The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) recently held its 13th annual Day of Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery. Hundreds of green industry professionals donated their time to help complete several needed projects outlined by cemetery officials.

More than 300 companies shut down their businesses for a weekend and traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to spend the day mulching, caring for and cabling trees, installing irrigation systems, pruning, liming, planting, and aerating the soil. In all, more than $200,000 in goods and services were donated by the participants.

In addition to supplying equipment and manpower, Stihl brought in nationally syndicated television personality P. Allen Smith to film segments for his P. Allen Smith Gardens and Garden Home programs.

“I know that my viewers will be touched by this incredible event and the amazing amount of work that these green industry professionals and their families provide. It is very clear that they do this out of the respect they have for these grounds and for our fallen heroes,” said Smith.

“We are proud and humbled to help honor in some small way those members of our Armed Services who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for Stihl Inc. “This is sacred and hallowed ground, and we believe that by helping to maintain its beauty, we honor our nation’s fallen and their families.”

As the day of service has grown, more and more PLANET members bring their families. This year a children’s program was held with Smith conducting a seminar for children ages 3-15, teaching them proper planting techniques. The children planted the flowers in a bed located adjacent to a path leading to the Tomb of the Unknown.

“The flowers you plant here are living tributes of remembrance. They add beauty to this important site and will give comfort to those who visit, so it’s important that we do our best,” Smith told the children.