WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids has adopted a resolution designating the month of May 2023 as No Mow May, which temporarily relieves property owners of lawn maintenance standards in Chapter 36, Sections 302.4 of City Ordinance. Participation in No Mow May is voluntary and free of charge. City residents and property owners who are interested in participating may do so without registering.
During their March 21st meeting, the Common Council adopted a resolution to suspend the enforcement of Chapter 36, Section 302.4, of City Ordinance city-wide for the month of May 2023. Properties must be brought back into compliance by June 7, 2023, which provides a grace period in recognition of weather or scheduling conflicts. Properties that aren’t compliant by the deadline will be subject to regular penalties for long grasses and weeds.
Each City of Wisconsin Rapids property is eligible to receive one free yard sign, but we have a limited number of yard signs available. Please keep your yard sign for future No Mow May programs. Additional yard signs can be purchased for $10 each. Yard signs can be picked up at the Mayor’s Office on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 444 West Grand Ave., between 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The City has also designated some spots on city property to leave un-mowed:
• 20th Street, from Two Mile Avenue to Griffith Avenue
• 16th Street, from Two Mile Avenue to Kuhn Avenue
• Whitrock Avenue, between 16th Street and 20th Street
• Around the storm water pond on 16th Street and Two Mile Avenue
• Robinson Park (ball fields and spectator areas will be mowed)
• Sand Lot Park (ball fields and spectator areas will be mowed)
The goal of No Mow May is to provide early season forage for native pollinators by reducing our mowing intensity during a month when foraging resources are limited. Allowing lawns to grow longer, without treating them with chemical pesticides or herbicides, leads to an increase in the number and types of native plants, which are a great source of food for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. Additionally, it provides important insect habitats for those that are still in diapause (a type of hibernation) in early spring. Weed growth in May is particularly important because many other spring blooms have not yet emerged.
“With 531 registered properties in our first year offering No Mow May, we knew we wanted to offer No Mow May again this year. My office received a lot of positive feedback on this initiative and the yard signs that help explain it. This year, we’re offering the opportunity to our residents without a registration requirement, making it even easier to participate – and surely increasing participation. Yard signs are optional this year, but they are a great way to further promote education around the importance of pollinators,” said Mayor Shane Blaser. “If forgoing all lawn care practices for a month isn’t right for you, there are other ways you could support No Mow May, such as limiting or discontinuing the use of chemicals on your lawn for a few weeks (or even the whole summer), leaving a smaller section of your yard unmowed for a month, or growing a pollinator garden.”
Below are some local resources and programs that are available to learn more about pollinators:
• The McMillan Memorial Library is hosting a screening of The Biggest Little Farm documentary on April 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. The library also boosts a wide variety of learning materials on pollinators and the environment. For more information, call the library at 715-422-5136 or visit: www.mcmillanlibrary.org
• Clean Green Action (CGA) and Bird City Wisconsin Rapids will have an informational booth on No Mow May and pollinator-friendly practices set up at McMillan Memorial Library from April 17 – May 22. Learn more about CGA online at: www.cleangreenaction.org
• Find a list of resources and download a coloring page by visiting: www.wirapids.org/no-mow-may
“We, Clean Green Action and Bird City Wisconsin Rapids, and Monarch Encouragement are happy to continue to support the City of Wisconsin Rapids in their No Mow May proclamation and program, and will endeavor to be a resource for those who have questions regarding the benefits of leaving undisturbed lawns during the early days of spring for the benefits of pollinators and subsequently birds and other wildlife. Biodiversity is the key to promoting a better life for all,” said Elizabeth Whelan, with Clean Green Action of Wisconsin Rapids.
Learn more about the No Mow May initiative online here: www.wirapids.org/no-mow-may. Questions about No Mow May or availability of yard signs can be directed to the Mayor’s Office at 715- 421-8216 or [email protected].
Questions about lawn care ordinances can be directed to the Community Development Office at 715-421-8228 or [email protected].
Questions about how to dispose of residential lawn clippings can be directed to the Street Department at 715-421-8218 or [email protected].