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Instead of mass mowing, Vilnius chooses green meadows – MadeinVilnius.lt

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This spring, Vilnius will introduce new rules for lawn care, according to which natural lawns and self-flowering plants will dominate the city. By forgoing mowing where it is not necessary, the natural settings of the city will create natural oases that will help you live more comfortably and sustainably.

A dwarf lawn that is constantly mowed will only be maintained when necessary, that is, in the environment of residential buildings, in the main public spaces and actively used in squares, squares and parks.

Free-flowing lawns and self-contained trees and shrubs will be available on the slopes of side lanes, in the separating lanes of most streets, in traffic rings. These and similar areas will be clipped several times a year if necessary or not clipped at all. Only invasive plants that can obscure our natural vegetation in urban areas left to nature will be removed.

“We have been developing the concept of natural lawns in the city for several years, and for this purpose we have deliberately reduced the mowing volume each year. Based on the experience gained, taking into account feedback from people and communities and findings from colleagues and scholars in other urban agriculture, we have developed bases It can be called a plan of no mowing in favor of green lawns”, says Ramoni Banulian, Head of Cityscape Department of the Vilnius City Municipality Administration.

According to her, a similar policy of “no mowing where you can mow” is being introduced in many European cities, as it helps conserve biodiversity, protect endangered plant and insect species, and cool the city in hot summer.

New lawn care rules dictate mowing around town, along footpaths, street corners, and in places that might interfere with drivers’ vision. Spaces 1.5-2 meters wide will be left next to the vehicle path. They will be mowed so that the tall grass does not turn into the street and does not disturb pedestrians or cyclists. The remaining areas will be left to nature.

On highways, in green sections between lanes, pedestrian or bicycle paths, mowing will only be done from the edge. In actively used public places, such as White Bridge, in Missionary Gardens, mowing is planned when the grass is above 10 cm. Mount Barbican, given the positive experience that happened last year, will not be mowed this year either.

New lawn maintenance rules state that a portion of lawns, streets and slopes of the Neris River can be mowed, depending on weather conditions and the growth rate of the lawn, after June 24.

Observations from the past couple of years show that June is often extremely hot and dry, so it is likely that lawns will only be mowed for the first time after August 15.

Non-built-up areas, not urban, will be mowed as needed, but at least twice a season: the first time after June 24, and the second time after September 1st. Of course, the mowing time can be adjusted according to the weather conditions.

Areas where invasive plants are common, such as Canadian whip, northern strawberry, and bush strawberry, will be mowed in late July before the plants mature and set seeds.

“We strive to balance order and naturalness when caring for a city’s greenery. There are only a few plant species left to be grown in permanently mowed lawns, and the ecosystem value of such lawns almost disappears. Many cities refuse intensive mowing as the throat of lawns becomes Very weak during dry periods, and during rains, rainwater drains from such dry grass as hard surfaces, which contributes to flooding of city streets,” says R. Bagnoliano.

Last summer, the unheated slopes of the West Side Passage already showed teal blossoms, silkworms, fireflies, bonfires, greyhounds and other endogenous plants, says botanist and conservationist Velma Godini.

“And those who are afraid of city ticks need to know that their density depends on connections with the natural habitat, and not on making thatch. If a city meadow or park is separated from the natural habitat and has no connection with the forests, the tick may not be present in the grass at all, For example, in the lane of the dividing road, in the traffic loop”, says F. Godinion.

According to her, the analysis of various studies on the spread of ticks shows that ticks are found mainly in forests, in areas with close contact with forests, in the transition from open habitats to a forest zone. In order to become vectors of parasites, ticks must also associate with nearby groups of animals that feed on blood.

Currently, the green areas of Vilnius City Municipality are supervised by the companies Ekonovus, Ecoservice, ilėja, VSA Vilnius and Stebulė.

On the general map of Vilnius Sustainable mowing areas are marked, marking where the lawn should be short and where to leave flowering lawns.

Mowing work on the yards of multi-apartment buildings (where the lawn should be no more than 10 cm) and cutting of areas 1.5-2 m wide along pedestrian and bicycle paths will begin on May 15. If you have any comments about improper cutting, please contact elders.

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