New Pollinator program replacing No Mow May

A new pollinator program will replace “No Mow May,” after its two-year run.

Mankato is transitioning to Bee A Good Pollen-Aider, a program designed to promote healthy habitats for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and birds throughout the growing season.

The program will provide access for more community members, according to city staff. “Pollinators are so critically important to the environment,” says Rick Baird, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator. “You don’t even have to have a yard to get involved. Anyone can participate with as little as a pot of dirt and a balcony, patio, or outdoor space.”

To Bee a Good Pollen-aider, no matter how big or small of a space you have, potted flowers or a beneficial tree can be planted to help pollinators.

  • Create habitat: Plant pollinator-friendly flowers, shrubs and/or trees in your yard/patio that bloom in different times throughout the spring and summer season. Diverse, native plants support pollinators best. A single flowering tree can provide as much forage for pollinators as a whole garden. The University of Minnesota Extension Office offers a variety of pollinator plants, grasses, shrubs and tree recommendations.
  • Adjust your mowing practices: Raise the deck on your mower to the maximum height (typically 4 inches) and never mow off more than a third of the total height of your lawn. Following this rule helps establish a more resilient lawn by increasing the rooting depth of grass and increases the potential for flowers.
  • Reduce herbicide and pesticide use when possible: Carefully read labels to avoid unintended impacts on plants and pollinators. Consider alternative weed control methods when possible and use plants and seeds that are not treated with neonicotinoids, which are toxic to pollinators.
  • Keep the “buzz” going: Let your friends and neighbors know that you are a pollen-aider and encourage them to join the effort in their own outdoor spaces. Gift your friends a potted sunflower for their outdoor space. Take the “Pollen-aider Pledge.”


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