Arlington National Cemetery represents many things to different people. For some it’s a chronicle of American history. To others, it’s a place that signifies and honors the greatest of U.S. war heroes. For the members of PLANET, the cemetery is an American treasure that needs the support of its corporate citizens.
On Monday, July 9, the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) held its annual Renewal & Remembrance volunteer service event at Arlington National Cemetery in conjunction with its Legislative Day on the Hill program and Leadership Meetings. Renewal & Remembrance, which is in its 16th year, is the green industry’s largest single volunteer service event. It included more than 400 PLANET members and their families who spent their time helping to mulch, prune, aerate, irrigate, plant, spread lime and provide cabling and lighting protection for some of Arlington’s historic trees.
“This year’s Renewal and Remembrance event once again showed the commitment and dedication to service that our PLANET members have,” said Norman Goldenberg, Landscape Industry Certified, president of PLANET. “It is such an honor to see our members, their children, and our sponsor companies, come together to help Arlington National Cemetery provide the best possible green spaces for our military heroes and their families.”
As Renewal & Remembrance has grown, more and more PLANET members bring their families. Each year the event features special projects for children of PLANET members, including planting native grasses, receiving education about native plants, and for the second consecutive year a select few are chosen to participate in the laying of the wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
After Renewal & Remembrance, the focus switched to legislative issues affecting the green industry. PLANET members attended a dinner with keynote speaker Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va), who spoke about the importance of H-2B. The next day, July 10, 2012, started with an early breakfast with Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) who spoke to the group about the importance of talking to their legislators about issues affecting their businesses. More than 100 PLANET members and their families met with legislators or staff from their local districts to talk about some of the issues including overregulation, NPDES permits, H-2B, and Lyme disease. PLANET members visited with representatives from approximately 20 states.
The Irrigation Association partnered with PLANET to host this year’s Renewal & Remembrance and Legislative Day on the Hill, and New Holland Construction was the Platinum Sponsor for both events. For more information, visit LandcareNetwork.org, or call the PLANET office at 800-395-2522.