The Irrigation Association joined forces with the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) for the 2012 Renewal and Remembrance Day at Arlington National Cemetery on July 9 and Legislative Day on the Hill the following day. In conjunction with PLANET’s activities on the Hill, IA held its first-ever Landscape Irrigation Advocacy Day, July 8 – 10, designed to offer IA member participants the opportunity to focus on issues relevant to our industry and interact with officials responsible for influencing landscape water use policy.

On July 10, 2012, IA staff and members converged on Capitol Hill and the White House to address policy and lawmakers on the importance of partnering with the industry to recognize and focus on efficient irrigation technologies, products and services when developing guidelines and regulations affecting landscape water use. Specifically, the IA contingent brought attention to new and existing standards and green codes impacting the landscape irrigation industry, including standards regarding landscape irrigation sprinkler and emitter devices, the standardization procedure for estimating landscape water use and testing methods for smart irrigation controllers. IA members urged the federal government to participate in and incorporate these standards relating to landscape water use once they are developed.

“Educating government officials on the value of irrigation and the role of efficient water use in the landscape plays in federal policy is an essential function of the Irrigation Association,” said IA’s Government Affairs Director John Farner. “I am excited at the amount of enthusiasm we saw not only from IA members, but also from federal officials who are looking to partner with IA to promote efficient irrigation through sound public policy.”

At PLANET’s annual Renewal and Remembrance event on July 9, more than 30 IA members and staff joined hundreds of other landscape and lawn care professionals from across the nation at Arlington National Cemetery to spend the day mulching, upgrading sprinklers, cabling and installing lightening protection for trees, pruning, liming 150 acres, planting and aerating the soil. IA members worked specifically on renovating or upgrading existing irrigation, adding new irrigation and collecting data about the system to provide better information to Arlington’s grounds management personnel for improved irrigation management.

“This event helps IA live out its mission of promoting efficient products, technologies and services,” said IA’s Industry Development Director Brent Mecham. “This is the fourth year that I have had the privilege of volunteering with many others to improve the grounds of such an important and historically significant place. I’m proud to be a part of an event where we can honor those who have made our country great and make it a special experience for all who visit.”