Landscape Professionals Volunteer at Arlington National Cemetery
On Monday, July 20, the landscape industry honored America's veterans and fallen service members at Renewal & Remembrance, an annual event put on by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
On Monday, July 20, hundreds of landscape professionals arrived at Arlington National Cemetery to beautify and improve more than one quarter of the cemetery's historic grounds as part of Renewal & Remembrance.
Organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the annual event involved more than 400 volunteer landscape professionals from throughout the United States.
Now in its 19th year, Renewal & Remembrance is the largest landscape industry day of service in the country. More than 200 of the cemetery's 624 acres were touched by the volunteers who mulched, pruned, aerated, planted, limed and applied gypsum. Volunteers applied approximately 80 tons of lime to 182 acres of turf to ensure Arlington's rolling green landscape remains pristine. Irrigation experts worked on various locations throughout the cemetery performing audits, and inspecting and repairing irrigation systems as needed. Tree care experts installed lightning protection on seven of the cemetery's historic trees and cabled two others for support.
"Arlington National Cemetery holds a special place in the hearts of Americans. Its breathtaking appearance reflects the high esteem that we bestow on our veterans and service members who have given so much for all of us," said association president Scott Jamieson, Landscape Industry Certified. "It is a rewarding honor to be able to give back, as an association of landscape professionals, by helping to care for these sacred grounds."
Several volunteers are veterans who served in our nation's Armed Forces, have a family member serving in the military, or have a loved one interred in the cemetery.
"It means a lot to me to participate in this event," said Jake Johnson, who served three overseas deployments with the Marine Corps and works for LawnAmerica in Tulsa, Okla. During a 2010 Afghanistan deployment, Johnson lost three buddies, who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. "It's a good opportunity for me to give back to those who are buried there. I feel like I owe them a lot more. I can carry their memories forward by giving back."
Renewal & Remembrance kicked off with an opening ceremony at the James R. Tanner Amphitheater (formerly the Old Amphitheater). Grounds work commenced immediately after the ceremony and continued until 11:30 a.m. To honor the service and sacrifice of the nation's veterans and military service members, two children of association members placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Fifty children ages 3-13 planted perennial flowers on the cemetery grounds.
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