Nature Conservancy of Canada asking residents to participate in No Mow May

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is asking residents to wait the rest of the month before retiring the lawnmower to help with biodiversity in their cleverly titled “No Mow May” campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to get the message across about the potential role people can play in supporting biodiversity by not mowing their lawn in their front and back yards.

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Matthew Braun, manager of conservation, science and planning at the NCC, stated that the idea first started in the UK before making its way to Canada.

“This should enable the insects and their food supplies to go through their part of the life cycle here early and in summer,” says Braun.

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Insects such as bees, butterflies, and ants are busy pollinating this month, which is key to the growth of plants and crops in Saskatchewan.

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“I think people are looking for ways to contribute to nature conservation and green ideas and biodiversity in their own backyard. I know people are always asking us about things we can suggest to them. This is a little thing that if we all did some of these little things together it could make a difference, ”said Braun.

He explained that stowing the lawnmower for an additional month will allow food sources to thrive and provide for insects and other wildlife.

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“Some of those dandelions that look like they’re not doing any good are doing some service out there. There is a demand for them, for these insects that really form the base, that pyramid that supports all the different animals above them, ”said Braun.

The pollinator population has declined in recent years. Braun specifically stated that Saskatchewan, like the rest of the world, is influenced by global temperatures and rainfall patterns. He said warmer summers would affect insect and pollinator populations, as well as the decline in habitable habitats in Saskatchewan.

“In Saskatchewan we lose more of our natural habitat every year due to the annual agriculture and these are important spaces for these pollinators to live their lives and also to contribute to our ecosystems,” said Braun.

He said certain pesticides also play an important role in affecting insect populations.

If local residents feel compelled to mow their lawns before the month is up, Braun suggested changing the height of the lawnmower to allow the grass to stay longer.

Another way to help is by growing native perennials in your garden that bloom at different times of the year, Braun said.

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Braun estimates that there are over 200 different species of bees in Saskatchewan.

“These bees, along with many other lesser-known insect pollinators, are not only responsible for pollinating the flowers we have in our gardens, but they are also responsible for helping pollination and increasing the productivity of the plants we rely on are in this province, ”he said.

Braun also encourages residents to look at dandelions in their own gardens and consider which insects they are using before pulling them out.

“You’ll see [they] actually have a lot of potential to offer many benefits up there, and that’s something we can all do and help with. “

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