Clearing of Yards Bylaw
On March 21, 2023, City Council approved amendments to the Clearing of Yards bylaw (Bylaw 2009-101) that allows residents to refrain from maintaining their lawns until June 1 of each year.
Between June 1 to December 1, residents must maintain grass, weeds or vegetation so it is no taller than 20 cm in height in their yards and lots.
These changes do not prohibit residents from maintaining their yards sooner but does give residents the option to put off maintaining their yards until June. This allows more time for early spring flowers to bloom and vegetation to grow, which helps early season pollinators.
How does this help pollinators?
Pollen and nectar in flowers provide food for insects, hummingbirds and other pollinators. In Greater Sudbury, many of our flowers and gardens are not in bloom until June, however, you may notice flies, bees and butterflies as early as April. May is a time when many lawn flowers are beginning to bloom. Letting flowers grow can provide more food sources for pollinators.
Why are pollinators important?
Pollinator biodiversity is important for healthy ecosystems and essential for our food system. Most fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables as well as grains and feed for livestock require pollination. There is increasing concern over population decline and decreased diversity of native pollinators across the globe, which is why it is important to protect them.
What else can I do to support pollinators?
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated May 20 as World Bee Day. There are many things you can do to help pollinators such as bees. Pollinators need food, water and shelter throughout the season. To help them, provide all three.
- Having a garden that flowers from spring to fall is best.
- Choose flowers that bloom at different stages.
- Native plants are best because our native pollinators are best adapted for them.
- As long as you maintain your yard according to the Clearing of Yards bylaw you can designate a portion as a wildflower or pollinator garden.
- Pollinators drink water. Bird baths can be used but include stones or material that allows for insects to land near the water to drink.
- Remember to refresh water in your yard to prevent mosquitos from laying their eggs.
- Bee hotels help provide overwintering sites for native pollinating bees.
- Some bees live underground, so provide natural garden spaces instead of using cloth to cover soil.
- Certain beetles, flies and hummingbirds are also pollinators and require a variety of habitat options.
- Green Living: Make your home a habitat for Earth Month
- “To mow or to mow less: Lawn mowing frequency affects bee abundance and diversity in suburban yards,” Biological Conservation, Volume 221, May 2018
- “Pollinator assemblages on dandelions and white clover in urban and suburban lawns, ” Journal of Insect Conservation, 2014