When Jon Cundiff first addressed the crowd at Renewal & Remembrance, it was about 20 years ago, and there were only 100 people in front of him. Now in its 21st year, the event, which is organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, has grown to four times that size.
The event allows LCOs and landscapers to access the Arlington National Cemetery and tend to the 200 acres of sacred ground by mulching, aerating, liming, and performing other services.
Cundiff, NALP president and president of Weed Man Kansas City, shared with the audience a lesson he learned during his first job as a groundskeeper for the Kansas City Royals.
While he sat next to great baseball players like George Brett and met baseball legends like Hank Aaron, he said the best lesson he learned was from his first boss and head groundskeeper, George Toma. That advice was three words – “And then some,” Cundiff said. “You do your job, and then some.”
Cundiff tied that lesson he learned decades ago and related it to those buried on the grounds today.
“They are the ultimate example of the ‘And then some,’ mentality,” he said. “Today, let’s go out there and do our job – and then some.”
This is the 14th year Joe Markell, president and CEO of Sunrise Landscape and Design in Sterling, Virginia, has participated in the event, and said it’s worth it to take a crew of the job for a day to honor the fallen soldiers.
“With the sacrifices these people have made, this is something small we can do,” he said. “And it’s good for the professionalism of the industry. People can see the value of the work and the effort it takes.
NALP members were also joined by members of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance and the Professional Grounds Management Society.
Tomorrow, attendees will meet with legislatures on capitol hill to push the issues they think need attention, including the H-2B program and pesticide regulations. Check out the September issue of Lawn & Landscape to learn more about those issues and how the industry is presenting them to representatives.