To honor our nation’s veterans, hundreds of volunteers gathered at the Arlington National Cemetery to beautify the sacred grounds at Renewal & Remembrance, the landscape industry’s largest day of service.
The 23rd annual event — hosted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) on Monday, July 15 — kicked off with a keynote speech by Col. Andrea M. Stahl, USA, Ret., sharing a moving story about her colleague’s son who lost his life in Afghanistan. He’s buried in Section 60 of the cemetery.
Opening ceremony at the 23rd annual Renewal & Remembrance.
Col. Stahl also expressed her gratitude for the volunteers, saying it represents the responsibility of citizens to serve their nation. “With today’s service to Arlington, the resting place of our nation’s bravest and most dedicated servants, this group does just that,” she remarked. “As a soldier, your efforts touch my heart.”
And the volunteers took their service seriously – they applied over 60 tons of limestone to turf, aerated 85 acres of land, optimized irrigation systems, installed lightning protection, and much more.
NALP even hosted a children’s program to educate future landscapers by planting flowers, laying wreaths, and witnessing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Vectorworks staff volunteering to aerate the grounds at Arlington National Cemetery.
Landscape professionals are uniquely positioned to provide a type of service that the average citizen may not have the skills to perform. Renewal & Remembrance is an opportunity to showcase the heart of the industry by using their talents and training to maintain sacred land.
As Ken Taylor from John Deere said in the opening ceremony, “What you do today truly adds extra beauty, serenity, and peace to these hallowed grounds.”