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Proud partner of PLANET

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PLANETSixteen: The number of years Green Industry volunteers have come together to beautify Arlington National Cemetery during the annual Renewal & Remembrance (R&R) event, held by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).

400: The number of volunteers at this year’s event on July 9.

$2 million-plus: The estimated value of the labor and materials donated by the Green Industry since R&R’s inception.

155 and 36: The number of acres limed and aerated, respectively, this year.

240 pounds: The amount of lime I applied with a walk-behind spreader as a member of the Section 7 liming crew. (That’s 240 pounds more than I’ve ever spread in my life, let alone going uphill!)

As an American and a member of the Green Industry, I encourage you to attend R&R at least once. But know this: It’s inspiring, energizing and it never gets old, so you will probably go back year after year.

Before this year’s dedication ceremony, I spoke with volunteer Miles Kuperus, owner of Farmside Landscape in Wantage, N.J., and another number occurred to me: the number of participants in R&R—or any community service project—who share what good works they’re doing with their clients and the public. I’m not sure exactly what the figure is, but knowing how humble members of the Green Industry are, I know it’s not enough. I understand companies resist promoting their service projects because they don’t want to appear as if they’re trying to cash in on their altruism; at the same time, I encourage them to accept recognition.

That’s why I was impressed to hear Kuperus, who has participated in R&R for the past 10 years with his wife and five kids, sends a letter to clients sharing details about the event. I don’t know how many other companies do this, or how many take advantage of the press release template PLANET provides, but I bet it’s the minority. That should change.

It’s not a bad thing to promote your company’s service work, even if you do it out of the goodness of your heart and not for a pat on the back. Think of it this way: The goodwill you generate in the community will raise the profile of your company, boosting business, and could afford you the opportunity to give back on a larger scale. And there is no shame in that.

Proud to partner
In the name of recognizing those who serve others, I’m proud to say Landscape Management is the media sponsor of PLANET’s new Community Stewardship Award, a program to honor exceptional Green Industry volunteerism efforts.

If you’re a PLANET member, please visit landcarenetwork.org/awards/communityaward to enter the program in one of six categories (small service provider, medium service provider, large service provider, supplier, student chapter and state association) by Nov. 15. Each winner will be featured in LM in 2013 and will be recognized next July at PLANET’s R&R event.

If you’re not a member of PLANET, we’d still like to hear about your service projects. Please email me (mpalmieri@northcoastmedia.net) a 250-word description of your company’s volunteer efforts with photos, if possible. We’ll be happy to feature some worthwhile projects next year, like we did this month for the great work Heaviland Enterprises provided a school in need of some shade trees.

Marisa Palmieri

Marisa Palmieri

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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