NALP members visit D.C. to volunteer, lobby

Renewal & Remembrance volunteers
Hundreds of NALP members volunteered time and resources to help beautify Arlington National Cemetery. (Photo: LM staff)

More than 500 members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) visited Washington, D.C., for Legislative Days on the Hill and Renewal & Remembrance July 15-17.

Legislative Days is NALP’s annual education, networking and lobbying day on Capitol Hill. Renewal & Remembrance—in its 22nd year—is the association’s annual service project during which hundreds of landscape professionals volunteered time and resources to help care for and beautify Arlington National Cemetery.

“This goes against everything we normally do, but this day is all about slowing down production. Take a moment to remember why we’re here,” said Renewal & Remembrance Chair John Eggleston, general manager at Federal Supply and manager at ServiceFirst Irrigation, in his briefing the day before the event.

Renewal & Remembrance kicked off bright and early at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery with the Presentation of the Colors and remarks by NALP President Jeff Buhler and keynote speaker Lt. Col. Priscilla Quackenbush, who discussed her experiences of helping injured soldiers.

In addition to caring for the cemetery, volunteers were encouraged to take time to reflect, respectfully walk around the cemetery and visit sites such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“Life’s most impactful moments can be a blur,” said Buhler, senior vice president of customer service for Massey Services. “I encourage you all to take a minute to pause and reflect on your freedoms and liberties.”

Volunteers were dispatched in groups throughout Arlington and to the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery to inspect and install irrigation, perform aeration, spread lime and phosphorus to turf, perform tree work, build a retaining wall and more.

The day also included a children’s program, where kids planted flowers and learned about the significance of service and the cemetery.

The morning wrapped up with a picnic lunch and was followed by educational panel discussions in the afternoon, which covered the Farm Bill; the H-2B guest-worker visa program; EPA regulations; E-Verify and immigration reform; and social media and advocacy.

Capitol Hill
H-2B was the major talking point when landscape professionals visited Capitol Hill on July 17. (Photo: LM staff)

These panel discussions also focused on giving landscapers the tools to advocate for the industry during the following day’s meetings with their representatives.

Equipped with talking points and personal stories about the effects of current regulations and standards, landscape professionals from across the U.S. took on Capitol Hill, beginning the morning of July 17.

During the sessions, they discussed key issues affecting the green industry, such as the Farm Bill, H-2B, E-Verify and more.

H-2B was the major talking point, as landscape pros urged their representatives to increase the current H-2B cap.

A performance by a comedy group and networking cocktail hours topped off the busy days and gave landscape pros the opportunity to connect with one another.

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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