Nearly 30 employees from Ariens Company traveled to Washington, D.C. on July 20, to participate in the National Association of Landscape Professional's (NALP) Renewal and Remembrance event, which Gravely had proudly sponsored for several years.
Renewal and Remembrance is the largest single day of service for the nation's landscape and lawn care industry. Each year, hundreds of volunteers, who are members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, come from across the nation to Arlington National Cemetery to spend the day to giving back to their country. The volunteers provide arborist services such as cabling and providing lightening protection; landscape plant installations; lawn care including liming and aeration, and irrigation installation.
Gravely employees worked in two sections of the cemetery, helping aerate the lawn. Gravely Atlas Job Site Vehicles were also on site during the event, and were used to transport safety crews and equipment around the vast landscape. Several volunteers, including Caterpillar employee John Janes, had the opportunity to experience driving the JSV during the day.
"I cannot begin to tell you all of the things that I love about the Atlas Job Site Vehicle." said Janes. "It's so easy for a new driver. First the metal door latches make it easy to get in and out. Second, the removable windows are great because I can take them out for nice weather and put them back in when it's bad. Third are the operator controls. Park is at one end of the range and high is at the other. When you're in a hurry on a job site, as soon as you get in the vehicle you can throw on your seatbelt, start it up and put it in high right away, and then you're ready to go. It's a great vehicle. Out of all the utility-level vehicles I have used, the Gravely Atlas JSV is definitely my preference."
This event, which began in 1997 as a small, one-day event, has grown to involve more than 400 individuals. As the day of service has grown, more and more members bring both their families as well as their company employees. The event now includes special projects for children including; an education program, planting annuals and perennials, arranging flowers for graves, and participating in the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Several Gravely employees attended the event for the first time this year, including Ariens Company VP of Global Sales John Horn.
"I'm very proud to be associated with this event," said Horn. "All of us worked to help aerate a section of Arlington, and it was wonderful to experience so many people in our industry giving back to our country. I would highly recommend participation in this event to anyone who has the opportunity to attend it. It has been one of the most moving experiences of my career to be among our nation's fallen heroes, and to be able to play a small part in the upkeep of our national cemetery."
(All photos are copyright Ariens Company, 2015, and cannot be duplicated or used for any reason without consent.)