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No Mow May Program

***ANYONE THAT HAS REGISTERED CAN PICKUP THEIR LAWN SIGNS AT THE RIDGEWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY OR THE STABLE DURING BUISNESS HOURS.***

Welcome to No Mow May Ridgewood! No Mow May is a grass roots effort to help our pollinators and raise awareness of their importance for our environment.     The goal of No Mow May is to let your grass grow for the entire month of May, creating habitat and food sources for early season pollinators. The benefits of letting lawns go undisturbed for the month of May include: Increased habitat for pollinators and wildlife Cutting down on pollution and reducing CO2 emissions Making yards safer for kids and pets by reducing the amount of harsh chemicals (Pesticides and Herbicides) used in on our lawns. Promoting sustainable landscapes for healthier neighborhoods Create a safe environment for learning and observation Showing solidarity that you care about our environment and our Village Interested in participating in No Mow May Ridgewood? All you need to do is sign up here and watch your lawn become an optimum environment for pollinators. Everyone who signs up will get a No Mow May Ridgewood sign for their yard, so all your neighbors will know that you’re helping the environment.  No Mow May Ridgewood – BEE Ready and sign up today!  No Mow May Ridgewood

FAQs

Join the Village of Ridgewood as we participate in No Mow May! By leaving your property unmown and pesticide-free for the month of May, you’re creating habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. The start of the growing season is a critical time for hungry, newly emerging native bees. Floral resources may be hard to find, especially in urban and suburban landscapes. By allowing lawns to grow longer, and not applying pesticides to flowering plants in your lawn, you can provide nectar and pollen to help your bee neighbors thrive. No Mow May is a small step towards making our yards more natural, environmentally friendly, and healthier for people, pets and pollinators. 

First and foremost you are creating habitat and food sources for pollinators. These pollinators are why our flowers, plants, trees, and gardens look so beautiful.  Thanks to pollinators, we are able to enjoy the outdoors, and without pollinators our flowers, plants, and trees would cease to exist.  By not mowing your lawn for the month of May, you are helping pollinators survive, which in turn will ensure they continue pollinating our flowers, plants, trees, and gardens.  A recent experiment explored whether different lawn mowing frequencies influenced bee abundance and diversity, and the results found that bee abundance increased when lawns were mown less frequently.  Lawnswith a three-week mowing treatment had significantly greater floral abundance than the one or two-week treatments.  The researchers documented a staggering 93 species of native pollinators, with supplemental observations bringing the total number to 111 species⁠—nearly a quarter of all bee species native to the area!    You can read the full study at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nrs/pubs/jrnl/2018/nrs_2018_Lerman_001.pdf  

The United States Forest Service puts it simply: “Without pollinators, the human race and all of earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive.”  You can read more at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/pollinators/importance.shtml

Full yard, backyard, front yard, or sections of your yard all work!  Every little bit helps, and if you can only keep some of your lawn unmown that too will work.  The goal of No Mow May is to raise awareness and get as many residents as possible to participate. So whatever you can do will make a difference! 

All you have to do is sign up here  It is important to sign up, as the Village of Ridgewood needs to know the address of everyone who is participating, exempting them from the traditional lawn care ordinances. It’s free to sign up and you will get your own No Mow May sign to put in your front yard!  

No.  All mosquitoes like water because that’s where they breed and mosquito larvae and pupae live in the water.  Having longer grass will not increase the mosquito population. 

May is only 31 days.  For mammals that is a short period of time, and they are not going to appear out of nowhere, move into someone's yard and reproduce in just a few weeks. The rat's gestation period is 21-23 days, and for mice, it’s 20 days. Therefore it's unrealistic to think that their population will increase simply by not mowing grass for the month of May.     In Suburban and Urban areas, rats and mice live where there is an established food source.  (garbage, etc.).  Having longer grass for a total of 31 days will not change the amount of food in the area. It’s important to think about where rats and mice are currently living.  Having long grass will not make them suddenly appear.  Meaning, if there is an established  rodent problem, then it should be dealt with immediately regardless of someone's stance on mowing their lawn or not.

Yes!  You can read the following New York Times articles: In Wisconsin: Stowing Mowers, Pleasing Bees Click Here Are Butterflies Wildlife? Depends Where You Live Click Here How (and Why) to Use Native Plants Click Here For the Butterflies — and the Rest of Us Click Here 

Xerces Society https://xerces.org/ No Mow May https://beecityusa.org/no-mow-may/ Bee City USA https://beecityusa.org/ Project 1000 Acres https://project1000acres.org/ Green Ridgewood https://www.greenridgewoodnj.org/ Ridgewood Parks and Recreation https://www.ridgewoodnj.net/departments/recreation

No, letting your grass grow does not lead to more ticks. According to the peer reviewed article, Lerman SB, D’Amico V (2019) Lawn mowing frequency in suburban areas has no detectable effect on Borrelia spp. vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae). PLoS ONE 14(4): e0214615. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214615  This study reports: (emphasis added)  Our results support previous findings of the lack of ticks in the lawn zone of residential landscapes. A study conducted in Westchester County, NY investigated four distinct zones of residential properties including wood lots, unmaintained edges (the ecotone), ornamental vegetation and lawns, and their propensity to support blacklegged ticks. Less than 2% of the ticks were collected from lawns with the majority collected from the wood lots and ecotone [24]. Duffy et al. [13] also found that for yards in Suffolk County, NY, nymphs were primarily encountered at the ecotone with few encounters on lawns. Blacklegged ticks are highly sensitive to low humidity and dehydration, and rely on habitat which provides opportunities to rehydrate [25]. Together, these results acknowledge the presence of ticks in residential landscapes—but context matters [4]. Both property size and the surrounding matrix have implications for tick presence. For example, larger properties (e.g., > 0.5 ha) are more likely to have wood lots, and hence, more opportunities to encounter ticks [24]. A study of coastal Maine microhabitats showed grasses to be the poorest quality habitat for ticks even in an unmanaged setting [26]. These and other studies suggest that lawns, particularly those with full exposure to sunlight, provide poor habitat for blacklegged ticks.  Additionally, this article is further supported by other peer-reviewed studies that include:  Landscape Ecology of Lyme Disease in a Residential Area of Westchester County, New York, (24) which says that you're most likely to encounter ticks in the forest, then properties next to a forest, and least likely to encounter ticks in lawns.  a few facts from the article include: ·       Tick larvae in woods were >500 times more abundant than in lawns. ·       Ticks are not abundant in ornamentals and lawns, regardless of the size of the property   Landscape Patterns of Abundance of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) on Shelter Island, New York (13), says: At the scale of individual house yards, nymphs were most common at wooded edges of property and least common on lawns.  Landscape features associated with lyme disease risk in a suburban residential environment. (4) says: In the suburban landscape examined here, habitat structure significantly influences relative nymphal abundance at the scale of the residential property. Significantly fewer nymphal ticks were found on properties where the proportion of lawn was high relative to the proportion of natural woodland.  Finally, if you look at all the articles referenced in the original article, there is significant research that shows that ticks are abundantly found in forests/non-lawn environments.  Additionally, there is research referenced that shows that non-native bushes/plants/etc. are a major contributing factor to ticks, as they support an environment in which ticks can survive.  Based on the overwhelming number of peer-reviewed articles, it’s clear that No Mow May does not have an impact on tick populations.     

Read more: No Mow May Program

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