What happens when four hundred landscapers descend on Arlington National Cemetery with big hearts, capable hands, a fantastic spirit, dozens of pieces of equipment, and tons of materials? Something amazing, that's what happens.
For the sixteenth year, the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), out national trade association, held Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery, and for the sixth straight year, Allentuck Landscaping Co. dug in to help.
Our colleagues came from all across the country. Together, we aerated 35 acres, applied lime to 150 acres, cabled trees and installed lightning protection, planted native ornamental grasses and perennials, and upgraded irrigation systems. In all, the day's work was a gift of approximately $250,000 to our country.
The highlight of the day was the Children's Program involving fifty children of our colleagues who learned about the importance of the Milkweed plant in the Monarch Butterfly's life and planted three gardens. Two of the children even had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unkowns.
For me, this day of service became very personal. I had taken the opportunity to reach out to several of my military friends and teammates (I race for a military based endurance team) and asked them if I could visit anyone's gravesite for them. I received ten names and spent a few moments with each of them, placing a commemorative stone at each. A true honor for me.
If you cannot tell, my pride in our industry for the care we give to these sacred grounds runs deep.
Ut prosim...so that I may serve.