Just ahead of Earth Day, on April 20, New Paltz town council members approved the second annual “no-mow May” resolution, supporting the idea that avoiding cutting lawns for this one spring month is a boon to the many pollinator species that are under high stress due to human-caused climate change. Pollinators are an essential part of the ecosystem that includes human food production at local farms.
The resolution ensures that the town’s legacy lawn mowing law will not be enforced for the month of May. There could also be signs made available, if at least a dozen residents express interest; if that comes to pass, “no mow May” signs will be able to be purchased at PDQ for a nominal fee. While the signs are not required to participate, Supervisor Neil Bettez has in the past referenced research that indicates they reduce friction with neighbors, by offsetting lawn-based values with environmental education.
Establishing another no-mow May led to a lively social media debate, with some residents claiming that longer lawns increase the risk of tick-borne disease while others posted links to research intended to debunk that position.