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Sep 29, 2009
Busch Gardens has always taken great pride in the beauty of the park. Some people believe that's been going by the wayside recently.(Some even say since the addition of Festa Italia.) Larry Giles has been the VP of Engineering for over 20 years now, yet some think he doesn't care too much for building around trees/other obstacles. That's pretty sad, because of all the management in the park I've always had great respect for him. If you think of it, Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot, are the only ones that didn't get all the surrounding trees bulldozed since before the '80s. That was only because B&M promised to alter the terrain as little as possible. For this reason John Reilly (former GM) and Larry supposedly did not get along very well. There is a more complex story behind, but it's more than I am not willing/able to share. I often like to talk about this, though, because I think he is one of the most creative people left in the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens chain. That makes up for most of his slight shortcomings. Sometimes I wish I was the CEO, because almost everyone is in the chain for a reason,(even Scott and Carl). I just think some people are in the wrong places. JMHO. Does anyone know who his predecessor was? All I know is August Busch was so "OCD" about keeping trees, that while they were building the park he chose strategically what trees to keep. Some of these trees are still standing, in his honor. If anyone knows more, or would like to share their opinion, please feel free to do so.
I do know that the oak tree standing out in front of Verbolten (why do I have to tell you which tree, it's the only one there! :p) is from when Oktoberfest opened. They planned accordingly so it could still stand. That's basically all I know. :)
We noticed this past week how over grown Lorikeet Glen looks, the brush around the San Marco bridge, the area around the snail, etc. Apollo was trimmed, but the dead branches were just left on top of the bushes. :(
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I don't know much about the history side of the park's landscaping, but I'm crossing my fingers that someone does. I don't know why, but I'm actually thoroughly interested in it.

Anyway, yesterday I saw something I hadn't ever seen at the park before: Grass being mowed during park hours. I know it's exceedingly minor, but it's the little things that matter. :-/
I haven't really commented much on this, but I saw these things too. Being that I enjoy taking pictures of the shrubbery, I don't really want to take pics of bad/sloppy shrubbery. Though, it may be coming to that.
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From what I've been told landscaping used to be contracted almost entirely by outside companies. However after the AB sale (and yes I will admit the sale did change some things but not everything), the park cut *a lot* of their contractors and started to hire in house people. The only problem is their pay isn't on the high scale and they didn't have a passion for what they do. They don't care as much.

As much as I would love the park to do everything in house and to be perfect at it, that sadly may never be able to happen from the lack of caring within management or even at the lower levels. Also proper funding is necessary as well.
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