Going Green: Keys to successful No Mow Zone
Terry Ettinger tells us more about the No Mow Zone at SUNY Cortland, and finds out the keys to creating a successful No Mow Zone.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Mowing the lawn can be a big expense for colleges and businesses, plus it is not ecologically friendly. So many institutions such as SUNY Cortland, have created two to three acres of No Mow Zones to save energy, reduce fuel emissions, and encourage natural habitat.
"We've tried three plans here. First, we let an area grow wild, and instead of just having a flat edge around it, we sculpted that area. We worked it into the hedgerow and around a wooded area, so it looks very natural. The other thing we've tried with pretty good success, was planting a lot of fine fescue, a low maintenance grass," explained Don Moody, SUNY Cortland Grounds Supervisor. "We've had great luck with that, and if you plant that in the right spot, you don't have to do anything. The third program we've developed is a wildflower area. It's a little more work initially, but once it's there, you've got beautiful wildflowers. It grows two or three years, and as the seasons change, and one, two, or three years go by, you get different wildflowers. You get a lot of perennials. It's constantly changing."
According to Moody, the key to a successful No Mow Zone is location.
"Probably the firs thing I've learned about this is that we should keep it away from the more developed areas. Now, down here, we're at the more open end of campus. We try to stay away from the academic buildings and the dormitories where there's a lot of activity, and so forth. We put it out in periphery areas that blend in a lot better. It's not in the way and people aren't trampling through it," said Moody.
No Mow Zones can also be used to eliminate areas that are hard to mow, such as steep slopes. Also, passerby get to enjoy an array of wildlife, such as butterflies and honey bees.