Archived News Release: May 1, 2023 - The City of Ann Arbor is delighted to announce the launch of the Pollinator-Aware Yard Care program, the successor to last year's No Mow May campaign. The program focuses on encouraging property owners to support native pollinator populations through sustainable yard care practices. Unlike No Mow May, the focus isn't just on allowing turf grass to grow taller in the spring – it's also on reducing the amount of turf grass in your yard, planting native plant species, reducing chemical inputs, leaving fallen leaves as pollinator habitat, and more. “We really wanted to build on the success of No Mow May from last year," says Sean Reynolds, Community Sustainability Coordinator with the City's Office of Sustainability and Innovations, “but we also wanted to let folks know about all of the other ways in which you can support the pollinators that call your yard home, year-round – and the Pollinator-Aware Yard Care program does a great job of highlighting those actions."
Residents of Ann Arbor are encouraged to participate in the program and support our native pollinator populations through practices such as: reducing the are a of mowed turfgrass in yards by extending maintained garden beds or by planting native groundcover in place of turfgrass; incorporating more native plants into garden beds and natural areas; mowing turfgrass less frequently and keeping it at a height of 6-12 inches during the spring; avoiding chemical applications, especially of neonicotinoid insecticides; and leaving whole or mulched leaves in yards during the fall and winter months. Residents can also request a yard sign from the City, to show that their yard is a part of the Pollinator-Aware Yard Care program.
The City encourages residents to, when planting native species, keep in mind the need for species that are height-appropriate in our urban environment, specifically in lawn extensions and right-of-way areas. All plantings should adhere to Ann Arbor City Code, Chapter 40, Sections 3:15 (Lawn extension and city right-of-way) and 3:16 (Vegetation on private property). Residents should avoid adding tall plants to their lawn extension, as these can create safety hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists. Additionally, yard signs should not be placed in the lawn extension. For safety, residents should clear fallen leaves from areas near sidewalks and roads, to avoid slip hazards and clogged stormwater systems.
To learn more about the Pollinator-Aware Yard Care program, see how you can get involved, and find links to educational materials, visit osi.a2gov.org/pollinators. Also on this page, residents can find a link to register their address as participating in the program and/or request a yard sign. With any questions about the program, please email Sean Reynolds, Community Sustainability Coordinator, at [email protected].
To learn more about the City's carbon neutrality plan, which supports the Pollinator-Aware Yard Care program and dozens of other programs to advance the City's goal of achieving a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030, see: www.a2zero.org. To learn more about the City's Water Resources department, which supports the Pollinator-Aware Yard Care program and other programs to achieve the City's water quality goals, visit www.a2gov.org/departments/systems-planning/planning-areas/water-resources/Pages/default.aspx. Special thanks to the Pollinators Working Group of the City of Ann Arbor's Environmental Commission for their guidance and support in the development and maintenance of this program.
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