16 Aug Sun Valley Landscaping makes trip to Washington, D.C.
On July 15, over 400 landscape professionals from 29 states came together in Washington D.C. for the annual Renewal and Remembrance and Legislative Day on the Hill, events organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). CEO and partner Paul Fraynd, as well as General Manger, Ashly Neneman of Sun Valley Landscaping, participated for the second year in a row in what they describe as “a very humbling experience.”
Renewal and Remembrance, a day in which landscape professionals volunteer to beautify Arlington National Cemetery, is a unique opportunity for industry leaders to serve to our country in a true celebration for our fallen heroes. Working on more than 257 acres at Arlington, projects included aerating turf grass, applying limestone and phosphorous to turf, irrigation and tree improvements, annual plantings, and a paved area for buses. “When we do the volunteer day at Arlington, it’s probably one of the coolest and most humbling experiences I’ve been a part of,” explained Neneman.
In addition to the day of service, landscape professionals participate in NALP’s Legislative Day on Capitol Hill. Fraynd and Neneman were thrilled to sit down with Nebraska’s elected officials to discuss industry concerns and issues. “That was my big take away last year,” Fraynd explained. “These big political leaders are real people who are doing public service. It’s a neat experience that opens your eyes and ears. You feel like you are a part of the legislative process and it’s attainable that you can make a difference.”
Sun Valley Landscaping is involved in larger roles during these events and in the NALP. Fraynd is a newly elected member of the NALP Board of Directors, while Neneman serves on the Education Advisory Council. Their time is spent planning and executing initiatives for the members of the NALP. They also get a chance to network and develop relationships with industry professionals across the country. “Just like with any of the associations we are a part of, we are trying to grow the perception of the landscape industry,” says Fraynd. “What better way than to network with a bunch of professionals that you can emulate after?”
Both Fraynd and Neneman hope Sun Valley Landscaping team members reflect on the days of service as a way of contributing to the company’s goals. “I hope our team sees the leadership in their company, stepping up and saying we want you to be involved and to help make a change,” stated Neneman. “One of our big hairy audacious goals is to be considered an industry leader, and we are getting closer to it through participating in associations such as the NALP. We may take three steps forward and two back, but the goal is becoming a reality,” Fraynd said.