted in certain areas, and residents are encouraged to reduce lawn mowing for the month.

Brittany Cormier, a project leader with the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, hopes people choose to take part in the campaign. She says it's only a four-week commitment. (Submitted/Brittany Cormier)

Conservation groups have been promoting the "No-Mow May" approach around the world.

Cormier said spring is a crucial time to help pollinators.

"Flowering plants in the spring, for example, can bloom and provide an early source of nectar for pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and beetles," she said.

Cormier says allowing wildflowers and grasses to grow during this time will also help prevent pollutants and debris from travelling directly into freshwater ecosystems, and help with soil stabilization.

"We're not asking for a lot of time. We're asking for 4 weeks so hopefully maybe just take a break from mowing for a couple weeks, for the entire month just try it out. It's a small commitment but maybe people will like it and I hope they do," she said.

Dieppe and Riverview are both suspending enforcement of the bylaw that addresses grass height for the month of May. (tchrmom819/Flickr)

Mayor Yvon Lapierre says he's interested to see how the project goes in Dieppe and hopes for success.

Residents who take part can submit photos of their unmown lawns to the city for a chance to win a basket of honey and honey-based products.

"That's the whole idea is to make that link between the lawn, the bees and the pollination and the beautiful yellow flowers," Lapierre said.

Riverview residents are also encouraged to share pictures of their lawns for a chance to win a basket of pollinator-attracting flowers and planting tools.

Riverview will also suspend it's by-law enforcement for grass height. No tickets will be issued in May for related infractions.