This year's Renewal and Remembrance service project was huge, almost 300 volunteers working in Arlington National and Congressional Cemeteries in Washington D.C. Workers flooded in from just about every Green Industry service sector — landscapers, lawn care folks, irrigation pros, arborists., and lots of their family members, too. Every year more wives and sons and daughters show up to help out.
This was the 10th year for the event, sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network. The first year there were barely enough volunteers to make a softball team, but Phil Fogarty, the energetic lawn care company owner from Cleveland, OH, has never slowed down in his commitment to the one day event. I believe he's served as chairman/organizer of the event from the beginning.
This year the volunteers caught a break. The temperatures "only" climbed to the high 80s although there was plenty of humidity for everyone.
Apart from the usual equipment breakdowns (nothing major) and misplaced pallets of material, the work went smoothly.
Every year the volunteers take on more and more work at the cemeteries. This year, in addition to their usual tasks of liming and fertilizing the turfgrass, crews also braced and cabled some of the larger trees in the cemeteries and others planted what appeared to be 40 or 50 new trees donated by various suppliers and nurseries.
If the event gets any bigger, PLANET will have to clone Fogarty. It's going to take at least two of him to manage the big production.
One last comment, the presentation by ANLA's Bob Dolibois to get the workers in the right frame of mind before embarking on the day was pretty darn special. If I can get a copy from him I will post it here. — Ron Hall