YardScapes in America’s Front Yard!
ANNUAL RENEWAL & REMEMBRANCE VOLUNTEER EVENT
Last weekend, 11 members of YardScapes team, along with close to 500 landscape professionals, arrived in Washington, DC for the 27th Annual Renewal & Remembrance event hosted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). This annual event brings together professionals from across the country who volunteer their time and expertise to help in beautifying and maintaining the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery and The National Mall. As a participant for over 10 years, YardScapes is always honored to contribute with aiding in the preservation and enhancement of these historic and significant spaces.
Our team members arrived on Saturday for a day of sightseeing in our nation’s capital and a team dinner that evening. There was more sightseeing on Sunday followed by a welcome reception and dinner hosted by the NALP. Safety gear including gloves, vests, hats and sunscreen were distributed, the timeline of events reviewed, procedures and safety precautions reiterated, and questions answered.
On Sunday, all 500 volunteers headed to either Arlington National Cemetery or The National Mall for an opening ceremony and then to perform their pre-determined tasks working alongside the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service. Both of YardScapes teams worked in Arlington National Cemetery.
Our team was split into two groups while YardScapes Director of Operations, Greg Kaiser and his wife Tanya, brought their son Niko to participate in the children’s program. The children planted annuals and made cut flower bouquets for gravesites.
Niko placed the memorial bouquet he made on the final resting place of a Civil War soldier named William Froelich who died on August 30, 1862. The Second Battle of Bull Run (or Battle of Second Manassas) was fought August 28–30, 1862, in Prince William County, Virginia, as part of the American Civil War 161 years ago next week.
In another section of the cemetery, Jonnathan, Juan P, Ricardo & Filemon (L-R) were tasked in creating a concrete “parking pad” near a fire hydrant to stop the turf around gravesites from being continually damaged by the trucks using the hydrant.
Below, Jonnathan spreads stone dust onto the finished pad so it will settle into the spaces between the paving stones before sweeping away the excess.
Meanwhile, in the Columbarium section of Arlington National Cemetery, the other team, consisting of Dawn, Jake, Joe, Jonathan, and Yaminton worked with other volunteers replacing broken pavers around the outside of one niche section.
Other projects performed at Arlington and on The National Mall during this event included, irrigation updates, creating tree rings, spreading lime on the turf, adding lightning abatement to historic trees, and a lot of mulching!
“The purpose of life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.” ― Leo Rosten