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At Disney World...
Grounds manager Tony Virginia copes with the problems created by building plant beds on severely compacted and lifeless soil.


It takes a half-million bedding plants to keep the 100 acre Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World colorful for 12 months.

In addition to the many thousands of annuals, instant color is provided by such plants as 10,000 chrysanthemums in four inch pots, 6,000 single red poinsettias and 2,000 tulips used as annuals.

Annual beds are located throughout the theme park and around the Contemporary Resort Hotel and Polynesian Village.

Tony Virginia, who is grounds manager, was landscape superintendent at Disneyland in California for four years. He was transferred to Walt Disney World prior to opening of the attraction 15 miles southwest of Orlando in October 1971.

Virginia is in charge of all grounds maintenance chores at Walt Disney World including pest control and waterway care. He has eight supervisors a nd 136 employees in the landscape department. A big part of his job is contracting to purchase bedding plants months ahead of time and maintaining and replanting the numerous beds.

The grounds manager inherited a soil problem which is still in the process of being whipped. When the theme park was constructed, more than 12 million cubic feet of earth was moved into the park area to boost the grade by 5-15 feet.

Most of the soil material came from a 250 acre lagoon which was dug to a depth of 25 feet. To make matters worse from the maintenance man's viewpoint, the entire area was compacted 95 per cent for construction purposes.

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