JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — If you’re driving around mid-Michigan, you might notice some lawns looking a bit longer than usual.
Both East Lansing and Jackson are taking part in No Mow May in an effort to help out the environment.
For Jackson County beekeeper Justin Fairchild, it’s helping out hundreds of thousands of friends buzzing around his back yard.
“It’s really fun to see how your colony grows,” said Fairchild. “They become like a pet to you.”
Fairchild has eight hives on his property.
“There’s been about a 70% decline in their [bees] population over the last 20 years and without bees, it becomes immensely more difficult for our food supply,” Fairchild explained. “Their pollination provides 1/3 to 2/3 of our food.”
To help, Fairchild hasn’t cut his grass in more than a year.
He said it’s all to make sure there’s more food for these bees to go around, especially this month.
“It’s crucial for pollinators in general because this first month while there is the growing season all they really have to eat is dandelions to get their nectar or pollen.”
Fairchild is also working to get conservatories set up around Jackson County. It’s a project that he hopes not only creates sustainability and a stronger environment, but also one that encourages others in the community to take up beekeeping.
“Bees tend to cover 3 mile radius from their hive,” said Fairchild. “So you are going to see a lot more flowers as far as agriculture goes.”
With hives on one’s property, Fairchild said that not only does the quantity of produce increase, but so does the quality, thanks to those black and yellow striped pollinators.
So, for now, Fairchild has a message.
“Don’t mow your lawns.”
And in the process, you get to help out the small, but important friends.
“We need to do better. We can be better.”
Plan on letting your grass grow? There’s some things that you should know.
If you live in East Lansing, the City mandated that grass and weeds be maintained to ensure that a child, person in a wheelchair or a person walking a bike can stay visible to drivers. Grass and weeds must not intrude on the right-of way in such a manner as to create a hazard for pedestrians using a sidewalk.
If you live in Jackson, no mowing only pertains to backyards. Yard enforcement will return June 1.