Damakant Jayshi

Wausau’s Public Health and Safety Committee on Monday approved enacting ‘No Mow May’ for a second year with two significant changes: signs and pre-registration will not be required.

Residents who do wish to register can do so at www.byobeez.org.

After a brief discussion, the resolution passed unanimously. From May 1 to May 31, Wausau residents will not be required to mow grasses, weeds or brush. The typical fine of $98.80 for residents not mowing their lawns to city specifications will resume after a 7-day grace period beginning May 31.

Last year, people were required to have a yard sign and notify the city of their intent to participate.

“That seemed a cumbersome process for our inspectors to manage,” said PHS Committee Chair Lisa Rasmussen, who represents Dist. 7. “This year…if the will of this committee and the council is to approve ‘No Mow May’ for this year again, it is their hope that we do not require the signs in the yards.”

Retiring Alder Patrick Peckam (Dist. 1) agreed but said the signs still have educational value.

“People can use last year’s signs again. Educational value of the signs will still be there,” he said. “It will take confusion out of it for inspection and it will remove the burden of trying to get the signs in people’s hands. It was a nuisance last time.”

‘No Mow May’ is a community science initiative that encourages property owners to limit lawn mowing in May, providing resources and protection for bee pollinators that emerge in the spring.

The initiative aims to encourage residents to “increase pollinator-friendly habitats by encouraging pollinator-friendly lawn-care practices on their own properties for the month of May during this formative period.” City officials say more than 400 residents registered to participate last year.

Responding to some questions and confusion regarding the project, Rasmussen clarified that No Mow May’ is not a requirement. “The message to the public should be clear: If they chose to mow their lawn, they still absolutely can do that. All we are doing is suspending enforcement for one month for people who wish to participate in the project.”

Now the resolution moves to the Common Council for its consideration at their meeting on April 26.