Volunteers and Veterans Join Forces to Enhance Arlington National Cemetery’s Historic Grounds at 20th Annual Renewal & Remembrance Event
Monday, July 11 Day of Service Honors Military with Landscape Improvements
to Protect and Beautify the Resting Place of America’s Heroes
ARLINGTON, Va. (July 6, 2016) – On Monday, July 11, 2016, 400 landscape professionals from 29 states across the U.S. — many of them veterans themselves — will join together at Renewal & Remembrance to enhance and beautify our nation’s most hallowed grounds at Arlington National Cemetery. 2016 marks the milestone 20th anniversary of the event, which is organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals to honor and give back to our country’s fallen heroes by helping to ensure the health and pristine condition of the land where 400,000 service members and their families rest.
The largest landscape industry day of service in the country, Renewal & Remembrance encompasses extensive efforts to care for Arlington’s iconic lawns that are foundational to the beauty and peace the landmark offers visitors. Projects will include phosphorous application to 95 acres of turf, including Patton Circle and McClellan Circle, which provides vital macronutrients that support root growth; aeration of nearly 50 acres of turf, which opens soil up to air, water and nutrients for vigorous, dense turf; and the installation and repair of irrigation systems to optimize watering practices.
Initiatives also include protective measures for Arlington’s vast landscape, including tree cabling to reinforce and preserve historic trees, and installing lightening protection to preventatively guard trees from storm damage. Other landscape and hardscape projects will simultaneously take place throughout the cemetery, as well as a children’s program where kids ages 3-13 will plant flowers and learn about history and the importance of taking care of the natural environment.
Renewal & Remembrance will kick off at 7:45 a.m. with an opening ceremony featuring keynote speeches, a dedication of the day’s work and the Presentation of the Colors by the ANC color guard at the James R. Tanner Amphitheater, followed by grounds work throughout the morning until 1 p.m. A special wreath laying by select children at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will take place at 9:15 a.m.
“It’s a true honor to have helped shape Arlington National Cemetery — one of our country’s most treasured and meaningful landmarks — over the past two decades,” said Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs, NALP. “For our members, it’s about more than putting their livelihood to work. It’s about showing the ultimate sign of respect for veterans who have made great sacrifices for our freedom, as well as providing comfort and serenity through nature to families and friends remembering their loved ones.”
Since the inception of Renewal & Remembrance in 1996 with only 50 volunteers, the event has multiplied in both participation and scope. Notable projects have included redesigning Lee’s Rose Garden and laying sod around the burial sites of victims of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon.
“So much has changed since our first project at Arlington National Cemetery more than 20 years ago. However, one thing remains the same — our commitment to honoring our nation’s servicemen and women the best way we know how…by providing landscape services to these beautiful grounds,” said Phil Fogarty, owner of Weed Man-Cleveland, Ohio, who played a critical role in first bringing the event to life. “This collaboration with Arlington gives us all an opportunity to say thanks to those who have enabled us to live free and peaceful lives.”
The National Association of Landscape Professionals represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment. For more information, visit LoveYourLandscape.org.