How To Establish Native Meadows
To Establish native meadows, do not mow from April through August so that native ground nesting birds can thrive.
Your property or that public field in your community can be productive native habitat for wildlife if you mower the area 2 times annually after the ground nesting birds fledglings and other wildlife's young have already left their nests. Below is a list of Pennsylvania's common wildlife and grassland birds along with the periods they raise their young. If you or your community makes a simple change adjusting when you mow meadows around our wildlife's nesting habits allowing the grass to grow for the majority of the year, you and your community can help wildlife and grassland songbirds thrive while saving money.
Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Audubon Society offer guidance on how to manage Open Space on public and private property.
To help limit complaints about the new wildlife meadow high mow area, which was normally mowed, put up a sign or 2 to inform the public that you are still tending the land but in on a new wildlife friendly schedule. It is suggested to create signage because public complaints can make your local government react stopping the initiative. With signs you can prevent the complaint in the first place.
Mow the Perimeter
Even after adjusting the mowing schedule to limit complaints and show that you or your local government is still tending the area responsibility, mow a stripe or 2 around the perimeter of the meadow / field. Put your sign on that mowed part near the most public facing mowed area.
When to Mow
Rule of thumb mow in late summer and late winter to help wildlife.
White-tailed deer - May 15th to July 15th
Eastern cottontail rabbits - February 1st to September 30th
Wild turkeys - April 15th to July 31st
Bobwhite quail - April 15th to July 31st
Ring-necked pheasant - April 15th to June 30th
Grassland songbirds: - Average (June 1st to August 15th)
Eastern meadowlark - May 15th to July 31st
Grasshopper sparrow - June 1st to August 15th
Field sparrow - May 15th to August 15th
Bobolink - May 15th to June 30th
Dickcissel - June 1st to July 31st
Learn more about open space management on PA Game Commission's website in link below:
Managing Open Space for wildlife Species (PA Game Commission)
Audubon Society offers workshops on subjects which help native wildlife. In this Native Meadow restoration and management workshop community leaders, municipal employees, non-profits, and environmental groups learned about best practices of managing and transforming regularly mowed fields into Native Grass Meadows to help birds, insects, while lessening the burden on storm water systems.
There are state law prompted initiatives to lessen the burden on storm water, this is one good way to satisfy that need in your community.
A resource which could help you get this in your community is PEC (Pennsylvania environmental council).
The solutions to our ecological problems already exist. All we have to do is communicate and advocate for these existing best municipal practices and policies such as a native habitat friendly mowing schedule.
Pictures of Eastern Meadow Larks:
#easternmeadowlark,#AudobonSociety #PAGameCommission #OpenSpaceManagement #MunicipalBestPractice