Although Cedar Point is best known for its world-class roller coasters, so much more goes into making the park truly A Place Like No Other®. Landscaping and groundskeeping play a large part in maintaining the beautiful appearance of the park and making Cedar Point an ideal vacation destination. With 364 acres of park, that’s a lot to keep up with! Luckily, we have a great, dedicated staff who isn’t afraid to get dirty (literally!) to get the job done.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Cedar Point’s Head of Landscaping, Martha Beverick, to learn more about the process of getting the park ready for Opening Day and maintaining it throughout the season. Martha is currently in her 26th year at Cedar Point; she started off as a seasonal associate when she was in high school in the early ‘80s and eventually came back as a full-time landscaping associate in 1994. She rose through the ranks, starting off as a seasonal forewoman, then moving up to a full-time forewoman and eventually the landscaping supervisor. She is the first female maintenance supervisor in Cedar Fair history. Martha’s team consists of just seven associates during the off-season and 21 associates in-season.
What does a typical day look like for you or someone on the landscaping team?
Right now, we’re working 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; I’m usually here by 5:30, sometimes earlier. Once we get in here, we kind of organize for our day. We give everybody clipboards with information on what’s going to happen for the day, and then get them headed out. 9:30 is our time to get off the Midway and our time to reorganize.
Is all work done before the park opens for the day, or is there anything done while the park is open to guests?
Most of it is; we normally plant flowers before the park opens. We try to get that done between 6 and 9 a.m., and then it’s mostly about getting ready for the next day. It’s more convenient to get things back and forth on the midways before the park is open, which is why we like to do it early in the day.
What does the team do in the off-season to prepare for the following season?
Our team is year-round so we’re always prepping, whether it be working on equipment or trimming in the winter months for planting flowers. We usually start in December for the following year. We spend a great deal of time figuring out what we’re going to plant, where to plant it and how many of each plant we need to order. We price it out every year, so we’re working on that almost as soon as we get the last leaf cleaned up and out the door. Spring is about cleaning up the beds, getting the mulches down, and then as soon as the weather allows, we start planting flowers and mowing grass as needed. The minute we close for HalloWeekends we start tearing down the flower beds and all the decorations. Not all of it is done physically by our crew, but we have a hand in it. Usually before Thanksgiving we’re on leaf cleanup and we do that until the snow falls, and then our team helps with snow removal.
What are some of your favorite areas of the park to landscape from year to year?
I think getting our midway beds planted is one of my favorite things, they’re always so beautiful. I personally have never seen that type of midway anywhere else - the presentation with all that color.
Looking back at your career, what’s been your favorite project or moment?
The year that I became the supervisor was the year that Matt Ouimet started redoing our entrances into the park. First it was the Main Gate, then over by Valravn, and then out by Magnum, the Magnum XL-200 Gate. I think updating all three of those areas added a lot to our park, making it gorgeous. Along with that, the three ponds by the Lighthouse Point cabins are beautiful. That project also happened the same year that we redid the three entrances to the park.
How has the upkeep of the park evolved over the years that you’ve been here?
I always tell people that the plant selection has changed a lot in the last probably five to ten years; that’s helped to make the park more beautiful because it adds more color. Additionally, I can remember when I first came here and cleaned up leaves in the fall, we did it in a way that I thought was harder. Now we use equipment to our advantage; we have bagger units on our mowers. That’s one of the biggest improvements I’ve seen; it’s quicker, it’s more efficient, and it’s not as hard. Another thing that we’ve done, in the year that we added the GateKeeper, we purchased a computer program for our irrigation. My foreman does the irrigation and he can control it from his phone, from the computer, and from an iPad. We don’t have all our equipment on that, but as we are bringing new areas in, we hook them all up to that. It’s more efficient and, in my opinion, the way of the future.
Finally, what do you love most about your job?
No two days are alike. And who can complain about the scenery? We work in a beautiful spot, even in the winter when it’s cold. The beautiful snowfall is one of my favorite things. That’s what makes it interesting: it’s a beautiful place and the fact that no two days are ever alike.
Next time you’re in the park, take a minute to stop and appreciate the beautiful landscaping, especially Martha’s favorite places! 🌸🌼🍃
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