Donating our time and expertise to support our veterans and local community
Submitted by Tetra Tech
Tetra Tech’s Southeastern Pennsylvania offices organized and implemented multiple landscaping and service projects at Washington Crossing National Cemetery (WCNC) in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, using their engineering expertise to support veterans and give back to the local community.
This national cemetery preserves the dignity and solemnity of veterans’ final resting place. The cemetery includes a 12-acre burial area, information center, maintenance facility, flag assembly area, Avenue of Flags, columbarium complex, committal shelters for funeral services, and a scatter garden for veterans’ cremains to be dispersed by their loved ones.
Seeking a service opportunity for 2020, representatives from Tetra Tech’s Langhorne, Pennsylvania, offices contacted WCNC to explore volunteering at the veterans’ cemetery. WCNC staff identified several projects requiring immediate attention, including support for flag-raising ceremonies, redesign and landscaping of the WCNC scatter garden, and installation of flagpole bases along WCNC access roads.
As a sustaining member of the Society of Military Engineers (SAME), Philadelphia Post, Tetra Tech reached out to the Post president, who embraced the concept and created a committee to champion the volunteer efforts. Staff from Tetra Tech offices and SAME member firms worked with WCNC representatives to develop conceptual design options for the scatter garden. The final landscape plan approved by WCNC leaders included soil erosion control solutions designed by Tetra Tech—a retaining wall built of repurposed concrete blocks, subsurface drainage features, and regrading.
Tetra Tech facilitated donation of skilled labor and equipment by local environmental construction service providers to construct the retaining wall and drainage system. As part of the project, 30 volunteers from multiple Tetra Tech offices, local SAME posts, and other volunteer groups planted more than 100 deer-resistant plants and shrubs donated by local nurseries. Phase two of the project will include completing the façade of the retaining wall using local field stones.
Tetra Tech associates also organized the installation of holes for 22 flagpole bases to complete the Avenue of Flags. Through Tetra Tech’s relationships, a local service-disabled veteran-owned small business was contacted and readily agreed to volunteer to assist in this project.
“I would like to personally thank everyone from the Tetra Tech southeastern Pennsylvania offices who contributed to this project,” said Carl Rodzewich, Tetra Tech’s Langhorne office operations manager. “Our efforts resulted in much-needed improvements and were greatly appreciated by the WCNC and our local SAME post. SAME has recognized our efforts on a national level, and hopefully we have inspired other service projects honoring our veterans.”
SAME highlighted Tetra Tech’s efforts in its national publication, The Military Engineer, and the Philadelphia SAME Post selected our volunteers as the first team winner of their annual Service Project Award in recognition of extraordinary effort and collaboration.
“A special thanks to Tetra Tech for organizing this project on behalf of our local post and their generous contribution of time, labor, connections, and materials that were all key in making this project successful,” said Laura Sanders, SAME Philadelphia Post Board of Directors. “We thank you for bringing this project to our attention and allowing us to champion it.”
We are proud of the contributions of the dedicated employees of our eastern Pennsylvania offices and their ongoing commitment to giving back to veterans and the local community.
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