PLANET volunteers return to Arlington National Cemetery

July 30, 2014 -  By

Grasshopper Lawns in Larksville, Pa., has been participating in the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET’s) Renewal & Remembrance event for 18 years — since the inaugural year. The event, which took place July 28 this year, is a beautification effort in which landscape industry volunteers from around the U.S. gather for a day to apply lime and gypsum, aerate, plant and do tree and irrigation work at Arlington National Cemetery.

“There were maybe 20 or 30 of us,” President Michael Kravitsky IV recalled. This year, and for the past several years, organizers have had to cap the attendance due to capacity restrictions. Now, the max is 400 and it’s a sell-out every year.

At this year’s event Kravitsky IV captained Team Pentagon, a crew in charge of liming 18.5 acres of turf. In total PLANET volunteers applied 78 tons of lime to 180 acres; applied 22.5 tons of gypsum to 86 acres; aerated 50 acres; installed lightning protection to five trees and cables to seven trees, among other services.

One of his team members was event newcomer Todd DeBock, a New Holland Construction segment leader. DeBock has been in his current position for about four months and said he’s been looking forward to this event since he took the job. New Holland, a platinum sponsor for the event, sent six volunteers to Renewal & Remembrance.

“It’s great to come down here and help out,” he said.

U.S. Army Captain Andy Jenks, a chaplain, may have best conveyed most volunteers’ sentiments about the importance of the event in his invocation during the opening ceremony. He said, “We serve those here today because they served.”

Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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