As No Mow May comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to continue transforming your yard into a pollinator haven. By taking No Mow May “Bee-yond” May, you can help the biodiversity in your community thrive year-round.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of plant and animal life that is found within a specific environment. When you step out into your yard and look around, everything from bees buzzing around flowers to birds flying from tree to tree to rabbits hopping through the bushes and more all make up the biodiversity of your yard. The more species of plants and animals that live in or visit your yard, the more diverse — and healthier — your backyard ecosystem is!

No Mow Zones at the Zoo

By keeping areas on Zoo grounds as Now Mow Zones, ideal habitats are created to help the local plants and wildlife thrive. One such area is located on the hill area by Otter Passage. By not mowing in that area, it allows native plants to grow and thrive there naturally. Whether the seeds are blown by the wind to reach this area, or they are deposited by birds or other pollinators, this method allows a diverse population of native grass, flowers, shrubs and more to naturally grow and create an ecosystem that creates food and shelter for other native animals.

See what Noah Huber, Milwaukee County Zoo horticulture supervisor, has to say about the No Mow Zone located by Otter Passage.

Plant Id

What can you do to create a more diverse backyard?

The simple answer? Do less — or nothing! After May ends, let nature continue to take the reins and thrive in its own ways. Even if you only leave a patch of your yard unmowed, every little bit helps improve the biodiversity! You can also help the process along by filling your yard with native flowers, plants or shrubs.

One of the most important tools in improving biodiversity in your backyard is knowledge. Try downloading a plant identification app like PlantThis or Seek by iNaturalist. These apps can help you identify what’s growing in your yard, and help give you a better understanding of which plants might or might not be beneficial for your yard and the local wildlife. All apps can be found in the app store on you smart device. 

By committing to taking No Mow May “Bee-yond” May, you are helping to create a better ecosystem for you and all of your neighbors — whether they’re humans, animals or plants!