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Resolution calls for "No mow May"

Would allow residents to grow pollinator friendly lawns in spring.

Post Date:02/21/2020
A resolution called "No mow May" in which our City of Appleton Public Works Department would refrain from enforcing our long grass ordinance for the month of May, will be taken up by the Municipal Services Committee Monday. IMG_8400

The resolution, co-sponsored by a number of alderpersons, is meant to allow emerging pollinators like bees, to be able to flourish and pollinate plants at the most critical stage of the year. The resolution is also an extension of the City's commitment as a Bee City USA city.
 
Currently, an ordinance prohibits grass longer than eight inches. There is a section of our municipal code that does allow exceptions for managed natural landscapes that include certain types of grasses, wildflowers and plants that can exceed the eight inch limit as long as they are properly managed. This resolution would direct the City's inspections division to not enforce the long grass ordinance from May 1, through June 15.
 
RESOLUTION-R-20

Designating the month of May, 2020, as No Mow May 

WHEREAS, as a BEE CITY USA affiliate, the City of Appleton and its designated community advocacy group for pollinator awareness and engagement, Pollenablers-Fox Cities, is directed to “Develop and implement a program to create or expand pollinator-friendly habitat on public and private land, to galvanize communities to adopt sustainable pollinator-friendly land management practices, and;

WHEREAS, the City of Appleton is in a unique position, being both a BEE CITY USA affiliate and also hosting a BEE CITY CAMPUS, to leverage both designations to significantly increase pollinator-friendly habitat by encouraging pollinator-friendly lawn-care practices and by incentivizing its citizens to take direct and meaningful action on their own properties, and

WHEREAS, ideal pollinator-friendly habitat Is comprised of mostly native wildflowers, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees blooming in succession throughout the growing season, is free or nearly free of pesticides, is comprised of undisturbed spaces including leaf and brush piles, un-mown fields or field margins, fallen trees and other dead wood for nesting and overwintering; and provides connectivity between habitat areas to support pollinator movement and resilience; and

WHEREAS, the formative period for establishment of pollinator insect species occurs in late spring and early summer when pollinator species emerge from hibernation or suspended animation and  when supporting plants emerge and blossom, offering crucial life cycle habitat and forage opportunities; and these opportunities are dramatically reduced with early spring leaf liter removal and grass mowing; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Appleton and Pollenablers-Fox Cities, along with their partnering organizations, jointly recognize No Mow May to actively promote and educate the community about the critical period of pollinator emergence, generation of crucial pollinator-supporting habitat and early spring foraging opportunities, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that for the duration of the month of May, the City of Appleton shall suspend the enforcement of Municipal Code Chapter 12, Article III - Weeds and Wild Growth, permitting all residents to voluntarily delay lawn-care and liter removal practices until June, allowing pollinators to emerge and early flowering grasses and forbes to establish, which may result in ground-cover exceeding established ordinance height restrictions, and; that following the month of May, the City of Appleton shall not issue citations for excessive “weed” growth for an additional grace period of 2 weeks.

Alderperson Alex Shultz District 9

Alderperson Joe Martin District 4

Alderperson Vered Meltzer District 2

Alderperson Cory Otis District 15

Alderperson Denise Fenton District 6

Alderperson Brad Firkus, District 3

The Municipal Services Committee could make a recommendation on the proposal at its meeting Monday at 4:30 p.m. on the sixth floor of City Hall. The meeting is open to anyone and anyone is welcome to speak on the topic. Feedback can also be shared with Common Council members here.
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