ARLINGTON, Va. — On Monday, July 20th, hundreds of landscape professionals will descend on 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 (NALP), Renewal and Remembrance involves more than 400 volunteer landscape professionals from throughout the United States.
Entering 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 will be touched by the volunteers. They will be mulching, pruning, aerating, planting, liming and applying gypsum.
Approximately 80 tons of lime will be applied to 182 acres of turf to ensure Arlington’s rolling green landscape remains pristine. By helping to neutralize acidic soils, the application of limestone makes nutrients in the soil more available to Arlington’s lawns.
Irrigation experts will work on various locations throughout the cemetery performing audits, and inspecting and repairing irrigation systems as needed.
Tree care experts will install lightning protection on seven of the cemetery’s historic trees and cable two others for support. The lightning protection and cabling are important, say organizers, because the cemetery has lost several historic trees in major storms.
“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, LIC. “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, Oklahoma. Johnson lost three buddies during a 2010 Afghanistan deployment 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.”