It’s finally starting to feel like spring, and now that the calendar has flipped over to a new month it’s time for No Mow May! There are many ways that people can get involved in this initiative to help support our key pollinators during a critical time for their survival. However, some of those methods might be more difficult for people who are renting to accomplish without permission from a landlord. We’re here to help with resources for how to start a conservation about creating a pollinator-friendly environment on your rental property.

No Mow May signs: The first 150 residents to register with the City of Milwaukee will receive a free Now Mow May yard sign!

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Starting the conversation

Before you bring up No Mow May to your landlord, do your research first! Search up your local laws and ordinances regarding lawn height and care to see what the rules are for your village, town or city. Look for effective, natural alternatives to pesticides to bring up as an option for your landlord to choose. By gathering this and other information beforehand, you can have a more informed discussion that allows you to be persuasive in getting your landlord to participate in No Mow May.

Need help figuring out how to start the conversation? Check out our sample letter below that you can use to help open communication with your landlord!

Finding compromise

Every yard is unique, and your landlord may be hesitant about going the entire month without mowing. This is where compromising can be useful. Instead of going the whole month without mowing, ask your landlord if they’d be willing to either delay mowing by a week or two, or commit to mowing less frequently during May.

No Mow Zones: see if they’d be willing to leave a small patch of yard unmowed. Remember, we don’t need one perfect lawn to make a difference — we need thousands of imperfect ones!

They said no — what now?

It’s possible that no matter what alternatives you offer or suggestions you make, your landlord may still decline to participate in No Mow May. That doesn’t mean you still can’t take action to help support our pollinators. Try buying a small garden box and planting some native pollinator-friendly plants. You can find information on where to buy native plants on our No Mow May page along with other tips and ideas to participate in No Mow May. Another way you can support the initiative is by reaching out to your local representatives and advocate for changes to local lawn-height requirements.

Remember, whether your landlord chooses to participate in No Mow May or not, there are still ways for you to help support local pollinators. And every little bit you can do does make a difference  to our environment!

Dear (landlord’s name),

I wanted to talk with you today about the yard on the property. I know that since spring has arrived, that typically means that it’s time to start mowing the grass or clearing out other natural debris in the yard. But I wanted to see if this year you would consider waiting for a little bit before the yard work began.

There’s an initiative called No Mow May that is focused on supporting the key pollinators that help the plants in our community flourish. The main point of this initiative is that by waiting to mow and clear yards, it will immensely help these pollinators by allowing them to fully emerge from hibernation and find the key resources they need to thrive.

While the initiative is called No Mow May, it doesn’t mean that there has to be absolutely no mowing throughout the entire month. There are lots of other ways to participate in supporting pollinators, such as:

  • Instead of not mowing the entire yard, leave a small patch of the lawn unmowed.
  • Wait a little longer before mowing, or mow less frequently during the month.
  • Limit or eliminate the use of pesticides in the yard.
  • Plant a pollinator-friendly garden.

I’ve looked at the (village/town/city) ordinances and you can check them too, but as long as we (applicable ordinance to follow), we can make a huge impact on our environment in our community.

If you’re interested in this, I would love to talk more with you about what we can do to support our local pollinators. I have found that the Zoological Society of Milwaukee has a lot of great information and resources on their website at if you would like to look into this more.

Thanks and Happy Spring!