WASHINGTON — Hundreds of volunteers will gather to help preserve some of the most historic areas in Washington D.C. Monday.
It takes a major amount of upkeep to preserve and protect historic areas like the National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. Nearly 250 volunteers from 25 different states will be in D.C. to help.
"Between Arlington National Cemetery and the National Mall, these are two of the most beautiful green spaces in the country. They take a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of focus. We’re just coming in to help the folks that take care of them every day and to enhance their efforts and really help them push it over the top and get some projects checked off their list," said Britt Wood with the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
Coming out of the pandemic, organizers with the National Association of Landscape Professionals plan to focus on projects that are most in need. They plan to help assist the National Park Service and Trust for the National Mall with some of the most urgent tasks.
"It’s a tremendous amount of work and time and the National Park Service as well as the folks who oversee the grounds at the Arlington National Cemetery do a great job. What our members seek to do is to come in and give them a hand on some of the bigger projects," said Wood.
"I think that is the power of this particular project. It's the volunteering that we do. People will tell you that some of the most memorable moments of their career have occurred while they were at Arlington National Cemetery," said Wood.
At Arlington National Cemetery, volunteers will spend the day taking care of the historic oak trees and working on irrigation projects to help preserve water.
Volunteers will also be doing some projects along the National Mall and preparing the ballfields, which just opened back up this summer.
Four tractor-trailers full of recycled wood chips also showed up Monday morning to drop wood chips around the trees at Cherry Grove near the Washington Monument. The wood chips will allow the trees to retain rainwater and protect the roots from damage.
"I can think of no better appropriate opportunity for our industry to get back together if you will then to do it with this really, really important work. We could not be more excited about it," said Wood.