Ohio FFA members at work in Arlington National Cemetery

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Enrolling in the Landscape Design and Management program at Knox County Career Center made all the difference for a group of four FFA members and opened the door to pursuing their passions to serve others.Last summer, students from Knox County Career Center traveled with their Landscape Design & Management Instructor and FFA Advisor, Jim Scott and over 400 other individuals involved in the landscaping industry to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D. C. Individuals gathered from across the United States with a shared goal in mind, to work together to enhance and improve over a quarter of the cemetery’s historic grounds through the initiatives of Renewal & Remembrance.Organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and entering it’s 19th year, Renewal & Remembrance is one of the largest landscape industry days of service in the country. More than 200 of the cemetery’s 624 acres were mulched, pruned, aerated and planted by the hundreds of volunteers.   The relationship between the career center’s Landscape Design and Management program and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is growing stronger. A portion of the dues paid by students each year registers them as members of NALP.“Being present at this event at Arlington Cemetery and knowing the work we were doing made a difference was something I am going to take away,” said Brock Denman, a junior FFA member at Knox County Career Center. “The work done in one day is enough work for one man to do in two whole years.”Although individuals from all parts of the country were present to serve, these FFA members stepped up to the plate as the only high school students at the service project.“Being the only high school students was kind of difficult,” said Josiah Grimm, a junior FFA member at Knox County Career Center. “I think people were surprised we were there, but they were also excited to see us there taking an interest in service and in the landscape industry.”After completing a day of hard work and landscaping in the cemetery, the students joined landscape and lawn care professionals to meet with their respective senators and representatives and discussed a variety of issues facing the industry today.“I learned a lot from the experience, but if I could go back and do it again I would have used the day on Capitol Hill to volunteer and work more at Arlington Cemetery,” Josiah said. “I just love getting my hands dirty, working with the earth and breaking a sweat.”Both Brock and Josiah envision themselves working in the landscaping industry in some capacity in the future and accredit their desire to the Landscape Design and Management program at Knox County Career Center.“I did not know what I could see myself doing in the future, but then I began the program here and realized I love working outside and being on equipment,” Brock said. “It has been the perfect opportunity for me.”Josiah is already putting his education and experiences to use as a two-year employee of Greenlawn Specialists based out of Lewis Center in Delaware County.Although this was the first year students from the career center attended an event like Renewal & Remembrance, it is something the chapter will continue pursing in the future.“Our students have gained a new appreciation for service and better understanding for the concept of defending our country. The students witnessed the importance of paying forward to those who gave their all for each of us,” said Jim Scott.Other students who attended the service trip include Jonathan Brooks and Douglas Brown.last_img


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