No Mow May
Registration is now open for No Mow May 2023.
Sign up to reserve your yard sign. Registration closes May 15th, 2023.
Participate in Waite Park's first annual No Mow May program! No Mow May encourages residents who live in owner-occupied or rented properties to allow flowering plants to bloom that provide habitat and nutrition for early-season pollinators by pausing mowing their lawn during the month of May. City Council passed a Resolution of Support for No Mow May in 2023, temporarily suspending its turf and weed ordinances related to lawn height for participating properties. All properties must come back into compliance by June 15th, 2023.
Benefits of No Mow May: Participating in No Mow May supports all of Minnesota's pollinators including: native bees, butterflies, ants, flies, beetles, and more! Avoid mowing in early Spring during the month of May to protect overwinter habitat for threatened bee populations and other pollinators, while allowing flowering plants to grow rich in nectar and other key nutrients that serve as food for our pollinator friends during a time when needed most!
Join us for No Mow May!
Yard signs are limited, so register early to get yours. Those interested in participating must register online or at City Hall. Participants who register, may pick up their yard sign (Limit one per household) from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Waite Park City Hall at the Administration Office front desk.
Signs will be available on a first come first serve basis, as quantity is limited.
Want to know what to do with your sign after May? Save it! The sign is meant to be used for multiple years, so consider stowing it in a closet, garage or basement after May, for future use in the years to come. If you don't expect to participate in No Mow May again, please consider dropping off your sign at City Hall, so it can be reused.
June - Return to Mow Tips: When you start mowing again in June, learn from the UMN about mowing best practices for a healthy lawn. Best practices for bringing your grass back down to a reasonable height while keeping it healthy include:
- Mow late in the day or when grass is dry
- Mow down in small increments (never more than 1/3 of grass blade's height at one time)
- Rake up excessive clipping to prevent them from going into streets. This protects your local water quality and keeps storm drains clear.
To Help Pollinators Year-Round:
- Mow less - instead of mowing your lawn every single week, or even multiple times a week, mow every 2 to 3 weeks. Mowing stresses your grass and creates an unhealthy lawn if mowed too frequently. Lawns mowed every 3 weeks can have as much as 2.5x more lawn flowers, and support a greater number of pollinators.
- Mow higher - consider keeping your lawn 3.5 - 4.5 inches in height. Taller grass hold more moisture, is less prone to stress, and better hides plants like clover and dandelion that pollinators need.
- Water your lawn about 1" (in volume) per week in the early morning or late evening and avoid watering during rain events.
- Water your lawn all at once rather than in smaller quantities more frequently, which can disrupt pollinators and other insects, and stress your lawn during periods of drought.
- Allow some flowering plants to persist in you lawn; tolerate clover and dandelions. To provide plenty of food sources from Spring and throughout Fall, avoid de-weeding you entire yard - no need to pull up all those 'evil' patches of clover or rid your lawn of all those 'pesky' dandelions. These are a favorite food source for many of MN's threatened pollinators, including several bee species.
- Limit or cease use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Use organic sources sparingly, instead.
- Ready to re-seed your grass lawn? Consider prioritizing fine fescue over Kentucky Bluegrass. Fine fescue is slow growing, while Kentucky Bluegrass requires more frequent mowing.
How is the City making a difference?
City staff will continue mowing around rental structures, in the parks and around City buildings to ensure accessibility, but, we will be participating in other ways by adding native prairie grasses and wildflowers throughout our parks system. A 3/4 acre plot of pollinator habitat is being planted in Rivers Edge Park this spring near the disc golf course!