Dandelions growing at the Community EcoGarden in Fernie. Wildsight Elk Valley is promoting No Mow May for the third year in 2022. (Photo by Mary Cosman)

Wildsight challenges people not to mow their lawns this May for the bees

The challenge is meant to give bees more pollenation options through the spring

Wildsight Elk Valley is encouraging people to hold off on mowing their lawns for the month of May.

The ‘No Mow May’ challenge (which is not originated by Wildsight and is international) is meant to allow dandelions and other wildflowers to grow freely for bees, according to a description of the event on Facebook.

“We love bees here in Fernie,” said Dawn Deydey of Wildsight Elk Valley

She pointed to the chemicals some employ for the sake of a ‘field of green’ on their front yards, and said lawns have a lot more potential than just grass, such as growing food, including for bees.

“That’s what No Mow May is trying to do, is to encourage people to at least let their lawns grow during the month of May so that bees have a chance to have access to more food when flowers are not really prolific at that time of year.”

Colouring and photo contests are part of the month-long event. Four gift cards to Local worth a total of $80 are available to win. More information about these contests can be found at the Facebook event page hosted by Wildsight.

People are encouraged to consider letting areas of their lawns grow through the whole summer, and to put the colouring-contest posters on their windows to let the neighbours know why they are letting their lawns loose.

“It’s really surprising to see the variety of plants that do grow in our lawn. Dandelions are just one of them.”

Deydey said that dandelions can have a positive impact on the soil, as their roots help to de-compact the earth.

“It is actually helping your lawn.”

She said this is the third year Wildsight is promoting the event, and that, though not much has happened yet (except on social media) due to a slow spring, the initiative seems to be catching on.

“We’re just starting to see the dandelions pop up, so we’ve got a little time.”

READ MORE: Plant for pollinators to get ahead of No Mow May, says Nature Conservancy of Canada

READ MORE: North America’s love affair with the lawn is getting messy


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