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At a Glance

They start with the same raw ingredients as many home gardeners—good soil, fertilizer, water and some colorful ambitions. But for the members of the airport grounds crew, the size of their task is often daunting.

In a given year they may plant tens of thousands of tulips and annuals. The hybrid soil mixture (sand, soil, pine bark and compost) is blended together by the truckload using front-end loaders. The mulching alone can take a four-man crew up to three months. Every single spring the grounds crew begins the cycle all over again.

The reason is simple. First impressions mean a lot. As the front door to the region for millions of travelers, the airport takes its appearance very seriously.

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