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Nonprofit group promotes 'No Mow May'

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Posted at 7:11 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 21:14:33-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A month-long challenge is getting some viral attention. It's asking people to put a temporary pause on a chore many of us do weekly. Those encouraging the challenge say taking part could have a good environmental impact.

Typically, at some point in the week, the yard gets mowed. It's kept trim and neat just like the rest of the neighborhood.

But what if you didn't mow this week? What if you didn't mow at all during the entire month of May?

No Mow May is a movement that started in the UK and is now getting online discussion everywhere, including local forums like Rewild Nashville.

"During the month of May, the reason this is beneficial is because many bees and other pollinators begin to become active," said Matthew Shepherd of the environmental nonprofit Xerces Society. "They really need their nectar sources. By allowing your lawn to grow, it's a real boost at a critical time of year."

Many have expressed concerns about what homeowner's associations would do if they were to participate in No Mow May. Some said they fear someone would turn them in to codes.

"That's really tricky because we don't have the ability to change code," said Shepherd.

There have been some cities that made adjustments for the month of May.

"Appleton, Wisconsin — they took a couple of years to be able to get the rule changes through their city council," said Shepherd. "If you don't mow in May, no one's going to take any action."

NewsChannel 5 asked Shepherd how he sees the long-term impact of No Mow May.

"It'll be changes in the landscape," said Shepherd. "The longer grass, the flowers will encourage more bees and butterflies to come back in, and it's not just pollinators. In Nashville, you have fireflies. People say, 'I don't see them like like I used to.' By bringing a little more wildness back in, we're going to bring benefit to way more than just the bees."