Lawn company puts finishing touches on World War I Memorial before Draft visitors arrive

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:30 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Lawnmowers were filled with gas and weeds were wacked Monday morning surrounding the World War I Museum and Memorial.

CMJ Lawn and Landscaping out of Grain Valley, Missouri, has been employed by the museum for more than 10 years. The men take pride in the fact that people from all over visit and see their work.

“We’ll go through and trim and edge all the nooks and crannies here and make everything look perfect,” crew lead Brett Lavar said. “It’s just another day for us, you know.”

The job’s the same as it has been for the last decade, but the landscape they normally work with is altered as NFL operations are taking over the area for the NFL Draft.

“If there’s, like a cone in the way or some wires or even a downed tent, we’ll tell them to move but we respect their equipment,” supervisor JJ Johnson said. “And we know that it’s expensive and they can’t move it then we’ll do our best to work around it.”

The young workers make sure the sight is pretty and prepared despite the stretches of land covered in tents, tarps, and railing. It’s been an adjustment for CMJ’s workers, but they were aware something of this magnitude could happen when it was announced the Draft was happening in Kansas City.

“It’s a cluster but it’s worth it. It’s all going to look really good down here,” said laborer Noah Carlton. “There’s going to be hundreds of thousands of people here, so you got to take pride in your work.”

But at the root of their hard work is to make sure the museum is showcased in a positive way with hundreds of thousands of people expected to see it starting on Thursday.

“We try to get in here as early as we can and get out as early as we can so the people can come in behind us and do their work and put the tents up and get ready for Thursday,” said Johnson. “We need to respect what it is but still have fun at the same time.”

Johnson says the NFL made them ship in a seed mixture from Minnesota and Arizona to repair the grass from the Super Bowl parade that happened in February.

They also take care of landscapes at the Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s, Cosentino’s, area Price Choppers, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum.