Hundreds of landscapers will flood Arlington National Cemetery in a couple of weeks to help restore and rejuvenate the cemetery’s grounds.
Last year, more than 400 volunteers came to work at the cemetery for the Renewal & Remembrance event, which is organized through PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network, and event coordinators expect close to that same number this year.
On July 28, volunteers will help renovate more than 180 acres of the cemetery’s 624 acres.
Some of the renovating will include mulching, pruning, aerating, planting, liming and applying gypsum.
Approximately 78 tons of lime will be applied to the turf to help keep the landscape green. By helping to neutralize acidic soils, the application of limestone makes nutrients in the soil more available to Arlington’s lawns.
Irrigation professionals will also be performing audits and inspecting and repairing irrigation systems where needed.
Tree care experts will be installing lightning protection on five of the cemetery’s historic trees and cable seven others for support.
Gene Queen, president of Nature’s Select out of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina area and someone who has been attending the event for 13 years, said last year that this was an event people don’t want to miss.
“If you ever have the opportunity to come and see this place, you’re in awe,” Queen says. “It really makes you understand the sacrifices when you see these thousands and thousands of tombstones.”