The City of Cornwall is undertaking some concrete actions in May to help wild pollinators throughout public and private greenspaces.

No Mow May will see the City not enforce Section 3 of the Yard Maintenance By-Law 2013-212 as amended, from May 1 to May 31. It allows for property owners to have all grass and weeds on their properties to grow more than 15 cm for the month of May.

In addition to increasing food sources for pollinators, not mowing grass in May also prevents disturbance of overwintering insects and amphibians that may be burrowed or hiding in leaves and lawns. It should also be noted that over 80 per cent of all flowering plants rely on pollinators to produce seeds.

Participating residents can collect their No Mow May signs during Eco Day, on April 22 at Lamoureux Park.

Register your property by clicking here!

To view a summary of No Mow 2022please click here.

Call to Artists — No Mow May Sign

In collaboration with The Cline House Gallery, the City’s Eco Day Committee is seeking artwork to help promote and encourage participation in the 2023 “No Mow May” campaign.

In lieu of reprinting the same signage as was used last year, the committee would like to feature original artwork that reflects the beauty of “No Mow May” and the pollinators and flowering plants that benefit from this important initiative. The goal is to create a temporary “outdoor art gallery” all of May.

The Eco Day Committee will select and print four works of art each year as part of the campaign. If “No Mow May” is approved by council in consecutive years, art signs would be reused, growing the outdoor gallery as the number of participants in the campaign increases.

Click here to view submission guidelines

The City of Cornwall Eco Day Committee will review all entries and select 4 works of art to reproduce as double sided, bilingual, lawn signs. 25 copies of each sign will be printed in 2023.

No Mow May Myths

Myth – No Mow May increases tick populations.

Fact - Scientific research indicates that milder weather is responsible for the increase in tick population and habitat spreading. They are now able to survive winter. Studies show that No Mow May does not increase tick populations since lawns are probably too dry for the species. Blacklegged ticks (lyme carriers) require 100% humidity for at least part of the day to thrive. The research concludes that ticks found in lawns are typically associated with adjacent woodlands and since they cannot jump, they attach onto whatever passes by. An article published in the academic publication Ecosphere Journal in 2016 stated that ticks are more attracted to “woodlands, particularly in urban and suburban areas, that consist of small forests with mature trees, understory shrubs and leaf litter […].” To help prevent the spread of ticks into urban neighbourhoods, check your clothes (and your pets) when leaving wooded areas or trails.


Myth - Now Mow May increases airborne pollen.

Fact - Research shows that during May 2022 pollen was high across the province of Ontario. The vegetation that generated the most pollen was pine, fir, and spruce; grass had a moderate count; and pollen from weeds and other plants was low or non-existent. A 2019 article in the academic journal British Ecological Society titled Mowing urban lawns less intensely increases biodiversity, saves money and reduces pests claims that reducing the intensity of lawn mowing in urban spaces does lead to the “reduced presence of allergy-triggering weeds,” such as ragweed since the species is able to “colonise disturbances caused by intense mowing.”

Before you mow in May…
  1. Walk around your lawn and look for signs of nesting wildlife. Rabbit nests are often tucked into the undergrowth of other vegetation. They appear as regular dried patches of material and dirt. If you happen to see a heap of grass, look under it to be certain it isn’t a rabbit nest. Keep a watchful eye out at dawn and dusk for active rabbits.
  2.  If you find a rabbit’s nest…Place a protective barrier around the nest with enough entry space for the mother rabbit. Mark the nest as a reminder to leave enough space when carrying out lawncare activities. Keep in mind that mother rabbits don't want to attract predators to their babies, so they mostly leave them on their own, hidden and camouflaged. Mom will come back a few times a day, usually between dusk and dawn, to feed the babies. 
  3. Cut your grass in stages. It’s best not to go from No Mow May back to your old lawn in one cut because it could kill your grass.
  4. Mow at the highest setting. This allows low lying flowers to continue to grow and decrease re-flower time for those that are mown.
  5. Keeping your grass at the maximum allowed length has benefits. Cutting the grass too short damages root growth. Some grasses have different heights where they grow best. Leaving 1/3 of a leaf-blade length can result in the best looking full-cover lawn.
  6. Reducing the amount of fertilizer used promotes better aeration for growth.
  7. It’s ok to be somewhat lazy with your property; a manicured lawn is a desert for pollinators and most wildlife. A small pile of twigs makes a great home for pollinators. Leaving a patch of ground dry, unmulched and uncultivated is beneficial for the native bees that nest underground. All bees need a source of water with a perch. Offering a muddy spot with stones helps them out!

No-Mow May lawn sign

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