If you have a turf lawn, pause your mowing in May. See if you get pollinator visitors and native sparrows in your grass. Reconsider your turf, and whether you can diversity your yard. Above all, our gardens should give us joy.
Sign up here and donate for a sign.
In the long run, mowing less saves on energy, water, expense and chemicals. It also benefits biodiversity. Songbird populations have dropped by about 1/3 since 1970, and various species of bees and butterflies have declined as much as 80-90%. Many communities have embraced the No Mow May idea. Studies are just getting going on how it helps provide early year forage to local bumble bee populations.
Love or Hate No Mow May, it encourages us to rethink the culture of lawns. What are we doing with lawns? Why? Is there a better way? All good questions. If your neighbor's lawn bothers you, start a conversation. No Mow May may be as much a social human experiment as it is a biodiversity effort.
Absolutely! This is a pilot effort to try it out.
No Mow is voluntary. Our yards should bring us joy. If No Mow May is adding stress, mow. Life is too short. You tried it out. Good on you!
An optional yard sign can help explain why your lawn is so lush :) If you use Facebook, let us know any comments you receive good or bad at https://www.facebook.com/groups/naturalhabitatevanston/.
The City starts enforcing its mowing ordinance May 15. We do not know if turf grass heights will reach 8” and trigger our weed ordinance if they are unmowed through May; that will also depend on rains. If you do get ticketed in late May, you can mow immediately or see if there is a grace period to mow before the end of May.
Natural Habitat would recommend to anyone participating that they pull seedheads of non-native invasives, including dandelion, to reduce spread. (Even though dandelion are nonnative, they are a major source of early spring nectar in our degraded, lawn-dominant landscapes.)
NHE presentation to North Shore Senior Center tuesday club. Variations used for other groups. March 2023
PPT showing some creatures we throw out with our debris.
Gardening that Matters. Get Started or Enhance your Native Garden. March 2023 presentation to North Shore Senior Center's Tuesday Club. A simple way to take action for climate, community healthand biodiversity: Swap out your lawn for native plants. Reconsidering theculture of lawns. Why it matters, steps to prioritize, how to get started, andhow to amplify the change. Leslie Shad of Natural Habitat Evanston presents.
Presentation on Transitioning from Turf (Powerpoint), January 2023. Touches on the issues with turf, why native plants, why leave leaves, concerns about neonicotinoids and outdoor lighting.
Transitioning from Turf presentation to FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, Columbus, Ohio) lead by Leslie Shad, NHE Lead. DIscusses the issues with turf, why native plants and why leave leaves, the concern about neonicotinoids, and how to navigate outdoor lighting.
NHE Leafblower Door Hanger
Sign up for the NHE Newsletter
In Wisconsin: Stowing Mowers, Pleasing Bees, NY Times, March 28, 2022
Website database: search your zip code for plants ranked by Tallamy
No Mow May factsheet from Midwest Grows Green
Audubon Plants for Birds Database
Chicago Audubon Society Plants for Birds
Certify your habitat with NWF
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - search native plants by state
Donating to Climate Action Evanston and earmarking your donation for Natural Habitat Evanston. You can further earmark your donation to one of our initiatives.
Join our Pollinator Pledge and let the city and landscapers know we care about sustainable yards. Take an optional yard sign to spread the word.
$25/bag to local residents (pickup; no shipping). We also have some $5 seed packets of bottlebrush and little bluestem grass. While supplies last. Emails should include your phone number and which species you are requesting. Pay by check payable to Citizens’ Greener Evanston at pickup.
Help at outdoor workdays
Northwestern students Petition for Bird-Friendly Films at Mudd Library. Mudd Library accounts for over 14% of bird deaths and injuries on campus each year. Applying patterned window film to a portion of the building would dramatically reduce collisions that are fatal to birds.
Get updates and share your thoughts on our FB Group. You can also check out our FB page here https://www.facebook.com/NaturalHabitatEvanston
Just want to spread the word on certain steps? Mow Less-Leave Leaves (2-sided yard sign) or Leafblowers sign
Get news the next time there is a threat to Isabella Woods. (Only sent when there is news.)
Provide Food, Water, Shelter, Places to Raise Young and Sustainable Steps for wildlife. It helps Evanston maintain its NWF Community-wide Wildlife Habitat certification.