As a Bee City municipality, the Town of Midland commits to provide pollinator habitat within its boundaries.
As part of this commitment, the Town is starting a pilot project to test the outcomes of No-Mow and Reduced-Mow Zones. These Zones are areas of Town land that will either no longer be mown or will be mown less. This is being done to save resources, reduce pollution and create pollinator habitat. As the watershed’s leading environmental agency, the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) will support the Town in this initiative.
By allowing these areas to grow, the Town is creating sustainable landscapes, saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and limiting noise from mowers. No-Mow Zones reduce storm-water runoff, protect water quality are a safe place for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
During the last year the Town of Midland has partnered with the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) to monitor and establish restoration plans for each of the seven No-Mow sites that were set aside in 2020. Nearly 2 hectares were set aside in low use areas of public parks, these areas were left to naturalize in summer of 2021 for monitoring. The sites we catalogued for existing plant community’s and the ratio of Native, Non-native, and invasives species as well as assessing general soil type and sun exposure. This information was used to create site specific restoration plans for each of the seven sites.
Based on the restoration recommendations from SSEA, the Town choose of the of highest traffic sites for the inaugural pollinator restorations. Gawley Park was chosen as it is located alongside the water front trail that runs throughout much of the Severn Sound watershed and get a lot of foot traffic, making it a great example site. SSEA and town staff participated in an invasive species removal event at Gawley park in the fall of 2021 to remove woody invasive like buckthorn and honeysuckle. The site was then harrowed and hydroseed with a native wildflower mix. The site will be monitored again in the spring of 2022 for community establishment and to assess invasive species re-growth. The Town also partnered with SSEA on a bylaw review to assess areas where town bylaws might be hindering the public from participating in pollinator positive initiatives like no mow May. The Town also assessed other communities that had adapted policies that would allow the public to participate in these initiatives to better shape their own bylaws in the future. In that past community members that have tried to naturalize their yards have been reprimanded based on bylaws.
1. SSEA staff planted a pollinator demonstration garden at the Midland Community Garden location, supported in-kind and financially by Town staff/Council, garden was completed in partnership with volunteers from the Midland Community Garden (2017)
2. Proclamation to Support Pollinator Week. during which the Town of Midland distributed over 250 packets of pollinator-friendly wildflower seed provided by the SSEA (2017)
3. Tiffin Pond – invasive phragmites removal. planting native species to provide habitat (2017-2019) – SSEA in partnership with Town
4. Native wildflower seeds packets (+150) were distributed by the Town and SSEA in celebration of Pollinator Week (2018)
5. Educational materials were displayed (print and digital) in support of Pollinator Week. and included a both digital and print-ready fact sheet (2017 & 2018)
6. Council adoption of the Town’s Climate Change Action Plan. which included an action to protect pollinators through the establishment of habitat & supportive municipal policy (2019}
7. Piloting of strategic no-mow or reduced mow areas in the Town’s parks and green spaces to establish pollinator habitat. reduce pesticides and mitigate greenhouse gases (GHGs) resulting from maintenance equipment (2020)