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The Palmyra Parks & Recreation Department has embarked on an effort to reconnect with nature.
In doing so, the department has introduced No Mow zones in the city’s parks, including Flower City Park and the Well Family Nature Park.
“We already promote physical activity. We already support inclusive play. We are starting programs to bring learning outside. We already have spectacular community events We already host youth athletic events and activities. Now it’s time to work on that reconnecting with nature piece,” said Doug Meyers, parks and recreation director, about the new effort.
“Mowing less is a simple way to help insects and boost local ecology. That’s important,” Meyers said. “Insects pollinate plants, provide food for other life and help naturally recycle waste.
“This process will introduce all kinds of native wildflowers, pollinators, birds for birdwatching, and many other nature benefits for everyone in our community to enjoy and learn from.”
• providing sheltered areas where various species can use camouflage to protect themselves from predators.
• providing breeding grounds for many species, such as the Meadowlarks which use open fields and meadows for nesting and feeding.
• providing naturally-grown milkweed which is considered essential for the survival of Monarch butterflies.
• providing an important habitat for pollinators such as native bumble bees. These zones allow plants to flower which, in turn, provides a place for pollinators to stop and have a meal.
Benefits to water include:
• improving water quality by filtering pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides that would have otherwise entered the water
• providing shade for cool streams by promoting growth of shrubs and trees
• stabilizing the soil to reduce erosion
• slowing storm water runoff
Meyers said the park department is also saving money by reducing labor time, fuel usage, less water usage and not having to use fertilizer.
Meyers also said the program cuts back on mower exhaust emissions.