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No Mow May, Raise the Blade, and Pollinator Gardens

Green Up Day 2024

Stop by the Williston Town Fair on May 4th between 9AM and 1PM to sign the No Mow May pledge, pick up a sign, and also some free Wildflower Seeds. The Williston Conservation Commission in partnership with Sustainable Williston would like to thank American Meadows for their seed donation! 

The Williston Conservation Commission and Recreation Department are also partnering with Sustainable Williston to bring a demonstration pollinator garden to Williston. With help from students at WCS, volunteers will be planting the pollinator garden with perennials and annuals on May 14th. All plants have been donated by American Meadows and members of the Williston Community. Be sure to check out Sustainable Williston's article in the Williston Observer


The Williston Conservation Commission and Energy Committees, in collaboration with Sustainable Williston, are inviting you to try something new on your lawn!

Why not give No Mow May or Raise the Blade a go?

The traditional lawn looks neat and tidy but did you know it has negative effects on our local environment, and can cost you time and money?

Lawns don’t provide food or habitat for our native insects. These insects are not just part of the food chain for our birds and wildlife, they are also important pollinators that help fertilize our Vermont trees, plants and flowers. Much of the food we eat depends on pollinators

Traditional lawns also increase the volume and speed of water runoff which carries loose soil, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides into our streams and eventually Lake Champlain.

What is No Mow May?

No Mow May is an international initiative to encourage people to stop mowing all or a portion of their lawn during the month of May. It’s as simple as that!

This allows more flowers to bloom and provides an early source of  food for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators at a crucial time in their life cycle. Reducing an area of your mowed lawn also saves on watering, reduces emissions, and saves money. Participating in No Mow May often includes a commitment to omitting

the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

We know that this can mean your yard might look a little more natural during May, (or some might say messy!), so to help explain to your neighbors what’s happening, there will be No Mow May yard signs available for pick-up at the Town Fair on Green Up Day, Saturday, May 4 from 9am – 1pm. These signs can be displayed on your lawn and will also have a QR code that people can scan to learn more. There will be a limited number of signs available, but you can also download and print your own by clicking here.

What if my HOA takes care of the landscaping? If you have an HOA, check with the Board to see if the Association would like to participate by leaving a section of lawn unmowed. You may also wish to consider maintaining a mowed buffer to your neighbor’s yard, to make the spaces look intentional.

What about ticks? Some studies have shown that there is little evidence that letting grass grow longer for a month results in an increase in tick populations. But if you or a neighbor are concerned you can leave mowed buffers as ticks prefer shade.

What is Raise the Blade?

You can also Raise the Blade for a healthy lawn and soil. This means that you mow your lawn to a height of three inches or longer. Healthy soils are rich in organic matter, hold nutrients for plants and can host micro-organisms. They also retain moisture better. Your lawn's roots grow to the length of the grass blades, so letting the grass stay longer leads to stronger and longer roots that absorb rainfall and runoff from driveways and roofs. 

By allowing water to soak into our lawns we reduce run off to our streams and pollutants get filtered through out by the soil. All this helps make our waterways and Lake Champlain cleaner.

What else can I do to support pollinators? 

Reducing mowing is a great start to help our environment. But you can go further by turning your lawn into a “bee lawn” by seeding Dutch clover and other low ground flowering plants like creeping thyme, self-heal and native violets. Also consider planting a pollinator garden stocked with flowering plants that support bees, butterflies and other insects. 



Attached Document or FileNo Mow May  Information on No Mow May
Attached Document or FileRaise the Blade  Information no Raise the Blade
Attached Document or FileUnlawning America  
Attached Document or FileSave a patch for the pollinators  
Attached Document or FileGUD_Poster_Imageonly_2024.JPG  
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