The Arrowsmith Naturalists, a local conservation group, have asked the Town of Qualicum Beach to help get the word out about ‘No Mow May,’ an initiative intended to support the declining bee population.
‘No Mow May’ asks people to not mow their lawn until the end of May, if possible.
“This encourages wildflowers like daisies, dandelions, clovers, which are regularly thought of as weeds, to support the insect population early in the season,” said Rosemary Taylor during her presentation at Qualicum Beach Town Council’s Feb. 23 regular meeting.
Bees, and other pollinators are declining due to habitat loss, disease, climate change and the excessive and inappropriate use of pesticides, according to Pollinator Partnership Canada.
Holding off on mowing for a few months will allow wildflowers and other plants to grow and provide food, shelter and habitat for bees and other insects, Taylor said. ‘No Mow May’ enhances biodiversity, rather than cutting green grass and creating a biodiverse desert.
The town’s current policy is to avoid using pesticides and herbicides whenever possible, according to Coun. Scott Harrison.
“I am not aware of a bylaw that would impact citizens of the broader community, but certainly in terms of our operations, that is the existing policy,” Harrison said.
Taylor suggested the town could expand its upcoming Year of the Garden celebrations to include any small collections of volunteer wildflowers and other plants found in places like rock crevices, along roadsides, railway lines or created public land because these plants are beneficial to pollinators.
“The Year of the Garden is not just for now, the town could create an ongoing interest in, and support of efforts to make Qualicum Beach, in particular, and Oceanside in general, a garden city for all to enjoy,” Taylor said.
The Year of the Garden is a centennial celebration of Canada’s horticulture sector from January 1 to December 31, 2022. It will commemorate and celebrate Canada’s rich garden heritage, celebrate today’s vibrant garden culture and create important legacies for a sustainable future.