Kenoshans divided on importance of ‘No Mow May’

The nationwide movement was adopted to delay spring mowing to create a pollinator-friendly yard

KENOSHA, Wis. — The nationwide “No Mow May” movement was adopted to delay spring mowing create a pollinator-friendly yard for bees and attract a variety of birds and butterflies.

It’s popular with many Kenosha residents for a variety of reasons.

“I think it’s probably a well-intentioned idea,” Kenosha City Administrator John Morrissey said. “But a very misguided idea.”

TMJ4 News
John Morrissey, Kenosha City Administrator.

Kristi Heuser, Pollinator Patch Program Manager at Kenosha’s Root Pike WIN, said “No Mow May” can have a brief positive impact on pollinators.

However, there are far better ways to feed the bees.

“So instead of ‘No Mow May’ you can put native plants into your landscape and those have two benefits first they have deeper root systems than turf grass,” Heuser said.

TMJ4 News
Kristi Heuser, Root Pike WIN Pollinator Patch Program Manager.

“So you’re going to be infiltrating more stormwater runoff when you have these deep-rooted prairie plants. They go underground about six to 15 feet versus turf grass is about two inches underground.”

Not only is “No Mow May” mostly ineffective, it’s against city ordinances. Property owners are not allowed to let their grass grow taller than eight inches.

Those in violation can receive a seven-day notice. If the grass remains untouched, the city can issue a variety of fees and fines.

Kenosha Alderman Anthony Kennedy is asking the city to adopt new rules.

TMJ4 News
Anthony Kennedy, Kenosha Alderman.

“You have a responsibility to cut your grass,” Kennedy said. “I am ok with the city keeping the people responsible for that. If this is a special plan in reference to ‘No Mow May’ then let’s give people a way to participate so it doesn’t penalize them.”