The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is asking residents to wait the rest of the month before pulling out the lawn mower to help biodiversity in its 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 helping biodiversity by not mowing their lawns in their front and back yards.
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Matthew Braun, director of conservation, science and planning at the NCC, said the idea started in the UK before traveling to Canada.
“It’s meant to give insects and their food supply a chance to go through their part of the life cycle here early and into the summer,” Braun said.
Insects like bees, butterflies and ants are busy pollinating this month, which plays a key role in the growth of Saskatchewan’s plants and crops.
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“I think people are looking for ways to help conserve, green ideas and protect biodiversity in their own backyards. I know people always ask us for things we can suggest we do. It’s a little thing that if we did all of these little things together we could make a difference, ”Braun said.
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He explained that by keeping the lawn mower tidy for an extra month, it allows food sources to bloom and provide insects and other wildlife.
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“Some of these dandelions that seem like they’re not being put to good use, they’re providing a service there. There is a demand for them, for these insects that really build the base, that pyramid that helps support all of the different animals above them, ”Braun said.
The pollinator population has declined in recent years. Braun specifically explained that Saskatchewan is affected, like the rest of the world, by global temperatures and precipitation patterns. He said the hotter summers will impact insect and pollinator populations, as well as declining habitable habitat in Saskatchewan.
“In Saskatchewan each year we lose a little more of our natural habitat to annual crops and these are important spaces for these pollinators to live their lives and also contribute to our ecosystems,” said Braun.
He said some pesticides also play an important role in impacting insect populations.
If residents feel pressured to mow their lawns before the month is out, Braun suggested changing the height of the lawn mower so the grass can stay longer.
Another way to help the cause is to grow native perennials in your garden that will 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 pollinating insects, are responsible for pollinating not only the flowers we have in our backyards, but also pollinating and increasing the productivity of the crops we depend on. in this province, ”he said.
Braun also encourages residents to take a look at the dandelions in their own backyards and think about what the bugs are using them before removing them.
“You will see that [they] actually have a lot of potential to deliver a lot of benefits up there and that’s something we can all do and we can help. “
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