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No Mow May

No Mow May is an environmental campaign that encourages people to refrain from mowing their lawns during the month of May. The aim of the campaign is to promote biodiversity and provide a habitat for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other insects.

During the month of May, many wildflowers are in bloom, providing a vital source of nectar and pollen for pollinators. By allowing these flowers to grow and avoiding mowing the lawn, people can help to provide a much-needed refuge for these important pollinator species.

How It Works

Participants in No Mow May will not be fined for any tall grass/weed violations during the month of May. All properties participating in No Mow May will be required to correct any tall grass/weed violations by Sunday, June 4th. Any properties that are still in violation after June 4th will be referred to a City contractor and the property owner will be charged accordingly. Please be advised that any lawns that are not mowed during the month of May will grow very tall (12”-18”). Most homeowner push mowers will struggle to cut grass that tall, so be prepared to take extra time during the first cut in June.

All participants must register for No Mow May prior to a complaint being submitted for a property. 

Register for No Mow May at Click4Action - Search Service Type "No Mow May Registration"

There are no more free yard signs

No Mow May Sign

Yard signs can be purchased for $12.50 from:

Confluence Graphics - 265 E Hampton Ave - 414-962-7000 - M-F 8AM-5PM

Or print a sign for your window.

Mowing Tips

Tips for mowing long grass at the conclusion of No Mow May and promoting a healthy lawn:

  • Adjust your mower to the highest setting and make the first pass to reduce the grass height. After you have reduced the grass height to a more manageable length, change the mower setting by reducing the height of the blade, before making a second pass.
  • Do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time in a single mowing. For example, if your grass is 6 inches tall, do not remove more than 2 inches of length. This helps prevent root stress and promotes turf vigor. If your grass is really tall, try mowing once during the last week of May and then again before June 4th to avoid stressing your turf grass.
  • Reminder: Do not mow or blow grass clippings into the street. Grass and leaves in the street can travel with rainwater into the City stormwater sewers. Many stormwater facilities flow directly into our local rivers without pretreatment and the added nutrients can cause algal blooms and other detrimental effects. Debris in the street can also be dangerous for drivers, especially motorcycles and bicycles.

Overall, No Mow May is a simple yet effective way for people to make a positive impact on the environment, and to help support the vital ecosystem services provided by pollinators.

City of Milwaukee Forestry Established 1918

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