In mid-July PLANET (Professional Landcare Network) hosted its 13th successful Renewal and Remembrance and Legislative Day on the Hill events in Washington, D.C. The events kicked off July 12 with presentations designed to help landscape professionals voice their opinions on landscape-related issues with their elected members of Congress.
Early on July 13, more than 400 attendees representing 98 companies joined forces to provide tree care, plant trees and shrubs, aerate turf, and spread lime on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. The volunteer project was valued at more than $200,000 in products and services. Through this event each year PLANET has contributed more than $2 million to the care of this historic landmark.
“Renewal and Remembrance gives one great satisfaction to honor those who gave so much in service to our nation,” says Walter Wray, CLT and organizer of the event. “The spirit and interest of our members who volunteer is truly incredible. The cumulative impact of our efforts over the years on the landscape of this sacred and peaceful place is enormous but pales in magnitude to the imprint left on one’s soul.”
On July 14 PLANET members visited their congressional leaders on Capitol Hill and spoke with them about issues facing the green industry. The main issues included the mandated cap on H-2B visas for seasonal workers; the proposed Clean Water Act and its restrictions on pesticide applications; the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for unions to organize large and small employers; the Healthy Families Act, which would require employers to provide employees with 56 hours of sick leave per year; and the Small Business Choice Act, which would give small businesses the opportunity to provide employee health care by pooling their resources through a co-operative.
For more information about PLANET, Legislative Day on the Hill, and Renewal & Remembrance, including a full listing of the event sponsors, visit
www.LandcareNetwork.org. -Glenn R. DiNella