Landscapers Come To D.C. Area To Serve Arlington Cemetery; Lobby For Immigration | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Landscapers Come To D.C. Area To Serve Arlington Cemetery; Lobby For Immigration

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By Jonathan Wilson

This week, landscaping professionals from across the country are doing their part to help Arlington National Cemetery maintain its 200 acres of sacred ground.

David Snodgrass is the president of the Professional Landcare Network, or PLANET, a trade group of landscaping companies that come together at Arlington Cemetery for one day each year, to donate labor and expertise, whether on irrigation, tree care, or lawn maintenance.

"Over the course of 14 years, it exceeds $2 million, so it's quite a significant contribution, our gift to America," says Snodgrass.

Some volunteers here are veterans, and say this year, donating their land care expertise is their way of helping the cemetery through tough times, after recent reports of poor management and mismarked graves.

But the industry will also be asking for help this week. Today Snodgrass and others will talk with lawmakers in Washington about how immigration laws affect the many landscaping industry workers who are foreign nationals here on seasonal work visas.

"We definitely need comprehensive reform, but we want to do it in a responsible way, that's an important workforce that we have," comments Snodgrass.

He says his colleagues will also be focusing on water restriction laws across the nation.

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