The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) held its 14th annual “Renewal & Remembrance” event at Arlington National Cemetery on July 19. The next day members went to Capitol Hill to talk with congressional leaders about key issues facing the industry.

More than 450 individuals from across the nation participated in “Renewal & Remembrance.” They spent the day mulching, caring for and cabling trees with lightening protection, pruning, liming, planting, and aerating the soil. This gift is valued at more than $250,000. To date, PLANET has contributed more than $2 million to the care of these historic landmarks.

“Each year our members work together toward a common goal – to honor those who sacrificed so we could live in peace,” said Walter Wray, Landscape Industry Certified Technician, PLANET member and chairman of the event. “No other event brings the green industry together like this.”

The event, which began 14 years ago with a dozen volunteers, has grown to involve more than 300 companies. As the day of service has grown, more and more PLANET members bring their families as well as their company employees.  The event includes special projects for children of PLANET members.  This year, children planted flowers in key locations at Arlington National Cemetery and participated in the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The logistics of the event are significant. Here are some of the numbers:

•              More than 450 adults and 55 children participated

•              100 companies were represented

•              29 states represented

•              32 area captains

•              120 tons of lime was applied to 275 acres

•              31 acres of turf was aerated

•              10 yards of soil was installed

•              Seven yards of mulch was applied

•              22 trees and six shrubs were installed

•              60 perennials were planted

•              9 trees were pruned, cabling and had bracing installed

•              Lightning protection was installed on seven trees

•              The Columbarium and Receiving Vault irrigation systems were updated


The Irrigation Association partnered with PLANET to host this year’s event, and the event sponsors at the Platinum level included Husqvarna Outdoor Products and Syngenta.


In addition to the Capitol Hill visits, Legislative Day participants enjoyed presentations from conservative columnist Cal Thomas and liberal Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, authors of Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America.


PLANET is the association of members who create and maintain the QUALITY OF LIFE in communities across America. With almost 3,500 member companies and affiliates, these firms and their employees represent more than 100,000 green industry professionals. Some of these professionals have taken the extra step of becoming certified through PLANET and bear the distinction of being known as Landscape Industry Certified.