Our Terry Ettinger tells us about a no mow zone at a local college campus.
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"We started developing these areas about four years ago, and our goals were to make a more sustainable landscape environment for this campus, save on labor, and save on fuel of course," said Don Moody, Grounds Supervisor at SUNY Cortland.
Moody is referring to the no mow zone at the SUNY Cortland campus.
"Right off the bat, we probably saved a full day of labor from now mowing it, and not trimming it. Obviously we save on fuel," added Moody.
But, Moody also likes the way it looks.
"It looks really nice, especially where you put a lot of flowers in it, and where we've laid it out along hedgerows, and put it up against trees and wild areas," said Moody. "Also, where we started the wildflowers, you should make a nice scalped edge around it, so it really looks natural. I think it looks pretty if you put a lot of thought into it, and put it in a proper area."
In addition to the aesthetic appeal, the no mow zone is a habitat for wildlife.
"What you notice right now is it's just loaded with butterflies, honeybees, and as it develops, you see more and more insects. As you get into the summer, you're seeing all kinds of different birds that you probably wouldn't have seen before, obviously feeding on the insects," explained Moody. "Than, as it progresses through the years, we'll start seeing rabbits nesting in it. Woodchucks unfortunately, they like to chew on it early in the spring. In other places, I've worked I've seen foxes, coyote, and deer. So lots of wildlife."
But, one might be concerned that wilflife could become a problem.
"I haven't had that problem yet," assured Moody. "I mean, like the woodchucks, they used to be in spots where we had to trap them and move them. This way we have them in the outer areas. It gives them a home. They have to live somewhere."
Moody advises locating no mow zones away from heavy traffic areas, or connected with wooded areas that are already wild.