The National Association of Landscape Professionals was presented the National Mall Volunteer Partner of the Year Award on Dec. 4, 2021, by the National Mall and Memorial Parks of the National Park Service.
“I was so proud to accept the award in honor of the National Association of Landscape Professionals and our members,” says Bruce Allentuck, president of Allentuck Landscaping Co. based in Rockville, Maryland. “It was quite humbling and very much appreciated.”
This award was presented to NALP for work on the National Mall as part of its annual Renewal & Remembrance event in July. This was a new volunteer project for Renewal & Remembrance. Allentuck says they had been researching other potential sites for a couple of years.
The volunteer project consisted of helping preserve the cherry trees near the Washington Monument and aerating the turf at the West Potomac Park sports fields. 100 volunteers were able to work on these projects. Adding wood chips to the cherry tree grove reduces soil compaction, keeps mowers and string trimmers away from the fragile basil bark, aerates the soil, amends the soil with rich organic nutrients and minerals, and retains moisture for uptake through roots.
“You all have been instrumental in developing a real urban forest on America’s front lawn that has the potential of being visited in one year by more than twice the amount of people who visit Yellowstone; The Grand Canyon; Zion; Rocky Mountain National Park; and Grand Teton…combined,” says Matthew Morrison, supervisory arborist for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
The National Mall Volunteer Partner of the Year Award is given annually to one or more partner organizations that have made a significant impact on the National Mall. While the park hosted over 700 individuals performing service projects on the National Mall, and more than 50 partner organizations doing work to improve National Mall and Memorial Parks’ monuments, memorials, and green spaces, NALP impressed the NPS with the amount of work their volunteers were able to accomplish.
“By bringing specialized skills to the National Mall, in conjunction with your professional communication, coordination, and generosity, you’ve made a lasting impact to the health of the beloved cherry trees and the National Mall’s ball fields,” Emmanuel Ekekwe, volunteer program manager for the National Mall and Memorial Parks of the National Park Service.
NALP will continue the partnership with the National Mall, doing new volunteer service projects during next year’s Renewal & Remembrance event on July 18, 2022.