Greenway Conservancy Celebrates No Mow May

Greenway Conservancy pilots first time initiative to support pollinators, reduce lawn inputs, and grow healthier lawns.

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The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy announced its 2022 participation in Plantlife’s No Mow May on select lawns along the park. No Mow May, first popularized in Europe, challenges landscapers and homeowners to let their lawns grow for the entire month of May without mowing. While you do less, your lawn does more for wildlife and conservation!

May is a critical time for pollinators in New England as bees and other pollinating insects emerge from hibernation. It’s critical that these beneficial insects find sufficient food to replenish the energy they used up overwintering. Pausing mowing practices May allows nectar and pollen-producing flowers like clover, violets, and self heal to grow amidst the grass and provide a significant food source for pollinators across The Greenway. Studies have shown that participating in No Mow May has led to three times more bee species diversity and five times more bee abundance in lawns. With many bee populations declining or endangered, this simple initiative creates immense impact in an urban park environment. Taller grass also creates increased habitat for ground-dwelling insects, some species of butterflies, and increases forage for migrating birds. Additionally, allowing grass to grow taller supports longer and deeper root growth. This improves the resiliency and drought tolerance of the lawns heading into the stressful hot summer months.

“The Conservancy is committed to an ecological approach to landscape management,” said Abigale Park, Greenway Conservancy Director of Horticulture. “In addition to being a completely organic operation, our team of horticulturists is always looking for ways to support pollinators, conserve water, and reduce our carbon footprint. No Mow May is an exciting new tool in our sustainability toolkit.”

Throughout The Greenway’s 1.5 mile park there are about 3.5 acres of lawn overall. Some lawn areas are heavily used by the community for recreation, programs, and play, but others are not big enough for recreational use or are in locations that are less desirable for programs and play. These smaller, less frequented lawns, which make up about one-third of the total mowed areas in the park, will be the sites for this year’s No Mow May on The Greenway.

In addition to these low-use areas, the Conservancy also be including one lawn in the Wharf District next to the Greenway Carousel during 2022’s No Mow May. This will bring visibility to this initiative and showcase the horticultural benefits of mowing less frequently. Though many Greenway high-use lawn areas won’t be participating in No Mow May this year, the Conservancy will be working to slowly reduce the frequency of mowing park-wide. The goal is to maintain the lush lawns that our community uses every day while also benefiting pollinators, conserving water, and reducing inputs.

The Greenway is a contemporary public park in the heart of Boston. The Greenway welcomes millions of visitors annually to gather, play, unwind, and explore. The Greenway Conservancy is the non-profit responsible for the management and care of The Greenway. The majority of the public park’s annual budget is generously provided by private sources.

Rachel Lake is the media contact for the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and can be reached at rlake@rosekennedygreenway.org.

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